When my now husband and I met it was very similar to many other military couples out there.
We met two weeks before he left for basic training, at 18 and 19, and it became a “whirl-wind romance.” At least as much as a teenage relationship could be. Before meeting John* I had a string of awful relationships filled with emotional and physical abuse, and I did not trust my judgement in men.
He was kind, charismatic, handsome, and brilliant. Our first date we saw Oz the Great and Powerful, and to this day I have no idea what happened in the movie. We spent the entire time talking and discovering that we shared aspirations, music, love of In-n-Out and almost everything that was important to us in relationships in common. It was an instant connection that we both felt.
John met me in my “party girl phase.” Not exactly a time in my life I am super proud of, but it is what led me to meeting the man of my dreams.
Prior to us meeting I was in my freshman year of college, newly out of a relationship that took everything from me. My self-esteem, self-worth, trust in people, my heart and my soul; my ex broke me. The relationship was incredibly emotionally and physically abusive and I had finally found the strength to end it after three years. Following this I had met a seemingly nice guy David* in class and started partying with him and his friends.
David and I did have a quick fling that ended with us still hanging out as friends, but it was definitely a little awkward. A few weeks had passed and one of David’s friends was having a birthday party that I had planned on not attending, but ended up going to anyway. Thank the Lord that I did because it is where I met John. We always joke that it was “love at first shot.” Since we had only met two weeks before John left for basic we decided we would take the relationship slow and talk throughout basic. We both had no idea what we were getting into and both weren’t looking for a long term relationship. Four weeks following our kismet meeting, John was in basic training at Fort Benning and I was still partying with David and his friends.
The details following are incredibly blurry and I will never know 100% what occurred. I still struggle with where I am at fault and the actions that I could have taken to prevent it all from occurring.
I went over to one of my college friend’s apartments for a Friday night party. It ended up being a lot smaller of a party than usual and drinks started pouring. That night it was myself and one other girl and about 10 of our guy friends, including David. I am a notorious lightweight and know that about myself, so I would typically stick to light beer for nights that I went out; but that evening I am sure that I had too much to drink, roughly 6 shots, 5 beers and possibly other beverages as the night went on. Following this, the main thing I remember is literally trying to walk down a hallway and ran right into a wall, and David telling me to go to the bathroom. In my drunken mind I assumed I was about to puke or had to go to the restroom so I followed.
I am not sure what took place in the restroom, but what I do remember is David saying “Where is John now?” over and over and crying, lots of tears. Everything that took place in the bathroom is a giant blur with small memories that I can piece together that make me cringe to this day. The only thing I remember after that was another guy carrying me to a bedroom, and waking up the next morning.
I immediately got in my car, with tear filled eyes and drove home attempting to figure out what the hell had happened the night before. A few hours later one of the guys from the night before met me for coffee and walked me through the evening and apologized for not being there to defend me. After our discussion I wrote about six different drafts of how I would explain everything to John, in a letter, during basic. Literally the worst timing for something like this to occur, with a guy that I truly felt a great relationship could blossom from, and I had done one of the worst things imaginable and wasn’t even completely sure about everything that happened. The final letter was covered in tears, sentences that I’m positive made no sense whatsoever, and more sentences that started with “I’m sorry” then I have ever said in my life.