I’m going to ruin the ending.
She moved out on Valentine’s Day.
It wasn’t out of malice, and there weren’t any slammed doors. She just moved out on Valentine’s Day. She was actually looking out for me, she didn’t want me to have to be present to watch her pack up and drive off, as would have been the case had she stuck with her original plan of moving out on the 15th. My love, caring until the very end.
I came home that Friday, and gone was the bed, the couch, both TVs, some shelves, and half of our mismatched dining set. My dog–our dog–Laika greeted me with such enthusiasm that I was almost able to hold myself together. Almost. I can’t imagine what he thought was happening around him, he was already nervous anytime someone so much as brought out a suitcase, now he was watching half of his family packing up and leaving. A shelter dog with a somewhat uncertain past, I don’t know if this is something he’d seen before. Regardless, he was more than happy to learn that he hadn’t been abandoned.
Six years is a long time to invest in a relationship, but I suppose it’s better than trying to stretch it out for seven. Had we done that, maybe the friendly report she and I share would have devolved into loathing and resentment for one another. Maybe this really was for the best.
She’s my best friend, and I imagine that I’m hers. I feel as though this is the type of relationship we can make work, one of friendship. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s all the past six months or so had been. Excellent roommates, great friends, but not a couple. Not anymore, at least.
When I came out to her as transgender that day in 2012, I went into it knowing that doing so might destroy this relationship. On the other hand, not coming out might have resulted in my own death, or, at the very least, I might have driven her away as I was. I knew I was taking a chance, but I had reached a point in my life where I felt it was my only option.
I told myself, I told her that I would understand if she didn’t want to be with me after coming out. What didn’t occur to me was that it wasn’t a question of “want,” but rather a question of whether or not it was even possible for us to make it work. Of course she wanted it to work, but it couldn’t. I wanted to believe it could work, but we were on a sinking ship.
This isn’t to say that all relationships in which someone transitions genders is doomed to fail. To the contrary, I personally know of a number of committed couples who managed to make things work. We just weren’t one of them.
I give her so much credit. After all, there she was, a straight-identified woman, forced to endure a type of death of her boyfriend, replaced by a woman, bit by bit. I was never really “a man,” but to her I was. I promised her that I’d always be there for her, and if I really think about it, I wasn’t. I wasn’t able to continue being the “me” that she knew. I wasn’t able to be there. Instead, here’s this other person, me, Parker. I was there for her, and I did my very best to take care of her, but it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the man she thought I was. I wasn’t a man.
We both enjoyed each other’s company, but things faded, and we drifted. This happens, and it’s certainly not reserved for those transitioning genders. People grow apart, and relationships sometimes die a slow, painful death. It happened so gradually that I don’t think either of us realized what was happening.
I wish nothing but the best for her, the absolute best. She and I share parenting duties for our dog, so I imagine that we’ll be seeing a lot of each other as time goes on. Maybe she’ll find a man, the person I couldn’t be. Maybe they’ll get married, and he can be the husband I couldn’t be. Maybe they’ll have kids, the ones I couldn’t father. Maybe she’ll be happy. She deserves it. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, and kind. I don’t want to feel like I’m a hindrance on anyone’s life, and I don’t want to feel like I’m holding anyone emotionally hostage.
This is for the best. If not for me, at least for her.
I’ve spent the past week or so, holed up in the apartment we once shared, packing my own things for a move. There have been a lot of tears, and there have been a lot of panic attacks. This is life, and I’m going to suck it up. Life isn’t fair, and it’s not easy. Me coming out as trans wasn’t fair to her. Me being trans wasn’t fair to me. I still don’t understand why I’m like this, why I couldn’t have just been a cisgender boy or a cisgender girl. Really, just a cisgender anything. I didn’t choose to be this way, and it often eats away at me. If I could have kept living as a man, as someone I’m not, then I would have, but I hit a point where that life had no future.
I don’t see my current life as particularly bright, but at least I’m alive.