This nightmare, didn’t start as a nightmare.

In fact, it was quite the opposite.

And when it started, I truly in my heart believed that it would not only never end, but it would last throughout the years like a sweet, extended honeymoon. The connection was instantaneous. There was a rush between us that seemed to almost hypnotize us both.

It started perfectly.

Quickly.

Passionately.

Mysteriously.

All-consuming.

It was a chemistry and a craving, a pull with such force it felt like an energy all its own.

We met, after talking for about a week. I gave him my phone number and once he had it, he called.

From the jump, he laid it on so thick, that I was fooled into what I was up against. I didn’t know of his addiction, I didn’t know there was old-ugly-bitch-baggage, I didn’t know the truth of the circumstances of his living with his mother, I didn’t know of his extensive criminal record, the ugliness of his family dynamic, and I had no idea he was a narcissist. It was something I began to recognize through diligent research as I sought out understanding after the fact. And these are things I addressed on day one when we met with no hesitation, “what kinda drugs do you do, is there any female that will be trying to be a problem, could you be loyal if we were to be together in the future”? I wasn’t afraid to ask questions, or acknowledge what I wanted or was willing to offer.

We were on the phone, hitting it off, seeing eye to eye, on the same page, laughing and playing, like we had known each other for years. We talked for hours on end. He said he wanted to come meet me, I just wasn’t sure I was ready to, and I openly expressed that. I was nervous, because it had been more than ten years since I met someone outside of who I knew and had been hanging out with. I am leery of strangers and people I don’t know. He pressed and insisted, and before I knew it, I was blurting out directions. He came from an hour away, anxiously arriving in about forty-five/fifty minutes.

I was just coming out of a sort of ride-or-die relationship with someone I had known half my life, and that being the case, I was fully prepared to discuss my concerns upon our first meeting. I felt sort of done with wasting time, so I decided, okay, I will address deal breakers, see what he says, feel it out, and see.

He arrived, with French fries, something we talked about on the phone. I told him I had a thing for late-night fries because I usually wrote and designed lesson plans when the house was shut down and quiet. I remember him carrying the bag, walking over to me. The smile he had on his face, was warm and sensual. We walked a little bit, he asked me for a hug, and I happily obliged. I felt an immediate comfort with him, as he picked me up off the ground, and held onto my body tightly as he spun me around. Our eyes met up high, and down low; him being six foot six/seven, three hundred and thirty pounds, to my one hundred twenty-eight pounds of five feet even.

I thought that God brought him to me, to keep his word, to love me, to build a life and family with me, to listen when I cried, there to know the difference in fucking and lovemaking…. There was suddenly this man in my life that fit right in and that felt so good. He promised me he wasn’t going to ever leave my bed, or my side. His huge stature, my petite size, his craving for me, and my empathic energy, the similarities in our life story, all coupled together seemed like the ultimate high.

Time didn’t exist. Getting up for careers we both loved, became a chore, both holding the other’s embrace not wanting to get out of bed. It was like an addiction, and a strong drug neither of us could get enough of.

His heartbeat seemed to beat in sync with mine. His presence took my worries away, the feel of any part of him, literally took my physical pain away. I felt safe when I held his hands, I felt mesmerized when I looked at him. We were hugged up, falling in love, over and over, all the time.

He did everything.

He said all the right things.

He came home, took his place at the table, positioned himself as the protector of my bedroom doorway, and made it seem like everything in the world was beautiful, and solid. Fate had finally stepped in for us both.

He told me he loved me over the phone two, maybe three days after we met. He was with me every day. Every night.

We bathed or showered together every day. In the candlelight, in the mirror, we were lost in each other. He sat down as I stood up, washed my whole body, rubbing me up and down, turning me around and around, never letting me be naked without him. It was intensely sexual, and more often than not, we were taking intimate footage of our extravagant sex life. Cameras were always rolling, and he was always taking pictures of me and things I did, even when I was unaware.

One look, one slight touch, led to hours, days, of passionate romance, an energy exchange that felt like the love between us was really meant to be. We stared at each other, and sometimes kept our eyes briefly closed. It was so good, and the memory of how amazing it once was, became the thing that kept me there with him, when I should have left.

It was the feeling of that perfection that made me stay. If it was all bad, I would have gone, and never looked back. But it was all the in- between, that made leaving the hardest, most painful thing to do.

Sometimes it takes awhile to make senses of the pieces because you only get little bits of what’s happening as it comes, and it’s entangled with all the X-rated, raw, intense make-up sessions in between the drama. This wasn’t your average love affair, broken furniture and bruises were regular, and welcome. When you think you’re on your way down the aisle with someone, you let them into the most secret reaches of your heart. You allow yourself to be vulnerable. And you don’t think twice about having that release with them.

Subtly, and slowly it began to change.

There was a fight, then a month of intense pouring on of the love and affection, and apologies. Then a fight, followed by making up, making up again, and making up some more down to the point of physical exhaustion and soreness.

The love-bombing made me want to stay. He kept trying to pull me back into the memory of when we met. What I thought was love, made me put up a fight, it made me excuse things I ordinarily wouldn’t. It was all the right things, he once did.

It was nights at home, talks of dreams, it was the thing that everyone wishes and longs for when they go to sleep. It was laughing, bubble baths, Sundays under the covers, hickies, spankings, dressing up, dressing down. It was watching the fireworks.

It was floating around in the pool wearing my string bikini during the hot summer, wrapped around each other, our baby kicking in my belly, it was all of it. And when you feel like it true and genuine, you go all-in, you go hard.

It was all the late-night play, all the massages, all the dinners, all the movie nights, all the rolling around the bed, getting intimate in the car, and outside, it was holding hands, it was late-night drives, it was making two sons. It was French kissing day and night.

It was him writing, “marry me” up the entire stairway, it was him rubbing my belly and bonding with his growing son, him saying “baby” so our son could hear his voice, it was ultrasounds, and his amazement and excitement when our son was coming into the world, it was the joy of him witnessing me nursing his newborn baby. It was taking a bath together with our baby every night. It was intimate space.

It was hugs, kisses, love notes, make out sessions, it was shooting hoops and picnics at the park.

It was the heart to heart talks and intimacy that kept us up until dawn, a mixture of tears, fears, confessions, physically holding each other down, breathing hard, putting in work and getting worked on. It was explicit, private between him and I, just us, and it didn’t feel anything less than a romantic movie playing out.

It was being tangled up together in bed.

It was something straight out of a love song. (In fact, he just left me a song that he rhymed on my voicemail since I don’t answer anymore).

It was once my wake up, my warmth while I slept, it was my goodnight.

It was everything.

It was once, so colorful and beautiful, and it was perfect.

Until it wasn’t.