Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Love Was Right Before My Eyes ::Writer's Workshop::
He is my dearest friend. I have known him for years. I’m not talking about the kind of years that I’ve clocked with my childhood friends. It’s not the kind of years I shared with my best friend when we were trapped in a brain-sucking device (my swing set in the back yard) where we were trapped, waiting for our James Bond like boyfriends to come and rescue us; or of those years filled with slumber parties that always dissolved into a night of complaining, crying and hugging it out. Those are the years that formed who I was, but he was there for the years that have formed who I am.
A little over 10 years ago he walked into my life. I can never recall the exact moment I met him because I look back now and it feels like he’s always been there. I can’t think of a time when just seeing him walk into a room with his confident stride did not instantly make me feel like conquering the world. It seems that his smile was always there to brighten a day. His family and mine found each other and fit together so well that it seems like we have always been friends.
He was there to offer advice when requested, support when needed and friendship and fun at all times. I will always remember one summer evening as my (then) husband and I were visiting his family and he walked with me, encouraging and advising me on ways to improve my marriage. No matter how close we were though, we always knew our boundaries. We always held ourselves back just enough so that we would not feel more than we were allowed.
Then my little family was no more. My marriage ended and our lives went on. In some ways my friend and I grew apart, and I didn’t know of his struggles. I did not put myself in a position to return the support my dear friend had shown me. Then one summer evening we took another walk. He revealed to me the truth of what was going on in his life. His own family was splintering in painful and awful ways. The suggestions and allegations against him were severe. The pain and anguish it caused him were clear. Still I could not believe the claims against him. I could not believe his family was breaking apart. But I could support him as a friend.
I found our old friendship was as comfortable as ever, and I continued to observe the boundaries that had always been there. Even as the reasons for those boundaries were falling away, I continued to hold back. Even as we fell back into the easy step as friends; as two single adults in this crazy world, I looked at him from behind those same boundaries. So one night after coffee as I was stood in the doorway talking to him, (maybe mixing in some light and innocent flirting) I never anticipated anything would change. I didn’t see it coming when he stepped closer to me, leaned over me and placed his lips so gently on mine. I was still pondering what happened when I heard him ask, “Can I kiss you?” I didn’t have the heart to point out that he already had. Nor did I have the time as I felt another kiss as sweet as the first. And I don’t know what surprised me more, feeling his hand on my side, pulling me gently toward him, or the intense pleasure I found at his touch.
The surprise didn’t end with us. Our friends were surprised; many of them have even misunderstood, but the love of my life is simply this: a friend who’s always been there, and always will be in my heart. And these days the only thing that surprises me is how much my love grows for him every day.
This was written in response to prompt #5:Who blind-sided you? Write about a time someone caught you totally off guard.