Young Love: Final Installment

"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken -- and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived."
-Margaret Mitchell

So we come to the last installment of the story of Nate and Paul.

Paul was many of my firsts.  First to date.  First to travel with.  First to love.  First to introduce my family to.  First to leave.  First to know.  First to mourn.

I wrote to Paul a few weeks after my ex-husband and I split.  It was a rare moment that we were both at our computers so we wrote the following exchange within a space of two hours:

December 15, 2005


So I'm single again. Wasn't sure if I was going to write you, but for some odd reason I feel the need.

How are you? What's new? Fill me in . . .



I want to ask what happened. I have a million questions. I even want to know if you have to go through a divorce. But, I don't know if I should. You must be hurting, whether you want to admit it or not.

I will ask you this though: Why were you not sure if you wanted to write me?

Nate, I can't be anything valuable to you. I want to, but I can't. Maybe an ear, but that's it. I'm sorry that you are single again, because I want you to have happiness. I'm also sorry because I know I am weak.

Please don't pursue me, Nate. I know you aren't right now - but the day might come - and I want you to avoid it. I know you are a very caring and sensitive person. You have always respected me. If I could turn back time, things would be different. But, I am happy where I am. I want to be there for you - I want to be with you. I'm sorry.

You should know that I read Annie Proulx's, "Brokeback Mountain," and thought of you.



So I suppose it wasn't that fair of me to send you this cryptic little message without being clear on why I was sending it to you. I want you to know that I am NOT pursuing you. Not that I don't have that desire, but like you said I respect and love you too much to put you into that situation. I am glad to you are happy.

I guess I would want to know if something big changed in your life as well. I would hope you'd be willing to share that with me still. No walls, no expectations. You are, and still will be, such a huge part of my heart, that it only felt right to at least let you know.

My ex and I were simply not happy. We grew to resent one another more than we appreciated each other in our relationship. It was past time that we needed to give each other our space. So he moved into an apartment not far from the house. I am confident that we will be very good friends . . .

Anyway, it's funny you read that book. I just picked it up yesterday to start reading. I'm excited to see the movie when it comes out in Utah. I wouldn’t suggest going and seeing it with your wife! (Just Kidding)

I was in Denver last weekend for my sister's graduation. Thought about you a lot and wondered where you were and what you were doing. If you ever find yourself in Utah I hope you don't feel that you can't look me up. I don't honestly expect you to anytime soon. But just in case...


Mr. Currey,

Thanks for the fill-in. So, what now? Are you in rebound mode?

I just finished my semester last night. One more semester to go and I will have an MBA. Next semester I am going to be interning - hopefully - on top of my regular job and two other classes. So, my life will be "owned" until next May. Then, who knows? I want to get a job in new product development for a biotech company. It will be interesting to see if and what I can get hired doing. Otherwise, nothing is new. Merry Christmas, by the way.

Where are you at spiritually, Nate? I know the last time I spoke to you about that, you felt mostly reconciled.

Different subject - I must say that I was jealous of your husband. He was really good looking. Sorry, that's crass. But, if I'm ever going to be with you again, I'm going to be insecure about the men you've been with. Not that I plan on being with you again - just in my mind. But...

Nate, I absolutely hate the fact that I have a "tragic" part to me life. I love my wife, and I would never hurt her. But, I've never felt about anyone else, the way I still feel about you.

Have you ever seen the movie, "Love Actually”? There's a scene where a guy flips a bunch of cards expressing his deepest heart to a woman that just married his best friend. I lose it during that scene because I know what it is to never again have the one thing you've always wanted.



Reading this makes me want to hold you. I have seen that scene in that movie; it's my favorite scene in that movie and I too think of you every time I see it.

No I am not in rebound mode. I'm just trying to work through this and be happy again. I need some time alone to work it out in my own head. We were together for a long time and I have a huge void in my life right now. Not so fun during the holidays that's for sure. I find myself having good days, and then days like today where I am desperately trying to find a smile once again.

