Honey Badger takes what it wants

If there is one thing in this life that I find most difficult to cope with, it’s the loss of friends and loved ones. To death, to life, to time. Our lives change and friends become distant from each other, rarely able to retain the same closeness that causes the separation to hurt as much as it does. That break is difficult even when the friendship is left in turmoil: things said in unfortunate moments of lapsed judgment, things unsaid that might have helped mend confusion.

More challenging still is when the emotional tie is unrequited, a raw nerve being plucked and left to heal without being mended. I’ve experienced unrequited love before – or I think that’s what it was. I’ve never been in love with someone who felt similarly towards me. It’s my continued regret that I have not experienced this. It is seemingly so common yet completely beyond my grasp. Can you fall in love with someone without really having spent time with them? Or is this simply a “crush”? What of “love at first sight”? Does that actually happen?

I feel this once again as two friends move across the country, two long-term boyfriends who I had a briefly strong attachment with. To them, I was merely a friend; to me, they were an example of what I want to achieve one day. Success in life and love, they seemed secure and strong, resolute and passionate. In a matter of a very short period of time, I grew to respect, admire and love them. They will find new lives and new friends, as two such amazing people are quick to do. I find myself wrestling with remorse and sadness, a twinge of jealousy added for the emotional wallop.

Yet my time with them was not without problems. My attraction grew increasingly strong for one of them, leading me down a path of destructive behavior. I knew one thing was certain: I could not do anything to interfere with what these two had for each other. Balancing my feelings for them and my feelings for him proved impossible for me, and in my weakness, I lashed out. It proved damaging as I attempted to calm the feelings I had for him out of respect for my feelings for them.

The catalyst for this revelation occurred on a pivotal Thursday night of dancing and drinking, too much drinking which tore down self-imposed walls. Whatever happened on the dance floor is a mystery to me, as I was intoxicated by sight, sound and the mere presence of him. The evening ended as it tends to: home alone and unable to sleep. Thoughts were racing, and drunken text messages were exchanged. Saying things I didn’t mean, I was an injured animal attacking for lack of better coping mechanisms. It wasn’t until the following morning that I realized how wrong things had gone. An apology was not enough for what I had said – a complete separation was needed.

This separation is now coming, although it is not of my doing. I attempted to distance myself on my own, failing rather miserably to quell the feelings I had for him. If anything, my explicit determination to reject how I felt had the opposite effect. However, I believe I was successful in masking my feelings a bit better, although this was made quite easy by distance. I saw him with increasing infrequency, and almost never away from his boyfriend. I knew I was wrong, that I was acting inappropriately. That he did not simply turn away and refuse my friendship is a testament to his soulful nature. I still care deeply about them, but with him, I continue to feel as strongly as ever. This heartache will fade with time, I know from experience, but the pain is still raw.

In a few days, if not already, they will be gone. I will find solace in the future, but I do not look forward to it.

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