Learning From Heartache

I remember it was a cold day. The day that I met her. It was mid-February and, if I close my eyes now, I can still clearly see her flushed face and green mittens.

I can still see her smile as she picked up my book, handed it to me and introduced herself. And I still remember how special she was, from the minute I first caught her gaze. After we met for the second time, I came home with the biggest smile, feeling warm and fuzzy and silly. After our third time hanging out, the emotions had shifted entirely.

I felt terrified. I felt like a stranger.

‘What is this?’ ‘How is this possible?’ ‘Do I really like her like THAT?’ ‘But I’m a girl.’ ‘Does she like me?’ ‘I hope she does.’ ‘She’s the prettiest person I’ve seen in my life’ ‘She’s funny and smart, how could I not like her?’ ‘Stop.’ ‘You're imagining this.’

And so on and so on. I was confused and scared, even. The thing is that: I come from a household where things like that are not accepted. Not just not accepted—they don’t exist. However, despite the mess in my head at the time, I continued to meet with her. She was extraordinary. The one thing I loved most about her were her hands. Her hands that touched my thighs with such gentleness, my whole body shivered. Her hands that wiped tears from my eyes and turned the pages of the French books she read to me. Her hands that were eventually gone.

After about 8 months of us being together, she left. Without an explanation or a goodbye. We exchanged two letters in the next few months. One was written by me and had the obvious questions in it—why did she leave, what did I do wrong, etc. I waited forever for the reply but, when it finally came, I was crushed. In it she explained how she loves a boy now, and how I was always the weak one and ‘pathetically couldn’t come out to my father.’

I wanted to die. This was followed by a long period of obsessing over her, disconnecting myself from everyone else and doing things that I regret with my whole heart now.

After about a month she showed up at my doorstep. I was doing fairly well at the time but when I saw her, all the stitches that I was carefully closing up the giant holes in my heart with when she left, tore in an instant and my insides were out in the open again.

She brought me some clothes and books that I still had at her place and, after exchanging two lines of conversation, she left and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t breathe anymore. So I told my mom. And it was okay.

Fast-forward a little bit: my mom and dad got a divorce. Not because of me and my gay ass but because of their own problems. They had a lot.

I don’t speak to my dad anymore. I finally moved out and am now living with my best friend in the whole entire world who means everything to me.

I know this wasn’t at all what you thought of when you said that you want to read stories about our sexualities—and I wanted to write one, but I couldn’t without writing about her. I still love her but she hurt me badly. Terribly. It was magnificent in a way, what a big heartbreak this was and still is for me. But despite everything, she taught me to be proud, to be loud, and to love. And I am incredibly grateful for that.

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