I was dating a boy from back home; a boy who, by the way, uprooted his whole life to follow me to a town I moved to to go to school – which I did not end up doing until seven years later. His name is Mike*, and he is quite happily married now, which makes me quite glad for him. I was not the right girl for him – this boy who followed me to this town only to have me continually break his heart. You see, while I was falling in and out of love with someone else, he was falling in and out of love with me. This story is not about Mike, though. It is about Aaron**.
Aaron and I met at work. I was freshly moved from a much smaller town. I had no friends that lived near here, and my plan to go to school had fallen through. He asked me out, and I was quite honest when I told him that we could not go out because I had a boyfriend back home. He was disappointed, but took it in stride. We still talked at work. Flirted, I know now, but back then, I had no idea what unsolicited male attention meant other than that we were friends. I thought we were being friendly, and after all, he knew that I had a boyfriend. As time passed, and the more we got to know each other, the more I liked him – I did not realize, then, what those feelings were that were growing inside of me. And when he asked me to go with him to a local football game, I was sure we were just hanging out as friends. Turns out, that was wrong, at least to him.
I broke up with Mike, not very well, but I did it. After which, I started dating Aaron. And it was glorious! I remember thinking things like, “Oh this feeling that I have is real; I love him! And he loves me. Wow. Is that what this is supposed to feel like?” Wonderful tension.
Like this. Exactly.
I was aware of him and of my feelings, and no matter how I tried to return to my natural, resting position, i.e. pre-feelings for and awareness of Aaron, I was not able. This man, this person, my friend, I was sure would one day become my husband, father my children, grow old with me in a house in a small town that we painted together and paid for with our life’s earnings. I was so sure. Thinking on it now, I am not sure that all of that could not have come true if it were not for ensuing events.
I do not remember exactly what happened, but I do remember getting a phone call from Aaron during which he asked if I had still been dating Mike when we went to that first football game. Yes, I had. I thought we were friends. It turns out he had thought we started dating way back then. We broke up after that conversation due to massive misunderstandings on both of our parts about how and when our relationship had actually begun – neither of us could reconcile our version of events with each other’s, which in turn, broke any trust we had for each other and ended our relationship.
Throughout the ensuing years, we repeatedly picked up the pieces and started where we had left off from before, a warning sign for sure. I know now that picking up a relationship where it left off is a terrible idea, especially when trust issues were part of the problem. Then, though, it did not matter to me; each time I believed that the relationship would last because of my feelings. We could make it work.
Our ensuing relationship was like a type II supernova: it eventually ran out of nuclear fuel and collapsed under its own gravity.
And ours was. Each time we tried to make it work, things just got worse. Blame was placed. Insults were flung. Hatred, jealousy, and anger festered. Neither of us could forget, and despite what either of us said, I doubt we ever forgave each other for the things said and done in the name of our twisted version of love. And eventually, whatever was left of a relationship that I was sure would last the rest of my life, collapsed in a flaming pile of failure and self-loathing.
But when I list the great loves of my life – be sure Aaron will be on it, because a supernova is an awfully beautiful thing to behold…
…although upon closer observation, its beauty hides immense destruction.
*This name has most definitely been changed.
**Oh yeah, I changed this one, too.