This is just a story. A small story that holds the weight of the world in its hands. A story about understanding. A story about going down a rabbit hole, and by the time you look back, you’re in too deep to turn around. This is a story about pain. About infidelity. About loving someone that you have no business loving. This is a story about secrecy. A story about emotions see-sawing from each person, sometimes balanced, but more often than not, the relationship is one-sided. This is a story about choices, choices that are as important as opening one of three doors, and whatever door you choose, there’s regret staring directly at you, mocking your every move.
This is just a story. The journey of two people during a single year. How can something so wrong, feel so right? This is a story of darkness, and how so much darkness can make any glimpse of light seem like the size of sun-rays. This is just a story.
It started at Trapp Chevrolet, a job I had for about a year. She was the new receptionist. Starting the position, the previous receptionist introduced her to all of us. She sat there, at the front desk, as I passed back and forth for hours. Through the entire shift, we didn’t speak much, but the eye contact was there. We would frequently lock eyes and smile at each other as I passed. Eventually, the eye contact became more. We began texting each other constantly, and before we knew it, we were sitting in each other’s cars, talking about life.
The conversations between us seemed to never end: what started at night would continue through the following day, and then a week would go by, and another week, and then I realized that we actually never stopped talking. Unintentionally, the two of us were building a relationship that would last a long time.
Random stops at my house to say hey, inviting me to social events, the list goes on—the two of us were becoming inseparable. This all sounds like the start to a perfect love story, but there’s one thing I haven’t mentioned yet: the girl was married.
I became too interested in this girl to walk away now. She was married, but she didn’t want to be. She wasn’t happy. With every conversation we had, it was obvious that I was the one she wanted to be with.
But how did I become the one she wanted? Maybe it was the books I read, or the deep conversations I was able to give her. As soon as work was over, she was at my house, for hours, escaping reality, and enjoying the moment, where life was calm and peaceful. Being with me comforted her.
The library was her excuse to leave home, but the library was actually in my arms. Which looking back now, calling me and my home the library seems fitting. The books, the quietness, the knowledge, the privacy: the library.
Other than being at my house, we also wanted to get out and do things together. But we couldn’t be seen, so we’d go on dates in New Orleans: Barnes & Nobe, Apple Store, The Palace, Panda Express, etc. — each trip out of town was always exciting and filled with adrenaline. Breakfast at The Ruby Slipper. Dinner at random crawfish restaurants.
The relationship became so unique and interesting. So private, which is refreshing in today’s world where everything about everyone is public. But above all, there was a bond between us. We had each other’s back. And we knew that once all of this was over, and once we could officially be together, our lives would be complete.
Through all of this, she maintained multiple jobs, had to be a mom, focus on school, and still pretend to be a wife—an unhappy wife, but still, a wife.
She balanced all these different parts of her life, and still found time to be at my house, to cook, clean, watch movies, and simply enjoy her other life that was a secret to the rest of the world. My roommate didn’t know how she did it. I didn’t know how she did it. At times it felt like this was her home, and the other life she lived was the secondary one. And maybe that’s the way she wanted it.
Something had to give though. When she finally moved out of the husband’s house, and moved back in with her mom—and when she started her new semester of school—life for the two of us began to change. She had more on her plate than she could handle. Between the jobs, her son, school, and living almost an hour away, that special bond we created quickly faded away.
It was foolish of me to think that our fairytale story could continue without any obstacles, but when those obstacles started to arrive, life between us became difficult, and frustrating.
I got so used to having her around, that when she couldn’t be there anymore, it became confusing. All these months she spent here, her absence was extremely painful.
She understood what it would take to get her life together. She had to remove herself from me. She wanted me, but couldn’t have me. Ultimately, her son came first, and that was something I understood.
The only thing that kept replaying in my head though, was a life of us together (the same way any obsessive love story plays out). I spent over a year with her, and on a nightly basis, we were bonding and finding interesting ways to enjoy life together. But now she was gone, and as I sat there in silence, I tried to figure out a way to make things better. In my mind, if we could just tell people our story, maybe they’d understand. I would explain this to her, but she refused. She was scared. She kept telling me, ‘There is no way. The only way for us to fix this is for us to walk away.’ Each time we discussed this, and that was her solution, my chest would cave in.
We’d agree to let go, but then one of us would give in and contact the other person after a few days. This was a toxic cycle that we were both trapped in.
I’ve never been in a situation that burned my soul so bad. To have a secret this big, and this important—important in the sense of love and caring, important as in the value you hold in a person, important as in a story that should live forever and not be covered up. This is just a story, but it’s a love story that contains every ounce of passion and pain one could think of.
Letting a person go, a person that was the first and last person you talked to each and every day, is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Love is weird: you spend timeless moments together, and then you walk away.
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