The more things change the more they stay the same.

Summer vacation for both of our families was quickly approaching. This was one of those points that in most young relationships would spell doom. I think between the two of us, it was about six weeks spent apart. Who would have thought years later we’d now be separated for year or more at any given time. Maybe it was a test maybe it wasn’t. But the important thing was that it seemed to have little effect on us, or our relationship. Perhaps it made it stronger for it. We came back together as if the months apart had never happen. The bond between us was stronger, because we had to fight so hard to have it. No separation would change that. It’s shocking to think of it now. At 17 and 18 our relationship was stronger then most marriages. And it’s probably what saved us. I wont lie, it wasn’t like I looked at him and knew from the very beginning we’d be married one day. I don’t even think I ever thought of it. I just wanted to be with him and he wanted to be with me. We never really thought past that for years. it was a fairy tale beginning to a fairy tale romance . But things aren’t always that simple. I wish I could tell you we rode off into the sunset and never had one fight ever, that we never made mistakes that we never struggled. Bit it would be a lie and real life just doesn’t work that way. You can be perfect for each other and still struggle to hold it all together. And we were going to find that out very quickly. The problems for us came in the form of emotional baggage and fear. When we were happy we were so very happy, but when we weren’t, it was horrific. We never called each other names, never hit each other. But my god our fights were stuff of legion. We couldn’t be any different but we were so very alike at the same time. Our family situations while vastly different shaped us and left us with emotional baggage we both brought into the relationship. We’re good at extracting the information or emotions we want in order to cut the other down. It was a side of us that most had never seen. Us falling in love opened up a flood gate of emotions, for both of us. Something that was very hard to deal with, after spending a lifetime hiding behind a mask of indifference. Here is this person who sees through all of that, sees you good and bad and still wants to be with you. We shared the same insecurity, felt the other was to good for us, waited for the other shoe to drop.
Being with him was very hard at times. We knew we loved each other and that has never changed. We were kids on the verge of adulthood force to deal with some very heavy issues in our own families. Those pressures, those painful things weight heavily on both of us. We put ourselves, each other and those who care and loved us through hell. We were too broken to have a normal relationship. Something kept us together; something would not allow us to destroy what we had fought so hard to have. And boy did we do some pretty shitty things to each other. We’d break up for months at a time, but would still find ourselves running back to each other. We couldn’t be together we couldn’t be apart. I never loved anyone the way I love him. I didn’t want to be with him, I needed to be with him. I never needed anyone before him. I never cared so much about a person the way I cared for him. I’d push him away because I didn’t know how to rectify that within myself. Because everything and everyone I ever loved before him was taken away from me in such a violent fashion, was so scare he’d be ripped away from me too. And the sad thing was even at that point in our relationship there were people in both our lives who would seek to prey on those insecurities and use it to make us break up over and over. I wish now that both of us were stronger people back then. That we didn’t let them cloud our judgment. How much easier things would of been.
Some times I felt like we couldn’t ever get on the same page. One of us would be ready for the next step but not the other. Matthew had to propose to me twice. The first time I had been away visiting a friend and when I got home he had made up his mind that he was going to ask me to marry him. He took my ring I had been wearing for months and proceeded to ask me. I wish I could remember what he had said. But I was romantic and sweet. Of course I said yes without a second thought. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to marry him, I wanted nothing more than to be his wife. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that he had asked me because he was scared I was going to move up north to go to school. He didn’t want to loose me. The fall out that came after that can in the form of punishing me so much, that I actually did leave him. He did the one thing He knew would break my heart. he treated me like an afterthought, like I didn’t matter. The hardest thing I ever had to do was walk away from him. No matter how much I loved him, I would never allow myself to be treated like that again. Not by him not by anyone. I hurt him right back, we felt for each other so very deeply that we hurt each other as deep. I hurt him more then I care to share publicly, it was the only thing in my life I wish I could take back. We were locked in battle with each other and everything one else was just collateral damage. We didn’t care who got caught in the crossfire we just cared about hurting each other.
