Thursday, December 30, 2010

Burntcore Week 32: Trust


Picture 1

Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Picture 1


Cory and I had been hanging out for a couple of months now since he came back into my life. I guess it was more dating but it was a slow process. I preferred it that way. Cory and I talked almost every day, sometimes for awhile, sometimes only for a short period of time. I was still keeping him at arms length. I think he understood. I think. Sometimes he seemed frustrated, but I wasn’t sure what it was directed towards.

I genuinely enjoyed our time together but I think I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. He hadn’t done anything yet to make me doubt him or his sobriety, but wasn’t that just the thing with recovering alcoholics? That there was always a chance that they could relapse? These thoughts had plagued me from our date in the park when he played his keyboard for me. Was it even fair for me to doubt him? Would I ever completely trust him? Could I ever completely trust him?

Shaking my head in disgust, I tried to push my negative thoughts out of my head. Maybe I needed counseling or something. This was just more than I think I could deal with. When he left, the alcoholism was never in the equation. I knew he had a problem but I never realized to what extent. I never realized that he was gone for so long because of the alcohol. If I wanted a relationship with Cory now, perhaps it just wasn’t he that needed to change.

Was I not a different person because of the experiences we shared and things that had happened in the two years since I had seen him last? He was undeniably different. But was I truly? Was I strong enough?

These thoughts would not leave my mind as I drove to pick up Cory. We were meeting up with some friends for dinner. We didn’t really have any mutual friends anymore, not like before, but we were getting to know one another’s friends. These particular friends tonight were some of Cory’s from his job. His friends knew about Cory’s battle with alcoholism and were very supportive. We decided to go someplace where alcohol wasn’t the focus. I had also vowed that I would not drink in front of him. Thankfully, I was not the type of person who had to drink all of the time. It was nice to have a beer now and then or a cocktail, but it wasn’t a life or death thing if I didn’t.

Pulling up to Cory’s place, I nervously ran my hands through my hair and adjusted the hem of my shirt. I had been over Cory’s apartment a few times but not for very long. His apartment seemed okay, small but okay. Before I could get out of the car, he was bounding down the steps to my car.

“Excited, are we?” I asked with a snort as the passenger side door opened.

Cory looked at me with a boyish smile as he leaned over the center counsel to kiss me. “Maybe. It has been quite some time since I have gone out on a double date.”

I smiled and stroked his check with my fingertips. “It has been a long time.”

We took off towards the restaurant where we were meeting his friends. I had met this couple once before and they were fun to be with. It helped me forget about what had happened in the past and my fears for the future.

The dinner went well. Conversation was easy and light. His work friends lived on the other side of town and had a little girl that they spoke proudly of whenever possible. It was normal. It was comfortable. It was something I definitely could get used to with Cory.

Later that night, Cory and I were curled up on my couch watching TV. There was a Bones marathon that was playing. We didn’t talk much. I was lost in my thoughts most of the night and Cory seemed to pick up on my aloofness. During a commercial break after Jack Hodgins had declared himself king of the lab again, Cory turned to me and ran a hand up and down my arm.



“What’s bothering you? You haven’t been here most of the night.”

I sighed and tried to think of a way to express my feelings without being hurtful to him. The last thing he needed to hear was my lack of faith in his sobriety.

“I just.. I’m just.. gah,” I huffed as a I pulled on the ends of my hair. “I’m just worried.”


“About you, about us, about your recovery, about the future, if there’s a future, just everything,” I rushed out, amazed that I got it all out.

His eyes widened and his hand stilled on my arm. “Is that all?”

I sighed and nodded. “Yes. I think I am going to look into counseling. I owe it to both of us. You are trying so hard to start anew and I can’t get over the ‘what ifs’ and the past.”

“You’re waiting for me to drink again, aren’t you?” he said softly, his eyes sad but full of compassion and understanding.

I nodded again, ashamed.

“That’s perfectly normal, Holly. They tell us that during our AA meetings about the effect our problem has on our family and friends, how trust is lost and sometimes is never found again.”

“How can you say that? How can this be normal? How can we have a relationship if I can’t trust you?”

He laughed softly as he resumed stroking my arm. “It takes time, Holly. Just like what we are doing now. We are taking things one step at a time. I am re-earning, regaining your trust. That is not done quickly.”

“I know,” I sighed. “But I am afraid I won’t be able to get over it. That’s why I think I should talk to someone. I was thinking about joining Al-Anon.”

Cory’s eyes burned as he locked his gaze with mine. “You’d do that, for me?”

“Not just for you, Cory, for me, for us. The longer I keep feeling this way, expecting you to fall off the wagon, the worse it is going to be. It’s not fair to keep you behind those iron bars anymore. You served your time, both physically and metaphorically.”

He did not say a word in response. The look of love and adoration on his face was enough. Cory leaned over and gently kissed me. He kissed me until I was reassured, until my fears seemed like a faded memory. My promise burned on and I vowed I would look up the meeting information on the nearest Al-Anon chapter.