The Man from Swift Current
© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved




Chapter 90: Mental and Emotional Meltdown

Early the next morning, we woke up in each other’s arms.   I looked into my lover boy’s deep blue eyes, and said, “It is so wonderful to wake up to you in the morning.”   I kissed him lightly on the lips.   “I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.”

Rick smiled, and said, “Yes, I also love waking up with you in my arms; but it is even better to wake up with you in my arms, AND be in a regular bed, with a nice soft mattress!”

“I agree with you there, Babe,” I said.   “I like camping; but, by the third night of sleeping on the ground, I was ready to find a nice comfy bed to sleep on.”

Rick squeezed my upper arm, and I flexed my muscles.  “You sure have big guns, now.   I used to be able to put my hand almost completely around your upper arm; but, now, there is all this muscle that gets in the way.”

I laughed, and said, ‘You can’t tease me about being a hundred pound weakling, anymore!”

“No, I can’t, but I can call you my gorgeous stud of a boyfriend,” Rick said, smiling at me.   “I like how you’ve filled out.   Working out with Ben and company really helped you build some good muscle.”

“But, I don’t have anything compared to you,” I said, as I ran my hand over his six pack abs.

Rick grinned, and said, “Well, I am quite a bit bigger than you are; so, I would expect that I would have more muscles.   Besides, I have been working on them for a much longer period of time than you have.”

“That is true, but you were just as sore as I was after paddling our canoe that first day on the water,” I said, running my fingers through the hair on his chest.

“Yes, my arms hurt; but, after getting back on the water the second day, the soreness went away,” Rick responded.

“Same here,” I responded.   “I was surprised at how well Mom and Aunt Hannah held up.   They didn’t complain, or even hint, that they were uncomfortable, the entire time we were canoeing.”

Rick nodded his head in agreement.  “They were pretty amazing.   That is what I like about your family – they work together and don’t complain, when things get tough.”

“It’s your family, too, Rick.” I reminded him, gently tweaking his nipples.

“I know; but, sometimes, I can’t help but be awestruck by the wonderful family I inherited by being your boyfriend,” Rick said.   “And that includes the great guy who is my soul mate.”   Rick pulled me closer, and kissed me, as his hands explored the rest of my body.

We surfaced for air, and Rick said, “I have decided I like how you shaved off all of your body hair.”

I grinned at him.  “I know you weren’t happy about it, when I first did it.”

“No, I wasn’t; then, I thought about the fact that you have never had a lot of body hair, anyway,” Rick said, as he continued to caress me with his huge hands.   “Now, your super smooth skin really turns me on.”

After an extended amount of foreplay, Rick asked, “Are you ready?”   I didn’t speak, but moaned with pleasure, as his lips captured mine.  We gave ourselves over to the passion that engulfed us, until we had completely satisfied our overwhelming desire for each other!

Afterward, we enjoyed the euphoria that results from great sex, eventually falling asleep in each other’s arms!    As I slept, I dreamed we were in Atlanta, and that I was performing on stage, when a member of the audience started stomping his feet in time to the music.   It spread until the entire auditorium rocked with their stomping feet.   I was starting to get upset at these people for ruining my performance, when I was suddenly wide awake.   I realized that the sound I was hearing wasn’t in my dream.   Someone was knocking on our door.   I looked at Rick, who was just opening his eyes.

“Someone is at the door, Babe,” I said.   “I’ll get up to see who it is.”

I got up, and pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, before walking across the room to the door.   When I opened the door, I was surprised to find Mom and Dad standing there.   “Good morning, son,” Mom said.

“May we come in?” Dad asked.

I moved out of the doorway, and said, “Sure.”

Rick sat up in bed, and pulled the sheet up over his naked body.   “Good morning, Mom and Dad.”

They sat down at the little table in our room, and I climbed up on the bed next to Rick.   We waited, expectantly, for them to tell us why they had come to wake us up.

Dad said, “I’m sorry that we woke you up, but we need to get on the road.  Your mother wanted to make sure we saw you, before we left.”

Mom said, “Yes, I wanted to talk to you before we left.  We need to get home, and attend to a few things, since we’ll be flying down to Atlanta to see you perform in a few weeks.”

I smiled, and said, “I’m glad you decided to come.”

Mom said, “Actually, we didn’t decide to go to Atlanta, until Grandpa called us last night, to let us know that there will be a family reunion the week after your concert, at their home.   He said we need to have a family meeting, to discuss our business ventures.   Grandpa will be paying for all of the family to fly down to see your concert, and attend the family reunion.”