We had been talking on and off since I had left him. We just couldn’t be out of each other’s lives. He called me one night asking if he could come over. This was different I could hear it in his voice. I sat in my back yard waiting on him, thinking about what I horrible person I was, he watched me for a while in the darkness before he made his presences know. We talked I cried, for hours it seemed. It was good for both of us. Airing out our feelings and hurts, and regrets for hurting each other as much as we did. The truth of the matter was this. We love each other, more then we had anyone else. We had to make this work because there was no one else in the world that either one of use wanted to share our lives with. It was hard to move past all the hurt we had caused each other. It honestly took years for us make peace with what we had done to each other. But we had to move forward. We never really told anyone we were back together. Frankly no one was going to understand why. We weren’t exactly trying to hide it from anyone, but we weren’t shouting it from the roof tops either. There were people that told him not to go back to me, and I don’t blame them. But I wasn’t going to tarnish him to save myself. So I let them think I was a bad person. I’d been there before, this was no different. I didn’t care what anyone thought. I just wanted him.
He had made the decision to join the Army while we had been apart. My boss had convinced him it was the best way to get over me. He could go be an infantry sniper, be bad ass, and get all the girls. God how different his life would of been had he actually done so. And while I thought the idea of the military was a wonderful one. The Army and that MOS in that time in his life would have destroyed him. Funny thing was I was talking to the Air Force at the same time looking into enlisting myself. So he decided to go see what the Air Force had to offer him. And of course it was better for him. Matthew is a very smart man, his skills and his gifts would have been wasted in the infantry. We had to get out of our home town if we had any chance of making this work; we had to be free of the ghost of the past that surrounded us here. And the exceptions others had for us, of who we should be and what we should do with our lives. Like we had done before we had to go to ground to repair the damage.

We still struggled for many years into our marriage. There was so much we had to work through both as a couple and as people. Repair the damage caused before and learn to be a couple. We needed to grow up. The Air Force forced us to do so. We had no one to lean on, no one to take our side when the other was being a jack ass. We only had each other. We’re so much stronger for that now. It’s been almost 20 years since then.. 15 of those married. I know now that all of that pain and struggling was all worth it. We’re happy and content raising our family. I love him more then I could even possibly imagine I could, he is my best friend. Even now things are still new and exciting and I still am just as overwhelmed by his touch and his kiss as I was when we were just teenagers. We were blessed to find each other.

On to better things.

Things eventually settled down again. I wasn’t exactly surprise the ex had given us such issues. I would love to say it was the last time, but I’d be lying. There were more and each more blatant and stupider then the last.
The best thing about a new relationship is all the firsts you get to share with each other. This was the most comical parts of our relationship. I was 17 years old and it wasn’t like we hadn’t kissed before. But that first kiss was the hardest thing for us. I’d been in serious relationships before and so had he. The one before the ex, had just run its course. There was no drama or hard feelings. Well at least I can hope that is the case. With the ex it was a disaster. A simple kiss shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. We had been dating to months before either one of us had attempted to kiss the other. Part of my hesitation was because at that point I was so much more experience with the more physical aspects of relationships. And I knew it was a very slippery slope once you start down that path. I didn’t want to take those first from him in the matter most of my first were taken from me. Part of me wanted to protect him the way I wish some one had protected me. I wanted to share these first with him when the time was right and he was ready. I never wanted him to fell pushed or pressured the way I had in the pass. It’s not to say he wasn’t a nearly grown man and couldn’t make these decisions for himself. I just didn’t want him to have the bad memories I had. There was at least two attempted that I can honestly recall before we actually managed that first kiss. X-mass we kissed it was so easy when it didn’t mean anything. But now that it meant something we couldn’t. We never talked about it, but part of it I think was we wanted to share it only between the two of us. Our last kiss was so very public. After two fail attempts on Matt’s part, both interrupted and the moment ruined he had just given up it would happen when it happened. I wanted to desperately to kiss him that first kiss was one of the best I ever had. Now that we were dating it could only get better. We were sitting in my driveway commiserating how silly it was that we just couldn’t manage to kiss. I made up my mind right then and there I would not let him leave without a kiss.
Now you can make up you’re mind all you want, but you can not make you body do it. I had never known paralyzing fear before or since then. I slowly moved in for the kiss, slowly is too light of a term, to describe how painfully slow I was moving. Poor Matthew just sitting there waiting for me to make my move. I chickened out and aimed for his Cheek. But there was no way in hell he was going to let this slip through his hands again. He turned to kiss me before I had a chance to pull away. Thank good for him being brave or frustrated, or just a horny teenage boy. Or who knows how long it might have gone on like that. Of course it was wonderful, how could it be anything else. It was gentle and pure and filled with all the emotions that had been building for so long. There was so much behind that kiss. Every time he kisses me I feel the same way. Do you know how rare that is, to be with some one 16 years and still feel so overwhelmed by a simple kiss. What we had, what we have now is one of the deepest purest loves I have ever known.
