And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now.
Many songs provided a soundtrack for my relationship with Sunshine and "Iris" from the Goo Goo Dolls is at the front. Until Sunshine I never let a woman get close enough to me to know who I truly was underneath. Relationships were something I wasn't ever good at...hell, forget relationships, getting a date was almost impossible. Difficult to get a date when I could never find the magic words when asking a woman out. My askings were awkward, clumsy, painful and unsuccessful. On those rare occasions I did get a yes, one date was all I got. For as clumsy, painful, and awkward as my invitations were, apparently, the dates were too. That doesn't even count all the times I got stood up. To make my self-esteem nosedive even more, it seemed as though everyone I knew was either married or in a committed relationship. What was it about me that was so horrible that no woman wanted to be with me?
As I entered my 30s, it seemed as though I'd never get married while everyone around me kept asking me when I was going to settle down. My heart felt like it was punctured by a knife every time the question got asked. The only response I could come up with that I was focused on my career and didn't have time for a relationship. Career became a mantra to hide my embarrassment, hurt, and shame as someone who seemed to be invisible to women. And owould always be so.
As Sunshine and I got to know each other, it became clear I was not invisible to her. The attraction between us was undeniable yet unspoken. As our friendship deepened, so did my frustration. Sunshine was just the kind of woman I'd been looking to settle down with but she was already married, just not happily. Over time I got the sense she wanted more from me but held back because of that ring on her finger. The more that time went on I had to listen to her actions because that was where the truth could be found. Though her actions brought her closer to me, it was her words that put distance between us. Her inner conflict was not difficult to see but it was tough to handle because I didn't have any doubts I wanted to be with her.
What was also tough for me to handle was my struggle with finding this woman who wanted to know me on a deeper level than any other woman ever had who I couldn't have because she married the wrong man. After the years of being alone feeling ugly and like there wasn't a woman in existence who could love me, I wasn't going to let something like her wedding ring to keep us apart. The song "Iris" became my new mantra because I knew I would give up anything for Sunshine. Just never knew how much "anything" would cost me. Or her.
Eric Simmons is one of the two essential figures of the Sunshine Affair series. Simmons gave his journals to E.J. Caulder to turn his real-life experiences into a novelized version of the events Simmons lived. Both men to provide their insight on the Sunshine Affair series from their unique perspectives.