Short Story: Lina

I had had several opportunities to back out before now, I thought as I stepped into the elevator of a hotel near the airport. There had been plenty of time to call the whole thing off before it got to this point, and I had yet to reach that point of no return, but I continued on, pressed the 7 button, and waited for the elevator to take me to her floor, and eventually to Lina’s door.

I had never met Lina, but with her I was in the best relationship I had been in ages. I don’t think I would be wrong to say ever. There was something between us that seemed to slip into place, even across the expanse of the internet. We messaged each other constantly when we were online, text back and forth all day, and even talked several times on the phone. We exchanged pictures back and forth. There wasn’t anything that I had kept from her.

We met on a dating site my friend had suggested I check out. At the time, I had come off a pretty brutal divorce, and then a girl that I was interested in asked me out for drinks after work. We hit it off. She told me she liked me, we kissed goodnight, and then she flaked out, leaving me hurt and confused. She wasn’t ready to date, she told me. Then I found out she had started dating another coworker and didn’t want me to know. Probably hoped to keep me in reserve if that one didn’t work out. Fuck her, I thought and moved on.

I started playing around online, signing up on various dating sites, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was still nursing a broken heart and a bruised ego from being shunted aside by that bitch. I functioned, at least superficially. I made it through the day, but the moment I walked through my front door, I broke down. What’s more pathetic than the image of a grown man bawling his eyes out?

My friend, however, was adamant I check this site out, so in exasperation, I told him I would. When I found it, I discovered, to my horror, that it was a tranny dating site. I found the idea repulsive and quickly left the site, but my interest was piqued and I had to check it out for myself. Didn’t take me long to be told that all the terms my friend used, tranny, shemale, and a lot more vulgar terms, were insulting. Some of these women, as they wanted to be called, were transgendered in various degrees of transition, and some were simply crossdressers looking for a guy willing to make them feel like a woman, even if only for a night.

I was flabbergasted every time I looked up a profile. Some girls looked beautiful, putting my ex-wife to shame, and others were obviously a dude in a bad wig, horrible makeup, and ill-fitting clothes. I laughed to myself, wondering what kind of perv would be so desperate as to hook up with one of those freaks.

The thing was, I kept coming back. I soon stopped laughing as I was drawn in by some of the girls. I started talking to a few, not looking for anything, neither shallow nor serious. Some girls only wanted their identities validated and were content to remain anonymous, but a few were openly hunting for anyone interested in a good time, sexually. I learned to avoid them.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that Lina showed up. She, like me, had come off a bad marriage. Like me, she had also suffered from a cruel game from woman he knew and was interested in, and had left the dating scene as a result. Unlike me, she had to accept the harsh truth about her gender identity. She started coming to terms with her femininity, accepting that her boyhood desire to put on her mother’s dress wasn’t a sick sexual fantasy, but her soul’s desire to be the woman she longed to be.

I found her story fascinating. Soon, like I said, we were talking constantly. It became intimate fairly quickly, but not in a crude, sexual sense. We shared all our secrets over the course of a year. We became friends, and somehow more. Even though we hadn’t met, we decided that we wanted to be a couple. Lina, a man who inside knew herself to be a woman, became my girlfriend.

Still, we hadn’t met. We didn’t need to. Our connection was real, more real than any I had ever felt. I memorized her face, gazing at every photo she sent me, knowing in my heart that I had found my soulmate. Finally, after almost a year and a half, we decided to meet. Lina would be in town on a business trip, or at least her male side would, and we agreed that it would be a perfect chance to see each other , face to face.

Then the day arrived, and I started getting cold feet. I wasn’t gay. I never felt the least bit attracted to other men. The thought of doing anything sexual with a guy was repellant. A gay friend confessed he felt the same way about sex with a woman. Even the thought felt unnatural, we confided to each other. What I couldn’t shake was my feelings for her. It wasn’t a sexual attraction, or simply a physical connection, once and done, but a mental connection, a spiritual unity of our souls. This was real in a way that none of my other relationships had ever been.

I tried to reason my way out of the meeting. Wasn’t our relationship built on a lie? Lina wasn’t a real woman, and I didn’t believe pretending to be one made it any more real. I listened to all the arguments made against the transgender community, but I instinctively argued against each one, knowing that it wasn’t only what we had between our legs that identified us as man or woman.

I countered every fact and logical reasoning with experience. Lina treated me better than any real woman ever had. I treated her better as well. I did worry that what made it so great was that we were never actually close, that there was no immediacy between us, but that last hurdle was set to be jumped in a matter of minutes.

