Ready to be Committed

At the end of the semester, we had a choice, go our separate ways or agree to be there for each other. MrJJ was going to go to boot camp for thirteen weeks. My family was moving across country. I had a choice, stay or go. For years MrJJ believed I made the choice to stay because of him. The truth was, I liked college. If I moved, I would be considered out of state for at least a year. I would have to start the enrollment process all over again. And I would still have to live on my own…in a state I had only visited previously. So I stayed to stay in college.

I worked the summer at a local factory. Night shift. Twelve hours a day. Six days a week. I wrote MrJJ every day, counting down the time until he was out of boot camp. I saved up enough to pay for my first semester back in college until financial aid kicked in.

The letters MrJJ sent me were often addressed to “Mrs. Jem” using his last name. Since the first hesitant I Love You he had insisted on becoming engaged before he left. I refused, but agreed to Promise rings. He actually got one for himself also. They looked just like wedding bands, but silver.

Our reunion at graduation was joyous, one of my favorite pictures ever was taken then, we seemed to be melded into each other.

There were a few weeks until we were back in school and attached at the hip again. By the end of the school year, we decided to move in together. We found a cheap apartment and began to acquire things like a couch, kitchen supplies and a bed.

When time came to move, I ended up moving everything from both of our dorm rooms on my own. MrJJ left to help a friend with something. It was supposed to be a couple of hours, he was gone all day. I was pissed at having to do it all myself and maybe this should have clued me in.

That summer, I was the only one working. We barely eked by. I tried to reign in the spending, but if there was money, it ended up being spent. I stopped cleaning up, waiting to see how long it would be before he pitched in. He had learned well from his mom. She was the single mom of an only child. She would come home from a full day at work and clean up after MrJJ That seems to be what he expected from me. I had been expected to clean up after myself since I could remember. I had been looking forward to a partner. It didn’t happen. A stupid issue that shows how lacking communication was between us.


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