It's been years since I felt red velvet love and today, I found myself searching on the internet for just that.
Before you get all "pervert!" on me, I'm talking about red velvet cake. I'm not sure why I thought of it or why I now find myself salivating over pages and pages of internet photos of the devil food.
The last time I had this red velvet love, I thought I was in love. For reals. And not just with the cake. He was the polar opposite of my ex - tall, muscular and driven. At 6 ft. 4 in. tall, he dwarfed the 5 ft. 4 in. I had so valiantly fought to achieve (I reached my peak height in grade seven, never to see another growth spurt. Ever). At 275 lbs., he had enough room in his frame to fit three of me. He was also already in a long-term relationship that I thought was over.
He was a bodybuilder, and probably still is continuing that dream. At 45 years old, he had been taking steroids for a very, very long time, since he was 18 and considered himself to be too tall and too lean. He needed muscles and he needed them fast. So, he reached for the guaranteed results, popping pills and stabbing himself with needles to get the much-desired testosterone to attain his ideal. When I met him, he had decided to call it quits - the bodybuilding shows and the performance-enhancing drugs. We talked about it verbatim and he knew where I stood. They were not needed, he was great just the way he was.
That is, until the notice for the next show went out to the masses. Just one more time, he thought. It will be my glory on stage, showing these juniors what age and wisdom will do. Right. Wisdom. He did his first cycle when I was away on a business trip. He told me about it after the fact, but by then it was too late. He was hooked again. I know it's not as "addicting" as coke, crack or even cigarettes, but it was addicting to him and the image he thought he was supposed to portray.
I'm still angry, and hurt, and still reeling from the rejection, even years later. What he doesn't realize is he just didn't reject me just because of my weight gain, he rejected everything I had worked so hard to attain: my independence, my spirit, my quest for enlightenment. He got to know me, met my family and made plans for the future and rejected me anyway.
It's many years and much growth later. I have moved on, honestly, but a little part of me will replay that final day in my head and how he didn't have enough balls or respect to own up to his role and hold himself accountable.
This weekend I will make that red velvet cake I've been dreaming about over the last week. I will light a candle and invite friends, family and friends I have yet to meet to make a wish and blow out the candle. It's a sort of a celebration, of me, of all the people out there who strive to do the right thing for themself and others. I may even serve it with a side of nuts. Crushed.