Stephen Newman

JUST MOVE ON, THEY SAID By Stephen Newman

Maybe she is ashamed of me. Maybe I’m too old, too fat, too hairy, too nice. Maybe I have too big of a head. Maybe it’s because I don’t drive a sports car, my hair isn’t purple, I have no tattoos and no flavor saver. Maybe she didn’t want to deal with the “sex offender” label. Who could blame her for that?

I will never forget the kindness she showed me. When I got arrested, she was the only person who didn’t talk down to me, interrogate me, ask me why I did it, treat me differently, nor say anything to make me feel ashamed. She went out of her way to intentionally discuss other topics, so that I wouldn’t have to think about my arrest and my trial. Nobody else did this for me. Not a single person.

When I was out on bail, she went with me to Vegas. She wasn’t afraid of me. We rode in the limo, we saw Cirque du Soleil, we ate dinner at the cafe, we enjoyed some late-night entertainment, we went to breakfast at the Peppermill, we went shopping, we gambled, we ordered calimari. It was her favorite.

With her I felt normal, loved, wanted, and appreciated for who I was as a human. She was the only true friend I had in 2007.

People didn’t understand why I had such intense feelings for her. “Some random chick you met on Craigslist in 2003? Who cares about her, bro, just move on, she’s just using you.” Easy for them to say.

I have a hard time letting go. It starts with low self-esteem. “I’m not good enough the way I am,” turns into “nobody will love me the way I am,” which becomes “I need her a lot more than she needs me.” When she pulls away, it reinforces this belief, so I try harder and harder to “make” her love me, which just pushes her away even more.

Tiffany necklaces, Pandora bracelets, boat rentals, roses, thousands in cash, a purse, custom birthday cakes, a new house, hundreds of romantic letters and emails, gas cards for her new car, sunglasses, nightly phone calls, a popcorn maker, my parents moving near her so I could be with her once I was released on parole, See’s candy, a blue sweater, Aveda shampoo, help writing a budget, cupcakes…none of it was the answer. None of those things got me closer to her heart. Instead, they only pushed her away.

“It’s because I can’t disappoint the losers,” she said.

Stephen Newman
DOC #90843

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