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San Clemente, CA, United States

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rule Book

I sure wish there was a rule book on life so that I could refer to it when making decisions.

I got an email today from a girl I dated in Fort Worth, Texas in 1999. I had gone to Texas to teach and coach because I had needed to get out of Arizona. I wasn't running from the law, I was running from my ex-wife who I like to call, "The Devil." After she carved out my heart, I felt like a failure for a few months. I felt that people looked at me differently. "There's the guy who couldn't keep his wife." Then a friend slapped me around a bit and I decided a fresh start in a new state would be a great idea.

I took a job teaching math and coaching football and I hated Texas from the minute the humidity of the summer started pissing me off. Every day was just oppressive. Plus, work was no fun. No kids to meet me halfway and actually give a damn about their education. We were inner-city and it was ugly. Hundreds of gang fights. Must have been one a day. I

But, I made the best of it, was voted Rookie of the Year by the staff, and had a decent year. Midway through, I wasn't even thinking about dating (ok, thats a lie) when I met the drama teacher at our school.

Holy crap what a hottie. Gorgeous in a girl next door kind of way. I had to find a way to meet her so I made up this ridiculously bad excuse. "One of my students is failing badly. You have her too, how are you getting through to this kid?" Worked like a charm. We talked all lunch about education and the kids at Eastern Hills. Super nice. Super sweet. I made it a point to get in her room at least 3X a week just to chat and say hi. She would come to my room every now and again too. We were becoming friends. Super smart. Super funny. 3 months into her divorce. We pledged not to talk about our divorces with each other but we always did. We laughed, cried, and everything in between. In March she told me she had never met anyone like me. In May we went to the movies together, had dinner, and shared a kiss. The next day was a bit awkward at work and we didn't speak about it. Neither of us knew if we should just pull the trigger. I moved too slow.

The year ended and I was packing up to move to Manhattan Beach, CA to get the hell out of Texas. On my last day, with my truck packed and gassed, she came by to say goodbye. We kissed again. Long, passionate. I looked in her eyes and knew she loved me. Then I got in my truck and left.

What if I had stayed? She was special. How do I NOT turn off the truck and take her in my arms?


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