I was amazed when I returned home on Sunday to find S calling me no more than 30 seconds after I had walked in the door. He had to come over ASAP to talk to me and had been calling every 15 minutes until I answered, and I just knew what it was about.
This past weekend our friend from high school and Wendy's R was coming home for the first time in 9 years and wanted to see us. I of course was already going to Cinci so he was going to hang out and stay with S. I kept joking with S that R was coming home to be reunited with him and beg him to come back to Akron with him and start over. S just laughed and laughed.
See R and S were each other's first for many things. They were friends in our group of friends from work and developed, somewhat secretly a love affair. It was not just about sex, it developed through so much more and while finding out was quite the secret filled drama year, we were all really hoping it would last. S and R are very different, R wears his heart on his sleeve while S does not like to show emotion, you really have to know him to understand him. They were good for each other, but R betrayed S in a very bad way. S, being himself ended it and it got ugly. R told everyone about the relationship and S was not ready to discuss it with anyone and was pretty much outed to several mutual friends who ended up turning on R because of his betrayal. Soon after R moved away, fell in love and disappeared to Akron.
I always stayed in touch with R, he was a good kid and was going through some really tough stuff and needed a friend. When he came out to his parents, when his parents divorced over it, when he met his partner, when his mother committed suicide, his move to Akron, all these things made him feel more and more alienated, but I tried to be a constant. I drove back from college to attend the funeral, we emailed a bit back and forth for support. I knew we weren't close, but it seemed to be enough to know I was there as a back up.
But anyway, R's trip back was not just about visiting long lost friends. S came over to tell me that R put the moves on him and told me the details of their conversations. R is "divorcing" his partner and asked S if he would move to Akron and be with him because it's never felt like it was with S. I just knew it. S actually opened up to me about the whole experience and even said that if R had not done what he had done he might have been willing to give it a shot and see how it would go. That he would be willing to open himself up for a relationship, but couldn't get past the pain R had caused him.
We spoke for an hour or so, me asking him if it really wasn't worth the effort to try to get past it, to try and be happy. But S holds on to emotions for a very long time and I could finally see he was not going to get past this enough to even try. But what amazed me the most about the situation was that he could have been willing to try, that S could see himself in relationship, and that the things I saw between the two of them, were actually true and real. It always seems to shock me when what I think S is going through is actually what he's going through inside and it boggles me how he deals with it in his own mind. Not allowing people in enough to listen, the only way to console him is to just be with him.
I realized through our conversations just how silly holding onto to all this baggage is. I do believe if he could get past that hurt from a young and naive 18 year old that they would have a shot at a good life together, and that's when I realized just how often I do that to myself. How often I myself have held on to something from the past, from when I was a different person and let that affect decisions I make as the person I am now, and just how silly it seems. I know S's situation is a little different and not knowing fully who R is now it's hard to say if it would last or not so I'm not one to push one way or another, but the idea that he was willing to even think about it says a lot for the side of S I don't see very often.
I do believe in my heart he'll find someone once he lets go of the past, and I know in my heart I too will find someone when I learn to let people love me. It's the distance between that point A and point B that is so frustrating lonely at times, that will hopefully make it all worth it. I'm learning to take comfort in that distance, using that time to work on loving myself and allowing God to love me, because I know until that happens I can never really put my whole self into a relationship with anyone else.