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Once Upon a Time

(no, Alex and I are not engaged don’t get excited)

Seven years ago however, I was 18, in love, and engaged to my high school boyfriend.  He was a senior, ex football player, smoker, and drinker bad boy from the public school.  I was a junior non-drinker, very anti-smoking, three season athlete, Catholic school girl since the 4th grade, goody-goody.  It was our own version of Grease, with me as Sandy and him as Danny, but without the fun musical numbers.

I met my rebel without a cause, we’ll just call him The German, when I was just 15 and starting to work at our local grocery store the summer before my Junior year of high school.  He was a veteran there, and everybody knew him, especially the ladies.  I had a boyfriend at the time who I’d been dating almost a year and a half by then, we were from the same side of the tracks and had gone to school together since the 4th grade.  To say the two boys were polar opposites was an understatement.  As is the case with most good girls, I fell for this bad boy almost immediately.  His cocky attitude, and constant flirting swept me off my feet.  Every time we worked together he would ask me out on a date, but I had a boyfriend and was a good girl, and he made me nervous.  A few months into working at the grocery store, my relationship ended and I finally gave in to The German’s ever persistent date requests.  Under one condition though, that he give up smoking.  He agreed to try, and we had our first date, dinner and a movie at his house I believe.

With us seeing each other multiple times a week at work, and every weekend our relationship progressed quickly.  I was smitten, and I think within a month we had exchanged the L-word.  Unfortunately, my parents were not as happy with my new boyfriend as I was.  “He’s from the public school,” my mom said.  “We don’t even know his family!”  My dad just didn’t like him, plain and simple.  Still, our relationship continued.  We went to my winter formal, junior prom, and I attended his high school graduation.

Our relationship wasn’t perfect though, we could fight with the best of them, and I spent a lot of time throwing my cell phone at the wall in a crying rage.  We always made up though, and with The German set to head off to college in Wisconsin at the end of the summer we were trying to make the most of our time together, well I was anyway.  My family was heading on vacation for a week in Ocean City, NJ and The German had to work but had promised to come down for some of it.  The middle of the week rolled around, and he wasn’t answering my phone calls (I didn’t have texting yet) so naturally I was furious at him.  My cousin and I were out with some other friends I had down the shore that week when I got a phone call from my mom to come home immediately.  She sounded serious, so we did, except no one was home when we got there.  There was a message on the house answering machine, so I played it and as I listened my world fell apart.  It was from my boyfriends dad.  “Kelly, The German was in a pretty serious car accident, he’s been airlifted to the hospital and is in intensive care.”  I’m not sure if there was more to the message, because after I heard that I immediately collapsed onto the floor in tears.  I remember my cousin hugging me as I cried, packing my suitcase, and my mom having to drug me with a Valium to keep me from driving home to PA that night.

First thing the next morning I was up and in the car driving to Philadelphia where The German was in ICU.  When I arrived and saw him laying there, I almost started crying again, until he told me he’d kick me out of his room if I did.  The driver of a van had run a red light, t-boning his car as he went to make a left turn completely smashing the driver side of the car and shattering The German’s left hip in the process.  Paramedics on the scene told him he would have died if he’d been wearing his seat belt.  The fact that he was able to be thrown to the passenger side of the car saved his life.  Those first few days before surgery, he had a bar inserted above the knee with a weight hanging on it to keep his leg out of the hip socket.  He couldn’t get out of bed and couldn’t move without pain.  He had a Morphine drip that kept him only semi-conscious and was still in ICU.

When the day of surgery finally rolled around, it was a long and stressful day.  It lasted almost six hours, and when the surgeon came out to discuss how it went I was the only one in the waiting room.  There I was a terrified 16 year-old trying to understand what this doctor was telling me, when all I really heard was “He lost a lot of blood”.  He made it out of surgery though, with screws and metal plates making up his newly constructed hip.  The following weeks were hard on both of us, and the subsequent year brought things no one was expecting.

To be continued…

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31 Responses

  1. That’s an awful thing for anyone to go through- especially at that age! I’m intrigued as the saga continues…

    And omg, I had that sweater. I did a double-take when I saw it… weird.

  2. YOU CANT LEAVE ME HANGIN’ LIKE THIS!!!

  3. Wow! I want to know what happened! It is so hard to go through something like that at any age let only being a young teenager. I really want to see what happened next!

  4. Wow– intense post for a Wednesday morning!! I feel like I just watched an episode of One Tree Hill– but in a good way 🙂

  5. Ok I cant wait to get the other part of the story!!

  6. First of all, I was in a relationship just like that. I’m starting to think we all were.

    Second, that is intense. I can’t imagine going through all of that so young.

  7. WOW. I was going to offer a v. inappropriate nickname. Way to leave us hanging…excited to read the rest!!

  8. Wow, how awful that you (and The German) had to go through that. Can’t wait to read the rest of the story though!

    I never thought to post a picture of my ring. I still have it. I need to get rid of it in a bad way though.

  9. Not cool to leave us hanging!!!!! What happened next!!!

  10. haha definitely like an episode of OTH…although I remember that night almost as clearly…and walking into his hospital room and wanting to cry. Such a tough guy looking so weak and helpless. Awesome post though!

  11. Anxiously waiting for tomorrow…

    im so sorry you had to got hrough this. sounds extremely scary.

  12. Hey girl…I am axiously waiting for the rest of the story!

  13. You are redic….the rich girl from the private school…really think a lot of yourself, don’t you…stop living in the past jesus christ. Get a real job and grow up…

    • 1) Who said I was rich?
      2) The past makes for a good story
      3) I have a real job, I’m there from 7-3:30 every day. Thanks for the concern though!

  14. A respectable job…

  15. […] I ended up on the phone with The German for a little while, because he will be home for Christmas next month, and wants to try to get […]

  16. […] Remember this series of posts?  Well after not seeing each other since 2006, The German (Darren) and I finally had a chance to hang out and catch up, and it didn’t even feel like four and a half years had passed. We stayed up talking until almost 4 am and finally called it a night when I could no longer keep my eyes open.  It was really nice to see each other and catch up, and I hope we can get together again before I head back down to VA, because if it took him three years to finally come back East again, who knows how long it could take next time. […]

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