I was surprised to hear Mom’s news.   “We didn’t know that Grandpa was doing that.”

“We didn’t know, either, until last night.   Grandpa said that things have come up that we need to discuss, as a family.   That is the reason for the impromptu family meeting.   I told him I would let you two know what was happening,” Mom said.

“It’s a good thing Randy and Shawn went back when they did; because they will need to be off work, again, for the family reunion,” Rick said.

Mom nodded her head in agreement.  “Randy isn’t sure he can take that much time off; but, he will check it out, and let us know.”

I glanced over at Dad, and I could see he was getting impatient to leave, since Mom had delivered Grandpa’s message to us.   Dad said, “Uncle Carl and Aunt Hannah will be leaving in an hour, or so.   If you want to see them off, you will need to get dressed in the next little while.”   Giving Rick a knowing smile, Dad continued, “I’m glad to see that you are taking good care of Glenn.”

Rick blushed, and said, “I’m doing my best.”

Mom laughed, and said, “Don, stop embarrassing your son.”

A broad grin broke out on Dad’s face, and he chuckled, “I haven’t said anything that isn’t true.”

Mom said, “Yes, it’s true.   I’m just as happy as you are that they are showing their love for each other, just like any other couple in their situation.”

This time, it was my turn to blush, “Mom…..”

Mom gave me a grin, and said, “I think we need to let these two lovebirds get ready for the day.”   She stood up, and walked over to the bed.  She leaned down to give me a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek.   “I love you, son.”

“I love you, too, Mom,” I replied.

She walked around to the other side of the bed; and hugged Rick, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek.   “Take care of Glenn for us,” she said.

“I promise I will do my best,” Rick said, with a smile.

Dad gave us both a quick hug, and said, “Drive carefully, and give us a call when you reach Minneapolis.”

“We will,” I said.   I got up from the bed, and followed them to the door.   “We will see you in a few weeks, then.”

Mom said, “Bye, dear.”

After they left, I shut the door, and turned to find Rick was right behind me.   He pulled me into his arms, and kissed me.   He pulled back, and asked, with one eyebrow raised, “Shower?”

“Yes,” I replied, and stripped out of my clothes.   We showered and dressed for the day.   We packed our things, and took them out to our car.   We met Uncle Carl and Aunt Hannah in the parking lot.  

“Thank you for inviting us to go with you on this trip,” Rick said to Uncle Carl.

Uncle Carl said, “I am happy you joined us.   It has been a wonderful trip.”

“Don’t forget to put a note on your calendar for Thanksgiving,” Aunt Hannah said.   “We will be expecting you.”

Rick smiled, and said, “I will make sure we don’t forget.   There is no way that I’m going to miss your pecan pie.”

Aunt Hannah smiled, and said, “I’ll make sure we save you at least one pecan pie.”

“Deal,” Rick said, with a grin, and gave her a hug and a kiss.   “We will see you in October.”

“Thank you for everything.   We have had a wonderful time, visiting with you,” I said.   I gave them both a hug.   I had tears in my eyes, as I released Aunt Hannah.

Seeing how emotional I had become, Aunt Hannah said, “It’s okay, Glenn.   It won’t be long, until you are back at our house for Thanksgiving.”

“I know, but I’m missing you already,” I said.

“You’re such a dear,” Aunt Hannah said, patting my cheek.   “You have always had such a tender heart.   Don’t worry, Rick will be there for you, and I’m sure you’ll be just fine.”

Rick put his arms around my waist, and I turned to bury my face in his shirt, while I recovered.   Once I had regained control over my emotions, I looked up at him, and smiled.  “I love you.”

Rick returned my smile, and said, “I know.”   Rick released me, and said, “We need to check out, then we can be on our way.”

We waved to Uncle Carl and Aunt Hannah, as they pulled out of the parking lot.   I got into the Land Rover, while Rick checked us out of the hotel.   We were soon on the road.   I turned to Rick, and said, “I want to buy a house in St. Catharines, so we can live there, at least part of the year.”

Rick glanced at me, then said, “Glenn, I know you’re missing your family; but I think we should wait to buy property somewhere else, since we don’t know where our jobs will be after we graduate from college.   We already have the Atlanta property, which meets our needs, for now.”

“Couldn’t we buy a duplex, or a duet property, and rent it out, like Mom and Dad are doing?” I asked.

