on March 29, 2015
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I didn’t think I’d ever want to devote my life to someone. That is, until Brin.
I was twenty-six years old the day she entered my life, just when I’d given up hope, just when I’d given up completely on having any shred of happiness in my pathetic excuse for a life. After years of indecision, self destruction and soul-searching, she found me.
Brinley challenged everything I thought I knew. She proved that goodness could still come from that hellish compound. Goodness, bravery and love. She changed everything the moment she knocked on the door of my apartment, acting as brave as a lion, even though she was shaking like a terrified mouse stuck in my trap.
And now, three years later, I want her as my wife. My only wife. Till death do us part.
And I’ve never wanted anything more.
I am so happy I got to read this novella. Often I find myself wondering what happened to the characters I fell in love with when the story ends. Today I got that from Melissa Brown. Thank you for this little gem Melissa. My heart is overflowing with happiness at the way Porter and Brinley’s story concluded. I loved seeing Porter and Brinley still struggling with their new life, yet doing it together. I smiled so much at the way Porter grew and Brin overcame her insecurities. A perfect ending to a wonderful story. These two will live on forever in my mind as the two who conquered all and loved effortlessly and wholeheartedly.
My hands gripped the worn wood of the lectern, just as they did every Tuesday evening at the local Mormon church. Don’t even get me started on how fucked up it was that my Narcotics Anonymous meeting took place in the basement of an LDS church. A place that I would never step into, if not for complete desperation in my addiction. God apparently has quite the sense of humor. If he were a human, I’d probably want to have a beer with the guy.
“My name’s Porter, and I’m an addict.” The words left my mouth quickly and without hesitation. I’d been attending meetings for more than two years.
The small crowd watching me with upturned faces replied in unison as they always did. “Hi, Porter.”
“When I first started coming here, I hated all you happy people, all of you who kicked your habit a long time ago, who came out on top of your addictions and compulsions. I never wanted to admit that I needed you. I never wanted to admit that I needed others to get clean. I thought I needed my girlfriend, my job, my house. But I didn’t think I needed you.”
I paused and took a deep breath. “After six months, though, since my relapse, I know it—I need you. I need all of you. Because without you, I’m not sure I’ll make it to seven months. I know some of you are sitting in your seats, thinking about getting loaded. I know that because that was me. Hell, it’s still me sometimes. Every time my car breaks down or I have a fight with my girlfriend, I sit in these chairs and I think about getting high. But it’s a hell of a lot better than sitting in my old apartment, loaded off my ass and thinking about getting clean.”
Applause erupted inside the room. I wasn’t looking for applause, but of course it felt good. It felt satisfying to look upon the tiny sea of faces in that church basement. My fingernails dug into the itch that taunted me from my neck.
“I, uh, I want to ask my girlfriend to marry me. I want to spend my life with her, and I’m fucking terrified, guys. If she says yes, I’ll be the happiest man on the planet, but I’ll be even more afraid of letting her down. Like that contract that binds us somehow ups the ante. And if she says no?” I paused again, feeling a chill run down my spine. “Then I know I’ll want to use. And if I use, how long will it take me to snap out of my shit and come back here? Either way, guys, I need you.”
Applause erupted again within the small space. A woman named Mae wiped tears from her eyes as she nodded and bit down on her bottom lip. She pitied me, of that I was sure. But it was more than that. She understood. She could relate because in one way or another, she’d been there herself. I’d come to depend on those looks of understanding from the members of my NA group. They understood my actions, my mistakes and screw-ups, and my desire for a better life for myself and Brin. They understood because they wanted it for themselves, as well.
“That’s all I really want to share tonight. I just—I really love her, guys. I love her and I’ll do anything to make her happy.”