Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dreams Say the Damnedest Things

When I met Peter, I was 17 and a senior in high school. I was visiting the military college Peter attended and we met briefly.  What happened after is history.  Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they fall in love and get married, etc., etc., etc.  Oh, did I mention girl was dating another boy (and boy was dating another girl)?

I dont often look back on my life and think about the folks I no longer run with.  But, every now and again...   My mind slips back to the "other boy".  And I cant help but wonder...

He and I were good friends.  Really good friends.  And then, my junior year, it became something more.  We dated, didnt date, and then senior year, dated again.  We were pretty serious until I met Peter.  Then, that relationship unraveled, I broke it off, married Peter, and the rest is my life.

I left things badly... I've always regretted that.  I was young and in love (with Peter) and didnt think about his feelings.  I'd never felt anything like I'd felt when I met Peter and in the "everyone else be damned" sort of way that teenagers have about them, I didnt care about the side effects.  Or, more accurately, I didnt think about them.  The last time he saw me, he shook his head and called me a bitch.  We were sitting on my front porch. It was a week or two after our relationship had dissolved.   I'd just told him that I was engaged.  He was angry.  He walked away.  I never saw him again.

It's always haunted me.

Sort of like the first time he told me that he loved me.  I dont remember if I told him that I loved him back.  I did... In a different way, of course, than the instantaneous love that blindsided me with Peter.  But it was a love nonetheless.  And did I tell him that?  I dont remember and, now that we are adults with children of our own, I dont suppose it matters.

When I joined facebook months ago, he sent me a message.  Something brief.  A how are you sort of thing.  I responded and, perhaps foolishly, apologized for how things ended.  He never responded...  I know it shouldnt have bothered me, but, if I'm honest, it does.  I had no plans to reconnect, but... I dont like cliffhangers either.

And then, last night.  I dreamed of him.  (Not like "that", you crazy people!)  We were friends, like we used to be.  Peter and Bobby and Maya were there... It was my life.  Only, he was in it.  While Peter and I were chatting during the kids' bathtime tonight, I told him about the dream and my regrets.  That I miss him and the friendship we had.  That I often wondered what would have happened had we ended on better terms (or never had a relationship to end, only a close friendship).  Peter's response?  It's never too late to reconnect.

Perhaps he's right.  I dont know.  But I'm willing to give it a shot.  Is it possible to pick up a friendship that has had a 12 year hiatus where the last words spoken were in anger?  Is it possible to let go of guilt and hurt and engage in a true friendship again?  Or should we let those who know our innermost secrets flow away in the wind and work on building new friendships and telling new secrets?

I dont know... And I think it is the not knowing the answer that has me wondering "what if?"


one-hit_wonder said...

That's a tough one. I think I would've done the same thing - sent him an apology even years after the fact - but what else can you do? I think it might be one of those things where he won't reply but, if you ever see each other in person again, he might acknowledge receipt and express his gratitude over it. Then maybe a new beginning. I don't know - that's just my guess.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel in regards to this ..
I had been best friends with "F" .. for 5 1/2 yrs before we dated .. we dated for 3yrs (we lived together for 2 1/2 of those 3yrs) ..
and then suddenly we started to grow apart .. he didnt want to work on the relationship like I did and couldnt accept the fact that I wanted to join the army ..
but I did .. I was in "me me me" mode...
and then .. I met "A" (who is now my husband) .. A and I were living together in less than a month and engaged as soon as I returned from training..
well, a while back, a mutual friend found me on FB and we were talking and I saw that "F" was engaged to be married.. so, I sent him a message and said my congrats .. I also apologized for how things were left and that given other means, I think we could have continued being friends... and how I would really like that because (lets face it) he was such a huge part my life for almost 10yrs!

well.. needless to say, he never emailed me back ..

I hate cliffhangers too!

and.. I say, go for it .. email him again and let him know of your convo with Peter .. who knows, maybe he has matured enough to the point where, when he hears what you just wrote .. he will respond.

good luck! and might I just say .. what a wonderful hubby you have for being ok with you wanting to reconnect with an old flame..

It took some convincing on my side to get my hubby to understand where I was coming from .. and I have many friends whose hubbies would never "allow" it!

Joanna said...

Hi Michele,
I totally support you in reaching out "in friendship", but please be prepared that it may not be received too well.

My situation was a little different. I had a really good male friend, we'd go out, hang out, chat, etc. JUST friends. At some point, my best friend started dating him behind my back. That is to say that after dating for weeks, she called to ask what I thought...and could I tell her right now as he was picking her up in 10 minutes. I certainly didn't mind that they were dating, but the fact that they lied to me for months ruined my friendship with both of them. I have no ill will toward them, and if they emailed an apology, fine. I certainly don't want to be friends though - that kind of trust violation is hard to get over and I would have no interest in rebuilding it. I was invited to their wedding, and although I was married myself by that time, I had no interest in going.

So please forgive me for being "on the other side". I think that you sending an apology was incredibly courageous and decent, its always better late than never, but your friend may not necessarily want to reopen those wounds and deal with them again, or in the past years maybe he hasn't gotten to the point of forgiveness. So while I support you, I hope that you'll tread carefully, so that you don't end up the hurt party this time. You've suffered through a lot my friend and you don't need any more pain or disappointment. Good luck!!

And kudos to Peter!!!

Kakunaa said...

So here's my thought...he opened the door. Perhaps he didn't expect you to dive back to 12 years ago. Try another message asking about his current life. It can't hurt, and I get the impression you would always be for thought.

Michele said...

Yep... So I tried.... But he hasnt responded. I have to be okay with that.