We spent most of or time in peace, enjoying our time together falling in love. Everyone had gotten use to us as a couple. I had finally allowed myself to let go of my fear and just let things happen. I wasn’t prepared for how fast I fell in love with him, once I let go. I was hopelessly and completely in love with him. Telling him how I felt didn’t go exactly as I had hope. Matthew wasn’t ready to hear it, and wasn’t ready to say it. This was very telling about the nature of our relationship. While I was very upset, and embarrassed, I even cried a little. I accepted it for what it was. I didn’t get mad I didn’t walk away. I told him while I was upset, I’d rather him say it when he was ready and truly felt the same for me and I meant it. I respected him for his honesty and grew to love him even more for it. It wasn’t long after that that he told me he loved me as well. He just needed to do it on his own time when he was ready. The words I love you are very powerful and he and I never wanted it to become that thing you just said out of reflex. I don’t need to hear it from him to know how he feels. He shows me every day in his own way how much he really does love me. What had begin nearly four years earlier had come full circle. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Matthew often laments that he wished he had tried to date me earlier then that. I am not sure that we would be together today if we had dated earlier. We could what if it to death and we have. Things happen the way they are meant to, so that we end up where we need to be. Fate did what it needed to ensure this would last, and there were many times since then we should have been over and done with. But some how we manage to work though and are still very much in love as we were back then.


I find it hard to express what happen next. This was new and powerful and it was very scary for me. I didn’t want to get hurt; I didn’t want to hurt him. Risking the friendship we had spent years to build on a romance that might not work, it didn’t sit well with me. But boy I couldn’t help falling for him and falling so hard. With him I was so happy and so free for the first time in a very long time. He accepted me for just as I was and asked nothing in return. There were not expectations and no grand scheme, just us falling in love.
Unfortunately when you live in a small town, everyone knows everything. Everyone’s lives intersect. There was his world and my world and the one we shared between the two of us. As much as we were happy and excited, we couldn’t escape the fact that us being together would come at a price. Nothing worth so much was ever easy and this was very true for us as well. I think in the beginning we hide because we didn’t want to share this wonderful thing we had. We didn’t want it marred by the harsh reality of the real world. We were scared of what others would think. We knew that we had done nothing wrong but others wouldn’t see it that way. With time eventually we settled into a relationship and got use to others seeing us as a couple. People were talking. Were we together, were we not. What exactly was going on with us? Our names were on far to many lips. Some time in late June we had been invited to the movies with our larger group of friends to include friends he shared with my ex. It was one of the very first times we had been in public as a couple. There were funny looks and glances exchanged between people. As much as it was new to us, it was a shock to others to see us this way. Finally some one just asked us, what the deal was, were we dating or not. It was the first time we hadn’t actively concealed our relationship around others. We snuggled close to each other I looked up to him and smiled. He never really asked me I said so I don’t know. He smirked asking me just to be silly, so it was clear now, we were dating.
