“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Martin Luther King
You may not know where forward is going to lead you but you do know when you have to do something to help you move in that direction.
He came upon a winter’s night in late February, 2010. Actually, it was a winter’s day but the sentiment is the same. It was out of the blue. Unexpected. Fate. Meant to be. Sometimes, you don’t know what you need until you see it. And when I saw him standing there, as silly as it may sound, I knew I needed to have him. Love at first sight, if you will. Tall, dark and handsome yes, but more than that, he was CREEPY looking; an answer, albeit a slightly disturbing one, to a prayer I didn’t even realize I had. I also knew there were several other younger, prettier girls who were just as determined as I was (if not more-so) to have him. But honestly, somehow I just knew he would be coming home with me that day and he did.
My husband was appalled that I brought him into our home. But after what we had all just been through, I wasn’t concerned about his reaction. Frankly, I didn’t care. Edward was staying. My 12-year old son was embarrassed, “Oh, come on, Mom! Are you kidding me?!” he said, even though I knew he too, was oddly comforted by Edward’s presence in the same twisted way that I was. My 9-year old daughter was amused. A little creeped out but mostly amused. I know he’s raised more than an eyebrow or two in the neighborhood. That was after all, my intention. Although, not one person has actually had the nerve to ask me about him. Not that I would feel compelled or obligated to explain him if they did.
For nearly a year now, he has stood in the long, thin window at a side entrance to our house overseeing our driveway. Without moving, he looks in the direction of our neighbor’s house to our immediate left. The ones who we have lived next door to for 18-years. The neighbors who we share grass with and whose family room I can see right into from our kitchen window. The same ones whose 21-year old son terrorized my family for four months last winter and who the court issued a 5-year order of protection against, for each member of my family including my two children, but that’s another story for another day– maybe.
This, is about Edward. My Edward. My 6ft tall, cardboard cut-out of Edward Cullen; the teenage vampire from the Twilight series. I won him in a raffle at a local high school during intermission at a performance of Bye Bye Birdie. He was the prize all the young girls wanted but it was me who had the winning number and I knew it would be.
Edward serves a purpose for me; an irrational one perhaps, but a purpose none the less. He “keeps an eye” on the house next door and the menacing boy who lives there. You can’t come in or out of my neighbor’s driveway (which is adjacent to ours) without seeing Edward in our window or more importantly, without him seeing you. He looks very real. Like the movie character, my cardboard cut-out has deep, dark, smoldering eyes; the kind that make you feel uneasy as though he is looking through you and not at you; like he’s judging you. The kind that say, ‘That’s right, I’m watching you, now — punk.’ He’s perfect. And he’s not going anywhere; not at least until I do.
He brings me comfort in a way that’s difficult to adequately verbalize. I don’t really expect people to understand. His presence helped me take those first few steps forward that I needed to take last February and since then, we’ve even managed to take Edward out and have a little fun with him from time to time.
You never know what life is going to bring you. Living life on life’s terms is not always easy and we all need to be comforted every once in a while, for whatever reason. Some people turn inward or to a friend or a pet. Others find solace in a bottle or in food. Me, I found a little bit of peace of mind in a cardboard cut-out with dark, smoldering, piercing eyes.