04 February 2010

Crushed - February Theme

My first real crush was for a boy.  His name was Preston and he played the trumpet.  I noticed him when I was in 8th grade and he was in 9th.  I thought he was absolutely beautiful.  And that's about as far as it went.  8th grade was the year that everything kind of fell apart. 

But I have another first crush, and her name was Valerie.

Valerie and I met at work.  I was 21, newly married, both young and naive.  She was 30, never married, a devout Jehovah's Witness with a goofy sense of humor.  I don't remember the exact moment when we became such good friends, but we did.  And once I knew I could trust her, I opened up to her and she helped me through some really difficult parts of my life.  We became really close.

When I look back now, it's obvious to me that I loved her as more than a friend.  I wanted to be with her every second of every day.  I thought about her constantly, wondered what she was doing, who she was with, when I would see her again.  I would have rather been with her than at home with my husband, and I even consciously thought that on a few occasions when I was at home with my husband.  I treasured every hug.  I loved being special to her.  And I was.

We met weekly for a Bible study.  She knew that I struggled with my own religion and she wanted me to have a closer relationship with God.  I knew her religion was important to her, and sharing it was just as important.  I was curious about her beliefs more than anything, and of course I jumped at the chance to spend extra time with her, but I also learned a lot from her. 

I never thought about her in a conscious sexual way, but I was definitely attracted to her.  We had a connection that was very deep and very meaningful for both of us.

A few years ago, she moved back to Pennsylvania to help take care of her parents.  I haven't really talked to her much since then, but I still think about her.

As I've gone through the process of coming out and coming to terms with who I am, I've actually wondered to myself if something really could have happened between us.  I think there was something about our relationship that scared her, because I remember her saying once or twice before she moved that she was afraid we were getting too close.  Of course hindsight is 20/20, but I've found myself also wondering if Valerie might be gay as well.  I know that her religion was pretty much her entire life though, so if she is, I don't think she could come out for that reason.

Regardless, I wish her the best, because I've never stopped loving her.