Happiness would come at a price, and we would pay dearly. Most were happy for us, because we were happy and content. It had been a long time, since either one of us had felt that way. And those that really cared for us were generally pleased we had found each other. But the problem with ex’s especially when things don’t work out they love to play the victim, and make you look like a horrible person. And I am sure he had been working on that from the moment he figured out there was something between us. He wanted to cover his own ass for all the horrible things he put me thru. Those people who were still close with him made it known and in quick order how much they disapproved. Like some ass backwards intervention they invited him out some where, without me, and proceeded to tell him how they felt. I was heart broken when Matthew told me. Both of us knowing exactly what was about to happen. It showed how little they thought of him and of me in turn. He wasn’t some poor thing that had been blinded by me. But to hear them tell it I was some vile creature that was using him to get back at Trevor. I was going to hurt him; I was going to leave him for one of the other boys in our group of friends. I was bad news and he should stay away. He tried his dammest to explain that things were not the way Trevor had made them out to be. If anyone knew the truth it was Matthew, he had been there the whole time and seen it all. And I can’t exactly blame them for feeling the way they did about me. Trevor if for nothing else had a sliver tongue and could make anyone believe anything they want. He wasn’t always like this; there was something, some kind of switch that flipped in his head to make him this way. There was darkness in him. I had tried to defend myself once or twice but there was no reason to when they weren’t listening. So now I became the person who came between him and them. His stead fast refusal to listen to anything they had to say drove a wedge between him and them. The worst part about it all was Trevor used them to get me back. Which leads me to wonder what the hell would of happen if he had succeeded after he had vilified me so. Trevor didn’t know that I knew what he had said and he’d still tried to be in our world. He didn’t want me but my god he was determined to make sure I couldn’t have what I want. As the “intervention blew over” people generally accepted it for what is was. No one was going to be able to talk us out of dating. And we thought stupidly that Trevor was one of them, or maybe wishful thinking. Everyone was getting use to the new normal. But Trevor wasn’t done trying to break us apart. And god I wish now we would have just tried to not be the bigger people, and just written him off. But we’re good people and nice people and willing to do anything to help out a friend. On the day of his college graduation he had a massive blow out with his parents about god knows what. But the end result was that not only where they no longer throwing him a party but wouldn’t attend his college graduation. He was hurting and reached out to us. And we went into action to make sure he had the support he needed even if it wasn’t from his own family. God now I feel so stupid for even attempting to do the right thing. Matt’s mother went about getting things ready to have a make shift party and Matt went about gathering people to come over. I went with him to his graduation to give him some support. In the car he started to go on about how sorry he was for everything he put me thru, and now he saw how very happy Matthew and I were together. How he still wanted to be a part of our life. And I almost felt sorry for him; I almost believed he was sincere. Then Peal Jam’s black came over the radio. And Trev turns to me and tells me that it was how he felt about me, and that I should listen to it. So I listened and the longer the song went on the more my blood began to boil. It’s hard when some one puts a mirror up to your face and show’s you exactly what they think of you. I was a thing to him; I was to be molded into what ever he wanted me to be. And it wasn’t like he was morning the fact we broke up, he was morning the fact he would never have that control over me again. That he thought I was who I was because of his hand. I bit my tongue. It wasn’t the time or place to get into it. And Frankly I didn’t care to. What was there to say? He didn’t deserve any reaction from me, and I wasn’t going to give it. I still can’t listen to that song without getting angry.
We all did our best to celebrate his graduation. And he learned very quickly that night that he was no longer the center of my world, and to say he didn’t like it very much was an understatement. I had barley talked to him since I blew up at him for trying to give Matthew permission to date me. Why in the world would he think I even gave him a passing thought these days? But there he was and there we were. And some how he believed we owed it to him to pretend like we weren’t together for his sake. But by the end of the night we were being accused of not being sensitive to his feelings and “flaunting” our relationship. That’s pretty fucking hard to do when you hadn’t even kissed the person you were in a relationship with. I had enough I snapped. Rage filled my whole body and I just let him have it. In front of everyone called him on every dammed thing he ever did to me, and how he turned David and Christoph against me. There was no way in hell he was going to interfere in our relationship any more. I didn’t really cared if he listened but I needed to say it. He was going to understand, Matthew and I were not just some passing thing. He needed to get his head out of his ass and see that this was real and it wasn’t going away any time soon. Even if it did I would never ever date him again. I would no longer be made to feel as if I did something wrong, I would no longer sit there and try to make the best of things for everyone else’s sake. Matthew and I found each other for a reason and I wasn’t letting go of him. All of bullshit he put us through only made us stronger and pulled us closer together. As much as I wish I hadn’t let him interfere as much as he did. It just showed me how very important Matthew was to me. How important it was that we did this right, and didn’t rush things. It seems silly to spend so much time to focus on this because after all this is a story about Matthew and I. But it’s important at least to me to show the repercussions and realities we dealt with when our relationship was so very new. When doing the right thing, isn’t always the right thing to do. And some times to have what you want you might have to give up nearly everything to have that.

The begining of everything.

It was a winter day in Southern California the day I met Matthew. I had been casually seeing his friend at the time and he wanted me to meet his friends. I couldn’t tell anything about that day but I remember Matthew towering over me with those green/blue eyes and that impish smile that to this day still melts my heart. A razor sharp wit I would never forget. I wouldn’t say I believe in soul mates or love at first sight. I know now that in that very moment something happen between us that changed everything. He and I found each other very attractive but never said a word to each other. Under the assumption that we were just not each other’s type.
