Monday, February 18, 2008

stories and questions

Let me tell you a story of a (not at all) simpler time.
The year was 2001 and I was a senior in high school. My heart was broken that spring, and by fall, I was ready to move on to bigger, brighter things. A young man had entered my circle of friends, and we instantly bonded. Before I knew it, we were together all the time. We rode to school together every day. We spent all our free time together. I would go to his hockey games. He would come to my rehearsals and shows. We talked to each other every night, even though we would spend hours together during the day. We bonded over common likes and interests. He listened to stories of my heartache. I was there for him when his dog was run over. We laughed all the time. He would take me on dates, and I would dress up for him. We would spend evenings just laying in his bed, holding each other and sharing our lives with each other.
Our friends said we were dating, but we never called it that. I wouldn't even admit I liked him, even though it was true from day one. Admitting it could risk ending it, and I didn't want that. It was the best thing to happen to me in a long time, and I liked it just the way it was.

But one day as we were sharing our lives with each other, he told me about some friends trying to hook him up with this other girl, and how he was interested. He thought he might like her.

?? What ?? How is that possible? Aren't we "together"? I never cared about a title, cause I never felt threatened. But now suddenly, it felt like I had to take a stand for this relationship or it might be gone forever. I was faced head on with my feelings for him. But I was mostly shocked that clearly he didn't feel the same way. Was he just saying that to making me jealous? There's only one way to find out. I finally had to admit my feelings and get it out there.

So out it came. Everything. I painted the picture of our friendship and how we were practically dating, and how it broke my heart to hear his attraction for this other girl. How we were perfect together and how I didn't want to lose him. How I pretty much was in love with him, and wanted him desperately to feel the same way.

But he didn't. He didn't see it that way at all. He saw it as just a friendship. He said I was "like a sister" to him. Gross. I had never felt so rejected. So hurt. So confused. So lonely.

And our friendship ended. right then and there. I was hurt and looking at him hurt me more. He started dating her. And since she was also in our circle (although not a particular friend of mine), he brought her to the same places he used to go with me. I couldn't speak to him. I couldn't be near them. I would see him and literally turn and go the other direction. My heart ached.

But with time, the pain lessened. And then I went off to college and met Andrew that first day. Now, in face of my real true love, I couldn't stand to have bitterness for my past. I knew I couldn't move on to my future until I had closure on my past. I needed to seek forgiveness and get my heart ready for what was in store.
So I emailed him and told him how horrible I felt for dropping him out of my life for 8 months. How I missed his friendship and was a royal witch to him. I sought forgiveness and closure. healing.
and I got it. He not only forgave me, but admitted where he was at fault, and how it broke his heart to lose me and how he is sorry things turned out the way they did. He missed my friendship too. and so we became friends again.
we didn't cuddle or go on dates, but we shared our lives with each other. we kept in touch through all the years, and remained close. I got to tell him all about Andrew and our future. He would keep me posted on his girlfriend (the same one), and we had a happy ending.

Last year, he called me to tell me he was going to propose to said girlfriend, and I was genuinely happy for him that he was finally was going to get to marry his high school sweetheart. And I was honored that he called me beforehand. So I told him that I would be at his wedding, no matter what. But the invitation came the same week that our car broke down and I was in tears that my life plans were falling through because of finances and a plane ticket home for a wedding seemed out of the question. But I don't break promises, and so I forked out the money and bought the ticket. Then, I got two ear infections the week of the wedding and flying seemed out of the question. But, the doctor gave me permission to fly. So I boarded the plane and went to St. Louis, for less than 24 hours....

to see the man who broke my heart marry the girl he broke it for

but in the months ahead of time, with the financial woes and logical constraints of such a trip made me question the whole thing, and I ended up retelling this story to myself and others over and over. Cause, well, it makes a great story. You just read it - it's pretty fascinating. And I love telling stories. I love adding details for dramatic effect. But in telling it over and over again, it made me wonder if I am over it. I mean, I definitely moved on, and clearly we both made better choices. But is it ok that when I tell the story I still feel the initial pangs of heartache?
Is moving on forgetting that I was once hurt? is being "over it" equivalent to "never hurt"? Cause it's hard to deny that my heart was broken. And when I tell the story, I like to tell that part because it's moving. My heart isn't still broken, but I identify with my old self and it's like I feel it again. I remember how I felt, and I would never repeat it again, even for the sake of our current friendship. He was supposed to be what got me over my heartache, not caused more.

and is it okay that I purposefully looked the best I could when I went to their wedding? Is it okay that I still wondered what he saw in her that he didn't see in me? am i supposed to stop asking those questions at some point? is it okay that i still wonder about the "what if"? I mean, I wouldn't want it to interfere with my marriage in any way, but if I could alter the past without effecting the ultimate outcome, is it okay to want that? or is that an impossible question to even ask?

1 comment:

Kate said...

Whoo girl. Lots of great questions. I've had a broken heart twice, and broke one once. I don't think I have complete closure on any of them yet. I still want to look great if they may see me. I want to make sure they know how happy I am with Ryan -- not in a vindicative way, just in a way that lets them know that I am OK without them. I still desperately want to hear them say "I'm sorry" and explain what they did.

I hope it's OK. Once again, we find ourselves in the same boat :-)