I looked across the room at her.
She was the girl who wouldn’t love me.
She couldn’t love me.
And how could I blame her?
After all, no woman wants a man who’s also attracted to other men. Does she?
A waterfall of multi-toned silky hair draping enticingly below her shoulders. Big eyes. Blue eyes. The kind of eyes that a man could look into forever without wanting anything more. Shoulders that are soft. Arms that are strong. Legs that reach the sky. She is… beautiful.
I listen to her laugh.
And I remember.
Her laugh is a sound that always calmed me in my hardest moments. Her smile is one that forces the same from all who approach her. She is kind. So kind. She doesn’t see people the way so many others do. As ugly. Or fat. Or different. She just sees people. And her smile and her kindness are genuine for all.
She would have been able to love me. If it weren’t for finding out my secret. She would have fallen for me the way so many women did before I came out. She would have believed that I was incredible, a good catch, perfect in so many ways, at least on paper.
All I would have had to do is hide a significant piece of who I am from her. It wouldn’t have been that hard. After all, I’ve done it most of my life.
When we first met, she didn’t know. She liked me. She laughed with me. She gave me that same incredible smile. She was a girl that I had to talk to. She was a girl with whom I had to try. She was a girl I wanted in my life.
One date turned into two. Two turned into three. And soon, it became obvious that there was something more than just attraction between us. Something more than friendship. A stronghold of potential.
Still she didn’t know my secret. I didn’t tell her. Maybe she didn’t need to know. We hiked together. We skied together. We shopped together. We watched movies together.
We laughed together.
I became increasingly and intrinsically torn as we grew closer to one another. Did I need to be honest? Did it matter at all? Was it worth risking something that was so beautiful? Would she understand? Would she believe what I had to say about it?
Could she love me?
Would she love me.
One evening, as she lied in my arms after a romantic movie, the burden became too great. As she looked deep into my eyes, her face said what I knew we were both afraid to say out loud and so soon.
I love you.
Maybe love can survive beyond the truth, I thought.
“There’s something I need to tell you,” I quietly said. I said it so calmly. So normally. Inside, a lion of anxiety was tearing me to shreds.
Continued on next page.