Ok, I think I can finally write about one of the things that's been on my mind most of the summer... or at least since July.
Have you ever felt kicked in the stomach by someone you know because they did something that you just can't reconcile with, even though they've been a great friend for a very long time? Have you ever felt angry and upset by their actions because it so profoundly affects someone, or more than one someone, who is also a friend, even if they haven't been a friend anywhere near as long?
Well, I've been dealing with that for months now. To protect everyone involved, I'm not going to use real names. Those of you who read this and know the details, don't need them and neither does anyone who isn't part of the situation.
This story really starts back about a year ago. My good friend for many years, Apple, bought a house with his fiance Ball, and her best friend Candle. A has one daughter, Dove age 5, who he splits time with her mother. Bell has two daughters Elephant and Fish who are late elementary age. Candle has one son, Grape age 9, and one daughter, Hope who is 14. All of the kids spend various amounts of time between their parents. The 4 girls shared 2 bedrooms, Grape had his own room when he was there and the adults had 2 rooms of their own. It's not a big house, but it was big enough and roomy enough and everyone got along. All the kids, except Dove, had known each other since birth just about, since Bell and Candle have been best friends almost as long as Kat and I.
Things went smoothly enough in the beginning. Everyone got along. Whichever of the adults was home was responsible for whichever of the kids were home and everyone made it work.
Now here's the kicker. I've known Apple since shortly after I graduated high school. He's been a good friend and been there for me when I needed him and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. He really is a great guy. He's always been a very sexual person, and never ashamed of it either. He's comfortable with himself and admits he oggles just about anything with two legs and boobs. We always thought he was harmless. He always respected the boundaries we set up.
That is until July.
I really don't know 100% of the story, because it's just too painful to ask right now. And I really don't want to make Hope live through it again. But, Apple wasn't going to stop. He wasn't respecting her wishes or her boundaries or the fact that she's fourteen freaking years old. She was able to get away, but still...
That one act has totally rocked my faith in Apple. It's made it very confusing as to what I think and how I feel about him. And if it's done that to me, that's nothing as compared to what Bell, Candle and most especially Hope have gone through in the last few months.
To say that is has ruined a life-long friendship between Bell and Candle is an understatement. To say that it's hurt Apple's life is being polite. And to think that Hope will have to live with that memory for the rest of her life is devastating.
So, Hope and Grape live mostly with their dad these days. He, his second wife and their baby (Hope calls her "the baby's mother"...) live in town, so it's not that bad. Candle has been splitting her time between Kat's couch and Andy's apartment. (She and Andy started dating around the beginning of the year.) Candle can't even begin to look for an apartment or anything until something is decided about the house and she can get out of the mortgage. Her life has been in chaos.
But, hopefully this chapter is much closer to being closed. I think we're getting to the epilogue, where everything is wrapped up and you get (hopefully) a "happily ever after", at least for some.
The trial was yesterday. The state pressed charged against Apple, even if Hope wasn't going to. (This is one of the major contentions between Bell and Candle, as Bell is blaming Candle for "ruining her life" and "making her loose her kids" as she refuses to leave Apple over this...) Apple plead guilty and will be in jail 4-23 months, with parole for 5 years. I have no idea what else he'll have to do or deal with, but I'm 99% sure he's lost any custody of Dove (which sucks as her mother is even more of a nut). I have no idea how Elephant and Fish are dealing, but from what I know, their dad isn't the best either.
I don't know how to feel about this still. I'm glad the trial is over and that Hope didn't have to testify or face them. She's terrified of that thought. Candle isn't in much better shape where that's concerned. On the one hand, I'm glad Apple is getting punished. I want him to get help. As much as I wanted to kill him the moment I heard about it, there's too much good history there to overlook. At his core, he really is a good guy. A good guy with a problem, but a good guy none the less.
I want Hope, Candle and Grape to be able to move on from this. To get the help they need. To get into a stable living situation again and to heal the emotional wounds. I've become quite close to those three and never want to see anything bad happen to them.
So, while the news of Apple going to jail is good on the one hand, it's bad on the other, as I never want to see anything bad happen to him either.
Anyhow, this is just one of the many things that have been kicking around in my head for the past several months. No, I don't really have a conclusion or a moral to this post. Just a lot of mental garbage that needed to get spit up and out there. Maybe now it'll stop chasing itself in circles around my head and I can move on and be supportive for those who need me.
Peace to all and may your heart have room for love.