I screwed up my courage as I stepped off the elevator on the seventh floor. I walked to her door, room number 726, and I knocked. I heard her unnaturally pitched voice, muffled by the door, telling me that she was coming. This was my last chance , to escape from the sham, but I couldn’t. I loved her, and she had confessed that she loved me.

It had come to this, a moment of truth, a moment of fear and exhilaration, and a rush of adrenaline washed over me. I heard her slip off the door chain, heard the deadbolt being opened, and then before I was ready she opened the door, looking every bit as apprehensive as I felt.

“Lina?” I said, unable to believe we were actually meeting.

“Yes,” she replied guardedly, not knowing how I would react.

“It’s good to finally meet you,” I smiled, my heart brimming with affection for this woman I just now got to see with my own eyes.

“You too,” she relaxed, extending a hand for me to shake.

“I don’t think so,” I laughed. I took her in my arms, noticing that though she was almost as tall as me, she still felt feminine in my arms. I looked her in the eyes, then stepped back to admire her. “You’re more beautiful in person, Lina,” I said, once my eyes had taken her in. “Absolutely stunning.”

She flushed, but otherwise looked pleased. She let me into her hotel room, wrapped her arms around me, and we kissed for the first time. “Damn,” I said, once we broke our embrace. “Never got kissed like that before.”

“Good,” she winked, and took me by the hand towards the bed.

“I thought we were going out for dinner,” I protested, both excitement and panic setting in.

“We will,” she hinted with a flirtatious smile, “but first let’s get to know each other. I’ve been saving myself for you, and I waited a long time for this. Make love to me, please. Afterwards, we can grab a bite to eat, and then?” She asked rhetorically, opening herself to the great unknown, and inviting me along to join her for the next grand adventure.

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Short Story: Breaking free

“This is bullshit,” moaned a disheveled, middle-aged man as he slammed another empty glass onto the bar. His eyes were beginning to glaze over, and he had started slurring his speech. “I don’t know why I put up with it!”

“What’s gotten into you, James?” His friend Nelson – this one nursing his first scotch and water – looked on, concerned by how his friend was acting. “Don’t you think you should slow down. You’re hitting it pretty hard tonight.”

“What does it matter? Why does any of it matter?” He slurred. “Give me one more, Gary.” The bartender looked over to the friend, who nodded, and the bartender reluctantly brought over a fresh scotch.

The pair remained silent for a moment, but as soon as James had his drink in hand, he began his complaint anew. “I’ve been there for almost twenty years,” he began.

“And they don’t appreciate what you do for them,” his friend completed the refrain. “Yeah, I know. We all know. Why don’t you spare me the bullshit and just tell me what happened today.”

“Spare you the…, fine,” he sputtered angrily. “I’ll tell you. My tightwad boss yelled at me, wanting to know about the Andrews account. I closed that deal a month ago, he signed off on it, and now he’s pissed off because he thinks we under-charged them. He wants me to cancel the contract and renegotiate. It’s bullshit. They won’t go for that! They’ll find someone else to do business with, and then I’ll get blamed for losing another major contract, all because THEY can’t do their jobs correctly. I’m tired of being their punching bag.”

“Then get out,” a voice cried out from the other side of the bar. James whipped his head around, angry that he had been overheard, though he had been complaining so loud that many people had simply left to go elsewhere for a drink.

“What did you say?” James’ friend  asked.

“Get out,” she repeated herself with an eerily calm voice. She was an attractive forty-something, with expensive tastes. She looked out-of-place in the slightly seedy establishment. Nelson looked at her, and she wore a haunted expression on her face, but other than that, betrayed no emotion, though it was obvious to all that she had been crying recently.

“What business is it of yours?” James spat.

“None, I suppose,” she sighed, “but I think you should listen anyways. What could it hurt?” James shrugged as he started on his scotch. The stranger walked over and sat beside him.

“It’s funny how similar a job is to a romantic relationship. At first, it’s all perfect. You’re in love, after all. He brings you flowers, tells you he loves you. He brings you gifts and treats you like a princess. You get lost in the fantasy. At work, it’s the same, they check up on you, make sure you have everything you need, ensure you’re comfortable. They have a responsibility to you and they want you to succeed because their success is dependant on your ability to do your job.

