It was truly a wonderful night
. I couldn't remember a time when we'd been more in love
. It was the middle of summer
, and we were spending one last night together before I left the next day to visit relatives
for a few weeks. We'd gone out for steak
that night, and then a movie
. Neither of us wanted the night to end.
She was driving, as I didn't yet have my license. Instead of going home, we decided to go get some ice cream. It was late, but Baskin Robbins was still open. I ordered a vanilla milkshake (I'm crazy about them, for some reason) and she got Mint Chocolate Chip (her favorite). We parked out in a dark corner of the Albertson's parking lot to enjoy our treats.
We talked about a lot of stuff. How we were going to miss each other for the next few weeks. How we loved the time we spent with each other. How the last year had been a dream and we couldn't wait to spend another year together. And then, as I was sucking down the last sip of my yummy milkshake, she dropped the bomb on my head.
"Ryan, I need to tell you something," she said meekly.
"Okay," I said as I enjoyed the last swallow of my shake.
"I don't know if I should tell you...you'll probably get mad."
This perked my ears up. What had she done? She'd cheated on me, no doubt. But wait, no, she couldn't have. She wouldn't have. I trusted her. What could it be then? I had to make her tell me!
"You can tell me, spaz. No matter what it is, I promise I'll understand. I love you." I tried to look sincere. Chances are I would get mad, but I certainly couldn't tell her that, now could I?
"I'm bisexual," she said. Noticing the ten seconds or so of silence afterwards, she added, "This doesn't change anything, right?"
"No. No, of course not. Uh, why would it?" I stammered as I tried to act like it hadn't surprised me at all. I devoted every muscle in my body to keeping the smile on my face and giving her hand a little supportive squeeze. The truth was, I was furious. We'd been going out for over a year, and she hadn't told me. She hadn't told me!
What's more, I was raised in a very conservative, very Christian family. Despite my own attempts to be more open-minded than my relatives, her announcement still sent a sharp pang of weirdness through my body. For some reason, I felt that this had changed everything. It was only a matter of minutes before she realized that I was just pretending to be okay with it. Then she cried. I got frustrated with her. I said some very unsensitive things that I regretted instantly. I was in a state of shock.
The next day, after walking out of my house in the morning to find her sitting in the driveway waiting to talk to me, we had a horrible screaming match. I told her I just didn't know whether I could deal with it. I viewed it as such a huge change that I couldn't cope. I told her, in not-so-nice words, that she should have been honest with me from the beginning and that I was going to have to do a lot of thinking. She got terribly angry. Began yelling at me, attracting attention from the neighbors. I yelled back, which only made her yell more. Eventually, I told her to leave. She refused. I told her to leave now, or I was going to call the police. She looked at me, and her eyes conveyed such pain that I almost fell over right there. Then, crying, she got in her car and left.
I went to Texas. I thought about her every minute I was there. I thought about my views on sexuality. I had always considered myself completely open-minded to alternative lifestyles. If it made people happy, and it wasn't hurting anyone, I didn't see anything wrong with it. But for some reason, this bothered me deeply. Perhaps it was the fact that it had been hidden from me for so long. Whatever the case was, I came to the conclusion that I couldn't live with it. I thought it had totally changed everything, and we just couldn't go on. We had to break up. I was going to tell her that, as soon as I got home.
I got home. She came to see me. She drove up, and I met her outside. She got out of the car, closed the door and leaned up against it, looking at me. She smiled...a small, slightly sad smile, but her eyes told me that she had forgiven me for the fight, and for my thick-headedness.
I melted. I loved this woman. No way in hell was I going to break up with her just because of this. I suddenly realized how stupid I had been; how utterly trivial this new development was. I smiled, tried not to cry, and hugged her. We didn't even talk, we just hugged for a good several minutes. It was all good. Nothing had changed, really. Nothing at all. We still loved each other.
If it had been a corny movie, I would have looked her in the eye and said, "No, honey, this doesn't change anything." And we would've lived happily ever after.
But we were too busy loving each other to bother with corny dialogue.