“When I left Woodridge, Washington at the tender age of eighteen, I swore that I would never come back. I told my mother this as I jumped into Jonathan’s car and drove off toward my future. I was determined to shake the dust of that small town off of my feet. I was on to bigger and better things. Woodridge held too many painful experiences; memories that I would spend the next ten years trying to forget. In retrospect, it was clear that I was running away from my pain more than I was running toward my future with Jonathan. Coming back at twenty-eight years old, I was amazed to find that a ten-year absence had done little to heal the hurt.
It was clear to me now that Jonathan was just a means to an end. I loved him, but I was more in love with the idea of him. I was in love with his “bigger than life” personality and the way he could light up a room. I always hoped some of that would rub off on me. It never did. I’d needed someone to rescue me, and in many ways, Jonathan did exactly that. He saved me from my life in Woodridge, and showed me a world I didn’t know existed. I thought Jonathan and I would be happy together, and for ten years, I lived under the assumption that we were. If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that things are seldom what they appear. Ten years ago, Jonathan rescued me from Woodridge. This time, I would have to save myself.”
(All rights belong to Heidi Renee Mason)