It was a classic gay teen love story: A closeted gay boy fell in love with a charming and openly gay boy; however, the openly gay boy wasn’t in love with the closeted gay boy. Friendship ensued while the closeted-turned-openly gay boy experienced an unrequited love for years until the friendship was no more. The plot twist is that as the closeted-turned-openly gay boy, I watched him prioritize and fall in love with someone else while I took on the role of best friend.
More importantly, I was happy to play that supporting role. It kept me in his life, and I wanted to be in it even when drama unfolded. I consciously waited in the wings in the off-chance that he might pick me. I thought that maybe just maybe he would love me the way that I loved him. For six years I held on to the thought, deep in the back of mind, that the story might shift to thrust me into the lead role. Then one day, as he reached out once again, I decided that I deserved to be the main character of my own love story.
It’s been three years since he and I last spoke, and I don’t feel sadness. I feel apologetic. As I have fostered my own relationship and my own love, I’m sorry to his boyfriend, turned fiancé and now husband. I regret waiting in the wings up to the curtain line. It wasn’t fair to them that I hoped I could shoot my shot all over.
Being in a relationship and knowing the comfort that boundaries traditionally bring, I now wish I would have removed myself from the equation sooner. I felt that he was emotionally mine too, if only in friendship, but he wasn’t. While I didn’t owe anything to his now husband, I can only imagine the emotional wedge I was at times early on.
I’m sorry. I get it now. He was yours and never mine.