“It doesn’t take long for the new relationship smell to start to wear off. You don’t notice it at first, but it slowly begins to change. It’s subtle, first he stops giving you flowers, or he stops rubbing your neck at the end of the day. There are no more sweet love notes, or he stops kissing you altogether. There’s a moment when you look up, and you realize that the magic is gone, but you can’t pinpoint when it happened, but you know you want to leave, but he doesn’t let you.

“‘I’ll change,’ he promises. ‘Just give me another chance.’ So you agree, and at first there’s a noticeable improvement. He starts kissing you again, his voice seductive promising you things he promised once before, and you fall for his charm. He comes home at a reasonable hour. He treats you how you deserve to be treated, for a while, but sooner rather than later it goes back to how it was. He neglects you, takes you for granted. You’ve become nothing more than a nursemaid while the jackass goes out to play.”

“I’m not sure I follow,” James groaned.

“Don’t you see?” The stranger said pointedly. “You’re nothing but your boss’s bitch. Sure he may treat you a little better should you want to leave and he needs you, but what’s the point? How many times do you have to do the stupid, little dance? You know what I’m talking about, right?”

“I’ve talked about leaving, sure,” he agreed.

“And what? Did you get a raise, a better office perhaps?”

“And a promotion, but I’m still doing the same bullshit work.”

“Exactly,” she shoved her finger into his chest. “Nothing but trinkets given to take your mind off the fact that they don’t respect you.”

“What do you think I should do?”

“Leave. Get out while you can. It’s a toxic relationship, abusive to the point where you’re losing yourself in drink just to numb the pain. Break up, while you still can, and leave on your own terms. Leave before you lose all sanity, lose all control, and do something you may regret later. You’re nobody’s bitch.”

“I can’t just quit,” James cried. “I have a family to support.”

“And yet you’re here and not with them,” she countered. “Don’t you think this is taking a toll on them? How long before she gets tired of being neglected? Get out while you still have a marriage to save. Or stay and lose everything. I don’t give a shit.”

The stranger got up, paid her tab, and left without saying another word. “What a loon,” James laughed before returning his attention to his drink.

“I don’t know,” Nelson said quietly. “I think she has a point, and I think you need to stop drinking and go home to your family before you end up like me, divorced and alone.”


James walked into his house, his children already in bed. His wife was curled up in front of the television, which she had on mute, a book in hand. She barely registered his entrance with a weary nod.

“I think we need to talk,” he said glumly.

“Oh?” she replied, not taking her eyes off the book.

“First, I want to say I’m sorry for the way I’ve been acting, the way I’ve been treating you and the kids. I love you all, and I don’t want to lose you.”

That finally got her attention and she put her book down. “Okay?”

“I’ve been having a hard time at work, and I know it’s no excuse, but that’s why I’ve been so distant lately. I want to change before I lose you. I don’t want to lose you. I can’t bear the thought of losing you.”

“Okay? So what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“If you think it’s your job that’s at fault, leave.”

“Just quit? I can’t do that! I have a family to support.”

“And you think you’re supporting us by coming home drunk every night? By neglecting us? I hate to break it to you, but you’ve already lost me. I’ve been seeing someone for a while now, someone who’s taken care of me, who treats me how I should be treated.”

“Oh,” James replied, stunned by the revelation, not knowing what else to say.”

“Yeah, you’ve already lost me. I’m just here for the kids, but even for them, I don’t know what more I can take.”

“So, you’re sleeping with him?”

“Not yet, but it’s going to happen any day now.” His wife looked at his compassionately for the first time and smiled grimly. “I love you, too, but I can’t go on like this. You say you don’t want to lose me, this is your chance. Quit your job. It’s either them or me.”

“And what about our mortgage and our bills?”

“We have enough to get by for a couple of years, but you should be able to find a job before then. We’ll have to cut back on a few luxuries, but so what?”

“Wow,” James exclaimed softly, waves of fear, anger, and jealousy over taking him. “So you have someone on the side and you’re about to leave me?”

“I have someone on the side, but I wasn’t planning on leaving you just yet, but eventually, yes. I won’t be treated like this, not by you. If I have to find affection somewhere else, yeah I’ll do it, and feel no guilt for doing it.”

“I – I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do.”

“I told you. Quit. If you want me, that’s my price. Quit your job, and come to counseling with me. I’ve been going for several months, alone.”

“I need to think about it. I can’t just up and quit.”

“Suit yourself. You know what’s up. I’ll give you some time, but not much more. I’ll take a poorer man over you if that means I get to have his attention. And just so you know, that trip I was planning for this weekend with the girls?”


