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Not a Standby, but Lost

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So, sometimes I romanticize things. Like now. Forgive the length, and please respond if you can.

I am in a successful relationship, one of my happiest and longest standing. It may be the last relationship I ever have, though I?m afraid he doesn?t desire marriage and I do. But, like so many others, I have Facebook and substitute it for a social life too often. Like anyone, I see old boyfriends and friends and romanticize the relationship by missing all the good and failing to recall all the reasons they are no longer with me. It?s usually nothing big and I can discuss it at will. So I noticed someone commenting on my uncle?s posts, and lo and behold, it's my cousin. He?s my first. So many repressed memories flooded back that I sought an outlet to vent and be understood.

When we were children he was one of my best friends. We lived in different cities but visited through our families. We were good kids, and I loved him for his kindness and moral fabric. We acted like cousins. It doesn?t surprise me that we still seem to have very much in common. I remember once asking my mother not to take me with her for fear of seeing him. Becoming a teen I?d discovered myself looking at him in ways that I perceived as wrong at the time. As we matured, some of our family encouraged us to date. We had always felt very strongly for one another, and I believe sometimes that he is the who that I feel is always missing. When we were old enough, we tried cohabitation. Some people were obviously appalled. Playing house as adults, they?d say. I was delighted. He was the brightest spot in my day, the lightness in my step, and I have never felt stronger or more right about what I was doing with anyone.

The pressures of other?s opinions forced us to lie about the nature of our relationship. This caused many problems, even though some people accepted it readily. Many rumors circulated, and I could see the toll it was taking on the man I loved. He aged quickly in that short time. One day, he said something unusually cruel and I left. He still took care of me after that, just from afar. Sometimes, we would play with the idea again, but ultimately are not together. I can never stop loving him, so I have learned not to rationalize my feelings as a mere backup plan or practice session. I just accept that we are lucky enough to have known a love few ever will. Still, if anyone asked me, I?d not tell them that I want to marry a cousin. We do not live where it is possible, and although he has tried to see me and I him, we live very far apart.

Today, I don?t know his relationship status, but when I see him things flood back. I become distant and dreamy. He has told me many times before that he still loves me. He believes that what people do should be their business, and has strong political viewpoints that lead me to believe that I hurt him deeply. That he wishes the world was more accepting. I know he would never make a woman a secret out of selfishness or meanness. I do know that no one has ever made me smile the way that he does. And no one would take better care of me. I stared at his profile for nearly a week wondering if messaging him would be the worst idea ever. I am happy. I am human, so I have complaints, but I am blessed. How do I silence the part of me that tells me the man I love most deeply, who chased me, carried me, lifted me, grounded me, etc. is out there and not here?

I know enough to fuel the fire that I have, not the one i lost. Sometimes i wish the stigma would disappear so that my feeling would be free and not festering. Has anyone else felt that way? Healing takes light, not darkness.

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