I began to date his friend more seriously and he began to date someone as well. We were content in our relationships and had forgotten all about the momentary what if that fateful day. It wasn’t until well into our marriage that I realized we had been having an emotional affair the whole time. That man teased me every day before math, and I came back over and over again knowing he’d piss me off. But he pushed me caused me to think, and secretly I liked that. His girlfriend being home schooled and my boyfriend in college, we were usually with our small group of friends without them. By the end of softmore year we were dear friends. We enjoyed being around each other. We could laugh and be silly but we also shared our deepest feelings and fears. We came to each other with the things we should been talking to our boyfriend and girlfriend about. I recall friends making mention to our closeness. Some pointed out at times that it might have been inappropriate. Asking me point blank if I didn’t like him why were we flirting. I called Matt over and we both just laughed, the idea that we even thought of each other in that way was comical. He was my best friend; we were just very close, nothing more. There was a line we never crossed with each other, never once. It makes me wonder now if we had been physically as close as we were emotionally, would we of realized we had feelings for each other.
The year that followed, things began to change. My relationship was slowly falling apart. His was pretty much over before it began. And he had to watch from the sidelines as I was played for a fool by my boyfriend. My ex was in college he wasn’t around much and didn’t realize how close we became. Matthew was walking a very thin line between the two of us. How much did he tell me of what he knew how he should hold back. After all this was his best friend, but I’d became his best friend as well. I recall one time after a guy’s trip Trevor came back telling me how much he missed me and loved me. Matthew called me fully expecting me to be in tears. What I didn’t know and he was about to tell me, was that Trevor had spent the whole of the trip complaining about me and how we weren’t goanna work out. That he was thinking about breaking up with me. Matthew told me he had to talk to me and came over as soon as he could. I saw him and I knew something was very wrong. He struggled to tell me. He wanted to make sure that I understood he normally wouldn’t get involved, and feared I’d take it as him trying to cause an issue. Matthew didn’t want to see me get hurt, he was protective of me. That conversation opened my eyes. I couldn’t betray his trust. I wouldn’t tell Trevor what he told me. But I wasn’t ready to give up on Trevor just yet; I thought I could fix it.

Things stared to get uncomfortable for us. Every time we got to close we started to pull away, and things were changing so fast and all we could do was sit there and watch as it did. Some times I wonder if the reason we began to pull away is some where deep inside we were starting to realize what others had seen all along. I never really cared what anyone thought, but boy did I care what he thought. If I disappointed him I was crushed. He was a force of nature that came into my life, and would not be ignored. And for the first time I was starting to see that. And I didn’t like that. I was 17 and to young to really understand what was going on. But we started to realize that our closeness was wrong. We were both struggling with our relationships and were hurting at lot. We’d try to stay apart but one of us would eventually give in and things at least for a little bit returned to those early days. We were leaning on each other to escape the reality of our lives. With each other we were safe and weren’t expected to be anything other then ourselves.
Shortly before Christmas We both attended a party once again both dateless. At some point we ended up playing truth or dare. It started innocent enough. But let’s remember we’re teenagers. At one point Matthew and I were dared to kiss. Everyone there knew we had been in relationships with other people for years. It was a sure fire bet we wouldn’t do it. Yeah, because we backed down from any challenge, I mean come on now. We exchanged looks to make sure the other was okay with it. I closed my eyes leaned in and puckered up for a quick peck. Matt had other plans. if he was gonna kiss me. He was GONNA kiss me. It was a dare after all and he was not one to ever do anything half ass. His lips touched mine and I melted into that kiss. It was only a few moments, a chased kiss. My eyes flew open; I was shocked he actually kissed me. He just smirked, his eyes twinkled. I don’t know what he got more of a kick out of. Shocking everyone else or shocking me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it, that there wasn’t a spark between us in that moment. That to this day I can still feel the softness of that kiss. It was months into our relationship till we’d kiss again. I didn’t know what to think. There was something in that kiss, but I wasn’t ready or willing to admit it at that point. It wasn’t till we were taking Mike home that the gravity of what we had done hit us, we were both holding our breath; we had to talk about it. But we had to get Mike home first. I don’t think I stared at the dashboard of his VW bug harder then I did that night. We were loyal and our integrity was one thing we prided ourselves on, and there we were tossing all of that out of the window over a stupid dare. It was wrong and we shouldn’t have done it. Why the fuck would we do something so stupid, why. And oh my god what we’re we going to do if Trevor ever found out. It was a sure bet that Amy wouldn’t. For two weeks Matt refused to talk to me, and absolutely would not talk about that kiss. We crossed a line we never should of. The kiss meant nothing at all to either one of us. But the guilt ate at us like nothing else.

