John and Laura in Mexico- 1996
I hope everybody had a good weekend! My two older kids, Anthony and Vanessa were in town for a quick visit. I did a lot of cooking on Sunday for a dinner party and spent most of the today cleaning! It was good to see them, we don’t get together too often. I will see them again on my trip.
When I last wrote about my personal history, it was pretty much a mess. I wish I could say that it was a phase in my life, but unfortunately there is more of my dysfunctional pattern to come.
I started working in my new store with hopes of beginning anew. A clean slate and a fresh start is what I was envisioning with the transfer. But I packed my problems with me and my self-destructive behavior continued. I met a new friend. in the breakroom soon after. She was married at the time with two boys, four and eight years of age. She was and is a shy, quiet and good hearted person. She worked in the deli dept. and we spoke often at lunch or break. I was single and wild, and my reputation by then had followed me across town from my last store.
We began to talk more intimately about each other’s lives and got comfortable very quickly. She had a good sense of humor and I enjoyed making her laugh. I noticed she displayed at moments a sad, depressed outlook, especially towards her relationship with her husband. And as those things often evolve, I became her sounding board and pseudo counselor. I had only good intentions then and shared my experiences about my own breakup with her. She was twenty three and I was twenty nine. She also admired me for me assuming responsibility for my kids and thought I was wise beyond my years. Over the next few weeks she always found time to search me out and would even come visit me on her days off. I was dating someone then, and she was always interested in hearing about my sexual exploits.
Our conversations began to darken as she confessed her unhappiness with her marriage and hints of a possible dissolution soon followed. At that point I started to feel uncomfortable a bit and always tried to help her see the positive side of her dilemma. She was not deterred. I recognized the symptoms of a lonely, dissatisfied wife. I was very familiar with all the signs she was displaying. At that point, in hind sight, I should have tucked and ran. But I didn’t.
One Saturday night I had a small gathering at my house, as bachelors often do. To my surprise she and one of her co-workers showed up at the party. I could tell she didn’t drink often and felt out of place a bit. At the end of the night she and her friend were the last to leave. That’s when in her tipsy state, she confessed her true feelings for me. I was not surprised, I saw it coming from a distance. Then the situation at work changed. I was not exclusive with anyone then and her pursuit intensified. She lost a lot of weight quickly and even changed her way of dressing. All within months of meeting her.
One day she announced to me that she was separating and was going to file for divorce. I looked into her eyes and told her if I was the reason, then she should think twice. She laughed and nervously played it off. She said it was a marriage doomed to fail and that I had nothing to do with her decision. But I knew deep inside what her motives were. Then things began to move quickly. She put her husband out of the house and pushed the final divorce through as fast as possible. I just watched from the sidelines as I continued to purse my own selfish interest with other ladies.
After the ink was dry on the split, she set her sights on me. And I in my egotistical frame of mind enjoyed the attention. I was full throttle into the “Player” gear, so she was to me just another woman to have fun with. And we did. After all, she was young, beautiful and fun to be around with. We started to see each other often and hung out at my house with our kids. After a few weeks we became exclusive and I introduced her to my family, and she to hers. Our kids got along well and my mother thought well of her, although she was still leery of her recent divorce. Still deep inside, I couldn’t find the feeling needed to make the relationship advance to the next level. I liked her and I liked a lot about her, but I was not in love. Not even a little.
After time, the irresponsible adults that we were, it would only prove more complicated when she found out that she was expecting. The most difficult part was that she knew of my feeling for her, or lack thereof and so did my family. After a year of being together, I couldn’t help but feel the way I did and often told her to her face. She would tell me she understood and that she was a big girl now and could handle the consequences. Unfortunately having a baby under those conditions was not ideal and was setting the stage for a disastrous eventual outcome. We both were playing with fire, and neither of us had an escape plan.
Surprisingly as she entered her last two trimesters I found myself very attached to her side. I was really excited about my new child that was coming and was overjoyed when we discovered it was a boy! On July 30th 1993 my son, Jonathan David Bayardo was introduced to the world. I was thrilled! He was healthy and handsome. Hazel eyes and curly hair were his traits. It was love at first sight with my son. Unfortunately for her, I just faded back into my Bachelor routine after she gave birth. I was always responsible for my new son and helped her and supported her in every way I could. Still I had no intentions of ever being more than just her “Baby daddy”. As I drifted more and more away from her emotionally, her feelings turned to resentment and anger. Somehow I believed she hoped that the birth of our son would have enact a change in my feelings for her. It didn’t.
So for the next year and a half we shared our baby boy without any conflicts. Even both our mothers chipped in and helped take care of him for us. All along she pressed me to reconsider my feelings and position towards her. I was not budging. So many times when we would meet to exchange the baby, a fight would result from the heated discussions about my exploits.
After a time I started to reflect upon my feelings and began to have a change of heart. With help from a spiritual advisor and seeing her for what she really was. A responsible, kind and loving mother and human being. I started to second guess my position and felt that maybe I was still making others pay for my broken heart that Dora had left me with. Here was just the right woman for me, and I was letting a good thing pass because of my selfish, self-centered attitude. All I heard from that little voice in my head was that I needed to “Do the right thing” and ask her to marry me. Five kids seemed daunting I thought, but I could handle it I concluded. So I called her to over to my house to talk.
She came the next night and I surprised her with an awkward, stale proposal. She didn’t care. she was overjoyed. She cried as she heard explain my sudden change of heart. She didn’t care the reason at that moment, she just heard the bells ringing! She said yes, and off we went to plan a ceremony. The next day I told my mother and sisters. They were more shocked than happy. I called my older sister in San Diego, the one who would surely understand me I thought, and the first words out of her mouth were: “Who put you up to this?” “Don’t let anyone talk you into this decision”. My family was so not expecting this move from me, after all I just spent the last two years telling them all how little I felt for her. Still they tried to reason with me in a loving concerning, manner. And so did her mother. “Damm the torpedoes, full steam ahead”. I was unreasonable and stubborn once I made my mind up, and she wasn’t going to let anyone tell her otherwise. We set the date for four months down the road for September 1994. This time it’s going to be different I promised myself and my bride to be.
Stay tuned my friends. Have a good night and a great tomorrow.
As always, thanks for your time.