“I’ll be with him in Vegas, in his arms, in his bed.” She got up and walked out, taking her book with her, leaving him to his confusion.

James picked up the remote to the television to shut it off when a picture grabbed his attention. The same woman who he met at the bar. He turned up the volume to listen to the news report.

“…woman wanted by the police in connection with the brutal murders of her husband and his lover was found moments ago, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Friends described her as an outgoing, loving person, who had endured years of abuse and neglect, culminating in cold-blooded murder.”

“Chilling, Steve. Next, we check in with Dave for the weather. How’s it looking for the…”

James shut off the television and walked into the bedroom, the brutality of what he saw breaking him. “What’s the matter?” His wife asked, as he sat on the bed, shaking by what he saw on the news. He had just talked to her moments earlier.

“I love you. I’ll put in my notice tomorrow. If you have to go this weekend, I won’t blame you, but I won’t stop fighting for you.”

“Babe, if you choose me, I’ll choose you, too. Just understand, this is your one and only chance, but I won’t guarantee I’ll stay, either.”

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Short Story: On the losing end

The moment she walked in, I knew it was over. I could read the pain on her face, as well as a resigned determination to get what she came to do over with. I expected anger, I expected tears, I especially expected to be yelled at. What I didn’t expect was the bombshell she dropped on me when she sat down.

“I’m pregnant, Dave,” she said coldly, relishing the pain her unexpected news had caused me.

“P – pregnant,” I stammered, trying to grasp what she was saying. “But how? I thought we couldn’t…,” I finished lamely.

“No,” she grinned maliciously, “you couldn’t and I married you anyway. I gave up my right to motherhood for you, and this is how you repay me?”

“Repay you?” I yelled. “You’re pregnant! Who the hell is the father?”

“Who can say?” she teased. “Could be anyone, I suppose. Why does it matter?”

“Because you’re my wife, that’s why,” I yell, pounding the table between us for greater effect.

She looked at me, unfazed by my outburst. I could see contempt in her eyes, but also pity. I could stand the contempt, but why should she feel sorry for me? I wanted to strike back, to beat the woman who betrayed me and made a mockery out of my manhood. She silenced me with one question. “How long were you cheating on me?”

Just like that, the heat of my anger grew cold, and the reason we sat in a sterile conference room became clear once more. I opened my mouth to answer, but no sound escaped my lips. I closed my mouth when I became aware just how ridiculous I appeared, but it was too late. I swallowed and took a deep breath before I gave her an answer. “That was the only time, the time you caught me. What about you? How long have you been…”

“Don’t try to turn this on me,” she hissed angrily. “I caught you over a year ago, sleeping with Dan’s wife” She leaned back and folded her arms as she scrutinized me, making me feel somehow small. “Your best friend from college, and you slept with his wife. What would he think?”

“Please don’t,” I plead, not wanting to hear what I knew was to come. But she surprised me.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on you, for over a year, and I know all your little secrets, you text messages and emails to each other. I had you tailed and I have enough dirt to destroy you, but first I wanted to humiliate you.”

“You want to know how long I’ve been cheating on you? About four months. I waited, you see, to figure out how best to take my revenge on you, and then it hit me. I would get pregnant. Seemed a simple and elegant solution, don’t you thing?”

“That’s cold.”

“What? Don’t you want to hear the best part?” She waited for me to answer, but when I don’t she proceeds all the same. “You know Dan always wanted a kid, right? You know how his bitch of a wife refused to give him one?” I sat there in horror as the cruelty of her revelation ripped into me. “I see you can put two and two together. I told him about your rendezvous with his wife, and at first he didn’t want to have anything to do with my little plan, but I soon had him seeing things my way. By the way, he’s a much better lover than you. Don’t know why Delia’s fooling around with you.”

Without another word, she slides a packet towards me, and I know what is inside. I open to see a Waver of Service. Fill that out and we can get started with the whole divorce proceeding. I’ve already filed. We can let our lawyers hash out all the details, division of property, assets and debts, child support….”

“Child support! For a kid that’s not mine. You’re fucking crazy!”

“Funny thing,” she smirked at my indignant response. “In Texas, the husband is presumed to be the father. You’re my husband, I got pregnant while we are still legally married. In the eyes of the law, you’re going to be a father. Congratulations!”

“Bullshit,” I yell. “You can’t do this. I’ll fight it.”

“I’m sure you will, and I’m sure we may find some middle ground. Or not. Either way, this marriage is over. I hope she way worth it and I hope you two will be happy together.”

