I sometimes think I'm my own worst enemy, or I used to feel that, if only for the fact that I seemed to sabotage everything in my life that was working out for me. Relationships, my career, if I could derail them I would find a way to do it. I don't know, maybe I still do.
The first time Abby and I were together, you would have thought everything was perfect between us, but it wasn't, it couldn't be, she knew that even if I didn't. How had she put it that night? I was married to a ghost? It was true. It didn't matter that Danijela had been dead for almost eight years at the time we were together, in my mind we were still married and I couldn't shake the feeling that I was cheating on her when I was with someone else.
I had tried to open myself up to someone else before that, but it hadn't worked. As lonely as both of us might have been, I don't think either of us were able to walk away from those who still held our hearts. For Carol it was easier, her love was still alive and in the end she made the decision to go to him instead of waiting for him to come to her, I couldn't do that.
Danijela was the first woman I had ever been with, she was my first love, and for far too long I had told myself that I could never possibly find anyone to equal what I had with her. Maybe that was part of the problem between Abby and I when we were together the first time, I wanted so much for things to be the way they had been with Danijela, and they couldn't. Danijela and I shared everything, Abby and I nothing, we might have been strangers for all we knew of each other's lives and I think that was the start of our downfall. That and my love for Danijela.
I don't know why I decided to stay in Chicago, it had always been easier when I moved from place to place before anyone had a chance to wonder who I was or where I came from. I decided to do this though, I decided to allow people into my life, into my past, and while I knew it wouldn't be easy to change after so long, I never expected it to be as hard as it has been either.
Over the years that Abby and I were apart I tried everything I could to destroy my life, even going so far as to chase death in the Congo. I became my worst enemy because I hated the man I'd become and I had lost sight of the man who had married Danijela all those years ago. I'd like to think I'm finding my way back to him, or at least to a version of him who has made room in his heart for more than one love. I know I no longer hate who I am, and for a long time I couldn't say that, and I think I couldn't ask for a better start then that.