Have you ever met someone and known immediately your life would never be the same? That’s how it was when I met Brian. One smile and my world was rocked to its core.
Everyone has that one love they can’t forget. The one that spoke to your soul, not just your heart. At twenty-six, I had never been in love. I thought I was broken. Then I met Brian. There was something about him that spoke to my soul. He was everything I dreamed the man for me would be, with one major flaw. He was married. Even if he wasn’t, I knew he wouldn’t want me. Overweight for most of my life, I was shy around men. I preferred to remain in the background, never calling attention to myself. After being teased in my formative years, I had scars on my soul.
Brian offered me his friendship. I was happy to accept. I was careful not to talk much about myself. I thought if I hid my heart behind a stone wall, I’d be able to protect myself. I tried to be friends, truly I did, but sometimes friends sneak into your heart with no warning. I don’t remember when it happened. One day we were friends, the next I was in love with him. I tried to hide it, but I think Brian knew. There was something about him that my starving heart couldn’t resist.
For three years, I saw him almost every day. The more time we spent together, the more I fell. I watched as he flirted with other women, pretending it didn’t break my heart. Women were attracted to his sexy looks, but they didn’t know him like I did. They didn’t see past the outside at the man within. They didn’t know how much he loved his son. They didn’t experience his humor, his compassion. Those were things he shared with me. When his life began to crumble, I was the one who he turned to. I was the one who convinced him to mend fences.
When Brian finally said the three words I had longed to hear, I let fear keep me from saying the words I should have. In an attempt to protect what was left of my heart, I stopped seeing him. We stayed in touch at first, but as the years went by our communication was few and far between.
Before I knew it ten years passed. I hadn’t looked at another man, I took a chance and reached out one August day and he replied. The butterflies that filled my stomach and the smile I couldn’t contain told me all I ever needed to know. Like it or not Brian had my heart. He always would. Brian wanted to meet, but I was hesitant. In the years we’d been apart, I’d planned to lose the weight, but had gained instead.
The more we texted and talked, the more I knew I had to see him. It was like we had never parted. When we met up for the first time, there was a difference to him. Our friendship grew stronger, deeper. Brian is my best friend, my confidant, my soul mate. Hearing him say I love you can fill me with love and break my heart at the same time. When he hugs me, I know I have found where I belong, my home.
How can our friendship survive when loving him is forbidden? I won’t cross that line. I won’t be that woman. I love Brian enough to let him go. Will I ever have my happily ever after?