Spiritually I am well. Moving back to Utah was really the final part of that healing process. I was not able to avoid the Church AT ALL when I moved back here. It is a part of daily life here. It's been very cathartic to reestablish ties with friends from my mission and BYU and be honest with them about who I am and what my experiences have been. I have a solid personal relationship with God and still have a deep sense of spirituality everyday. I will admit that I am much more skeptical about organized religion though.

My ex is a very handsome guy. I was surprised to read that line from you. You must know that it's your heart that I still love. I will NEVER forget the moment that you pulled me toward you for our first kiss. I've yet to experience something like that again. So put your inadequacies at rest and know that you are the one . . .

I'm glad that I can share these thoughts and feelings with you. I really couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather share this with.

Be happy and know that there is a very comfortable couch here in Utah anytime you find yourself out this way . . .


p.s. Do you still talk to your wife about me? Does she have any idea about your feelings?


I haven't spoken to my wife about you in some time. She became very bothered by the idea of you the last time it came up. I think she sensed that I still have feelings for you, and she is afraid of those feelings, just as I am. If she knew how deep those feelings are...

There are some things that can never be spoken of. There are some loves that go on forever. No one ever promised us life would be fair. Love would not be so powerful, if it wasn't also so awful.

I cannot offer you a couch here – my wife would figure out who you are very quickly. (After she saw my eyes when I look into yours.) I'm sorry I can't reciprocate. But, I wouldn't want to stay on your couch anyway. I would want to hold you, and be held by you.



I never expected a stay on the couch with you! I never ever want to intrude on your space with your wife whatsoever. That would be about the most unfair thing that either one of us could do. Especially to her. She is a lucky woman to be able to experience your love on a daily basis.

Listen to that song I sent you. I love it...

Write me back...



I'm listening to the song right now. Hope you like the one I sent you.



I can’t open it for some reason. What's the title? I'll download it.

Thanks for corresponding with me tonight. I've had a tough day and you've just made my month. You are amazing as ever...



"Don't go to strangers." On her "Both Sides Now" disc. The one that was in
"Love Actually." It's meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek.

But, if I was going to send you a song that expressed my real feelings - well, I would ask you to get "We're so far away," by Mae, on The Everglow.

I'm glad I could make your month. Here's to better months to come!



I'm downloading both of the songs right now and will give them a spin. After that I'm off to bed. You should be too!!



I will head off to bed here in a moment. I'm going to listen to Collide - while I fall asleep. It was magical, wasn't it? Our brief moment in time together. It seems like a mirage now.



Paul and I have written since and we will keep writing each other the rest of our lives I suspect.  For that I am grateful.  I do not know, nor expect to actually see Paul ever again.  But I know we will write.  It is in that safe space, not hearing voice inflection, or reading facial expressions or body language, that we have carved out our way to communicate.  

Now then . . . on to different subjects to blog about. . .


Mark said...

Thanks for writing that down. And being willing to share it. I can imagine the mixture of pain and joy that reflecting on the relationship must give.

I'm also all too familiar with the feelings that Paul expresses -- how he can't really discuss his feelings for you with his wife. It's the pink elephant in the room. I had that same situation for 27 years. I had a Paul as well.

Sitting with you on the bench, bro.

Nate C. said...

Thanks Mark for sharing. You're such a good man and I'm certain you're in a better place in life.

I don't hold out hope for Paul, but I would be lying if I said I didn't play the "what if?" game.

Thanks for reading it!

Anonymous said...

So I've been lurking in the background reading each of these postings as I would a good book. Savoring every line, every sentence.

There is this knot in the pit of my stomach right now. Probably because this all rings true to me to. I had a "Paul" in my life and I suppose I still do to a point.

The reality of your situation just hits very close to home.

Love ya kiddo!!!! It's always a joy to see you out on weekends.

Much Love!

-Mark S.

Iknowaboutpopular said...

Love you!

Alan said...

I admire the mutual commitment to trying to do what's best for all concerned. That takes a lot of courage and self-control.

At the same time, I can't help hoping that somehow, someday . . .

Melissa said...

Wow...that's pretty deep stuff. It's funny how a person's first love can run so deep. By the way, I've added you to my blog list. You can never get away from me now!