I remember Chris asked me to come over to his house because he needed to talk to me about something. I still didn’t know at this point that he had finally given in to his love for me- I thought we were still just friends. So, I went over to his house but felt very anxious and nervous because Chris had sounded so serious on the phone. Also, we never hung out one-on-one anymore, so it was out of the ordinary for him to ask me to come to his house. Aaaaand I was madly in love with him. So, there was that too. My head was reeling with what he could be wanting to talk to me about.
We sat down, and Chris told me that what he was going to say was very hard for him. He wanted to be honest with me, he wanted to respect me enough to say what he had to say. My stomach did flip-flops… I knew that whatever he was going to tell me wouldn’t be easy for me to hear.
Chris was so kind and gentle, and I could see in his eyes that the very last thing on earth that he wanted to do was hurt me anymore than he already had. He held back tears, I held my breath. He told me that he had been with another girl in the 7 months that we had been apart. It was a one time thing, he felt horrible about it, but he needed to let me know.
Now, picture my quandary, here. Chris and I are not together, we are not dating or engaged or anything. We are just friends. I have no clue that he is telling me this because it is his first step to winning back my heart. Yet, I feel like a ton of bricks have just crashed through the window and landed in my lap. Because I LOVE him. Because I had never been with anyone but him. And because I had been with him after he had been with someone else.
I felt confused. I didn’t know how to respond. If we had been dating, I would have responded in anger. But since we were just friends, I didn’t know if it was OK to show him how much this affected me. It wasn’t my place. We weren’t even together at the time it happened. So, I tried not to cry. I tried not to completely lose it. I mumbled something about needing to go. And I left.
I felt betrayed. I felt like I didn’t know Chris anymore. I felt like the man I’d been falling in love with again would never have done something like that. And I started to feel angry again.
Chris could tell I was freaking out, and he knew that we would need some help in working this thing through. He called later and asked if I would be willing to meet with him and our pastor and his wife so that they could help mediate this thing and we could get everything out on the table. At this point, I was seething. Why was he doing this to me? Why was he telling me all of this? Was he just wanting to hurt me again?
I agreed to go to the meeting. I wanted Chris to know that I was hurt, angry, and confused. I wanted him to understand that if he was really my friend, he wouldn’t have told me that. I didn’t need to know.
We met one evening with our pastor and his wife, and we both got everything out. I was angry. I cried. I yelled. He told me how he had been feeling, told me why he thought he had been pushing me away all those years. Then, he told me that he was sorry… He said that he knew he hadn’t been loving me as I deserved to be loved. He was sorry for the years of pain. He never meant to hurt me. He told me I deserved better.
I calmed down, and apologized for being so angry and controlling of him for the past 7 months. I told him I really did just want him to be happy. Our pastor and his wife helped us talk through some of the anger and hurt. There were a lot of tears. When it was time to go, I felt completely drained. And I felt extremely sad because I loved Chris with all of my heart, but this meeting just might have been the final stamp, the end-all, for the past four years of my life. I felt like when I walked out of my pastor’s house that night, I would be walking out on everything Chris and I had been, or would be in the future. I felt like it was really over. And I was completely crushed by that thought. I just wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. That was all that I had ever wanted.
Chris and I walked out to our cars parked on the street. It was an amazing night, a slight chill in the air, and stars so bright they were piercing. I breathed deep, and turned to walk to my car. Life would go on. I would be okay without Chris. I would find someway to move on with my life.
I put the key in the door of my car to unlock it. I looked up, and was surprised to find Chris standing right beside me. He put his hands on my shoulders and told me that he had one last thing to say…
**to be continued…**