So here's our story
In 2015 I was at a funeral for my great aunt, who I'd never even met as an adult before. I think I only went because it meant I could skip a day of school, then I was a junior in high school, and had just turned sixteen. At the time I was four months into another relationship with a guy from my school, which is, I suppose, an integral part of the story as it plays out. Halfway through the long droning funeral, there came a part where everyone would turn to each other and shake hands and say "peace be with you." Well I wasn't aware of this but anyway the guy in front of me in a very crisp looking suit turned around and looked me in the eyes and it was like slow motion, he took my hand and I don't think either of us could speak a word of English at that point. All I could think was "who is this handsome man sitting in front of me and what in God's name do I say to him?"
The celebration of life was immediately after, and I sat a table away from him, not so nonchalantly sneaking glances at him and still wondering who he was. The my grandmother came over and introduced us, saying "this is your second cousin." And once again, slow motion. Like glass shattering in the distance. He told me later that he kept thinking to himself beforw then, "god I hope we aren't related." Hoping doesn't exactly work in those instances though.
After that day we kinda forgot about each other until just a few months later, the husband of the woman who's funeral we met at died, and we saw each other again at his funeral, it playing out almost exactly like the last one, only this time we got to know each other a little better. We had so much in common, we kept making each other laugh and smile something just clicked. So we friended each other on Facebook.
We started talking as friends, I actually thought he was quite weird at first until I realized he was a teenage boy, and we quickly became best friends so tight that his girlfriend at the time was jealous of me. Looking back, I suppose she had a right to be. Our moms and grandmas always joked that we'd be perfect for each other and would always say "are you sure they're related" or "just how related are they" and joked that we should get married, but as I would later find out, it was 100% just a joke and nothing more.
One night he confessed that he was in love with me and to be honest, I freaked out. For a lot of reasons, because we were both in a relationship, because of our relation which we have decided to just refer to as "the situation", but mostly because I felt the same way. We started flirting a lot more and I felt terrible because I didn't want to be unfaithful to the boy I was dating already who I did really love at the time but somehow I loved my second cousin, this sudden light in my life, light-years more.
We went on and off talking, we'd flirt for a few months and then I'd tell him we ought to stop because it can't go that far, but then we'd end up going back to each other within a few weeks.
In spring 2017, we both ended our respective relationships for separate reasons, not because of each other at all, in fact we didn't even speak until the fall when I called him from my college dorm for some homework advice. Unencumbered by significant others, we flirted freely, as one might say, and thought about trying to have a relationship.
It was going amazingly well, I even told my grandmother, the one who introduced us in the first place, about us and she was actually very supportive, and wants only the best for us. It was going smoothly until I tried to tell my mother about it in November, to which she completely freaked out, told me it was just hormones, and even went so far as to threaten me with cutting me off if I didn't end it, saying it was him or her. Well I'm sorry but I'm nineteen and if I can vote then I think I'm capable of deciding who I can and cannot be with, but being dependent still on my mother and her support, I told her I broke it off. I hate lying to my mom, she's my best friend and I tell her everything, except this but I know she'll just react the same way if I try it again.
So we figured we'd wait until we were both moved out and independent to tell our parents about us so that's a huge thing that they wouldn't be able to hold over our heads as leverage to break us up. But we've only been dating six months and this is killing me. I know we're still young, being only nineteen and twenty years old but we know we're going to get married someday and it just kills me that I have to hide the best thing in my life from the most important people in my life simply because they're small minded. My best friend is the only friend I have that knows about us and our situation and she recommended that I try to find a support group or a forum like this to post on because I guess I just need someone who's been in a similar situation to tell me it's going to be okay, or really any advice at all would be so appreciated because we feel so utterly alone and that's no good for anyone.