The spring of 1997 I moved in with Drang, and one of his best friends used to spend a lot of time at the house. His friend was drop-dead sexy, rather shy, with a biting wit and a soft-spoken nature. He didn’t smile often, but when he did, the whole world stopped moving. That summer, Drang and I would have these raucous parties when he was home from the mine, and often, his friend would come.
I’d known Drang’s friend from LARP of course, but it seemed like he’d never really been interested in talking to me, so I just watched him from across the room.
Then, at one of our summer parties, Drang’s friend agreed to let me dye his hair pink. So I was in the bathroom, rinsing the dye out of his hair, and he looked at me. Right in my eyes, which he didn’t usually do. My heart stopped, and my legs started to shake. I couldn’t meet his eyes for very long. Finally, I asked him, while looking at my feet, if it would be okay if I kissed him.
He said he thought that would be okay.
And, as they say, “since the invention of the kiss, there have been only five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”
He had never had a lover before, and I had never been so scared. We dated for about seven months, and then I broke up with him because I was so broken and I knew I would hurt him. And I knew breaking up with him would hurt him. But I knew that I would destroy him, and his tender, beautiful soul, if I stayed. So I broke his heart.
Then I had a mad love affair or two, and the whole time, I wanted Drang’s friend. And then I had The Captain. The Captain was born in October, and Drang’s friend was one of the first people there. We had been talking to each other, trying to rebuild our friendship during my pregnancy, and I had realized far too late that I was still, and always would be, in love with him. He had moved on, had found another woman (that’s a long story in and of itself), and we were doing okay as friends.
But then when I was in hospital and The Captain was dying, Drang’s friend was there. I remember standing at the end of the hallway; I’d been on the phone with my father, sobbing. And I turned around after I hung up the phone, and Drang’s friend was walking toward me down the hall, which was dimly lit because the babies were sleeping in the nursery.
And I knew then that I would always love him, that I’d made the biggest mistake in hurting him and in breaking up with him, and that I’d never be able to make up for it, and I’d missed my chance. I’d REALLY missed my chance. It was the worst, most hollow, sinking feeling I’d ever had. He held me for a long time that day, and with everything that was going through my head and my heart…with my baby dying, and having to go back to work in a month and being alone…I *seriously* lost my shit. But I didn’t tell Drang’s friend how I felt about him.
I did my best to be his friend, and he came over almost every day to see me. We watched movies together, and I made him lunch, and we went for walks with The Captain, and Drang’s friend was still playing in the Vampire game, and every time I saw him, my heart grew bigger, and every time he left, it broke a little because I couldn’t tell him how I felt. I’d already beached that ship.
Just before Christmas, we were watching a movie at my house, and The Captain was sleeping in a laundry basket at the foot of my bed, and Drang’s friend and I were sitting next to each other and I couldn’t not touch him. I had been doing really well for two months, but this feeling just overwhelmed me and I put my head on his shoulder and I put my hand over his.
He turned to me and kissed me, and I started to cry. And he asked what was wrong and I told him how much I loved him and how I always had and how I’d made the biggest mistake of my life when I broke up with him but that I really thought I was doing the right thing by him and that I understood if he didn’t feel the same way anymore but that it was killing me not to tell him and that he was the only man I ever wanted to fall in love with ever again.
And he told me he still loved me. That he always had. That he’d never stopped.
That was December 20th, 1999.
And that’s why His Nibs and I got married on a Tuesday in December.
(His Nibs is Drang’s friend, you see. And although this is how I remember this going, His Nibs probably has a completely different memory of the event.)