Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Too Close for Comfort

“I never meant to say the things to make you cry, can I say I’m sorry
It’s hard to forget; yes I regret all these mistakes
I don’t know why you’re leaving me but I know you must have your reasons…
Was I invading in on your secrets? Was I too close for comfort? You’re pushing me out when I wanted in
What was I just about to discover? I got too close for comfort when driving you home
Guess I’ll never know
McFly, “Too Close for Comfort”

I often ask myself, how much was enough when it comes to knowing someone? Ever ask yourself when it was best to stop asking questions about someone’s past and start focusing on the here and now? The fact is everyone has a past and that is the only thing constant. Whatever story we have of ourselves is part of the cumulating encyclopaedia of our history. But let us be honest for a second, the past has a lot to do with who we are and how people treat us. If someone love/hate you, it depends on part of your past they know. Information about our past is too delicate and since we can’t bank secrets we bank on people close to us to keep them (and hope they do). The challenge in keeping them arises because people are interested in them especially the person we are in a relationship with (when they were not our ‘first’). People say in other to know where we are going it’s best to know where we are from. Do you believe that’s true for relationships cause I don’t. Like bank accounts I believe there must be minimum balance when it comes to information people should know about us especially ‘the one’. These are secrets or events rooted in our past and should be left to rot in our unconscious and forgotten with age. I never use to have such beliefs but things make people change.
I received an invitation card one day from one of my friends that was getting hitched. He was my senior in secondary school and I had not seen him in a long time but I received the card with smiles. He was getting married to… I was shocked when I saw the name. I’ll describe her using a line from a song by Fall Out Boy, ‘she was the last good thing that happened in my part of town’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t downgrade girls for freely expressing their sexuality in different beds but she was a classic. I knew the kind of guy my friend was. He once dumped a girl for kissing another guy and now he was going to marry a… (I’m not going to use that word). I called one of my friends that evening who I knew had slept with her. Honestly, his response didn’t shock me, “how can she be getting married soon when she just left my room?” I took it upon myself to know how well the groom to be knew about her, I called him and he scheduled to meet me in his church, what the hell! It didn’t bother me. I saw his wife to be at the service and she looked like a whole different person, I later learnt she was an executive in church. I related with him and realised how ignorant he was, she had scammed him by portraying to be a church girl. He believed he was going to get married to a woman with a character worth emulating. I kept my mouth shut and didn’t attend the wedding. They say ignorant is bliss so I hope he had a blissful marriage.
I know I’ve been in a position where it would have been better if I didn’t know certain things, where I got too close for comfort and I should have sensed it. It all started when I knew who my girlfriend lost her virginity to. I had heard about the guy. He found enjoyment in preying on young girls’ naïveté. Whenever I asked questions ‘bout him she got defensive and such conversations usually ended in fights. I understood the guy might have exploited her but I wanted to make her understand I didn’t judge her but I was still curious to keep quiet. I needed to know how stuffs like how it started and ended, I mean, he was her first so the emotions at least from her part must have been strong. I had to give it to her, her behaviour didn’t show any sign she dated that kind of guy and whatever they shared seemed to be in the past. I made sure I got in touch with that guy. It was at a bar, I don’t drink much but I had friends who did. He was with his friends and since everyone had alcohol in common it was easy to relate. I played my part well and began to talk about girls and virginity. He talked last and his story had passion. He talked about a smallie he disvirgined and from his description it was my girlfriend. He talked about how much he loved the girl and how a single decision he made shattered their relationship and friendship. She got pregnant for him and he talked her into aborting it. She did but never felt the same about him; she perceived it as a sign that he didn’t love her that much. I didn’t care about his regrets but that my girlfriend once had an abortion. Our relationship was never the same with that in my head; I couldn’t get myself to confront her. I also couldn’t help but wonder what other information she was hiding. I realised that was one are that I have gotten to close for comfort and believe me, even I was uncomfortable. True I liked the girl but I thought about my friend who married a … and I asked myself, would it be better not knowing? My answer remains the same; I would rather be aware and unhappy than ignorant and blissful. Maybe it is a thing of pride but I wouldn’t like to walk hand in hand with the love of my life that has slept with every guy on my street not to even talk about aborting. When our relationship was in the breakup stage I asked her if there was any secret she would take to her grave and she replied, “none”.

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