27 January 2011

My Greatest Mistake

I can’t believe I did such a terrible and disgusting thing; this is not who I am, and I have condemned every person I knew who made this same error in judgment for doing this themselves; and yet here I am, guilty of the same with no excuses. It’s funny how easy it can be to justify your actions in the heat of the moment, but no pleasure, no sense of fulfilled longing can ever overcome the pain and guilt of hurting the person you love, or worse, the person who loves you the most.

Robert and I had been together for 2 years, lovingly and devoted; we were the couple that everyone thought was disgustingly cute and finished one another’s sentences. But no matter the love that brings two people together, there is sometimes another hidden in the shadows of our past, the one that got away, that tugs at your heart like the loose thread of a sweater; we are always aware of its existence, and the longer it gets, the more you feel as though your soul is pulling apart, spared its demise only if we are willing to simply cut it away.  That was my fatal flaw, that I could never cut loose my lengthening thread; instead, I simply pulled and played with it, hoping it would someday turn into a new, beautiful sweater, never realizing I was slowly allowing the perfect world I had created to fray and unravel.

In my past, there was William; we met through friends and were instantly intrigued by one another. He was only 19, I was 22, and somewhere between his dark eyes and remarkable wit, his innocence and his charm, I fell as hard as a penny from a skyscraper. We went out, danced, hung out with our friends, we would kiss and caress for hours; but it never went beyond that. I loved him entirely. He had never been with anyone before and wanted to wait to have sex, so who was I push? But after a couple months, it did finally become something I wanted more and more, and as I longed for something more physical, I found it was never meant to be. Eventually, after several months, he decided he was just not ready to be anything other than that dreaded definition; “Friends”.

And we stayed friends for years, and it was years later that I met Robert. We also fell in love and, while I loved him dearly, it was never the same as the emotional and physical love I felt for William. No excuses, I loved Robert, and he loved me without boundaries. Regardless of the fact that I had never been anything but utterly loyal to him and every person I had ever been with, one drunken night at a party found me and William passed out in the same hotel room together, and at 3:30 in the morning, I woke up to feel him up against me, his hand rubbing my crotch, and without hesitation, our lips were locked.

There were at least a dozen other people in that room with us, passed out on the other bed, the floor, in the adjoining living room and every place in between, except the bathroom. He took my hand and we stepped over body after body until we got in, he closed the door, unzipped my fly and took a bow. He stopped to kiss me and make out, and offered me that carnal passion I had so longed for; without pause, without compromise, I took advantage at the chance to have that which had been denied me. In the end, it was quick, sweaty and we found ourselves back in the bed together in what seemed like only moment later. He did not want me too close to him, and pushed me away to ensure I understood the limits of what had just happened. He fell asleep fast, and I lay awake in shock and remorse at not just what had happened, but what now lay ahead.

I laid there next to him, his back to me, and I felt the culpability of what I did rush over me time and time again, like the tides of guilt washing over my soul with every heart beat. I knew I could not keep this from Robert, and when I saw him the next morning, I told him what I had done. I did not make excuses, although I had a list in my head; I did not beg forgiveness, for I knew it was too far out of my reach. I had the perfect and ideal relationship, and for the want of something utterly insignificant, I lost all.

Robert accepted it calmly, kissed me gently and went back to bed. In my own shock, I got angry with him for not being mad at me; for not unleashing his well deserved rage at me. Behind my back, I found out later, he broke down to everyone else, and the true damage of my actions was known to all. Over the next several weeks our relationship fell apart. I could not fix it; I could not make amends to a heart torn in half. I lost him completely; trust betrayed we broke up, and he rightfully turned his back on me.

I tried to go back to Wililam, too. Despite his lack of romance and interest after our moment in time, I lost him too, as he feared I would want or expect more once that crevice was breached. He was right, too. And because I could not let go of what was long gone, because I could not be strong enough to turn down what I wanted for what I had, I lost the love in my life and the love of my life in one swell blow.

 Lost, betrayer of hearts and branded with my own special letter, I was more alone than I had ever known possible. I had been cheated on before many times, and known that heartache. Now, being the cheater, I knew the other side of that pain. One is no better than the other, and in the end, we lose everything when we give up the most important part of ourselves. If we cannot be true to the ones we love, then how can we ever be true to ourselves?

The life I had then is now long gone. I have grown since then and am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man. William, once again approached me one drunken night a couple years ago. Without hesitation I was the one to turn my back on him, told my love what had happened, and was reminded quickly that if I had made the same mistake with him as I had with Robert, that I would have been quickly doomed to re-learn the same lesson.

I may have lost much due to a simple infidelity, but I guess, in the end, I gained a lot, too. I learned to be a better man, I grew up and became a better husband to the man I am with today; better than I could have been had I never made such a terrible blunder. I may have lost, all, but in the end, I gained everything through a new love; but I will always have to live with the pain I inflicted on someone I loved, and one whom once loved me.

Point of the conversation: Learn your lesson.

- Shaun Taylor

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