Once upon a time, there was this boy. He was small, but lean and active. He had brown eyes and when his hair was not shaved, that too was brown. His features were broad and not really striking or homely. He wore combat boots and long johns under shorts. He was not like most boys as his thoughts were dark and greasy. He wandered his world in search of comfort and sometimes he got lost. He had dreams and desires that were — well not all together sane. While these dark dreams and or desires may have been efforts to create shock value when the opportunity lent itself, they were still abnormal.

One day, this boy met a girl. She was small like the boy, but oh so cute and intense. The girl had a ribbon that she used to pull her hair back. Her hair was heavily highlighted and short. She had a sweet heart shaped face and her eyes were large and green. She talked to the boy and made him feel comfortable. There was something there. Although she heard the boy’s dreams and desires, she remained steadfast. She was not like other girls as her thoughts were art, love and the world. She made a connection with the boy and they became close and chose early on to spend their days and nights together.

They became lovers. Through the early years there was turmoil that often strikes young lovers. Outside forces encroached to test their loyalties, their commitments and their strengths. Some of these outside forces weakened them, while others made them stronger. Through them all, they each carried away memories. Some good, others bad, but ultimately these memories and experiences molded and shaped them into young adults.

The young man soon found himself about to be a father. The young lady soon found herself about to be a mother. They publicly joined forces to proclaim their love and commitment to each other and soon learned to love yet another. This new love changed the way they saw the world around them. This child became a focal point of unequaled parallel. They became loving, nurturing parents. Their individual dreams and desires became secondary as their child became primary. While the young lady began growing into a woman, the young man continued to grasp at boyish things. Although his abilities at being a father were adept, his understanding of what was important seemed out of focus.

The young man and woman brought additional children into the world together. Although the children they had were without a doubt more precious than planning could account for, each new time was a reminder of how the young man had not grown up enough to protect the love and life they had together.

Years went by with moments that bordered miraculous, while most were absorbed by depression and feelings of inadequacy. Though many years had past, and the boy seemed to become a man, he also seemed to be asleep. Married for 16 years, together for 19, the boy failed to realize the importance of involvement. While he continued to improve his income, his finances deteriorated. While he continued to increase their standard of living, he failed to improve their lifestyle. While he attempted to maintain a healthy relationship with his wife, he failed to fulfill her needs.

The boy as a man was a failure.

* * *

Then one day, he woke up.

There was a culmination of events that collided to shake the boy off the man. The boy is gone, but the man is scarred. While he is now awake, he also now sees what the boy has done to his life, his wife and his family while the man slept. The most important realization was that he had neglected his wife for so long, that she became numb to him. She can not look into his face and see anything other than the neglectful boy.

No matter the mindset of the man, he continues to self-loath. He has failed his wife financially, emotionally and spiritually. Although the woman tells the man it is not too late; tells the man she still loves him; tells the man that she sees he is awake, the man can not shake the fact that he is a failure.

What can be said to the man that the woman has not already said to make him know that there is still time to make everything alright? How can the man move past the self loathing to begin trusting? That seems to be the biggest question. Can the man trust the woman? After all that the woman has said to get the man to awaken, can he trust that she is sincere in her desire for the man to remain hers or for her to remain his?

I am no longer that boy. I am this man. I am awake… But is there still time?