She left. No more sneaking off to bathrooms at parties, no more crawling into bed at 6 a.m. to hide it from our housemates, no more secret kisses on campus. I was devastated, excited for her adventure, but left numb without the surreptitious relationship that had formed over the past semester. As she travelled around the world with her long-term boyfriend, I was left to forget it all, alone.
Months past, letters were sent, presents traversed oceans to get to her, and then eventually the Facebook messaging slowed, boyfriends and girlfriends came and went, and I was content, maybe even happy, once again.
But then she was back. Still with her boyfriend, still my housemate, still my best friend. Initially it was fine. We were busy, her boyfriend was living with us for the summer, and the old affair seemed forgotten. Until one night, in another dirty bathroom, during another party, while her boyfriend waited for us outside.
I’m not a sketchy person, and I like to think of myself as a good friend, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to care about anyone or anything other than the two of us, being together. I had been friends with her boyfriend since before she met him, their relationship seemed perfect and everyone thought so, we were all part of the same friend group, and this whole sneaky relationship-thing was just a terrible, terrible idea.
Regardless, the hooking-up continued, and it became more serious as she began questioning her real relationship; she needed consoling and I was there for her, but maybe not in the right way. Our housemates and other friends began getting suspicious, making subtle comments about how close we’d become and how inseparable we were, without actually knowing anything was happening.
Sure we were worried about them finding out, but not worried enough to stop; preferring to live in this fantasy world we had created for ourselves, ignoring the life going on around us.
She was the first person I was truly honest about my feelings to, granted she forced it out of me, but I felt comfortable and safe, and it almost seemed perfect. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to walk to class holding her hand and kiss her goodnight without worrying who was around. I didn’t want to see her boyfriend touching her leg or sleep in the room next-door listening to them have sex.
I couldn’t tell her though, that wouldn’t have been fair. I had already fueled this devious affair long enough, it would have been selfish to ask for anything more. But things got worse; as I longed more and more for her to break up with her boyfriend and come out to our friends, she was going crazy over this disconcerting lifestyle that we had created and needed to make some changes.
She was sweet about it, she let me know that she cared and that this meant something to her, but it could no longer keep happening. If she was going to break up with her boyfriend it had to be a sound decision, her choice couldn’t be influenced by her relationship with me. She made a comment about how what we started could not go in any positive direction and that if it was something we both really wanted we would have to start over and go about it differently, but that’s never going to happen. There’s no way we could come out to everyone without unsettling the group and undoubtedly destroying our relationship with our other best friend. So it’s over, perhaps for good this time.
But what now? I come home from class and mumble “hi” before running up to my room, not wanting to be around her for too long for fear of seeming upset and thus provoking her distress. Wanting to comfort her as she deals with the stresses of her relationship but wincing away from her intimate embraces, because it hurts too much knowing I can’t touch and kiss her like I used to. Craving her solace as I deal with accepting this end, while hating her for putting me through it.
She started it. She sent that first text. I never would have made such an iniquitous move. Yet I don’t really blame her, and I don’t really hate her; all I want is for her to love me enough to uproot her life and be with me. I want to return to our fantasy world, and as terrifying as it would be, I want it to be real.
This “Confessions Of Betrayal” post is brought to you by ABC’s Betrayal. Don’t miss the series premiere of Betrayal on tonight at 10|9c on ABC.