Friday and Saturday we spent all day with Ronnie’s friends and family. Well, not all of his friends. There was one friend I didn’t enjoy being around. Matt. Matt had a tendency to lean on the negative of every thing possible that could go wrong. It seemed like the only time he didn’t say anything negative was when he said nothing at all. The night I met Ronnie I had my first conversation with Matt. “Are you sure your boyfriend doesn’t mind you dancing with other guys?” “What boyfriend?” “Oh, I see. You mean which one?” I told him “I don’t have a boyfriend.” He asked “Then who is that guy you hugged? He is always up there dancing with you and he sits at the table with you.” “I hug all of my friends. I also dance with my friends.” He pointed out Patrick and I couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Patrick? He is one of my Guy Pals. “That guy is not your friend. He wants to sleep with you. Guy Pals are just guys getting close to you and waiting for the opportunity to screw you.” I was appalled! In a bit of a stutter I said “You don’t know what you are talking about. You don’t know us. We don’t feel like that towards each other. There are rules too.” This I gotta hear. So, what are the Rules? I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue this awkward conversation but I wanted Ronnie to know those guys that were around me all night are not competing for my attention. They are just friends. I told him the rules “Little girl wake up. They don’t care about your rules. They want to screw you.” Ronnie told Matt to stop and for me to ignore him.
While Ronnie was home for Christmas I tried not to say anything that would start up a conversation with Matt. I tried not to say anything at all in front of Matt. That didn’t stop him. He would watch Ronnie and I kiss or hug then say “It will never last. She will cheat on you and break your heart.” Or “She’s never going to marry you.” Ronnie knew this was just part of Matt’s personality and didn’t take it personally. He also knew it was upsetting me. Ronnie had enough and told Matt that if he didn’t stop then he wouldn’t see him for the rest of his visit. He stopped …saying them in front of Ronnie. Instead he would whisper these things as he passed by me. It was very hurtful. Thank goodness we didn’t see much of Matt.
The first Sunday Ronnie was home Giggles said “Lets all go to Player's tonight!” I didn’t really want to go to Players. I wanted to spend time talking with Ronnie and maybe some alone time for kissing. Ronnie wanted to go so we went. After we were there for a little while I figured out why he wanted to go. He wanted to see what was going on at Players, if there was anyone new hanging around that he should be worried about. He even sat out a few dances and told me “Go ahead. Dance with your friends. I will be right here.” I danced with the Angles, Patrick and Ray-Ray as a group no one on one. I preferred dancing with a group but always made an exception for Ronnie. Him I wanted to dance alone with.
I came off the dance floor and sat across Ronnie’s lap, draping my arm around his neck. I wasn’t sitting there for more than a few seconds when Todd came up behind us. “You better put her down. That girl’s legs are locked at the knees and she’s engaged. You’re not going to get anywhere with her. Trust me. I am helping you out.” Before either of us could say anything he grabbed my arm and tried to yank me out of Ronnie’s lap! Ronnie put his arms around me and held me where I was. “Thanks buddy for watching out for her… but don’t you ever touch her again.” To say Ronnie was pissed was an understatement. “Todd! What is wrong with you?! This is Ronnie. He knows I’m engaged. I’m engaged to HIM!” Ronnie asked “Who is this guy?” I introduced them “This is Todd. He is a butt-hole.” Brent and Chris saw what happened and they came over to our table. Brent is Todd’s friend so he stands next to Todd and asked if everything was ok. I introduced him too “This is Brent. He isn’t a butt-hole. He is just friends with one.” Brent laughed. “Thanks. I’m not a butt-hole.” Giggles came to the table to take a little breather. As she walked past Todd she didn’t even look at him but there was a disgusted look on her face when she said “Hello A-hole.” Chris laughed! “See, Heather isn’t the only one who thinks you are a hole!” With that Todd and Brent walked away.
Ronnie asked Chris a lot of questions “Do guys act like this around Heather all the time?” Come on, they were acting like this when you were here. Did you think it was going to change? It’s not her fault really. People want to talk to her. Get to know her. Maybe even try to steal her away from you. She’s solid though. She knows she wants to marry you. She talks about you all the time.” When Ronnie asked about Todd, Chris explained that he knew him from Catholic high school. “Todd thinks he is God’s gift to women and it totally pisses him off that Heather doesn’t faint or fall at his feet when he passes by. I don’t think he is really after her. She just bruises his ego.”
I piped in with “Guys don’t usually grab me like Todd did. Todd doesn’t usually grab me either.” Chris continued, “She handles it all pretty well. If a guy wont leave her alone one of us steps in. She’s fine so long as she doesn’t come here alone.” I asked “Why would I come here alone? It wouldn’t be any fun.
