Happily Ever After/Real Love

I was 43 years old and still looking for love. I guess I was searching for love in all the wrong places. I just wasn't finding the man of my dreams, my soul mate, prince charming and mate for life. I thought I had that with Bill, but he turned out to be a poor excuse for a man. The bottom line is you can't change a man. You can only change yourself in the process.

Now I was still searching for my dream boat. I wasn't going to give up because I had a lot of love to give. There was someone out there for everyone and I just had to believe that in my 40's I could still find a man. I had it going on and then some. I wasn't petite by a long shot, but I was a very good looking woman.

I still never gave up in the love department because I was a romantic at heart. We can't give up on love, and we have to keep the faith. I believed love won over with the heroine in my romance novels, I was going to be the heroine every soon in my own real life novel.

Two years later my dreams came true. You might say it took a long time, but patience was the key and he was worth the wait, thank you very much. Patience is the key, and I had plenty of patience to last a lifetime. I had so much patience; I could bottle it up and sell it for a hundred dollars. There were women my age, and younger who would eagerly stand in line and buy my bottle of patience because it's what the world needed and then some.

Anyway, I was at a bookstore downtown in Chicago, Illinois on a hot and sunny day in May. I had just enjoyed my birthday with a few friends, and was spending my one hundred dollar Border's gift certificate one of my friends gave me as a birthday gift. Books were the center of my being, and the apple of my soul. When I wasn't working hard, or praying for my mate, I was reading. It was two hours and I was still deciding on the books I wanted when I had to take a break. I found a table in the back of Borders'. I noticed that someone had left their jacket on the table. I sat down anyway and waited for someone to make their appearance.

Ten minutes passed and no one showed up, so I ordered a coffee, and sat back down. I took a sip of the hot liquid, and then smiled. I could walk for hours in a bookstore because it was the best place to be for me, but today I was exhausted.

I drank half of the coffee, and then I started to glance at my books. A man came over to the table, and I looked up. I knew I had to move. He was tall, good-looking with gorgeous green eyes, and he was white. He had on a suit, but he had removed the jacket, and tie, and the shirt was open. He was the bomb.

"Hi. Do you mind if I sit down?" he replied.

"Of course," I said. "This is your table."

He smiled.

That was the beginning of my new relationship with Marcus Jones. He was 45 years old, an attorney majoring in family law, and single.

I never thought about dating a white man. It was far from my prayers. I prayed for a man who wanted me, and was going to treat me right. I didn't ask God for a color preference. We talked for hours at the bookstore, and we had books in common. He spent all his free time reading, so I was thrilled about finding a man who read. Marcus was a good conversationist. I wasn't about to make a big deal out of five molehills.

Marcus called me later that day, and we talked for five hours. If I could talk to a stranger for five hours, then I knew something was happening between us. I learned through our conversations that Marcus had an older sister by two years, and his parents lived in Florida, retired, and enjoying the rest of their lives. Marcus had no children because he didn't want any. We were on the same page, of course. I worked as a legal secretary in a law firm in downtown Chicago, and Marcus worked in a law firm in downtown Chicago.

I also learned that Marcus' best friend, Hal was black, and they had met in the 3rd grade. Hal was working in Greece as an architect, so the two didn't spend a lot of time together. I really wanted to get to know Marcus. If he once brought up my weight as an issue, then he was about to melt into the surface.

We talked for three weeks and then we finally went out on our first date. It was to the movies to see a comedy. Of course everyone was staring at us as if they never seen a white man and a black woman together. You see black men with white women all the time, so what was the problem?

After the movie we went out to dinner. I ordered a salad because it's what I ordered when I went out to dinner and not because I wanted to impress Marcus. I was trying to see where he was coming from, and what made him tick. So far, so good, but I wasn't going to toot or blow my own horn. I kept Marcus a secret from everyone because I didn't want to jinx the relationship. Marcus complimented me often because I knew I looked good. I wore a gorgeous black dress showing all my curves. I had it going on and then some. I called them my fat curves, and they fitted very well for me.

Our next date was out to dinner again, the movies again, the museum, the zoo, Navy Pier, his house, my house, and out to dinner again. I was having the best time of my life. Marcus would kiss me on the cheek, but after our 10th date, he started kissing me on the lips; the man was a good kisser.

On our 24th date we found ourselves at Marcus' condo on Lake Shore Drive. It was gorgeous and then some, and when you went outside on the balcony the only thing blocking your view is the water. I loved being at his place because the beach was right there, and I'd stare at the water for days.

This particular day was gorgeous. It was in the eighties, and the weather was perfect. Marcus and I sat on his balcony staring at the water, and sipping on white wine. I was wearing a lovely summer green dress, green being my favorite color. I wasn't going to just wear black and blue and hide myself. I loved my curves.

"What are you smiling about?" Marcus asked. "You're the most gorgeous woman in the world and then some. I'm thrilled that you found my table to sit at, and I decided to go to the bathroom. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I came back to sit down."

