To read the first part in this series, click here.
For there to be a second chance at love, sometimes there also has to be some trouble. The trouble in our case was me. For one, I was already in a romantic relationship. I couldn’t just break up with my girlfriend because of one kiss. Well, I shouldn’t, anyway. Right? It was my girlfriend’s dare that made our kiss happen in the first place. Second, alcohol was involved in that first kiss. You can’t really trust what happens under the influence. Third, Missy was my best friend at school. That fact set fear in me like a stone. What if all of our other kisses were just “eww”? Worse than that, what if we got together and then broke up? I would lose my best friend. Missy suggested we date. I said no. I said I didn’t date my friends. So there you have it — We were JUST FRIENDS.
Then more trouble happened. After Missy came out to her parents, they refused to help pay for her education. She dropped out of school. I was living with my girlfriend which broke Missy’s heart one little fracture at a time, so she ended up moving out of state.
My relationship went downhill fast. Luckily, it wasn’t a big hill, but still, it hurt and I was a mess. At the same time, I was struggling with memories of childhood trauma and trying to complete my degree. My girlfriend and I moved into a different apartment. I joined a couple of new organizations at school and began exercising. It didn’t help. Without Missy I was lost. I eventually split up with my girlfriend and moved back home. I got some therapy and a job. I made new friends at a support group for survivors. I finished my degree. I flirted with my best friend from high school.
Months into all of this Missy called me. She had been in contact with my ex-girlfriend who had told her I was not doing well. Even though she was also told I did not want to see anybody, she immediately moved back and made a home for herself a few hours away from the city, just to be close in case I needed her. I was oblivious of this.
While I may have said I didn’t want to see anybody to my ex, Missy certainly wasn’t just “anybody”. I was overjoyed when she called. Of course I wanted to see her! Although we visited fairly often, I still missed her. It was a missing that could not be cured with a weekender here and there. It was a missing I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was a missing I forced out of me by sheer will.
Eventually, all that flirting with my best friend crossed a line and a U-Haul was rented. I suggested Missy go out with a friend from my support group. They hooked up. I got a real job, had my own place to live, and a relationship that was never dull. I was adulting! Missy seemed happy too.
Life was good for a year or two. Then there was a work related falling out between my girlfriend and Missy’s girlfriend’s sister. Lots of drama. Missy and I and our girlfriends met over dinner to resolve the conflict. A colossal fail. Ultimatums were given. Missy and I were not to be friends. How the hell did that even happen? It was never our trouble but I accepted the consequences. I thought I had to. I thought that’s what you did – whatever your partner wanted — when you were in a romantic relationship. Again, I pushed Missy out of my life. Again, I felt lost and lonely.
I buried myself in my career. I busied myself with making my relationship work. I went to therapy.
I did this for twelve years.
Dana enjoys walking her dogs at dawn, vacationing with her wife and celebrating life’s big and small moments. She is an avid reader of lesbian literature.