Ronnie squeezed me tightly and gave me such a long, lingering kiss. I was a little embarrassed but I knew he was trying to send out a message to every guy there ‘I was HIS girl. They may talk to me and maybe dance with me but no one, absolutely no one else was ever going to kiss me.’ My friends were a little uneasy sitting next to us while we were kissing. They looked away or shielded their eyes. Dizzy-D said “Get a room. Please!” She was a little upset that Brent wouldn’t come near our table. She wanted to get to know him better and hoped he would ask her out. Brent was the reason we tolerated Todd.
To give my friends a break from the Heather and Ronnie kissing fest I asked the girls if they wanted to accompany me to the ladies room? Ronnie didn’t want me to leave his lap but Dizzy-D grabbed my hand and said “She will be back.” Then sang “We got a meeting in the ladies room. We’ll be back real soon.” Reluctantly, Ronnie let me go.
In the ladies room Dizzy wanted to know why Brent wasn’t coming over to sit with us. Apparently she didn’t see what happened between Ronnie and Todd so I explained. Then she asked me to go talk to Brent and tell him it was ok for him to come to our table. “There is no way! I can’t go anywhere near him with Todd standing next to him all the time. Ronnie would totally Freak! And I don’t trust Todd. I don’t want to be within arms reach of him. He is being extra awful tonight.” Dizzy sulked but we moved on to discuss our plans to throw a surprise party for Ronnie before he has to go back to the Army.
We headed back to our table where we saw Ronnie and Todd standing about an inch apart from one another, fists clenched, staring each other down and yelling. I got between them, pushed them apart and put my arms around Ronnie. I didn’t ask what happened. I could only imagine that Todd came over to provoke Ronnie and he was succeeding. I said to Ronnie “Let’s just leave.” “I’m not going anywhere. He should leave.” I smiled up at him and said “I would like some alone time with the man I am going to marry.” Then I laid my head against his chest. He unclenched his fists, put his arms around me then kissed me hard. Todd was once again walking away angry.
Ronnie and I drove up to the overlook on Gambrel Mountain. He was pretty quiet until we were almost there then he exploded. “What’s going on?! I haven’t been gone that long and look what I come back to?! Guys all over you! I can’t watch over you when I am at the base!” He was yelling at me as if I did something wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong. Instead of feeling defensive and yelling back at him I started to cry quietly. “Heather? What is going on?!” I turned to face the passenger window because I didn’t want him to see me crying. I hate crying and hate it even more when someone sees me crying. “I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t know what I did that was wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong.” He parked the car at the overlook then turned towards me “Something is going on or guys wouldn’t be grabbing you away from me!” “It’s not guys. It’s just one idiot. This never happened before now. No one grabs me. I tell everyone that I am engaged and how much I love you.”
Ronnie wasn’t letting up “You need to tell guys to back off.” Still facing the window I said “I do, if they don’t leave me alone I do tell them to back off. I don’t do anything to make guys come up to me. They just do and I tell them I’m already taken.” Then Ronnie laid down the law “Heather, if you talk to a guy he thinks he has a chance. If you smile in a guys direction, he thinks he has a chance.” Not really believing him I asked “What then? I’m not allowed to smile anymore? I shouldn’t talk to anyone any more?” “Heather, I don’t think you should dance with Patrick or Ray any more.” I turned around to face him because I couldn’t believe he said that. “Patrick and Ray are my friends! You know them. You know they don’t think like that about me. They are good guys.” Ronnie shook his head “When other guys at Players see you dancing and hugging on Patrick and Ray they think they can do that too.” “I can’t control what other people do or think. If they do think like that it doesn’t make it true. If a guy would come up and try that on me I would tell him to buzz off. Then they go away.” He was getting louder “That’s not the point! They shouldn’t be coming up to you! Does that Todd guy dance with you?” It was odd for Todd to be there “No. Actually, he doesn’t usually come to Players.” He couldn’t seem to stop firing questions at me “Where did you meet him then? He doesn’t go to TJ.” “At the mall. He works at a gym in the mall with Michael.” “Why were you at a gym with Michael?” “I wasn’t at the gym. Dizzy and I were at the mall, Michael was coming out of the gym for lunch. He said ‘Hi’ and he introduced Dizzy and me to Todd. See, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even hug Michael or shake his hand or anything like you said to make Todd think he had a chance. I didn’t even say one word to Todd.”
At this point I was crying so hard I was choking. Ronnie gave out a sigh, put his arms around me. “Chris is right. It’s not your fault. I’m sorry. I just get so angry knowing that when I am so far away from you there is always going to be some guy like Todd trying to take you away from me.” I slid into his lap and put my arms around his shoulders and squeezed him tight. “No one can take me away from you. I’m Crazy for you. Only you.”
It was suppose to be a fun night out at Players but that didn’t happen. I thought we were going to make out at the overlook and that went completely wrong. It was time to call it night and take me home. When we were standing at my front door I didn’t want to let go of him. I wanted to stay snuggled up in his arms forever.