“Yes, we could,” Rick said.  “But I want to wait for a while.”   He paused, and glanced at me again.   He didn’t want to start a fight with Glenn, but tried to avert a confrontation with Glenn, by redirecting the conversation.   “Glenn, I love you very much.   Remember, we both promised to be open about our thoughts and feelings?”

“Yes, I remember that promise very well,” I replied.   “That is why I am asking you to consider buying a house in St. Catharines.”

“Why do you want to buy a house there, and not one in Vancouver, or in Swift Current?” Rick asked.

“I would love a place in Vancouver, so we could be near Randy and Shawn; but I wasn’t sure you would want to live on the west coast,” I said.

Rick had a puzzled expression on his face, as he asked, “Why do you say that?”

“I think you still hope that your family will change; and you want to be close enough to them, so that you can take advantage of any possible opportunity there might be for your relationship with your family to be healed,” I said.

Rick asked, “Did Mom and Dad tell you that?”

“Yes, Mom did.   She said I needed to keep that in mind, when we talked about our future together.   She also reminded me that you have sacrificed a lot to be with me,” I replied.   I wanted him to know that I acknowledged the sacrifice he made to be with me, before I pushed him on other subjects.

Rick sat in silence for a moment.   He hadn’t realized that Mom had spoken to Glenn about what he had lost, as a result of being Glenn’s life partner.   He had always tried to minimize that aspect of their relationship, because it made Glenn feel that he should leave him, so he could have his family back; and that is not what Rick wanted.   He had always made it very clear that he loved Glenn, and wanted to be with him, despite what his family had done.

He didn’t want Glenn to feel he was obligated to do everything he wanted, because he felt he owed it to him.   He honestly wanted an equal partnership with Glenn, not a lopsided one, where one partner dominated the other.  He had fought a long, hard battle to counteract the negative impact his parents’ reaction to their relationship had had on them; and he didn’t want to resurrect those discussions, at the moment. 

Ignoring Glenn’s statement about his family, Rick said, “That still doesn’t explain why you want a home in St. Catharines.”

“I think that a home there will make it easier for us to visit your family, if things change.   It’s on the east coast, and it’s not too far to drive to see your family.   And, even better yet, Mom, Dad, Uncle Dave, Aunt Mary, Ben and Janice will all be living in St. Catharines, or Toronto.”   Seeing Rick’s expression change, I quickly added, “Don’t get me wrong, Rick.   I love living in the United States, but I want to return to Canada, at some point in the future.”

Rick nodded his head in understanding. “It’s where home is.”

“Yes,” I replied, simply.

“We can’t move to Canada, until I have finished my commitment to the military,” Rick said.

“I know.   Just like getting married, we have to wait for you to get out of the Marines,” I said, trying to keep my voice neutral, but failing miserably.  

Rick heard the bitterness in my voice, and glanced at me.   He put his hand on my knee, and said, “I’m sorry, Glenn.   I know that I’m asking you to be patient.   I also know that waiting four more years seems like a long time.”

I turned my head away, so he wouldn’t see the tears of frustration that were starting to roll down my cheeks.   I hate it!   I can’t control the crying, when I get upset.   We drove on in silence, until Rick broke it, by asking, “Are you going to give me the silent treatment the entire trip.”

I hadn’t looked at him in over an hour.   I turned my head, and looked at him.  “No, I’m not giving the silent treatment, Babe.   It’s just that there isn’t anything more to say.   You’re obligated to four more years in the military, and there is nothing I can do to change that fact.   You aren’t willing to buy property in St. Catharines, and you have stated your reasons for that, as well.   It seems to me that we have to put our relationship on hold, for the next four years, so we won’t endanger your desire to be a Marine.”

I turned back to watching the scenery rush by, as Rick drove us around Lake Superior.   We drove on for a while longer, before Rick attempted to start a conversation with me, again.   I was still angry at him for forcing me to wait.   He asked, “I didn’t say we had to put our relationship on hold, Glenn.”

“Not directly, but you might as well have said it that way.   You’re asking me to be happy with being boyfriends, and nothing more, because we can’t get married,” I said.   I paused, before continuing, “Rick, I want to be more to you than just a good fuck, whenever you need one.   I want to have a family.   I want us to be a couple.   I want something that is more permanent than, ‘I promise to be there for you,’ and ‘Don’t worry, Glenn, things will work out alright.’   Somehow those phrases don’t really reassure me; that, after four years of waiting for you to complete your obligation to the military, that you will really be there.   And, even if we’re still together, will you be ready to get married?   Will you be ready to admit that you’re gay, at that point in time?   It seems to me that you don’t know what you want, or who you are.”

