Chapter 88: “The Next Step”
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Boy, after the show argument and then this, Travis must have thought I hated him.
In the fall of 2010, after Travis and I’s lease expired, I wanted to take the next step in my relationship with Deirdre and move in together. She had just moved out of this beautiful apartment and into a place owned by her boss at EMMC, the head of the kitchen, Jimbo.
He was a kind man, and he allowed her to stay for relatively cheap on the third floor of his family’s old house. Each apartment was its own floor. They stayed on the ground floor, and another co-worker, Jim Scott, resided on the second floor.
Jim was a quiet and odd man, but he was incredibly nice and had begun to open up over the past few years. He was set in his ways, with diet coke and Malibu Coconut Rum in ready supply. It had become a pleasure interacting with him on a regular basis.
As I feared, Travis lashed out at me and accused me of “abandoning” him. I told him that it wasn’t anything personal and I just wanted to be with Deirdre and Kaitlyn. It was the logical next step in the evolution of our relationship, which had been stronger than ever.
Travis and I had a minor falling out. I didn’t say this to him – and I truly didn’t want to utter this aloud – but I almost thought it right to blame him for not working hard enough on the show and thus, I had to move towards one of my other goals. I could never have said such a critical thing for I knew it would have shaken him to his core. He was already going through enough in this transition, and the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt him.
Jimbo approved my move into the third floor and with it, I packed the little of what belongings I had left, and the move was completed in a weekend.
Since I had spent so much of my time with the two ladies, the adjustment process was actually rather easy on Deirdre and I. But for Kaitlyn, I became another parental figure, and along with it, she grew to disregard my authority. My presence was official now, and my instructions were co-written and approved. She wasn’t having any of it.
It took Kaitlyn a few weeks to begin to come around, but it wasn’t as difficult as I just made it sound. All this meant was that she needed to hear the same parental direction parroted back from Deirdre and she would (eventually) listen.
I remember vividly one night; Deirdre and I were lying in bed talking before bed when all of a sudden we heard Kaitlyn leave her bed and head to the nearby bathroom. She was deathly afraid of the dark at this time, and we were surprised that she could get up in the dark and go to the bathroom. When she returned from the bathroom, however, she was awake enough to realize it, and her steps rapidly accelerated into a thudding run. Deirdre and I cackled for quite some time then made it a point to share the joke with Kaitlyn the next day. Kaitlyn giggled for about fifteen minutes straight. We had many moments like this, as we liked to keep things silly with Kaitlyn.
As happy as we were, I still couldn’t shake my insecurities. I knew that we were fine, but something still felt off. I guess I was doomed to repeat this thought incessantly like an audio file stuck on a loop. Every time I was happy, my mind wandered, concocting potential ways to fuck it up.
We began to try for a baby. I had wanted kids ever since I met many of the ill children at the hospital all of those years ago and later, after meeting my niece and nephew, and now, my Goddaughter, Brinley, who was born in January of this year.
I remember fondly when my cousin Jason and his fiancé brought Brin down to see me in Bangor after only a month! I thought it was too early, but I was grateful to see her. In fact, it was actually rather easy to drive with her for she slept the whole way. Plus, Jess made a great point that if they got her accustomed to driving now, then every subsequent trip would be much easier.
I held Brin and had to stabilize her head because she was too little to do it on her own. My desire to have children was assuredly reaffirmed that first night we met. I knew there was a lot of restless nights and compromises involved with having a child, but it didn’t matter. I knew Deirdre, and I could raise a child well, and I also believed it was one of my life’s purposes.
But soon, months went by, and Deirdre and I came up empty-handed. Maybe I was shooting blanks after all? It wasn’t that much of a worry for me. Yet. I still had plenty of time. Deirdre was, after all, only thirty-three.
I felt selfish. I could adopt, but I wasn’t ready for that yet. But was I even ready to rear a child of my own? And I still felt awful for what I did to Travis.
Travis eventually came around, however, and understood my reasoning for moving out, even though I severely worried about him never forgiving me. He too was growing up in front of my eyes. And then I thought, that in a way, my actions and interactions with him were shaping him into the man he was soon to become. I feared that our unending fights as kids may have led him astray in that regard, but he had turned out just fine.
What other impact did I have on others’ growth? I knew that my actions directly affected Kaitlyn and Brinley, and still, I worked harder than ever before on Fort Thomas and in my preparation to resume my college education.
And my first semester back was right around the corner.
This is an ongoing story of my personal battle with Cancer. My hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.
The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a publically available first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. The only reason I’m doing it this way is to get the story out as soon as possible for someone out there who needs a survivor to visit them during their own treatment. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, tweet at me and I’ll give you a call. No questions asked. This story is for you and I’ll help any way that I can.
Stay tuned, as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.
And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.
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