a guest Jul 5th, 2016 53,193 Never
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- Probably too late for this not to get buried, but I have a story about this.
- We met in college, and were instant best friends. I was 20; she was 18. We spent all our time together, and were briefly lovers, but we never formally dated because both of us were very much into being wild and free and enjoying our youth. We dated other people on and off, but we talked about it and agreed that a committed relationship between the two of us would be an all-or-nothing kind of thing. Since neither of us wanted to give up our hedonistic, promiscuous, irresponsible lifestyle, we made a point of not committing to a relationship. A few years went by that way, and we were very happy, right up until her sisters died.
- It was a car accident. They were 16 and 18, and both were killed in the crash. Dead on arrival at the hospital. My friend was utterly, completely devastated. It still hurts me to remember it, even now. Her father, though, was even more devastated, to the point where he was legitimately willing to let himself starve to death rather than try to go on living. She moved home, out of state, to take care of him. She cut ties with everyone for awhile, even me. I didn't see her again for two years.
- She was so different after that. Before the accident, she'd always been the most joyful, exuberant, positive person I'd ever met. After she came back, she was quieter, sadder, maybe wiser. I wanted to be there for her more than I'd ever wanted anything in the world. Not being able to fix things for her, not being able to make it better, that hurt more than anything I could ever remember. I guess that's when I realized how in love with her I was.
- I told her that I loved her, that I wanted to be there with her, and she told me that she couldn't handle the idea of any kind of emotional connection for awhile. Maybe a few years, she said. Maybe never. Maybe she'd never be able to open up emotionally again. She said she needed space from me, particularly from me. She said she needed to figure out what it meant to be alive in a world where her sisters were gone. She asked me to give her time, and I told her that I'd give her anything she wanted. She told me that she'd never been happier than she was when we were together. I told her the same. I told her that I understood, and that's when we made our pact. I was 25 then, and she was 23. We agreed: if she turned 30 and I turned 32, and if she had learned to heal, and if she hadn't fallen in love with someone else, and if I hadn't fallen in love with someone else, then we'd get married. So that's how we parted ways. She moved to Wyoming, to be alone. I moved to Germany, to get as far away from her as I could.
- We didn't keep in touch at first, but over the next few years we built up a correspondence. We wrote letters because we both liked writing letters. We emailed now and then. Sometimes we'd mail each other books that we thought the other would like. Years went on, and we became closer and closer.
- When I turned 30, I half-jokingly brought up our marriage pact. I told her that I hadn't ever fallen for anyone else. (I didn't mention this, but I couldn't have fallen for anyone else. I always compared every other woman to her, and in my memory she was perfect.) She replied that she was still very serious about our agreement, and that she'd never fallen in love with anyone else either. I asked her if she thought she had begun to heal, and she said she had, as much as a person could ever heal from something like that. A year later, she told me she'd like us to meet and spend some time together, to see if the spark was still there.
- It was. She was living in California at that time, and I found a job there. I'd always wanted to live in California anyway.
- I proposed to her six months later, and she smiled and told me "no fair", that I had to wait another few months, when she'd be turning 30. I thought it was silly, but at that point things were going so well that a few months didn't seem like they could matter at all. But I'm crying now, so I'll have to wrap this up quickly.
- She died. That's how the story ends. She was hit by a drunk driver and spent 2 days in the ICU before her body gave out. I went to her funeral. I spoke to her father but I barely remember what we said. I've never spoken to him since. I don't have the willpower to make myself find out how he's doing.
- That will be four years ago this November. I'm in therapy and trying to learn how to have feelings again, other than blank, mindless, miserable rage. I often wonder if this is what it felt like for her. She made progress. She learned to feel again. That thought is what keeps me going. She did it. She'd want me to do it.
- That's it. That's the story. It's a shitty story, and I hate it.
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