Rick started to interrupt, but I cut him off.   “Rick, there are so many things that can happen, between now and then.   As we have already seen, we have changed a lot over the last year, or so.   Now, we’re dealing with those changes, and trying to get know each other over all over again.   What is there to stop us from continuing to grow apart?”

Rick didn’t respond directly to my question.   He said, “I have been asking myself that same question, Glenn.   You got so angry with me, when I asked you to change your behavior; that it has made me reassess whether or not we have a strong enough relationship to overcome our differences.”

I nodded my head, in agreement, and said, “I’ve had those very same thoughts.   The last few weeks have been great, and I love being with you.   You make me laugh, and help me to be a better person.   Of course, the sex has been out of this world, but is it enough to build a future together?”

Rick gave a sigh of relief.  “Thanks for asking that question, Glenn, because I didn’t want to be the one to ask it.”

I looked over at Rick, and said, “I think it is a question we both need to answer; for ourselves, and as a couple.   For my part, you have asked me to return to Atlanta, and resume a lifestyle that causes me a great deal of emotional and mental dissonance.   I can’t go backward in time, to the way things were, before we left Atlanta, Rick.   I am not the same 18 year-old guy, who was just beginning to stretch his wings, after moving away from home, for the first time.   I was suffering from a huge self-esteem deficit, which prevented me from standing up for myself.   As a result, I did everything you wanted me to do.   I was happy doing that, because that is what I needed, at that time.”  

I paused, then continued.   “When you left me, I was totally devastated.   But thanks to Ben, I managed to survive those first few weeks without you.   Then, later, thanks to your encouragement, I did what I needed to do to improve my self-image.   The support network I developed in Minneapolis helped me, immensely.

Since the first time we had sex, you have always been part of my identity, and that has helped me to maintain my sanity.   I knew I could count on you to stand behind me, and hold me up.   But, when you asked me to go back into hiding, and to return things to how they were before; I felt like you had sucker punched me.   I felt, and still feel, betrayed.   You encouraged me to become self-actualized, and to accept myself for who I am; but, when you came face to face with the fact that I did what you asked me to do, you didn’t like what I had become, and asked me to change, or at least hide, who I am.”

Rick said, “I’m sorry, Glenn.   I’m still trying to get used to the new you.”

I asked, “Why is it such a big adjustment for you?   You spent time with me, every couple of months.   You could see the changes, as they were happening.”

“I’m sorry, Glenn.   You’re right, I did see the changes; but I wasn’t thinking about their impact on me, at the time.   I was more concerned with helping you, to become a stronger person.   I need you to be strong for yourself, Glenn.   Before you had your therapy sessions, I felt I had to always be the strong one in the relationship.   From the very beginning, I have wanted to protect you, and shield you from the rest of the world.   I still feel that way; but I need to be able to turn to you for strength.   I need someone I can lean on.  Yes, you have been there for me; but I have always hated myself for putting my burdens on your shoulders, when you already carry such a heavy load,” Rick said.

This was the first time I was hearing this from Rick.   It made sense, and I should have seen it, without Rick pointing it out to me.   Mom had tried to tell me the same thing, before we left Swift Current for Toronto.

“Can you forgive me for not seeing what should have been obvious?” I asked Rick.

Rick answered, “There is nothing to forgive, Babe.   I could see you were struggling, but I didn’t know how badly, until you shared your thoughts with me last fall.   Besides, you have been there for me; since the beginning, when things fell apart with my family.”

“What do you want to do about Atlanta?” I asked, turning the conversation back to where it started.

“Can we play it by ear?   I don’t want to create more tension between us, by putting a stake in the ground, before we know how things will go,” Rick said, trying to head off what he thought was going to be another argument.

“I am okay with that.   I don’t want to keep arguing about it, since neither of us has really been willing to compromise,” I said.   Rick tried to interrupt me, but I spoke over the top of him.  “Please hear me out, Rick.   You have been uncompromising with your desire to remain in the military, and your demands of me, regarding my public behavior toward you.   Isn’t that a fact?”

Rick nodded his head, reluctantly.   Glenn had a point, and he knew it.   “I haven’t conceded any ground, for my part; because I refuse to change who I am, just to please you.   I can’t do that, or I risk undoing every bit of progress I have made, to date,” I said.   “You must understand, Rick, that when you first requested that I cease to show you affection in public, and that you wanted me to revert to what I was before you left Atlanta, my whole world seemed to implode.   I have never felt so much panic and hysteria.   It was like I had been thrown overboard in the middle of a hurricane, and I was drowning.   Everything you encouraged me to become seemed to be the wrong thing for you.    Do you know how demoralizing that was?   I spent months in therapy, at your behest, trying to become a stronger person; to overcome my fears of admitting that I am really gay.   I finally felt comfortable in my own skin, and with who I am; then, you asked me not to be who I am, to pretend to be something else.”  

