Sometimes people do bad things for good reasons. They steal from the rich to give to the poor. They lie when the truth can do more harm than good. And sometimes they break a heart to save it. I mentioned awhile ago that a man from my past recently declared that he wanted me back. It sent me for a bit of a mental tailspin and I may or may not have spent a couple days drinking it off (didn’t quite work the way I planned). But what I didn’t do was slam the proverbial door in his face and make it clear in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t have me. And some people, in my real life and from this blog, have asked me why. Why would I even consider returning to a guy who left me a heart-sore bleeding mess who didn’t really believe in love anymore? Well, have a seat kiddies because it’s a long story and as Facebook likes to say, it’s complicated.
The guy in question, who for the purposes of this blog will now be known as Wolf, was the first guy I’d ever dated who saw directly through my bullshit and the normally-functioning-human mask I put on for society. He looked me in the eyes and saw the fucked up, insecure little girl hiding behind the smack-talking, swaggering, sarcastic brashness. He saw it and he decided he loved me anyway. Not only did he love me, but he refused to let me hide. In a lifetime of people who took the smiling shell for granted, he pressed for the person underneath, who more often than not wasn’t smiling. In fact, I was barely coping.
Wolf and I have never had a convenient or traditional relationship. In fact, when we met he wasn’t even mine to have. He was dating my friend, and even though we seemed to click from day one, he was off limits and I had other things, other men, on my mind. Besides, I’ve always thought of myself as a chicks before dicks kind of girl so stealing a friend’s boyfriend wasn’t on the menu…yet. And then he told me he loved me. Yup, just like that. And maybe if he was any other guy, I would have figured out a way to let that be the end of things. Instead, we reduced a relationship and quite a few friendships to rubble…not to mention my self-perception as a person who did my best not to hurt others. Oops. Like I said, never convenient.
We were together three years. Actually, about two weeks shy of three years. Our cataclysmic swan song took the stage mere weeks before that anniversary…an anniversary still burning into my brain. Consequentially, I hate November. Those three years weren’t the easiest of my life, but they were the most full and colorful I’ve ever experienced. I am by nature a cynical, skeptical person, but because of Wolf, I believe in soulmates. I believe that you can meet someone and feel like you’ve found a part of yourself you never knew was missing. It’s more than having the same interests, finishing each other’s sentences, or even loving each other. It’s the knowledge that regardless of where you go in life or what happens after the moment of your meeting, you are connected to this person and to lose them would be like cutting out your own heart. With Wolf, I had a partner, a life, a family that adopted me as their own, and a future. And that was the hardest part about letting our relationship go: I watched a whole world disappear for me. It wasn’t just the beach wedding and little blue-eyed babies I saw running through my imagination. It was the woman who had become my second mother, the kid that was my own little brother, the baby boy who I would have taken a bullet for, the old man who was the grandfather I never had. I cried as much for them as I did for Wolf. Even now, we’ve been “just friends” for years but I still miss them.
Since the moment we met, Wolf became the one person who I had no secrets from. To this day, he’s still the one I call with big news, the first one I want to talk to when I need help. He knows the details of every one of my crazy escapades over the last two-plus years. Yes, all of them. He knows about Ducky, about the guy who picked up the pieces with kisses and vodka, about the first guy in my bed, about the coke guy, Mr. Roomie. Every last one of them. My friends think I’m crazy for talking to him about it, and I’m the first to admit that on paper it sounds batshit nuts. But I could go on for another thousand words in this post and still not be able to explain to you what this relationship is really like. It simply defies logic.
I always knew I had to have Wolf in my life. When we broke up, the hardest part was not being able to talk to the one person who understood me about the pain because he was the one who caused it and I wasn’t about to put that on him. We broke up because he wasn’t in a place mentally to be the man he’d been for so many years to me. He shattered my heart to keep from grinding it slowly into ash in a relationship that was broken. But now he wants to fix it. I’ve gotten used to the status quo; of our bizarre, boundary-crossing friendship. And just like his first declaration of love, this one was entirely unexpected and not entirely welcome. But like the first one, there is a certain inevitability about my reaction, a certain draw that though my brain screams at me to resist pulls me towards him again. I actually don’t know what I’m going to do. At the moment, it’s nothing but wait and see. But whatever I end up doing, I have a feeling it will make sense only to me and Wolf.