We didn’t see each other again till my boyfriend’s birthday party. To say it was slightly awkward would be an understatement. Here we were with the people we’d been dating for years, and shared this secret that would break both of their hearts. It was a childish dare, but we were well aware that others would not see it that way. Even with all that was at risk we were still being a bit more friendly then we should been. We hadn’t seen each other in weeks and frankly we missed each other. Thanks to a simple miss wording by the one other person that could possibly know what happen, nearly brought to light that little indiscretion. Part of me kind of wished it had. The world stop, my eyes went wide I am pretty sure I lost all color, Matthew nearly knocked his girlfriend over he turned around so fast. Poor Will nearly got jumped in the line for the go carts. Which could of caused a blood bath had the others actually caught on. And I think that’s when others seemed to notice something was slightly amiss. Well everyone but the two people that it actually would of affected. I remember the look on David and Christoph’s faces, as Will did his dammest to back peddle. My heart was in my throat. Trevor would of tried to kill him right then and there. At one point during the day, the men had left us girls to our own devices. Aka ditch me with two girls I didn’t know very well and at that point didn’t like me at all. There was a ring on her finger and I actually got mad about it. No I was pissed. Turn out to be some kind of promise ring (This was when it was very popular to have a ring to signify you’re saving yourself for marriage). And even after she explained to me what the ring was. Hearing her go on and on about how she loved him and how happy she was, my blood was boiling. He didn’t belong with her. I knew the truth, he was miserable and wanted more from the relationship then she was willing to give. To this day the two of them have no idea what had happen between us that Christmas. For the first time I understood how much it had to of hurt Matthew to see me be treated the same way by Trevor and my refusal to heed his warnings. They girls would have to leave soon after, I remember her being reluctant to leave and Matt getting more and more annoyed.
I took the time to grab Will by the arm and we took a little walk, we needed to talk about the whole go cart thing. I had to get him away from the group. Matthew wasn’t too far behind us; he knew exactly why I pulled will away. I can’t imagine how much that might of hurt Amy. He basically blew her off to go running after his friend and me. Guess who didn’t actually know what had happen. Well he did now he just looked between the two of us giving us that what the fuck would you do that for look. I am sure I threaten to kill him if he ever told anyone, and he knowing how Trevor would react knew now that he was also at risk of being very hurt if he were to find out. The other guys caught up to us wondering what we were talking about and we all played it off as best we could at the time. He was now parts of the biggest secrete we had ever kept from anyone.
Shortly after that both of our relationships ended. Not on our part. We both were dumped for not being mature enough. But at least we had each other to make it a bit easier to deal with. My break up with Trevor was far more complicated then I wish it had been. I tried desperately to repair it. I don’t even know why. Maybe it was the guilt that I some how caused it because of that kiss. Trevor had offered to still take me to the prom seeing as I had already paid for it and had my dress, but finals were coming up and he realized that he needed to focus on them. He offered up the idea of going with Matt. I think now he said this because he believe Matt was safe. And he’d still have that hold over me he had for years. It’s hard to look at this and understand from the outside how very unaware Matthew and I were of the feelings we had for each other. Even then after all that had happen over the years that lead up to this point there was nothing, at least to us, between us. So I figured eh what the hell going with Matt could be fun. I had mike my “brother” ask him if he’d say no if I asked. Last thing I needed at that point was another let down. Part of what I love about Matthew is what an asshole he can be some times. He made it clear that if I wanted him to come with me I would have to ask him myself. I stood there on his porch waiting on him to answer the door and he answered the door in his swim trunks. I was dumb struck. He looked so good. For the first time in 3 years I actually allowed myself to see him the way I did the first time we met. Of course now I was nervous and distracted. I turned three shades of red. I begged him not to make me ask him. But he was stead fast that I had to ask him. He always seemed to get some sick amusement out of forcing me to step out of my comfort zone. He is one of the few people who really knew and knows the real me. After letting me sweat a bit he finally agreed to take me to the prom. He had ever intention of saying yes, but he was going to make me work for it. Neither one of us had particularly positive experiences with proms. It was a chance for us to go and just have a good time with our friends. After everything we had both been through the past three years, both of us had no want or need to be in an relationship. We were both just so done with the whole notion of love and dating There was no way either one of us could ever see what was about to happen. The simple act of asking him to the prom would change our lives forever. We burned a bridge and there was no looking back. The weeks that lead to that dance we became inseparable. It was the first time since we met we were just us. There was nothing but us. We just naturally fell in step with each other like it had always been that way and yet we were still very unaware of what was happening.
