From the outside looking in, someone would think we had an ideal situation. Four,single twenty-somethings going out, having a good time and not a care in the world. This was all a facade.
We were all going through our own personal struggles, including Pat. Pat had a young daughter named Mariah. On more than one occasion, usually after a night of drinking, he would talk about his daughter. From what he told us, he and the ex-wife had a falling out and he was no longer allowed to see his baby girl. Jen, Alphonso and I always knew when he was thinking about her because he would insist on playing the song by Creed “Arms Wide Open”. We knew it was going to be one of those nights when the juke box began playing this song. Pat would become emotional and go on and on about how he missed Mariah. I didn’t have kids at that time so there was no way I could comprehend the pain he was going through, but I know Jen did. I think this is one thing that Pat and Jen bonded over. They both desperately wanted to be with their kids and the current circumstances wouldn’t allow it.
Slowly, the four of us were falling apart. The drinking, the partying were catching up to all of us. We were all fighting our demons and the demons were winning. The times we were together were fun but it was those quiet times that were deafening. Those fleeting moments alone where you are reminded that you aren’t good enough and nobody will ever want you. Those thoughts that had been with me since I could remember. The insecurities that haunt you when grow up not knowing who your father is and then they follow you into adulthood. I was always trying to fill that void with someone or something. Those insecurities would be the catalyst to the events that were about to change everything between the four of us.
So when Pat invited me out one evening while Alphonso and Jen were at work, I said yes.