A Tale Of Two Garth’s. Chapter Two. Perfect Love & Peeping Tom’s.
Garth and I continued dating and I couldn’t have been happier. He would bring me coffee in the wee hours of the morning when I had to be at school for a 7 am class. He would come by my house late at night after I got out of rehearsal for my play just to kiss me good night. I would even walk out to my car after my show and there would be flowers waiting for me on the hood of my car. He did all sorts of thoughtful things. I was walking on air and nothing to bring me down.
One night I had to work really late. I had my paycheck on me and a pocket full of tips. I drove all around the area where I lived with the girls, but there was no parking to be found anywhere. Unless you consider the one public lot that was inhabited by the homeless and the drug addicts. I didn’t know what to do. The lot was well lit and it was either park there or take my chances parking even further from home. At least if I parked in the lot I was less than a block from home. As I pulled into the lot I noticed a group of guys sitting on the curb. Great. I pulled my car into the one open space, which put them directly behind the back of my car a few feet back. I turned the engine off and looked in my rear view mirror assessing the situation before I made any attempt at exiting my awesome red Pontiac Firebird. They were all hanging out talking and didn’t seem interested in me at all so I decided to go ahead and make a break for home. Now it wasn’t that I was paranoid, it’s just that living where we lived had become somewhat of a double-edged sword. I mean sure, our house was adorable and right next to the beach and we had a little front yard with flowers and everything. But with four young women living in the house we attracted at least 3 peeping toms. And those were just the ones we caught. We also had people we didn’t know walk right in the house, sit down on the couch and make themselves at home. Kristina took care of them. Then there was the time that some one decided to stand on the outside of our house right next to our open screen less window. It took two of us to shut the window. One to close the window and another one of us to hold the butcher knife with the promise that if any part of their body entered the inside of the house we planned to cut it off. So you see, I may have been a touch paranoid but I had good reason.
As I took a deep breath and one more look in my rear view window I pulled the handle and opened the door of my car. When my door opened it took about two seconds before my side mirror flashed on a man walking right up to the driver side door. I hadn’t seen him. Oh shit. I immediately grabbed my club which had been resting on the passengers seat. You remember the club. It was a lock that went over your steering wheel and was supposed to keep people from steeling your car. I grabbed it with both hands and held it up like a bat over my right shoulder getting ready to swing for home. I’m going to take this motherfucker out! I was half scared shitless and half pissed off. That money in my pocket was all I had and I worked hard for it. It was my rent and if this guy was dumb enough to get this close to my car then he was dumb enough to get his bell rung. As he took a step closer to the already open drivers door I leaned out of the car onto my left leg with the club cocked and loaded. Right before I could hit him square in the face I heard, “Stacy! It’s me!” Oh no. I almost just killed Garth.
“What are you doing out here? I almost just killed you!”
“I knew you were getting off late and had tips on you and I didn’t want you to walk home alone.” Oh my God…it’s Prince Charming.
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah, I was worried about you.” But before I could scold him about the dangers of hanging out in that particular parking lot at that time of night I just kissed him. In my eyes he was the perfect man.
Eventually he got to get to know all my friends and they not only accepted him but also grew to like him. I had graduated and he still had one year left. It was bitter sweet; I was so excited to move to LA and pursue my dream. I had been prepping for this with acting classes, plays, dialect classes, and set building for as long as I could remember. But now I had something that made me want to stay behind. And I hated it. But right before I could move my living situation in LA fell through. This wouldn’t have been a problem but all of us girls had already given notice on our house at the beach and I found myself in somewhat of a predicament.
“You can move in with Casey and me till you figure it out,” Garth said. It was like a dream come true. I was getting to live with my excellent, marvelous boyfriend. Seriously, could it get any better? Casey, Garth and myself were like three peas in a pod. We did everything together. We had BBQ’s; night surfed in front of the Capri hotel so we could use their light, shroomed in Joshua tree. I was a young free spirit who was in love with a perfect man and had a perfect life. But I knew all of this was going to have to end. I didn’t spend all that time and training and all of my dad’s college money to sit ass on the beach.
During that summer Garth had introduced me to Claire and Hung. They came down from LA to San Diego to visit and hang out at the beach and they happened to have an extra room if I wanted it. The stars were aligned. It was time to go. As Garth and Casey helped me load all of my belongings into my car and my mom’s pickup I just wanted so badly for him to ask me to stay. I wanted to stay so desperately if he had just said the words I may have. But he didn’t. It’s curious, when I think about it. Had I stayed, would he have stayed the same? Would he have continued to sweep me off of my feet? There’s no way of knowing. What I do know now is that when I drove away that day, I would never see my Garth again. We stayed together for another 6 years, but my Garth of summer – the chivalrous, sweet, and doting Garth – disappeared as soon as I lost sight of him in my rear view mirror.
To be continued…
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