Thursday, January 05, 2006

Love, Again.

So this wednesday was my Old Friend's Birthday. I invited him over for dinner, thinking he'd decline. To my great surprise and queasiness he accepted, and I made him Teryaki Chicken with rice and his favorite, peas (which are, incidentally, also my favorite). I cooked while he sat at the kitchen table, drinking sweet tea, making small talk. I was so nervous I burned my chicken.

After a while we started talking about his mothers illness, and I saw for the first time why he was here, because he needed to be here, needed to let some of this pressure off of his chest. In the seven years I've known him I had never seen him get so emotional. He also told me about his father, which he has never ever talked about to me in all these years. Tonight I experienced something I didn't think possible.

I felt love shift.

It was so subtle I barely noticed it. But after a few hours of talking and laughing and almost crying I felt how misplaced my feelings have been all this time. I still love him like a crazy person, but I know now it's because of him, and not because of an unrequited crush. He basically told me tonight that I'm his only friend. The only person he can talk to about these things, the only one in his life outside of immediate family he can trust. I know now we'll never 'be' together, and that suits me just fine.

Last year for his birthday I gave him a tiny ceramic elephant. It's about a half an inch high and if I had held on to it, I would have lost it within hours.

He still has it.

That's love.

And that kind of love is the only kind I need from him. It's plenty.

3 comments:

SlimAdam said...

i feel bad for him to only have one friend with who he can talk about those kinds of things. i can look at my 'friend stable' and count many with whom i am extremely close. obviously there are folks you can be closer to than others depending on whether they are a friend, an aquaintance, or a significant other. i am pretty blessed (don't use that word a lot) to have people i can say i genuinely love.

Ms. Adventures said...

That's so awesome Beth! Have I ever told you I think you're the best thing south of space? I do. I can see why he'd care about you like that. Poor guy though.

Crystal said...

If you love him and he loves you and you're best friends, then why can't you ever be together? Hubby & I started out that way. The most solid marriages are built on trust and deep caring; not passion.

But you probably already know that.