Make sure you read The Ride Home, Part 1 first!

Lying here on the floor, watching the ceiling blades circle around and around...I squint my eyes a little to get a closer look at the dust that's collected on the edges...

I look around the room...my God this house is a mess. It's been exactly 48 days since I broke up with DJ. I don't think the house has been clean since.

48 days of struggling to stay awake at work, crying in the bathroom on my lunch breaks, vodka night caps, staring at my phone, dodging calls and emails from wedding vendors, and being too prideful to call, text or apologize.

I'm thinking I fucked up, but I'm not quite sure if I'm feeling regret or just grief.

Basically, the struggle is real.

I hit up Mike every few days just to see how DJ is doing. He's been such a good friend to us both, but I know he's over my messages. I think it's time I stop staring at my phone, and actually dial the number I've deleted and added back about 15 times in the past month and a half.

Fuck it. I take a deep breath, and slowly dial the numbers...704-456-9…0...6.....4.....I squeeze my eyes tightly and pray that he picks up...I hear a rustle, then a "Hello?," in a groggy voice. I must have woken him up…

Shit! I didn't actually think this through…

He clears his throat, "Deja? I know it's you. Wzup?"

I'm annoyed because he's acting like we just talked yesterday, but I’m the one that called him so I need to stay in pocket. I finally decide to open my mouth.

"Hi DJ...Ummm....How are you?,” I squeak out.

I sound so stupid right now! I sound just as stupid as he does! Are we really going to pretend like we're fine?!

"I'm good...are you ok?," he asks.

He knows I’m not ok, but whatever. Think fast Deja...Think fast...

I have to shoot my shot. "Yea, I'm ok...I was just wondering if you could meet me at the spot so we can talk?"

We always used to have long conversations at this park about 15 minutes from our home...Well, my home...his name is still on the lease, but he hasn't tripped about it yet.

He pauses briefly,"Yea, I'm open to that..."

"Ok, tomorrow around 6pm?"

"That works for me,” he says.

It better work for him, it’s not like he has a job to worry about or anything, I think to myself…Let me stop…

"Ok, great. See you then!,” I say trying not to sound too pressed.

"Ok, cool." I think he’s trying not to sound too pressed either.

"Bye!!" I hurriedly hang up before he can change his mind.

I'm crazy excited, but feel like that was way too easy. Maybe this is a set up?

30 seconds later my phone buzzes...it's a text message from DJ...

"I knew you would call. See you tomorrow. Wear those leggings that I like." 

I roll my eyes at his cockiness and decide not to respond. But I do make a note to myself to throw those leggings in the washer machine before I go to bed.

30 hours pass and it’s time for us to meet up…

He’s already sitting on our favorite park bench, staring out at the lake. The sun is setting beautifully. Any other day, this would feel really romantic, but today, it just feels raw and emotional. 

I say hello, and sit down beside him, careful not to get too close. I’m not really sure which direction this conversation is going to go in, and I don’t want to make things awkward with my assumptions. We sit there in comfortable silence for a while, breathing in each other’s scents. I missed him, and would love to just take him in the woods real quick to show him, but we have serious business we need to handle. I decide to speak first. After all, I did invite him out here.

I gently grab his face, and turn it towards me, "Ok, DJ...I was just really, really frustrated with you. I feel like I am in this alone, and I fear that the way things are now is how they will always be if we get married, so I just freaked out. Plus you really embarrassed me! Stop telling everyone about your failures!”

His eyes squint a little like I hit a sore spot, but his tone remains measured, "I like to think of my failures as lessons babe, and I know I'm getting closer to the finish line. I can feel it. I apologize for embarrassing you though. That wasn’t my intention. I was also very, very drunk that night…,” he pauses briefly. “Now what did I do to frustrate you?," he asks.

I try my hardest not to scream, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID! Putting my foot in my mouth is what got us here in the first place…

I reply calmly, "You didn't appreciate me. It's really stressful planning AND paying for a wedding by yourself on top of all the other bills. Then you had the nerve to say that you’re breaking, and I’m not bending! That’s literally the craziest and most inconsiderate thing I’ve ever heard you say. You must be blind. I’m basically Gumby over here right now." 

He looks away and smirks, trying not to laugh at my Gumby line, "Ok...I understand that...but you do remember that I paid all the bills for a whole year before I quit my job, right? I never felt frustrated. I felt honored to take care of you."

I know he did not just say that to me, I can feel my face getting hot…"You're a man! You're supposed to pay the bills! I'm supposed to chill, and not be stressed, and buy mojitos, nice purses and shoes with my money!" 

"That's not real life babe, he responds, at least it’s not our real life. I want my wife to be about more than mojitos, nice purses and bags. I know it’s not ideal, and it’s not my desire, but it’s ok for you to be stressed sometimes. It's only been 6 months though…I just need you to be patient with me for a few more months. We can postpone the wedding until I get back on my feet, or we can always go to the Justice of the Peace..."

I suddenly find myself getting loud, and waving my hands around, "Who said I was still marrying you?!” I roll my eyes... "Besides, I don't want to postpone the wedding, and I for damn sure don't want to go to the JOP."

He grabs my hand, and says "Well babe, you have a decision to make. 1. You accept me and marry me as the man I am today, with the understanding of the man I have been, and the man I still want to be. 2. We both move on. There is no wrong choice. I have my preference, of course, but ultimately you have to decide. I haven't even told anyone that you broke up with me. I meant it when I said I knew you would call. This isn't supposed to be the end of our story, but if you want it to be, I get it."

Tears stream down my face. He's right. This is black and white. I've been sitting in the gray for a month and a half miserable, and the truth is...I want my man back.

I take a deep breath, "Let's postpone the wedding, until you're back working. And please at least get a part time or contracting job while you're getting your hustle off the ground. I believe in you, but I can’t be this stressed out...I want you to come back home, but I’m not doing this alone anymore. I apologize for the mean things I said to you. You deserved my frustration, but you didn't deserve my disrespect."

"Mannnnn, I was waiting on my damn apology! Thank you for that! I definitely deserved that apology with your mean ass!"

We both burst out laughing. 

He continues, "I apologize for frustrating you, and for not understanding or seeing your sacrifices. I actually started a contracting job last week, but I wasn't going to tell you until you decided to take me back. And use those words girl, damn. I'm not a mind reader."

I reply with a smirk, "You're right...but I'm not apologizing again. You know, I've got a 1 apology a month limit."

He replies, "Yes, I know, because you're stubborn and a brat. I knew I was back in there though when I saw you walk up in those leggings..."

"SHUT UP DJ!!," I roll my eyes, but keep the smile on my face.

He grabs my left hand, kisses my ring finger and slides my engagement ring back on. We get up from the park bench, hug, and head towards a familiar spot in the woods to get further reacquainted before we head back home…

XO, Brittany

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