Fuming, I sign the waver and hand it back to her. She slides it into a folder and stands up. “I’m sorry it had to come to this. Believe it or not, I still love you and wish I didn’t have to do this, but I refuse to let you do to me what my father did to my mother. I deserve better. Good bye, James.”

In less time than it took to get her from the parking garage, she managed to take control and destroy me. Part of me was impressed and proud, but mostly I hated the bitch because I hate to lose and I lost this round. I’d have to wait and see what my lawyers would have to say, but regardless, this wouldn’t be cheap no matter how quickly and quietly we resolved this.

As I stood up to leave, my phone rang and I noticed Delia calling me. “What’s up?”

“Hey, James,” I heard her say and I could tell that she’d been crying. “Dan confronted me about us, and I can’t do this anymore. I can’t lose him.”

“What are you saying?”

“I had fun but it’s over between us.”

“What? You know he got my wife pregnant.”

“Yes, I know, but you don’t understand. I love him. You were great, but Dan’s the guy I’ve loved since forever. I made a mistake and we’re going to try to work it out. Don’t fight this, James. I won’t give him up. Not for you.” She hung up and I’m left to deal with the reality that I lost not once, but twice. I made a fool out of Dan but he got me back as well. I’m left with nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth.

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Short Story: The Cheater

“Can I come over?”

That was the last thing Lizza had expected to hear from her ex-husband, a man who spent their entire marriage cheating on her, the last time with her friend in her own bed.

“Why the hell should I let you?” Lizza asked. “We’re over. You chose that skank over me. What ever problem you’re having, I want none of it. I’m done with your drama.”

“Please, Liz-bear?” He begged. “For old times sake?”

In spite of the indignation coursing through her, hearing his old pet name for her thawed her otherwise chilly feelings for him and she relented. “Fine, but no funny business.”

“Thanks, Liz. I’ll see you in fifteen.”

Fifteen minutes? She wondered. Is he already on his way here? She didn’t wait to consider it much more because her apartment was a mess, and she didn’t want him to see just how far she had let herself go. After a quick cursory sweep though the living room, she changed into something a little more appropriate than a short pair of shorts and a tank top.

Twenty minutes later, she heard a knock at the door. She waited for him to knock again before opening the door. “Hey,” she greeted him disinterestedly.

“Hey to you too,” he grimaced. “Thanks for seeing me.”

“Whatever,” Lizza shrugged. “Not to be rude,” she said as she closed the door, “but what the hell do you want?”

“You’re not at least going to invite me to sit?”

“I don’t want you to think you’re welcome here,” she retorted, “but what the fuck, make yourself comfortable.”

“Thanks.” He maneuvered awkwardly around his ex since she refused to budge and got comfortable on the futon. “This is cozy. I like what you’ve done with the place.”

“Seriously, I’m not up to idle chit-chat. What do you want?”

“Right,” he grew serious and cleared his throat. “Lizza, I made a mistake…”

“No, don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Whatever it is you’re doing, just don’t.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Oh spare me,” Lizza spat. “I gave you the best years of my life, and for what? To see you time and again fooling around my back? I put up with it once, but I won’t be your fool again.”

“Sandy’s pregnant,” he blurted out in obvious distress.


“So? She doesn’t know who the father is, only that it’s not me. She made get a vasectomy before we could…”

“I don’t need the particulars,” Lizza stopped him, a look of revulsion on her face. “Why should I care?”

“Because I get it. I understand now what I did and how I wronged you. I understand the hurt I caused you and I want a chance to make amends. I want a chance to be the man, to be the husband you needed me to be.”

“No,” Lizza shook her head sadly, “you want the chance to reclaim your manhood, but I’m not giving you that chance.”

“But why?”

“Because I’ve moved on.”

“You call this moving on?

“I do,” Lizza responded defiantly. “You broke me, shattered me into a million little pieces, or at least I thought you did, but I pulled myself together. I realized that I let myself be defined by you, by our marriage, by your need to control me and your need to satisfy yourself with all those girls you chose to screw behind my back.”


“No. I’m done listening to you. Yeah, I don’t have much,” Lizza glanced around at her sparse surroundings, “but I have everything I need. I’m taking care of myself for the first time in my life, and you know what I found out?”

“No, what?”

“That I can do it. I can be independent. I can take care of myself, and I don’t need a man to do everything for me. I don’t need to have to take care of anyone, either. It’s just me and I’m loving the freedom I found when I left you. I can go out or stay in at my leisure. I can read in total silence, and I don’t have to wonder where you are or who you’re with.

