TITLE: I've Grown Accustomed to His Face
By Gina Martin
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Chapter 1 – Jennie
Tears welled up in Jennie’s eyes while she sat in her favorite chair listening to a jazz female vocalist croon the words... “I’ve grown accustomed to his face.” The idea of being married, having to please a man, not having the freedom to be alone made her sick to her stomach until… The words of the song told it all … “He almost makes the day begin…” She threw her head back, closed eyes and breathed big sighs as she thought about her former husband. After twenty-six years of marriage, she had become familiar with his face. She loved his face…his hairline. His presence made her day begin. Sure there were issues in the marriage but she adored him. Now… she honestly never thought she would feel love again. How could she trust again? She was blindsided…humiliated….embarrassed… The whole situation made her feel ugly…ugly to the core. All of her faults and mistakes screamed in her mind every moment. Her weaknesses made her feel that she caused her husband to desire men instead of women. But she knew deep inside that it wasn’t true. He had a weakness that he never told her about. If only she had known, maybe she could have helped him.
Now her story labeled her as the former wife of a gay man…a minister. The very idea must disgust any true honest straight man. With her eyes closed, she hears the vocalist crooning the words again, “I’ve grown accustomed to his face…” Would she ever feel free to love a man like that again? Warm emotions filled her body at the possibility then tears filled her eyes at the thought of that possibility. Could it be for her? Would she be given a second chance? “I’ve grown accustomed to the tune he whistles night and noon…his smiles, his frowns, his ups and downs…” She remembered the months before she found out about her husband’s desire when their last child left for college. Now she could be relaxed and only care about her husband…something that she looked forward to for many years. “You stole that joy from me,” Jennie cried, huge tears pouring down her face. “I wanted to love you…I finally had time.” Staring off into the distance, the apartment was silent. It was too late. Love was over after twenty-six years. She would never have the chance to love the man of her children. He was the man that she highly admired…a man that she felt so honored to be married to. All those years she felt that she was not good enough for him. She never could get it right. The meals were never good enough, her social skills lacked, even though she loved to sing, she was only allowed to play the piano…the very thing that she felt the least confident in. Why couldn’t he let her dream and be herself? Why did she always have to do the very thing that she felt the weakest in? It all seemed so unfair now.
Jennie’s mind drifted to the game she used to play as a child. The game mirrored her life. The good, amazing Jennie versus the pitiful Jennie. How vividly she remembered the day that she was chased home by a girl that lived down the street. “We don’t want you to play with us. You are ugly. Go home!” At first she couldn’t understand what the girl was saying. All she knew was that her sister had finished eating lunch first and went to this girl’s house first. At nine years old, she never thought that people would not want her around. It was so painful when she realized what the girl was saying. They wanted to play without her. Her presence disgusted them. In shock she walked home, climbed on top of a swing set in her backyard and watched over the fence while the other kids played in the neighbor’s yard. She did not cry as she watched. She just understood that she was not good enough to enjoy being around. People did not like her. As she watched the group of kids play Sticky Bear, she told herself that she did not need anyone in her life. She could be her own best friend. Then the game began…
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