Of all we can offer
Let me tell you about the boy who broke my heart.
(Hey, why not? It’s not awkward at all sharing my inner most thoughts on someone else’s blog. No way. But when HBM asks, I answer.)
You might think I'm referring to the storied “one that got away“ that everyone seems to have, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. He didn’t get away. Well, he did but then he came back and helped repair my broken heart, then set me free again.
Let me explain.
We met as teenagers, this boy and me, children playing grownup games. We were casual friends, at best, for a couple of years until the late spring evening I finally ended a volatile relationship and went searching for the safety of friends. He came to sit near me next to a bonfire, we struck up a conversation, and when my ex-boyfriend came to find me - as I knew he would - the boy stood up in front of me and kept the craziness of the past few years away. And then he saw to it that I made it home safely and stood up for me again when my ex was there waiting.
That boy was already a fixer of broken things; animals, cars, houses, things discarded. I didn’t know until much later that he was also a fixer of broken people. The damaged seemed drawn to him, and I was no exception. After the night at the bonfire we started a minor flirtation that led to a short but intense romance. Our mutual friends definitely approved of our relationship but then, as young men often are (and I can say now that I’m wiser and… cough older cough - I don’t hold it against him) he was tempted by… How do I say this nicely?
A bleached blonde with a big rack. Damn him. Seventeen years later and that still chaps my ass.
But I digress.
My heart was broken. He betrayed me in the worst way, going for such an obvious tramp when anyone could see I was so much better for him. I spent the rest of the summer listening to sad music and driving by his house at odd hours.
I’m not proud of that last fact. So cliché.
Then, trying to repair the shredded pieces of my poor heart, I met my next big relationship. And don’t you know that boy realized the error of his ways and tried to come back to me, only to find out I was already with another. Too little, too late. I took a sort of perverse pleasure in that. Still do, but I'm a small person.
The summer was over and I went back to college. That seemed like the end of my relationship with that boy, romantic or otherwise. But fate has a funny way of bringing two people back together who are meant to be together, as we obviously were. I’d come home on weekends and somehow we would meet up.
(We still ran in the same circles, it wasn’t hard)
He’d call me at school, we’d get together when I had the time. Eventually, we rekindled our friendship and we became very good friends. That’s what we were meant to be all along. Just good friends.
You don’t believe that either, do you?
You would think that being the reasonably intelligent woman that I am I would have noticed the signs, but apparently I was not reasonably intelligent way back then. There were big neon signs that blinked different colored lights, pointing out the fact I spoke more highly of him than I did of the man I “loved” at the time. No, I didn’t notice. Or I wouldn’t. Good friends commented on it, how my eyes lit up when I talked about this boy, and I dismissed it offhandedly.
This went on for years, far past the point of lust or infatuation. Actually to even mention lust makes it seem so cheap. I relied on him emotionally and I believe he felt the same way. I'd be lying if I said there was no physical connection, because there was. Phew. The boy had a body chiseled from stone. But I can say with all the wisdom of my years that our relationship went so far beyond the physical that it never interfered.
We started meeting in private, away from prying eyes that wouldn’t understand the depths of our relationship. We were friends. Good friends but just friends, we couldn’t understand why people didn’t understand that. We were innocents, whispering secrets under the cover of darkness. We could go for months without seeing each other, but if I needed him I could find him and he would be there for me no matter what.
All the while I was miserable and becoming more so by the day but never while with him. I had gotten in so far over my head that I couldn’t claw my way out, except when I was with this boy. When things got desperate I could slip away and know that I would find safe harbor with him, in his little house, and in his arms.
(You’d like to know how innocent we weren’t, don’t you? Too bad. I will tell you this, there‘s a song from the 90‘s by a very popular southern band that sums up our relationship perfectly. It could have been written for us. You figure it out.)
Right about now you might be wondering why we weren’t a couple, this boy and me, why I didn’t just chuck it all to be with him. It sounds kind of strange but our relationship wasn’t like that, it was too fragile for every day life, and it wouldn’t have been able to survive the harsh light of day. Everyday obligations would have destroyed us. And though we loved each other, and here’s the really trite part, we weren’t in love with each other. In real life, away from our safe cocoon, we were much too different to make it work.
I did eventually find the pieces of myself that I had lost, or maybe I never had them to begin with, and I believe to this day that it was because of that boy, the fixer of all broken things, that I was healed. He helped to put me back together again. And then, through a series of small but unfortunate events, our friendship ended. It was time.
I often wonder what it would be like to talk with him again now that our lives have changed so much, but it would probably be awkward. You can’t go back I guess. Not that I wouldn’t take the chance if it were presented to me - are you kidding? I’d jump all over that - because I’d like to thank him and tell him I’m happy today because of him. He’s married now to a local girl and he lives obscenely close to a relative of mine, but if fate has not yet brought us together then it’s not the right time.
Until the time comes I’ll close the chapter on that part of my life - it seems appropriate since he brought me here to this new one - but I'll always remember him fondly. And not just because of his six pack abs.
Mrs. Chicky has a problem telling Her Bad Mother’s blog and the Basement apart but is very happy that HBM gave her the opportunity to use her blog as a place to vent her innermost thoughts. HBM will be happy to know that Mrs. C only ate one pint of her hidden Haagen Dazs stash while writing this (hey, you go away on vacation and people are bound to raid your freezer), as ice cream, like writing, is very therapeutic for healing old wounds.