Still Life by Lydia Stacy

Still Life by Lydia Stacy

I Thought She was the One by Timothy C.


A couple days later, I was in the back of the store cleaning.  That’s when I heard her.  My heart stopped.  “Hey, you got a sexy voice,” she said.  I turned to face her.  It was at that moment that my eyes fell upon the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.  Her eyes were bright blue like the Caribbean seas you only see on postcards.  Her long blonde hair flowed down her shoulders like a perfect waterfall.  Her long, athletic physique put me at a loss for words.  This girl who looked even better than I had imagined was my new shift leader.

            Over the next couple weeks, I liked her more and more.  She was so outgoing.  She was the center of attention without even trying to be.  I loved that about her.  There was something about the way she played a room.  I noticed she had a boyfriend.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had to flirt.  We grew closer as the days passed.  Eventually, I learned that she was also in prison.  We had both come so far from where we were in our pasts.  She eventually broke up with her boyfriend.  I wanted so desperately to ask her out, but I couldn’t.  I was scared to death.  What would someone that beautiful ever see in me?  Then, it happened.  She completely caught me by surprise, and she asked me out.  I remember being at a loss for words.  I remember my response so vividly.  I gave a simple, helpless, “Uh huh.”

            I remember leaving work that day feeling on top of the world.  I was already in love with this girl.  I just knew it.  It just was.  On my bike ride back to the halfway house, I told myself that I was going to marry that girl.  She was perfection.

            Over the next couple of months, we grew closer and closer.  Everything was perfect.  It was better than perfect.  Each day felt like I had the opportunity to hold the hand of my crush.  It was simply amazing.  Then, inside of Sun Tan City, I got down on one knee and held out a ring.  I was so nervous.  I was shaking.  I still to this day can’t remember what I said.  All I can remember is that she said yes.  I also remember that I cried, and so did she.

            I got out of the halfway house on March 22, 2017.  Because I was now free, and she was still in prison, we had to keep our relationship a secret.  We managed, but it wasn’t easy.  Our secret romance continued until the day she got out of the halfway house.  It was May 8, 2017.  The first stop was parole.  This was a huge moment for us.  Two parolees are not supposed to associate.  We needed to get permission from both of our parole officers.  I first spoke to mine, and it went just as I had hoped.  She then spoke to her parole officer.  He also gave us the okay.  It was official.  We didn’t have to hide our feelings anymore.  It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off our shoulders.

            We planned on moving in together.  She had an apartment in Concord.  Everything seemed too good to be true.  It was as if all she wanted in her life was to love me.  I’d never felt so loved.  However, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

            One night, we had plans to go to dinner together.  I finished up at work and closed up my store.  I walked to her apartment.  She wasn’t home.  I decided to wait on the front steps.  A blue pickup truck pulled up to the curb.  The people in the vehicle didn’t see me, but I saw them.  It was my fiancé.  She was with another man.  My first thought was that it is probably just a friend.  But, I had never seen this man before.  That struck me as odd.  As the truck stopped, she leaned over and kissed him.  It wasn’t just a kiss on the cheek.  It was passionate.  In that very moment, my entire world came crashing down.  I was heartbroken.  I froze.  I literally could not move.  She got out of the truck and saw me.  She looked absolutely horrified, but she said nothing.  She simply got back into the truck, and they sped off.

            I hadn’t heard from her in a couple days.  Then, I got a phone call.  It was a mutual friend letting me know that this girl that had just ripped my heart from my chest had overdosed on heroin.  In that moment, all the pain and anger disappeared.  My heart sunk.  I immediately went to the hospital to be with her.  I sat there until she was ready to go home.  We said nothing.  We just held hands.  Two days later, she overdosed again.  Then a week after that, she overdosed one more time.  She simply couldn’t stop.  I realized I had to make a choice.  I am an addict in recovery.  I couldn’t love her and stay clean at the same time.  It just wasn’t possible.  So I did the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I walked away.

            Even though I walked away, I have found myself looking back several times.  We got back together at one point.  She convinced me that she was getting clean.  It was a lie.  Everything was a lie with her.  It wasn’t only the drugs.  Everything about her was fake.  It was all a show.  I wanted so badly to help her, but she simply wasn’t ready to be helped.  Every now and then I find myself thinking about what would happen if she got clean.  I start to think about the girl that I fell in love with.  I find myself weakening.  Then, I snap out of it, and I remember that the girl that I fell in love with didn’t really exist.

            The last time I heard from her was in a letter that she wrote me from prison.  She had to go back for six months.  Her letter expressed how sorry she was for all the pain she had caused me.  She said she loves me and hopes that someday we can be together.  I wrote her back.  I told her that I will always care for her, that I will always be there for her, but only as a friend.  I explained that I need to focus on me, and she needs to focus on her.  I told her that she can’t be good for someone else until she is good for herself.  I encouraged her to stay clean and to focus on her recovery.

            This is a never ending circle with her.  She will get out of jail and go back to using heroin.  She manipulates the people that care for her.  She gets whatever she can from someone, and then she moves on to the next.  She has no real desire to get clean.  It is truly said to see such a beautiful girl destroyed by drugs.  She is one of the reasons that I chose addiction counseling as my major.  I have a passion for helping people.  However, you can only help someone who wants to be helped.  Unfortunately, she is not one of those people.