The dance brought to light the feelings that were building or at least coming to the surface. My brother’s date had pulled me aside to ask me if it was okay if she asked Matthew out on a date. Her intention was never to date him, but to wake me up. I can’t believe how quickly the word no came from my lips, and the smile that broke across hers. She urged me to tell him how I felt and I said I would think about it. We were so bless and still are to have such caring friends whom would risk being decked to insure we were happy. The night was wonderful, perhaps the best I’d ever had in a long time. I always knew he cared for me, and I cared for him. But I’d spend years in a relationship were I was treated as an afterthought most of the time. And here he was trying everything in his power to make sure I had a good time. Every slow dance we inched ever closer to each other. For all our courage and ego this simple act was the hardest thing either one of us had to do. Fear was ever present in those early days. Eventually I worked up the nerve to put my head on his shoulder and I vaguely remember one of our friends saying “finally”. We’d of always had distance, and walls. Nothing was there now… and we were left washed in emotions we’d never allowed ourselves to feel. But there I was in his arms my head on his shoulder overwhelmed but the sensation of him holding me so close, my heart was pounding so was his. When you spend years ignoring emotions finally allowing yourself to feel them was the strangest sensation in the world. I was overjoyed but so very confused and scared out of my god dammed mind. Driving home from that dance, everyone else had fallen asleep in the back of the car leaving Matthew and I to ourselves once again. Processing what had just happen. We danced around the subject the whole way home. I was brave but I wasn’t that brave. Always testing the waters before finally spitting out what I wanted to say. I am not sure what I said to him only that I admitted I was starting to fall for him. I was so scared that I was the only one that was feeling the way I was. Telling him how I feel was a very big risk. If he didn’t feel the same I would of lost my best friend. But I had to tell him how I felt before he left. I’d always been honest with him, he had to know.
A week went by and we were spending all our time together. My ex had decided to pay me a visit one of the evenings Matthew and I had been spending in the driveway talking about god knows what. Nothing important I am sure. Mostly I think Matthew was working up the nerve to tell me how he felt. There we were perfect summer evening, he was holding my hands in his and looking deep into my eyes. He told me I was the first thought he had in the morning and the last thing he thought about at night. Then like something out of a nightmare we heard the all too familiar sound of Trevor’s truck. I have no idea how much he actually saw of what happen. But here is the thing. When you’ve spend so long in denial, It’s hard to break the habit of feeling that this is wrong. It was almost as if we were ashamed, when there wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. We had done nothing wrong. But it was very clear that he had just figured out what he had done. The very person he thought was “safe” turned out to be not so safe. The ex always though he could just keep on coming back and I’d take him back. He handed me a rose knowing he wasn’t welcome and walked off. Leaving Matthew and I slacked jawed. It’s odd now to think about it. But much the same thing had happen a year later with his ex girlfriend. Did they both think so little of us that we’d be left pining for them, until they deemed us worthy enough to come back to? Was that why we always felt not good enough for each other? A few days later I had a call from Matthew telling me you’ll never believe what just happen. I had been there the other day and had borrowed a shirt of his, so when my ex showed up at his door he grabs that very shirt not thinking. My ex had shown up there under the guise of giving Matthew permission to date me, as if he had a choice in the matter if we dated or not. I use to wear perfume everyday. So as he’s trying to lay out the sob story to Matthew he mentions how it’s almost like he could still smell my perfume. Matthew realized that he could smell it too. Why could he of… and then it dawned on him, he was wearing a shirt covered in my perfume. Please god don’t let him figure this out and let me get out of this truck alive.
I was livid, he had no right to do that, I didn’t belong to him, how he dare interject himself into my life after he choose to walk away from it. But I suppose I should thank him. The anger we both felt showed us how much we really wanted to be together. The fact that what happen between could have very real and serious repercussions was not lost on us. We weren’t quiet sure what we were at that point. We’d move pass just being friends, to something more. It was very confusing and new and we took things so painfully slow, for fear of it all crashing down around us. It was 6 months between we were dump and when we started to realize we had feeling for each other and it took another 2 months for us to define our relationship.

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