I fell hard when I met Keith. The more I got to know him, the more I realized he was everything I had ever wanted in a man. He was up front about his past: he was a heroin addict at the age of 13, living on the streets and running drugs for the motorcycle gangs in his hometown. His whole life had been about drugs and motorcycles. Some of the stories he told about the extra-curricular activities he participated in would make my stomach churn.
At eighteen, he was arrested and the judge gave him an option – prison or the army. Keith opted for the army, even though he knew it meant he would be sent to Vietnam. He had learned to shoot almost as soon as he could walk and being able to kill legally was right up his alley. He quickly made sniper and his life continued to be about the “gang” – only this time it was his army unit. He was very good at what he did and during down time, well, there were plenty of new and powerful drugs to experiment with. Keith came home even more addicted than he had been when he left and continued his relationship with the hypodermic needle and whatever drug he could find. He was 6’1” tall and weighed about 120 pounds.
Keith was a very gifted and talented welder and never had to worry about finding work. He married, and when he found out he was going to be a father, he decided he needed to straighten out his life. He got clean, and doted on his only child. He tried to keep his failing marriage together for the child’s sake, but it wasn’t possible.
When I met Keith, he had been free of drugs for 15 years. He was funny, and very courteous and respectful towards me, but with that element of danger that excited me. After dating for a little while, he moved in with me and life was magical. We were both living our dream – it was a perfect relationship. Eight months after meeting, this rough, tough, crazy man got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, presenting me with one of the most beautiful solitaire diamonds I have ever seen. Life was good.
One day, we were out riding motorcycles and stopped in at a little bar/café we liked to frequent when we rode. The bartender talked to us for a long time and when the bar was empty except for us, he brought out a small piece of foil, apologizing for the small amount. He wanted to share something with us, although I wasn’t sure what it was. Well, I had my first introduction to methamphetamine and wasn’t too worried when Keith agreed to share…after all, he had been a heroin addict, not meth. I wish I knew then that we had just made the first step in ruining our perfect life.
Keith came to me a couple weeks later and asked if I would mind if he bought a little meth on Fridays; he could sell it to the guys at work before he came home and make some extra money and still have some left for us to party on for the weekend. What did I know? I trusted him absolutely – I left that decision up to him. My life, as I knew it, was over.
My beloved fiancé would soon disappear completely, to be replaced by a man that terrorized me, beat me brutally and repeatedly, held a gun to my head, a knife to my throat, and robbed me so many times, I couldn’t even remember what was missing. He drank the liquor from the liquor cabinet and replaced it with water so that I wouldn’t notice. He took all my music CDs from their cases, leaving the cases so that I would notice nothing amiss. He left in my car and didn’t come home all weekend, leaving me with no transportation and no idea where he was. Later he would take my new car to the store, call & tell me it was on fire, and walk away, leaving scales, drugs, and baggies in the trunk…of MY car.
I began getting calls and visits from strange men looking for Keith…Read the conclusion of this story in part two.
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