The dog was going postal – barking like mad but not without reason – she was being provoked.
He grinned, laughed and continued to tease her anyway. He was having much more fun with this by the second. After all, this was one of his favorite games to play with the dog and always at the expense of his girlfriend. Light torment, really.
The dog (Myla) was absolutely in love with her owner and everyone knew it. The two of them shared a unique bond; she literally went everywhere with him (bars, trips, shopping malls, the woods, etc.) WITHOUT a collar or leash. The only time Myla was ever on a leash was when someone else was taking care of her. But even then, she never really needed it.
All Myla ever wanted was her owner’s love and attention. Knowing that, from time to time he’d torment her by showering his girlfriend with that love instead. He’d squeeze his girlfriend tighter and tighter in a hug, smothering her with exaggerated affection – all while keeping eye contact with the dog, taunting, “Nobody loves Myla”. He knew this would drive her crazy and he was right.
The barking became relentless. The louder Myla got, the harder he laughed.
“Knock it off – stop! You always do this!” his girlfriend cried out between all the chaos and laughter. The plea was dismissed. There was no hope, she knew he wasn’t going to let up and he definitely wasn’t taking her seriously. He kept kissing her neck making HER laugh too.
“I mean it, stop…” she wriggled free. Reality hit her in the face. These happy family moments were what she lived for but she had to stop this now. It was torture being reminded how beautiful their life together was, just the three of them – happy. Things were different now. She had to stay strong or she’d cave. They’d already agreed that this was for the best.
The decision didn’t come easy, but it was necessary. Were they still in love? Absolutely. But was love enough? Nope. They learned together that love cannot grow and be healthy in the absence of respect. Day to day he struggled with demons that kept him distracted. Like a true Ride-or-Die, she stayed by his side in an effort to comfort him and remain loyal. Her efforts were overlooked and dismissed enough times and slowly, she was losing respect for herself…leading them both to more problems.
Together they decided it was time to part. Each of them had their own healing to nurture. It helped that they loved each other enough to let go. Still didn’t make it any less sad. He only wanted to make her smile and she felt the safest in his arms. But love wasn’t enough. Her love couldn’t change him, and his love couldn’t make her stay. It hurt their pride knowing this, but they both knew they had to respect it.
It was apparent to both parties it was time for space in search of solace. This meant goodbye.
He looked at his girlfriend with a gaze that could melt any girl’s heart. His eyes were hurt, but not pleading, and more determined than anything. He accepted the circumstances even if it pained him because he was ready to be a man. Ownership was one of the first steps. He knew what he had to do.
“As rough as this is now, I’m grateful. We’re learning, and one day I hope you’ll find it in your heart to let me back in, provided you see I’ve changed.”
Silently, a small part of her remained hopeful too, but she wasn’t silly. Life taught her well. Take it for what it is. Hold no expectations or risk being disappointed. Look at the facts. Use your head, but not your heart – stop viewing him in his potential. If he were serious, one day she’d see it. Then, and only then would she entertain the thought. For now, this was done and reminiscing or making tentative promises for the future was torture.
All she felt was pain.
He let himself out. She took a puff. A true Ride-or-Die knows when to get off the ride.
Rule #1- Respect is a must…