I paused to catch my breath, then I continued, “I didn’t go through all of that therapy for myself, Rick.   I did it, because I love you.   You asked me to go, and I honored your request.   It was hell reliving those moments when John raped me.”

Rick interrupted me, “I know.   You told me about it.   Remember?”

“Yes, I told you about being raped, but I didn’t tell you everything.   I couldn’t, at that time.   I need you to understand just how bad it was, Rick.   If it had been just being raped, maybe I wouldn’t have so many nightmares about it, now.”

“I thought you told me everything,” Rick said, wondering what could be more terrifying than being forced to have sex.

I swallowed hard, and fought back my tears, as I remembered in vivid detail, everything that happened that day.   I started to talk, letting my pain and suffering show in my voice.  “I was a scrawny 12-year old kid.   I was small for my age, and hadn’t hit puberty yet, and John was 17, almost 18.   He was a good deal taller, and heavier, than I was.   He and two of his buddies used to hang out in his room.   John told me I had to stay away from his room, when his buddies were over.   However, I wanted to be with John, since he always played ball with me.   I went up to his room one day, and heard strange noises coming from behind the door.   I quietly opened it, and peeked in.  I saw him and his friends, jerking off.   John was staring right at me, as he sprayed his cum all over his bed.   He grinned at me, then turned to his friends, and pointed at the door.  “I think we have company.”

I knew I was in trouble, so I ran down the hall.   He tackled me, before I got very far, and dragged me into his room.   He and his friends made me suck on their dicks, before they tied my hands together and tied my legs to the bed posts, so I couldn’t get away from them.   John put tape over my mouth, so I couldn’t scream as he fucked me.    It hurt so much, Rick.   I can still hear John telling me that he was giving me what I wanted, and that I was to blame for enticing him to fuck me.   His friends took their turns fucking me.   They laughed and slapped my face with their dicks.   John called me their new slut, and that they planned to fuck me every time I came to visit.   They threatened to beat me to a pulp, if I ever said anything, to anyone, about what they had done to me.”

I stopped, again, to try, and calm myself down.   I had started feeling really nauseated.   When I felt I could go on, I said, “They didn’t let me go, until they had fucked me two more times that day.   John’s friends had just left, when the rest of the family arrived at home.   John untied me, and reminded me what would happen, if I said a word to anyone.”  

Still unable to process what he was hearing, Rick asked, “Didn’t anyone suspect that something was wrong?”

 “They never suspected anything was wrong.   John was very affectionate with me, and they all assumed it was because he was being a good friend to his younger cousin.   They never guessed what had really happened.”  

I glanced at Rick, and said, “Rick, I hated every minute of the time I spent with the therapist, trying to rid myself of my self-doubts.   She was just like the other therapists I have seen over the years.   They truly have no clue how deep the psychological damage is, to a person, who has been a rape victim.   They pretend to know, and they try to convince you that they empathize, and sympathize with how you’re feeling.   However, the bottom line is, that, they really don’t understand.   No one does, who hasn’t been through a similar experience.   No one understands the sense of utter worthlessness I felt; and, still feel, sometimes, because of what happened.   I put on a good show for everybody, and most people are clueless, as to the deep despair I feel.   I even have you convinced that things are okay, most of the time.”  

Rick asked, quietly, “Did the therapist help you, at least, in a small way?”

“She was better than the male therapists I’ve seen, in that, she didn’t tell me that I was making it all up, to get my cousin in trouble, like one therapist did.   He told my parents that I didn’t need to see a therapist, and that I was just going through a rough spot in my journey through puberty.    I know she really helped Justin through his suicidal period; but not because she understood what he had been through, but because she helped him work through all of his emotions.”

“But, didn’t she do the same for you?” Rick asked, trying to grasp the meaning of what Glenn was sharing with him.

“I thought she had, and I felt pretty good about those sessions; until the other night, when you totally destroyed me.   I didn’t realize how fragile the bubble was that I have been living in, for the last few months.   I realize, now, that I gave you too much power over how I felt about myself.   I just transferred the control of my self-image from John to you.   The anger I feel, right now, is directed at myself, as much as it is at you; because I fell into the same trap, twice.   I should have known better,” I said, ruefully.

