By Trina Otero
I stood by the entrance to the kitchen, watching the Halloween party guests mingle in the living room at my friend’s house. I smiled faintly. My boyfriend was down the hallway – he was drunk and being more obnoxious than funny. Collier, a guy I met through my friend an hour earlier, walked over to me and began to chat with me. He didn’t waste time beating around the bush.
“Why do you deal with that?” he asked.
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“Does he act like this a lot?”
My mind raced to think of the best answer. “You know, sometimes he gets a little too drunk and doesn’t realize how he is acting,” I said.
“Yeah..Trina, I can tell you really love him,” said Collier with a sincere look on his face. “I see it in your face and I can just tell. You are a really beautiful person, but don’t let him take advantage of you.”
“Excuse me?” I said once again.
“I’m not trying to offend you – I am just a very honest person. I see that you are a loving, beautiful person and maybe he is taking advantage of you. There are different ways someone can take advantage of you, remember that. But if you know there are things you are not willing to tolerate, then don’t tolerate them. Don’t give up what you believe in and what you want.”
Then he began to tell me a story about a girl he really cared about and dated for a while, but he had to end it with her because she had some habits that were unhealthy for both of them. While he spoke to me, I knew that my face showed a smile and I kept eye contact, but it was a mask. Underneath I was freaking out – my feelings were in between denial, being offended, and relief.
How dare he even speak to me about my relationship? But how does he know these things? Am I transparent? – these were the thoughts running through my mind.
I was stunned that this stranger was speaking to me so candidly, but I knew deep down he was telling the truth. He saw right through me. Somehow he knew the dynamics of the two-year-relationship between me and my boyfriend, just by hanging with us for an hour or so. I was stunned that he had this deep perception, because I was very good at hiding my unhappiness and showing the world my love for my boyfriend. But I left the Halloween party bothered, his words digging into me. How could he know so much about me yet he just met me?
I realized it was a wake-up call for me – a sign. Collier was not, and is not, a conniving person, a home wrecker, deceiver, or anything else along those lines. He is actually the contrary – kind, open, honest, giving. When I met him I knew right away he was a good person. Nowadays, I like to say he was a beacon of light for me during that troubling time. That night after the party I broke it off with my boyfriend. Although I told my ex I was done it took three months for me to move out of our shared apartment. I had to move back in with my father and rebuild my life.
If anyone is thinking I broke it off with my ex just because of his foolish, drunken behavior, then let me clarify. No – there were many other reasons. And it was time for me to wake up and realize I was not being loved the right way, if loved at all, and it was time for me to stop choosing to be hurt by someone I loved.
Ever since that night, my life has NOT been the same. Exactly one year later I can stand here and say my life has transformed into something beautiful. For 10+ years I have been on a journey of self-discovery and spirituality, but last October was the pivotal moment in my life when my journey of hard-core faith began. But…..that’s another story for another time. 😉 Thank you Collier for being true to yourself, to Love, and for sharing Light. And Happy Anniversary [to me]!
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All works by Trina Otero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.