“If you could only see the way she loves me then maybe you would understand, why I feel this way about our love and what I must do. If you could only see how blue her eyes can be when she says…when she says she loves me.” - Tonic, "If You Could Only See"
Two words come up consistently regarding my relationship with Sunshine - surprise and confused. We went through a lot but she also put me through a lot emotionally. The questions remain: Why did I stay with her? Why did I not just walk away? It's not like I didn't have any chances to do so.
Tonic's song sums it up. Sunshine loved me as no other woman had. In all honesty, I was not what you would call a successful dater. Until Sunshine walked into my life, I had doubts whether I would ever find a woman to be "the one". To find out she was married was an insult to my injury but then to find out she wanted out of her marriage and was attracted to me was a sliver of hope that I wouldn't have to spend my life alone. It was no secret, she was as attracted to me as I was her. When she declared her feelings to me, it became my goal to make her mine. No matter what I had to go through to do it.
Being with Sunshine wasn't easy. Sure, our friendship was very public but our feelings and our actions were very private. We had to put on this act in public to keep her husband and those around us without arousing suspicion. My invisibility was to our benefit until her husband and attacked and almost killed her. Then my invisibility became my prison because to come out of the shadows after her attack would have brought more attention, more complication, and maybe an excuse for her husband to justify his criminal actions and the community fuel for their gossiping fire. At every turn I wanted to help her but couldn't because my presence would only have complicated her life.
Then there was the constant ride I took in the Tinacoaster with all the emotional highs and lows, twists and turns, and all the stomach-turning, gut-wrenching moments that went with it. Every moment away from her was filled with anxiety, wondering if she was safe and worrying that she would break things off with me - again. Every moment with her was filled with anguish knowing I had been a part of the cause of her current predicament and worrying she'd blame me or - worse yet - he'd attack her again.
I rode the Tinacoaster for years, not getting relief from the anxiety and anguish except during those moments when we were together. When we were together at my place or even at The Club, it made all those other moments worth it. Being with Sunshine chased all those negative things away because I was reminded of how good we were together and that, once all the mess her life had become had been cleaned up, our future was going to be one both of us had always wanted. And when we were together, you should have seen the way she loved me. Maybe then you would understand.
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Eric Simmons is one of the two essential figures of The Sunshine Affair series. His journals turn his real-life experiences into a novelized version of the events Simmons lived. This blog provides insight on The Sunshine Affair series from this unique perspective.