“I loved you, or at least I thought I did, but I think I was just scared to be alone. It’s not that bad. In fact, it’s been a blessing. So, no. If you’re hoping for yet another chance, don’t bother. I’m sorry it’s not working out with Sandy, but she cheated on her husband to be with you. Why did you expect that she wouldn’t cheat on you?”

“That’s below the belt,” he pouted.

“No, it’s just the truth.” Lizza sat on the futon beside him and put her hand on his knee. “I wish I could say the pain goes away, but that feeling of being insignificant, of not being able to satisfy your partner might never go away. It hasn’t for me. You’re going to have to deal with it on your own. It’s not my responsibility to help you through it.”

“Fine,” he said in a resigned voice. “I knew it was a long shot to begin with.” He stood up and walked to the door. “I guess I’ll be seeing you?”

“Maybe, but not like this. I don’t want you to come crying to me when it doesn’t work out with one of your floozies. Good bye.”

She watched impassively as her ex walked out, slamming the door behind him. With him gone, she changed back into her skimpy outfit she had one before he called, pulled out a joint and lit it. Once she felt relaxed, she pulled out her phone and called her friend.

“Dante? It’s Lizza. You were right,” she laughed.” He came crawling back to me, just like you said he would. I told him I didn’t want him back. As for tonight, it’s still on. I never let my marriage to that joke get in the way of our fun time did I? No. Just make sure you and the guys are ready to have some fun. I’ll be over some time after dark, and hey, clean sheets this time, okay? Can’t wait. Bye!”

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Three years strong


Me back in 2011.

Late last month, I let a milestone pass unobserved, not because I meant to, but rather because I completely forgot until after the fact. Three years ago last month, my then wife chose to runaway to move in with some guy she had never met in person, a guy she met online and talked on the phone behind my back.

I almost posted about it the next day but chose to let the past stay in the past, and to stop dwelling on things that I should forget about. And I did, until yesterday, when I logged onto my WordPress site and saw a notification that it had been three years since I had signed up for this blog, although I wouldn’t post my first blog, an observation about trying to find myself after a break-up, until the next day.


Me today, playing with my Kindle. I’m not so good with the smiling, but I’m actually in a good mood.

I never thought I would still be on here, let alone with my own domain name, three years on, but I’m still here. I’m not posting as often as I had been, and I’m no longer obsessed with my stats, as in I want more page views, but I’m still here. My focus no longer is on my poor, sorrowful self. Bygones are just that, and I’m focusing my energies elsewhere.

So, in honor of my three-year anniversary, I want to share a few good things to have come out of the debacle of 2011.

  1. I finally escaped a toxic relationship. I know I’m not the only one to have found themselves stuck in an unhealthy relationship/marriage. We had problems from the beginning, but I did my best to stick it out. Not once did I engage in extramarital affairs, not that I was a perfect husband. Still, I stuck it out until she ran off. Then I found the strength to file for divorce. Had I not, I’m sure she would have tried to come back, again.
  2. I started this blog. More importantly, I began to write. What started out as an outlet to express my disappointment and the bitter pain that consumed me, over time morphed into a desire to write something more. I began a journey to fulfill a dream to become a published author, and though I’m not there yet, I’m still on the journey. I will publish a book!
  3. I met new friends. Through writing, and in particular though NaNoWriMo, I met an awesome set of people who supported me that first year, and who still support me via Facebook. I couldn’t have made it this far without the North Texas Rough Writers. (Don’t tell them that. They might get a big head.)
  4. I graduated college. After more than a decade of wishing I could find a way, I went back to school last spring to finish up my remaining hours. In August 2013, thirteen years after I dropped out, I finally earned my Bachelor’s Degree. Now I want another one, but one I can ACTUALLY put to use.
  5. I’ve spent time reconnecting with my family. I did so reluctantly at first, but I’m spending time with my parents, brothers, and sister for the first time in any meaningful way, now that we are all adults. I’ve rebuilt a large part of my childhood home, watching my nieces and nephews grow up, and actually met a new addition to the Hinojosa clan, a new niece born last month.

Sure, I few bad things have happened as well, but that’s life. The biggest change is that I’m working to see the good instead of dwelling on what’s bad. I’m looking to the future, and working to make that dream a reality. I have not artificial deadlines anymore. I’m trying to be realistic with myself, pushing myself to met my goals without imposing too strict a time frame. Maybe this time next year, we’ll revisit this and see how I’m doing.