Leaving prison behind was a fresh of breath air— literally. I was glad to be back home and see my parents and my dog. I had to stay with them of course, and I had to go back to school, but it was nice. I settled into my new normal pretty quickly.
When Rudy was released a few months later, I had a nice little setup. A part-time job selling shoes at the mall was my first real foray into the job market, and it wasn’t so bad. I and school were still hanging pretty tight, and I was killing it in my grades.
Rudy didn’t really want to live with his parents, they were strict and didn’t much trust him anymore, so he begged me to move out with him. I probably should have given him more time to adjust, let him find himself first, but I agreed. I was 22 and ready to feel like an adult finally.
It wasn’t long after we moved in together that Rudy got in with a wrong crowd. I was doing fine staying away from weed and other drugs, which was a big part of my probation, but Rudy didn’t seem to care.
He smoked weed and drank and had guys over doing the same. When I tried to talk to him about it, he just brushed me off and acted like I was being whiny. I wasn’t. I was being smart. Eventually, that bad news would catch up with him and I didn’t want to be caught in the crossfire.
When he started stealing my stuff, I had to move back out. He left weed just lying around all the time, pills everywhere, and his friends were dirty. I didn’t have proof he was the one stealing, but enough was enough. I had tried to support him, but I needed to look out for myself first.
My parents took me back happily once I explained. I tried to keep in touch with Rudy, but he said I’d betrayed him and cut me off. Maybe it was for the best. It would have been so easy to smoke a joint with him, to say to hell with it all and find myself under that nice uncaring haze. But I was better than that, I knew I was.
Rudy thought that meant I was better than him, but I never thought that. I wish he could have gotten the help he needed, but it wasn’t my job.
It looks like we are getting to the end of my story. Until the next post!