Read Part 1 Here: The Night Ritual

So I've given up looking through Jared's phone, but I haven't given up the late night cookie binge yet, because #priorities. My hips are spreading, and my wedding dress is getting a little snug, but these Oreos aren't going to eat themselves. Jared also hasn't given up cheating on me yet, but he promises that he'll be faithful once the ring is on his finger.

I don't believe him. Marriage isn't some magic wand. I am well aware of the devil I am laying with. If I squint real hard sometimes he even looks like a chocolate Donald Trump. Again, the devil.

I'm strongly leaning towards walking away, but I don't know why I can't just do it. Right now I'm just playing my part, and pretending to turn a blind eye to his foolishness. It's his money that I'm wasting on the wedding at this point, not mine, so going along with everything like I'm fine doesn't really do me any harm. I guess he's something like an addiction, and I just haven't hit rock bottom yet.

So now I am sitting at our dining room table, looking at the 3 wedding invitations I have left to complete. All of my fiance's invitations have been stuffed and addressed, and he's left me alone at the table to go and watch basketball. I don't mind. I need to be alone with my thoughts anyways. I stare at the 4 names left on my list...I just had to get rid of one.

  1. Sarah Clarke...Second cousin, but my mom will be pissed if I don't invite her. Second cousins don't even really count as cousins...right?
  2. Melvin Dreyer...Dad's childhood friend...He's only on here because my dad wrote a check.
  3. Lindsay Brooks...College friend who is part of my larger circle of friends, but isn't really MY friend...She's always a good time though.
  4. William Richardson...My first love...

I decide that Lindsay will just have to be okay, and hurriedly stuff the envelopes for Sarah, Melvin, and William before I change my mind.

Why Will? I don't know...

I stare at the envelope, pondering if this is really the right time to start shaking things up. After all, life is good right now...right? Good job. Good friends. Good health. Sorta-kinda good man (when he wants to be)...I'm not sure Will IS the answer I'm looking for, but I'm hoping that maybe he HAS the answer.

I met Will when I was 18 years old in the cafeteria at the University of Alabama. He was 20 with a baby face, about 5'9", brown skinned, and he had on jeans and a sweatshirt. There was honestly nothing about him that made him stand out, but as fate would have it, we ended up in line beside each other cracking jokes about the fried death we were about to eat. We sat together and barely touched any of our food, because we were too busy laughing. A friendship quickly ensued.

Friendship soon became more, and next thing you know we were in love and completely inseparable. I thought I knew love before I met him, but that was puppy love. This shit right here was a full, grown St. Bernard kinda love. We often spoke of the future, but never really spoke of forever. We were so young, and forever just seemed so far away. Marriage wasn't really on the forefront of either of our minds, and I think it made things easier for us. We simply lived in the moment, and it was amazing.

He was a junior and I was a freshman when we met, so two years later it was time for him to part ways with college and begin adulting. He left Alabama for New York, and distance didn't exactly make the heart grow fonder. I really didn't want to sit on the phone all night as he complained about traffic, bills, and his lazy coworkers, and he wasn't particularly happy with me rushing him off the phone all the time so I could go to this party, or that event. I still wanted to live the crazy college life, and he was having growing pains as he found his way in a new city and I just couldn't relate. So to save what was left of our relationship, we decided to part ways. The timing just wasn't right for us...

We haven't talked firsthand in years, but through friends I know he asks about me. I ask about him too. He's still in NY, and by all accounts he seems to have adjusted well. I follow him on every social media account he has, and I'm just completely in awe of the life he's built for himself. I'm still in slow ass Alabama, living a boring little domestic life with this cheating ass chump. At least it seems boring in comparison. I don't even know if I want him, as much as I just want his life. He just seems...happy. I want happy.

I stare at the invitation again, and slide it slowly in my purse to keep it separate from the rest. Jared will be dropping them off tomorrow on his way to work, and I don't really want to chance him seeing it. I don't feel like trying to explain something that's unexplainable. I really hope Will sees the invite not so much as an open door to my life, but as a cry for help.

I just need someone to talk some sense into me, and he always understood me better than I ever understood myself...

To be continued...

XO, Brittany

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