It's difficult finding the words for my story. The voices of others stick in my head, so I thought I would use their words to help me tell my story. Perhaps they tell your story as well. My thoughts are in italics to distinguish from what others have composed. Walkaway Joe Written by Vince Melamed and Greg Barnhill Recorded by Trisha Yearwood "Mama told her baby girl take it real slow Girl told her mama Hey I really got to go He's waiting in the car Mama said Girl you won't get far" My mother actually said, "Don't fall for the first guy that shows interest in you." It was quite condescending. So I didn't inform anyone that I was leaving with him. That I was leaving the university I had just arrived at two weeks ago. Leaving a full scholarship, acceptance into the honors college, leaving the future that I had prepared and waited so long for. He didn't have a car. Or a job. No money. So I paid for the one way plane tickets. With my college money. I was ready to leave everything I had ever dreamed about for "love." "Thus are the dreams of an average Jane Ninety miles an hour down a lovers lane On a tank of dreams Oh if she could've only seen That fate's got cards that it don't want to show That boy's just a walkaway Joe Born to be a leaver tell you from the word go Destined to deceive her He's the wrong kind of paradise She's gonna know it in a matter of time That boy's just a walkaway Joe" If only he had been just a walkaway Joe. "Now just a little while into Abilene He pulls into a station and he robs it clean She's waiting in the car, underneath the Texaco star" He never robbed a Texaco as far as I know. I suspected he shoplifted often. But his major income came from cons. Conning the elderly into "funding" his schemes. And I sat in the borrowed truck while he turned on the charm to persuade the vulnerable. I was just one of them. Completely naïve. He took so much more than money from me, though. "She only wanted love didn't bargain for this She can't help but love him for the way he is She's only seventeen and there ain't no reasoning So she'll ride this ride as far as it can go" I was seventeen when we got involved. He launched a campaign to get me to "love" him. It wasn't that difficult. I was starved for affection and thought the kind of love he offered would never come my way again. "That boy's just a walkaway Joe Born to be a leaver tell you from the word go Destined to deceive her He's the wrong kind of paradise She's gonna know it in a matter of time That boy's just a walkaway Joe" The relationship lasted for two years. But it took another eight years after that for me to truly realize the damage it had caused to my entire self and to begin healing from it. "Somewhere in a roadside motel room Alone in the silence she wakes up to soon And reaches for his arm But she'll just keep reaching on For the cold hard truth revealed what it had known" I'm not ready to mention what he really did in that motel room. I wish he would have just left and never looked back. "That boy's just a walkaway Joe Born to be a leaver tell you from the word go Destined to deceive her He's the wrong kind of paradise But it was just another lesson in life That boy's just a walkaway Joe" He eventually left town when there was nowhere left for us to go. Though, he still held claim to me as we were "engaged" and I was nothing if not loyal. Until I found the courage to say "no more" over the wire and thanked the universe that I ran out of minutes on my phone card before he could convince me otherwise. A "lesson in life" that I could really have done without.