December 28, 2004
I'm glad you wrote to me. Sorry you had to join the gold membership to do it!
I'm living and working in Utah and have been out here for a little over two years now. I'm still with Enterprise (4 years now) and have my own branch in Northern Utah. Things are going really well.
I think of you often, especially when I head back home for visits. Let me know what's going on with you. How's your wife? Your job? What have you been up to? I hope things are well for you.
Hit me back with a note.
Yes you read that correctly . . . wife.
After the last installment, Paul and I didn't have much contact. About a year later we bumped into each other at a club once and talked all night about getting back together. Shortly after that, I called Paul and we decided to meet for lunch. There were both things that we needed to tell each other.
For my part I told Paul that I had made a big mistake with him and that I wanted to give dating him another shot.
For his part, he said he was glad to have my friendship, but that he was dating a woman and that things were getting serious between them.
It was clear that I had missed my window of opportunity with him, so we left lunch that day with a big hug and a pledge from one another not to contact each other again, for both of our sakes.
Fast forward almost three years. I had signed up for an account on one of those class reunion sites, the kind that extorts you out of money if you want any meaningful information about your old friends. Just after Christmas of 2004, I received an email from Paul through that site trying to get my contact information.
The email at the top of this installment is what I wrote back to him. The following is what was returned to me:
December 28, 2004
Glad you got back to me. Would have been a waste otherwise. Currently, I am in the MBA program at CU Denver. About half way through it. My wife and I are going along well. We are passionate people and our relationship shows it. I am working for the University of Colorado, going on about four years now. I'm on winter break from school and work right now. Lots of free time.
So, you are in Utah again. Why did you go there? Are you back with the church? Where are you living? I am glad to hear you are still with Enterprise, and apparently heading a large area. Congratulations. (Can you see the walls? They are almost tangible. Why? After all these years.) Are you in a relationship? I guess I am asking too many questions.
(I am about to take down all my walls - I'm sorry for the honesty.)
There was a time when I would not contact you. For fear of betraying my own feelings. I guess I am not afraid anymore. I loved you deeply back then. I told my wife that. She has been okay with it, surprisingly. But I did not know how deep my love for you was, until more recently. I have never stopped thinking about you. There are times, especially at night, that I think about you and about our relationship. There is a place in my heart that longs to know you again. I write about how I felt with you. I dream about how life would have been with you. I think over the day you decided to leave, and then about the day I saw you at the club, and then finally the day I saw you at Denver West. All of it is like yesterday. As clear as crystal, and as delicate. Thinking on all these things has brought me to many conclusions. But few as potent as this: you were, and still are, the love of my life. A love I can never have. I say this without regret, or hope, or agenda. It is something I have felt the need to tell you for some time. I have made many mistakes in this life, but none as great as not following my heart. But, I will not betray what I have now. I will not add insult to injury. I will live and love, and I will never have you. I am a bitter man. A broken man.
That's what I have to say. It is a bit extreme, and certainly over-dramatic. But, it is me, and nothing less - with no walls believe it or not. I just thought you should know.
I love you, now and forever,