At dinner the other night, my friend Stefan's little brother, who is in college at the moment, used a metaphor that pretty much slammed me into a wall. Not so much for what the analogy was, but for the fact that Hopkins cheerfully seized upon it. While the three men at the table forged on, I sat there turning beet red, then white as a sheet. After letting it ride for about five minutes, I finally rasped, "Enough."
They stared at me. I was clutching the edges of the table so tightly that my hands are still sore more than twenty-four hours later. Fortunately, before I could say anything, the appetizers arrived and attention turned immediately to the food.
Let me be perfectly clear on one point...perhaps not in the context of what they were discussing, but in one regard I am absolutely "first": mine is the first heart he broke.
The most humiliating thing about it was that in that instant, I was reduced to "one of the guys", again. Neutered, sexless, less-than. What can I say, I put myself in the situation and I have to accept the consequences.
That's what I've tried for years to make people understand. Part of me will always love him, but I know I'm not...whatever it takes. I can't magically turn myself into that. It's something I've known since I was fifteen, and that I'll carry with me until I die. It is a truly miserable feeling- I can't even begin to communicate how crushing it is.
This is the Devil's Bargain, and it's all that I will ever have of him.