I smiled all over myself because I was pleased by his words. "I saw your jacket after I sat down, and I was going to move when you came back. I just needed to take a break because I was so exhausted. I was trying to spend a one hundred dollar gift certificate which was a birthday gift."

"I'm sorry I missed your birthday, but we'll make up for it. I'm the luckiest man in the world. I think you and I will make beautiful music together, and it's been a few weeks now. I don't want to pressure you about anything. Let's just take our relationship very slowly."

It sounded like a plan to me, but I was still curious to know what he thought about my body. He never mentioned my weight, and I shouldn't bring it up at all. I was always asking for trouble, but I had to make sure before I moved this relationship onto the next level. "Marcus, what do you think about my body? You know I'm not a size 6, and I was just wondering."

He drained his glass of wine, and then he poured himself another glass. Why was he stalling? I could kick myself in the teeth for bringing up a taboo subject. "I'd hope that you'd be honest with me," I snapped. "I'm a big girl, and I'm proud of it, Marcus. My stomach is flat, but we all can't be skinny as a pencil. Most men are constantly on the brink about my weight."

"I think your body is gorgeous and beautiful, Lynn. If I had a problem with it, then I would be discussing it with you. You turned me on and that's the bottom line. I'm in love with all of you."

I gazed at him for a long time to make sure he wasn't lying to me. Marcus' skin was so white I couldn't read him if I wanted too. He had it going on and then some and I just couldn't understand his interest in me. I'm a good catch, but Marcus' women were fashion models in my eyes. I smiled. "Thanks for the kind words."

"I'm going to take a shower and then come back out. I'm stuffy as sin."

I smiled. "Can I join you?"

He smiled. "Are you sure?"

"I am," I smiled.

Taking a shower with Marcus was the beginning of our sexual relationship. We made love until the wee hours of the morning, and Marcus was very gentle with me. He took my body into so many screaming orgasms I thought I had left my body for a minute or something. I really couldn't believe this white man was making love to my fat body, but he was, and I loved every minute of it. I wasn't dreaming because this was real life.

Our lovemaking was the beginning of our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. I was on cloud nine because prayers do come true all in good time. I wasn't out looking for Marcus, but he was right there at the table just waiting for me, when he came back to his table. I was so joyous.

My family and some of my friends finally met Marcus. Of course everyone was shocked speechless, but they saw how much we cared for each other, and left the negative thoughts alone. A few managed to vent their negative thoughts, but I didn't care because I was in love, and I knew Marcus felt the same way about me. In the midst of our first time making love, he was the first to utter those wonderful words, "I love you, Lynn."

I could have died right then and there and would have been happy. Is this for real?

I met his family and they were shocked at first, but only wanted his happiness, so they went along with the program. Our colors were an issue with our families because it was there in the presence, but Marcus and I didn't give a damn about color. We just wanted to be happy.

Two years later our relationship was stronger. I was the happiest woman in the world when Marcus got down on his knees and proposed marriage to me. We were sitting on his balcony and he just popped the question. The ring he put onto my finger was beyond words. I was now an engaged woman. I thought something terrible was going to happen to spoil this for us.

I couldn't possibly be in love with the most wonderful man in the universe. I'm 43 and he's 45 and men his age went with women who were 22-30 years of age. What was wrong with this picture? I had to continue to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

I can't even remember us arguing about anything. Marcus agreed on most things, and so did I. We both wanted to do everything in our relationship to keep the other person happy. I thought this was one of the key ingredients to sustaining a relationship. I'm not going against my principals, and neither was Marcus. I mean we're not doing anything to please the other person, and it's not against our own morals. We both love each other, and I think this is the key to a happy relationship.

Marcus and I didn't want a long engagement so I started thinking about where and when I wanted to get married. Las Vegas came to mind because it had always been a dream of mine. I wasn't getting married again, and I wanted to make it romantic, and do it up right.

I approached Marcus with the idea, and he was all for it. Next May right after my birthday on the 14th we were going to be man and wife. I made all the arrangements, and our families surprised us by agreeing to be there. I couldn't wait.

Time flew when you were having fun, and it was two days before the wedding. Marcus and I were in Las Vegas, and our families, and friends would be here the next day. I didn't want to see Marcus, so I stayed on another floor at the hotel.

I was leaving my room to get something to drink from the vending machine in the hotel lobby when I spotted Marcus. He didn't see me, so I hid behind a wall and watched him. He was embracing a gorgeous white woman, and he looked to be glad to see her. They were laughing, and holding hands, and then they left the hotel together. I hurried to the door, without being seen and watched them get into Marcus' car. I couldn't believe my eyes.

I wanted to follow him, but I didn't have the time as his car mingled into traffic. I was blinded by tears of pain and sorrow as they fell down my face. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. My fiancé was going out with a gorgeous woman and he'd be marrying me in two days. I hysterically wept. I was going to pack and get the hell out of Las Vegas. There was no way Marcus was going to leave me at the altar. I was so much in pain; I wanted to collapse from it. My soul was burning with rage and sadness.

