So this guest blog is from someone I that found my blog & was also writing her own. I read & shared The One That Got Away prior to even starting to post on my blog about Noodle, but at the time Noodle was already over & I knew that her story was similar in a way, to mine with him – it resonated with me. I obviously didn’t say at the time of posting her first post about the one that got away because none of you knew about Noodle yet, but I feel like Noodle is the One That Got Away from me…
She-Wolf posted this update the other day & talked to me about her experiences in private with me, over messenger. She even originally helped me start the Noodle story as I wasn’t even going to post about it – I was going to skim over that part of my life & pretend it didn’t happen, so this blog post made me bawl like an idiot… Knowing, she walked away just as I did…
As you know, Noodle will always be the one that I think What If with… I only gave up on him because it hurt too much to keep trying, not because I stopped loving him.
Letting go of the One That Got Away.
I did write this story a while ago, and realised it was written too soon. It may be months now, but the wound is still raw. It still hurts. It’s still unfinished. For me, anyway.
The beginning of the end came in the form of an opportunity – a job. One that on paper was too good to pass up. As much as I wanted it, I didn’t want to have to give up life with TOTGA to do it.
In the end, he convinced me. He said I’d be mad not to and that I’d regret the chance if I didn’t take it. I knew he was right; he’s always right- so I grasped the opportunity with both hands.
At the time, TOTGA had begun dating someone. Someone just like me. She is slightly less broken and easier to love. She’s funny and beautiful and he was happy; and I was genuinely happy for him. I knew I was leaving the person I loved most in the world with someone good, who could care for him and continue his emotional growth.
I’m no good at goodbyes, especially when it comes to TOTGA; so I constructed an elaborate plan to fill the lounge with photos of us from our first year in the house hung from balloons, and dinner ready in the fridge- one last bit of home cooking for him to enjoy- and a letter, saying all I wanted to say. His sister talked me out of it, so on the night before I flew out, I broke down and told him my leave date was the next morning.
I gave him the letter. It read:
I didn’t want to leave without some kind of goodbye- but you know I’m bad at them.
Do you remember the first time? When you and (name) and a few of the other “church kids” did a mad dash to the airport and literally made it just in time to see me off? I remember promising you then that I’d come back for you one day- it only took me 15 years!
Every time between then and now when I’ve had to say goodbye to you, it’s felt like losing a part of myself that I can only just manage to function without. You’ve seen me in some serious pain; I’d choose that pain all day, every day if I had to choose between it and saying goodbye to you.
This time, I want it to be different. I don’t want the tears that I can’t stop from falling; I don’t want you to have to listen to me beg you to stay, or that moment when I’m holding onto you so tightly, willing you to tell me you want me to stay, and that everything will be ok…. This time, I want to be able to walk onto the plane with my shoulders back, head held high; clear of heart and mind and conscience and purpose- confident completely that what awaits me on the other side is the kind of happiness I thought awaited me here.
I Had hoped I’d find that kind of happiness I’ve sought for so long here- where I left it with you. I’ve realised that I’m still in grey Kansas- I haven’t made it to technicolor OZ yet. I came here thinking in all the colours of the rainbow, but my world has been shades of grey. I didn’t ever truly find my place- because in your life, you’ve never given me one. I forgive you for that.
In my technicolor mind, I believed with my whole heart that one day you would see what was in front of you and so clear to everyone but you. I thought that if I did the right things and worked hard to get on with your family and friends and that if I did everything possible to make your life as easy as I could, that one day you would look at it all and love me back the same way I came here loving you. Clearly, that didn’t happen.
What I have done – I’ve realised- is taught you about the kind of unconditional love you deserve to find, and how to return it. I’ve taught you about affection and intimacy and putting someone else above your own sense of pride- even when it seems pointless. I’ve shown you through my own actions that love is as fragile and sweet as is it brutal and unforgiving- but that the best kind comes without condition.
Quoting Walt Whitman “The best kind of love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” That’s the kind of love I hoped I’ve shown you, so that you – in turn- can begin to love fiercely and without fear.
While I know it’s going to take me a while to trust my own heart and love without fear again, I hope that I’ve imbued you with the courage to do it for us both. It hurts like a bitch that you don’t return my feelings, and it’s been a bitter pill to swallow, but the thing I want most for you is to just be happy…. however that looks (even when it looks like you playing video games in your underwear!).
I haven’t come out of this without learning some things either. I’ve learned more about who I am and what I want. I’ve learned that I’m capable of doing more than I ever thought was possible for someone like me. I’ve learned that I don’t exist to be some mans substitute mama and that men with questionable hygiene need to be avoided at all costs. I’ve learned that I have a voice, and that I can use it to scream and yell as much as I can use it to calm and soothe. I’ve learned to never concede ground to a man who can’t say he’d jump a puddle for me, much less move a mountain. I’ve learned that I can’t play RPG games for shit.
I’m reasonably confident that I’m leaving you as prepared as I can for life alone until you’re ready to take the leap into something permanent, lasting, loving and cohabitational. Please remember to eat, and know that wherever I am, I’ll still be loving you always and forever.
I left him to read while I cooked.
He came over to me- tears in his eyes- and crushed me against his chest. The dam wall broke and the tears began for both of us. Cathartic. Healing. Honest.
He let me know I had it all wrong; that he did love me and that he only put himself out there because he thought I wasn’t interested.
The next morning was harder. I begged and pleaded with him to ask me to stay. I told him I’d do anything he wanted if he’d just ask me to stay. All he had to do was say it and I would have called my boss and cancelled my flight and that would be it. But you hugged me tight and kissed me on the forehead one last time, and left for work- knowing you’d come back to an empty home.
Retrospectively, I wish he hadn’t said that. It gave me false hope. It prolonged my own hurt, while he compartmentalised his feelings for me and focused on the girl in my shoes. The one who is better than me. Less damaged. Easier to love.
I’d love to tell you that time heals all wounds. This one still feels like a gaping, whooshing hole. Some kind of abyss inside me that’s dark and deep and endless. I wish I could say that our friendship isn’t different – but it is.
You always had a better poker face than me, and you’ll never tell me how you really feel because that’s not your way. I have to mind my words and walk on eggshells and be mindful that you’re not just mine anymore. We will never be free to be our most honest selves together again; sitting on the lounge, eating fried chicken in our underwear, listening to music on the internet.
There have been times since I went away where I have felt angry, hurt, betrayed and saddened by you. There have been moments I resented you. Not because you didn’t come after me or because I wish I had the happiness you do, but because it felt like my friendship meant little to you and that cut is the deepest.
You’ve spent half your life shielding me and putting me back together, piece by piece, until I was the most whole I’d ever been in a long time…. and then you broke me worse than anything or anyone ever has- and you did that to your friend. You protected me from all the monsters, only to become the worst of them all.
Loving you hurts – but I’ve always been a masochist. Naturally, I couldn’t stay mad at you even if I wanted to because it’s you. You’re the very best part of me outside of my body. You’re a living, breathing piece of my heart that I can see and touch and feel.
Some nights I still cry from missing you. Some days, I still think I’m going to see you when I get home. Part of me longs for these days to stop; the other part of me also knows that when it does, the last bit of Hope I have that I too will someday find a “happily ever after” is gone.
So I keep waiting for that.
That moment I can say I’m happy.
Life is perfect.
OMG…. I can’t read this again… I am crying again! (What has happened to me!? hahaha.) Thank you She-Wolf for sharing & allowing me to share.