My therapist has suggested I tell my side of the story, so this is it.
After reading what Dylan said you probably think Iím naive or an idiot. Iím neither. Or maybe Iím both. I just donít know anymore.
He was right about one thing: I would have left. If he had told me, I would have left. When he did tell me, I left. I didnít cry or yell and scream. I didnít say a word, I just packed a few changes of clothes and left. I wanted nothing from the apartment, those things would only remind me of him. I walked out the door with three changes of clothes and vowed not to look back.
What was I suppose to do? I had just found out that everything I thought I knew was a lie. My partner, my lover just admitted to me that he had been unfaithful during our entire relationship; that he was sick and that he had more than likely infected me too.
I donít think I have ever felt worse than I did that day, not even when my mother died. I took my overnight bag and went to a motel. I stayed there for three days. I never left the room and barely left the bed. Those had to have been the darkest days of my life. I wanted to die. I wanted him to die. I wondered what I had done to deserve it. But mainly I was just sad, so incredibly sad.
Finally I called my sister and she insisted I come stay with her and her husband, at least for a few days. I did and within a week I had found a friend who was subletting his apartment for a couple of months while he was out of town with his job. I moved in there and began seeing a shrink, determined to put my life back together. It wasnít easy, but I knew that I needed to go on. I needed to at least try to move past what had happened. Some days I could barely get out of bed, but slowly I began to heal.
I suppose I should start where Dylan did, at the beginning, in that bookstore. I was so proud of myself that day. I walked out of there knowing I had made the right decision. I really never expected him to call, but I had finally listened to my head instead of my heart.
Maybe I need to explain a few things first. I had a history of looking for love in all the wrong places. Of going home with a guy, and falling for him, while he only wanted a good time. I had my heart stepped on again and again, and finally I vowed that I would change my ways. I would stand up for myself and quit acting so recklessly. I would respect myself enough to not give in to the first pretty face that turned my way. With Dylan I finally held my ground. So I was pleasantly surprised when the next day Dylan called.
We went out and that first evening was so perfect, he was so perfect. When we pulled up in front of my apartment that night I wanted nothing more than to invite him in, but instead I laid my cards on the table. I told him how I felt and what I wanted. I told him that I didnít want just a fuck; that I was only interested in a relationship, and if he felt the same then we should take our time and see where this would go.
I think I half expected him to laugh, or be pissed and call me a tease. But instead he just nodded his head and said okay, that he could wait.
Now I know that he left my place and went to the baths. Oh, but he thought of me while he was fucking some nameless guy. Isn't that sweet?
Ah, my anger is showing again and itís not productive; enough of that, back to my story.
That first week was bliss. He was everything I thought I wanted. That time in our relationship was so precious to me that even after everything I still smile when I remember. I suppose there is this part of meÖ no, thatís not true, I know there is this part of me that wishes I had never learned the truth, that I could still be in that ignorant bliss of thinking everything was grand. But, we seldom get what we wish for, now do we?
I finally could hold out no longer. Unlike Dylan, I wasn't getting my rocks off with numerous faceless tricks. The only sex I was having involved my hand and my imagination. I asked him in, feeling all giddy, like a virgin or something. It was all so special.
He was so gentle with me, almost shy. We made love for hours and then he held me in his arms as we slept. I wanted it to never end, to always be just like that.
Mornings after are so often awkward; but Dylan was so attentive, that I just fell in love with him right then, that morning in the shower. I wanted nothing more than to be his, for him to be mine. Sounds naive, huh? Yeah, I know, but Dylan and I really did love each other, even after all the shitty things he did to me I know that he did love me, at least as best as he could.
My mother's unexpected death was definitely a turning point for us. To say I was a wreck would be an understatement. I was devastated. Mom and I had always been close; she was my best friend, my confidante, and my support system. Her death was tragic and I was at a total loss as to how to deal with it.
Dylan was like a knight in shining armor. He was there for me the entire time. Holding me when I cried, making the arrangements for her funeral, dealing with the paper work and everything involved when a life ends. He was so strong for me, so patient and understanding. I have no idea how I would have ever survived those days without him and for that I will always be grateful.
After the funeral I wanted to spend some time with my sister, to make sure she would be okay. Can you imagine how I felt when later I learned how Dylan spent that night? Out at the club, high on E, going home with some complete stranger. For all he knew the guy he slept with died that night. How can I reconcile that? It's like there was this whole side of Dylan I didnít even know existed. I mean I knew Dylan had his dark moods and at times struggled with depression. I knew he tended to drink too much and drug too much, but I never even suspected he had this whole other life.
What more can I tell you about our first seven years? I thought we were perfect. At least as perfect as it gets. Then it all blew up in my face. Like I said, I left him that night, vowing not to look back. As far as I know he made no attempt to contact me. I never got a voice mail or email from him. Never saw his number on my caller id. I suppose he knew what my response would be.
I had begun putting my life back together and trying to heal. I was back to work after taking some time off, and was looking for an apartment of my own. I was still devastated, but I was trying. Then, by chance, I ran into him at a coffee shop. Once again my whole world would be changed.