Posted 1/10/2018 3:50 AM (GMT -7)
First time here. This may be therapy for me. I don't expect answers. But I need to do this. I apologize for the length in advance.
In the 1990's, I met a girl named Tara. Tara became the love of my life. I learned what true love was from her and decided even then to always wish for her to be happy. Because we both had a lot of growing to do, we eventually broke up and separated. Some time later, we reconnected and realized that we were both each other's good friend. Although I wanted to be with her again, she had just started a new relationship. Caring for her and still wanting to be her friend, I helped her through a difficult moment in that relationship. Shortly after, I felt she was going to get married in Las Vegas. I made the difficult decision to step aside as I felt that was the right thing to do. She knew how I felt about her and I didn't want to stand in the way of her being happy.
I admit that this was a very, very difficult time for me. I felt physical pain during this time and struggled with my sense of self. I found it very difficult to find love again and resolved to simply be a bachelor rather than dare risk feeling the loss again. I made one final prayer to God to always keep her happy and then put aside this part of life. Seemingly forever.
Ten years later, at a very low moment of my life, I reached out to Tara again. I needed someone, anyone, to help me. At first, she was upset at a ghost reaching out from the past. But over the course of a year, we remembered that we both needed each other. I learned she never had gotten married (she wanted him to ask her properly,) had lost both her parents, and established herself quite well in life. I was proud of her and maintained a dialogue while I went back to school.
In August of 2017, Tara decided she finally wanted her boyfriend of a decade to ask her to get married. Again, as someone who cared so much about her, I opted to help her. We talked a great deal and learned many things about each other. We admitted we loved each other and still held each other in special places in our hearts. Tara asked me to walk her down the aisle if she wed. I agreed. And we both promised to always be there for each other. "Souls like ours cannot be without each other," she said. I let her go once. I could not in good conscience ever do it again. Like me, Tara tries to have back up plans in case things go wrong. Tara admitted that she wasn't sure her boyfriend would propose. If he did not, she was going to end the relationship. If that happened, she was coming to me. At first, that did not seem fair to regard me as a back up. But I was still willing. The hope of it gave me strength. It felt good to possibly be part of something again. There were lines we did not cross since we both have morals we feel are important. Although I knew if he didn't propose it would hurt her, I silently wanted him to fail. As wrong as that was to feel.
On Christmas day, he did propose. She said yes. I was so happy for her and thanked the Heavens for making her happy. But I was not completely prepared for the emptiness I felt. I had lost her again. Yes, we talked. Yes, we have accepted that we cannot have a life together. But while she is happy, I am devastated. It was important to have that purpose in life. To be a part of something was a strong motivator for me. Now, that purpose seems lost and unobtainable.
I know I should move on and do things to better myself. I should finish school, meet other people, etc. But it's so difficult. I want my friend to be happy. But I miss her and dread the idea of never being able to have her romantically in my life. Plus, I promised to walk her down the aisle. How can I? Give away the love of my life? It is the honorable thing to do. And it is important that I uphold my word and make her happy.
I learned a long time ago that if you truly care about someone, you help them, be there for them, and do so never expecting anything in return. She once asked me why I helped her if I knew it would torture me. I said it was because I wanted to help. I did not admit that it was because I loved her because she had just said "Yes" the day before. But I do love her. I know I always will. I'll endure any pain, any torture, because I love her.
They have not set a date yet. Yes, her fiance knows about me and has personally invited me to their wedding (he doesn't mind that she has a friend.) I will walk her down the aisle. I will be there for her forever.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. And it does. Going forward feels like I'll just be going through the motions. I don't like that at all. I want my purpose back. Even though my mind says it is not possible. I love her. I wish I didn't.