Rick sat, quietly, concentrating on the road, as he absorbed this new information that Glenn had shared with him.   Glenn had told him he had been raped, but he never knew how terrible the experience had been for him.   Hearing how it had happened, made him very angry that Glenn’s cousin was the perpetrator of such a heinous crime.   Rick was just as upset about Glenn’s revelations, regarding the therapist he had been seeing in Minneapolis.   He thought that the therapist had helped Glenn, immensely, and he was shocked to hear that the opposite was true.   Rick worried that he would have to watch Glenn for any suicidal tendencies, even though he had never exhibited those behaviors before.

I said, “Just so you know, Rick, I am not suicidal, and never have been.”   I looked over at Rick, and saw his surprised expression.   “Do you want to know how I knew what you were thinking?   It’s because, every therapist I have seen, starts asking questions about whether or not I have thoughts of suicide, after I have talked to them about what happened to me.”

Rick was grappling with what to say, when I said, “I need you to stop, and let me get out of the car for a few minutes.”  

Rick pulled into a scenic overview, and parked the Land Rover.   As soon as the car was stopped, I opened the door and jumped out.   I needed to be away from Rick, just then.   I felt physically ill, just like every time I talked to the therapist about being raped.   I made it out of the car, before I completely lost it.  I folded my arms over my stomach, and fell to my knees, as I emptied the contents of my stomach on the ground.

As I knelt there, I wanted the memories to go away, and disappear forever; but they kept coming back, especially now.   It really didn’t make sense to me why they would be so strong, at this point in time.   I really thought I had locked them up, and had buried them so deeply that they would never surface again.   I hated feeling this way.   I hated myself for burdening Rick with what had happened to me.

John had been my favorite cousin up until that day.   I idolized him.   He was good looking, athletic and always had the girls running after him.   He seemed to enjoy being worshipped by his much younger cousin.   But how little did I know what terrible things he was capable of, until that day.  

 Rick got out of the car, and walked over to me.   “Glenn, are you going to be okay?”

I nodded my head, in the affirmative.   “I just need a few minutes for my stomach to settle down.”

Eventually, I felt better, and I climbed back into the car.   Rick climbed in beside me.   He looked at me, and asked again, “Are you going to be alright?”  

He reached over to touch me, but I shook my head, “Please don’t touch me, Rick.  I need some space.   I’ll be okay, I promise.”

Rick started the car, and got back on the road.   Rick worried about his sweetheart.   He could see that Glenn wasn’t doing well.  He wanted to comfort him, but Glenn had made it clear that he didn’t want Rick to touch him at the moment.

After a while, Rick ventured to ask, “Can we talk about how we can make things better?”

I looked at Rick, and said, “We can talk, but I am not sure what we will accomplish.”

Rick’s expression changed.   He felt like he had just been slapped.   “Glenn, I think we need to stop in Thunder Bay, for tonight.   I really think we need to spend some quality time together.”

I nodded, and said, “I agree that we need more time together, but what can you do to help me?”   My tone of voice communicated my doubts.

Rick, again, felt like Glenn slapped him in the face.   “Glenn, please let me help you.”

I heard the pleading in his voice, and knew that if anyone could help me, Rick could.   However, I wasn’t ready to let him try, because I was still angry with him, for asking me to change who I am.   I knew I was being childish about the whole situation, but it didn’t change how I felt.   In my mind, I could hear my parents berating me for treating Rick so poorly.  I cringed at that thought, then turned to Rick.  “We can try.   I’m sorry that I can’t be more positive about where I am at the moment.”

We reached Thunder Bay a few hours later.   It took a little more than four hours for us to cover the 320 kilometers (200 miles) between Pukaskwa National Park and Thunder Bay.   Rick pulled into the parking lot of the Valhalla Inn, where we had stayed a few months before, for our friends’ weddings.   I was so glad to get out of the car.   We entered the lobby, and Rick got a room.   He led me to our room, and opened the door.  

He said, “Go in and lie down, while I get our gear.”

“Okay,” I said.   I did what he asked me to do, but I couldn’t relax.   I lay on my back, staring up at the ceiling, thinking that I really didn’t want to talk about our relationship, or about what had happened to me.   I didn’t want another “therapy” session with Rick, trying to play the part of my therapist.   I just needed him to hold me, and help me to regain my balance.   I was a mental and emotional wreck.

Prev To be continued . . .