So in light of recent events, my best friend Claire is visiting from New York for a few days. First, she is more than thrilled that I have a new girlfriend, as I just recently learned, she has hated everyone I ever dated, except my current girlfriend, and secondly, she is upset that I told someone else, a stranger, about the abuse I endured before I told her.
Now to understand Claire’s anger, it is first important to understand my relationship with her. We met in high school, boarding school to be specific. She is a city girl, growing up in Brooklyn NY and is religious beyond comprehension. Our first meeting was unpleasant because she ran the Republican club and I ran the Democratic club. However, we were forced to work with one another because our school embodied inclusion and our clubs often would do activities together, why, I still don’t understand. Once we began spending time together, we realized we enjoyed our differences as it made our conversations more riveting. We would stay up for hours arguing about politics, morals, and of course guys. To be clear, I still had not told her I was bi-sexual, something I was hesitant to share.
Our senior year of high school, I told her during one of our late night talking sessions and she just laughed and said, I knew since freshman year. I asked her how she can not care that I am bisexual but support politicians and morals that go against what I stand for. She looked down, rather hurt by the insinuation, and explained to me that she had grown softer in her conservative views, which she had, and that I was the reason for that. She said that she had a different perspective on life and people because she could empathize with me. She clarified that she didn’t completely turn liberal, something I was sort of hoping would happen, but she did have a more open mind on certain subjects.
After graduating high school, we kept in touch while in college. I went to Dartmouth while she went to Pomona. We talked everyday in college, often me complaining about how cold it was, while she glorified in 85 degree weather in California. She was always the first person I told everything too, when I got raped, when I had a bad day, when I was going to breakup with someone, she, was to quote “Grey’s Anatomy”, my person. (We would spend every Thursday on Skype watching Grey’s Anatomy together and would liken our friendship to Meredith and Cristina’s.)
After College, she introduced me to this guy, named Josh, who went to college with her. She called me and said that she had the most perfect guy for me and that I needed to get over my ex girlfriend, Bailey, who had broken my heart. I met Josh in New York and we got along instantly. So when a year and a half went by, and Josh began getting angry and violent, I didn’t think to tell my best friend, who had set me up with him, that he was abusive. I also told myself it was all my fault and that I probably deserved it. He also promised every time to get better and do better as I had threatened to walk away several times.
So to make a long story shorter, I told the girl in Canada before my own best friend, someone who I’ve known for ten years, because for some mysterious reason, telling someone over a screen, is easier than telling my person. Claire knew I was talking to someone online and knew that I had lost a baby, but when I finally told her everything, about a week after I told the Canadian girl, she was upset. She yelled at me for 45 minutes and asked how I could possibly have told someone I didn’t know before I could have told her. I remember shaking on the phone explaining to her that it wasn’t as simple as to just tell her because she had set me up with him in the first place. I later regretted saying it, because she immediately hung up, after making a very snide comment about me and the Canadian girl, and didn’t speak to me for two weeks. I told her that I needed to leave the country, and she told me to go have fun and told me that Canada is nice this time of year. I explained to her that I wasn’t going to Canada and that it was serious and she said, I guess well talk when you get back.
So more than 4 months later, I come back to a shitstorm of drama, and the one person who immediately picked up the phone when I called was Claire. She apologized for her behavior and said that she missed me and that my mother shockingly called her and told her all that was really going on. We again spent late nights on the phone, talking politics, talking boys, and talking about life. She was more than confused about the situation that had occurred while I was gone and asked how Eric was, and surprisingly how the Canadian girl was. I told her that I needed to leave Eric because I couldn’t do it anymore as we had gotten together so fast after I left Josh. She told me that she loves me and that she is really sorry for setting me up with as she said, ” a fuck boy”. I apologized for what I had said as well and we got off the phone.
Two weeks later, I called her and jokingly said, you’re the first one I am telling, I met a girl and she’s amazing, and I want to marry her and you have to come out and visit me because I miss my person. She laughed and said, so you owe me 500$ (she bet me I couldn’t stay single a month) and then said she would come see me because she wanted to give me a hug.
As I get ready to get her from the airport, I can’t help but think, what if I told her first, what would happen if I had confided in the one person who has been with me my entire adult life? She did everything from tell me I was an idiot for joining a gym because of a cute guy to taking me to the hospital when I had alcohol poisoning.
While I will never know the answer, I will say that me not telling her, has actually made us closer and made me realize that I have amazing people in my life who I can count on.
I already know she’ll love my new girlfriend, and probably joke about politics and tell embarrassing stories about me. I also know shell give me a hard time about not telling, now that we are finally seeing each other. But what I also know, is that as much as we fight about stupid and serious stuff, we will always be each others person.