This couldn't be happening to me, and I wasn't living in the real world. This was like a fairy tale from the beginning of meeting Marcus until now. No one would believe this story if I told them, and a few thought I was making up the entire scenario. What was I going to tell my family?

Thirty minutes later I was packed and waiting in the lobby for a cab to take me to the airport. I had managed to book a flight back to Chicago because someone cancelled at the last minute. I was still weeping with pain because I couldn't believe Marcus would do this to me. If he didn't want to be with me, then why did he play this game? I didn't ask him to propose marriage to me.

I wore my prescription sunglasses because I didn't want to explain to anyone why I was weeping. My eyes were red now, and the tears just kept falling. The manager escorted me to my cab, and the cab driver put my bags in the trunk of his car. I stared around the hotel waiting for Marcus to come and rescue me. He didn't have time for his fiancé.

I got into the back of the cab, and I continued to weep. How could I find the man of my dreams, my soul mate, prince charming, and life partner, to end up with no one? I had to cancel everything when I got back to Chicago. This was a nightmare.

At the airport, I had forty-five minutes to wait for my flight. I took out a book and tried reading, but the noise in the airport kept bugging me, and I couldn't concentrate. I closed my eyes to fight the tears, but they kept coming. I kept seeing the way Marcus made love to me. Was he an actor just performing a script? God, why did he do this to me?

The tears bombarded me into crying madness, and I couldn't stop them. I just started crying out loud. Everyone was staring at me, and I found a quiet area, and continued to weep. How could he look at himself in the mirror every day knowing he broke my heart? I stood up after twenty minutes of weeping, feeling dizzy for a moment. I leaned onto a pole, and then touched my stomach. I had high blood pressure, and I knew my pressure was boiling. I didn't want to faint in front of strangers. I tried to focus, but I couldn't see anything. What was happening to me?

"Are you okay, miss?" a man asked.

I nodded, and then I fell.

I opened my eyes thinking I was in heaven. I was waiting for the lights to overwhelm me, but as I focused, I saw that I was in a hospital room. How in the world did I get here? I was about to get up when the door opened and someone walked in. I was stunned to see Marcus. I frowned at him. "What do you want?" I cried. "Why am I here?"

"Honey, your blood pressure was so high, it almost killed you," Marcus cried. "When I walked into the airport searching for you, I was frantic? I saw a crowd gathering, and then I saw you on the floor. I thought you were dead when I ran over to you. I had never been so frightened in my life."

"Where is your blond girlfriend?"

"What are you talking about, Lynn?"

"I saw you in the hotel with your blond girlfriend. You were all over her."

He laughed, and I wanted to slap his face. "I don't see any humor in this situation, Marcus?"

"Baby, I told you about my sister, and she had just gotten to Las Vegas. I was welcoming her to Las Vegas. Why didn't you come over to us, and I could have introduced the two of you? She's so excited to meet the woman who has managed to capture my heart and soul. I want you to communicate with me about anything and everything, Lynn. Don't assume the worse. I love you."

I felt the tears forming, but my head was killing me. "I thought?"

"Just be quiet," Marcus interrupted. "Don't ever let your blood pressure get so high. You almost died, and the doctors won't release you until your pressure is back to normal. We might not be able to get married in two days."

I couldn't believe he wasn't cheating on me. "Are you telling me the truth?"

"I'm never going to lie to you, and I don't want you lying to me."

I let the tears fall.

"Please just relax, honey before your blood pressure rises again. I want to marry you in two days."

"I love you so much," I cried.

"You better get your insecurities together. I love you too."

Our lips met in a passionate kiss, and then I slept because I was exhausted. I really needed the peace.

Two days later on a gorgeous day in May, Marcus and I became man and wife in the eyes of God, our families and friends. It was the most electrifying day of my life, and his. I was a married woman, and to a white man. I couldn't get over that fact. His sister was nice, and she welcomed me to the family. I knew I was going to like her.

Our families surprised us with an elegant reception on the strip of Las Vegas, and I cried from happiness. I was Mrs. Marcus Jones.

"I love you Mrs. Jones," Marcus said. "You're the most beautiful bride in the world and then some. I'm going to do everything in my power to make you happy as your husband."

I stared into the gorgeous green eyes of my husband. "I love you, Mr. Jones. I'm going to do everything from the tip of my soul to be a good wife to you."

Our lips met forever and ever.

So as you can see fairy tales do come true when you have the faith that you're going to meet your soul mate. True love wins all the time.

Currently Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Jones are still happily married.

My name is Carol Ann Culbert Johnson. I live in Chicago, and I invite you to check out my debut novel, I CONFESS. You can get the scoop at http://www.freewebs.com/jcarolann

In The News:

How to Have a Relationship and a Career  Harvard Business Review
The Key to Relationships  Psychology Today
Is Lack of Gratitude Dragging Down Your Relationship?  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

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