The Great and Terrible Story of The Boy, Part 2

Okay, I know you're waiting to read what I wrote to him.

But let me back up just a tad first.

After my trip to Chicago with Wagamama, we moved to cheaper housing, as Matt was in grad school.

Every time I moved, I'd go through all my boxes of keepsakes to decide what I could let go of. I came across The Boy's letters from college.  I'd always reread them in this moving process thingy I'd do.  This time, as I was reading them over in my bedroom, the bit older, bit wiser Ashley found something in the letters I'd never seen before.

I looked up from the letters, one in particular from sophomore year of college (at that point of college, I would read his letters, shrug and cast them aside).  I set the letter down on the bed, put my elbows on my legs, rubbed my eyes, my forehead, breathed heavily as my heart started to race.  I started pacing the room.  Shake it off.  Put the boxes away.  Do something else. 

As much as I tried to occupy myself and push back thoughts of the letter, I couldn't stop thinking, How could I have missed it? 

A few days later, I sat down at my computer and clicked 'compose'.   

Dear Boy,

How are you?  What's new?

I'm not really writing to chit-chat.  There's something important I think I need to say.  This could be a disaster, but regardless, I think it will bring me the closure that I need.
I think, I'm pretty sure actually, that you knew I had feelings for you when we were in school together, but I need to say it to be sure.
I had boyfriends during high school and college.  I even thought I was in love a couple of times.  I never even think of those boys today.  But I do think about you.
Even during those relationships that were really serious, you were the only one I really wanted to be with.
I was just reading through some of the letters you sent me in college. I think I picked up on something I may have missed the first time around.  
Did you have feelings for me, too?  I think perhaps knowing that would help bring the closure I need.  Then I can just move on.  
Well, The Boy emailed me back less than 24 hours later.  
He said that he did not know how I felt in school.  He said that he thought maybe someone was playing a joke on him.  He said he always thought of me as the one that got away.  He said, "I hope that brings you the closure you're looking for."
How do you think I reacted?  
You are correct.  
I couldn't breathe.  I fell face down on my bed and sobbed.  No, no, I mean, BAWLED. WHIMPERED.  HEAVED.  
I stood up.  Walked around.  Went downstairs.  "Hello, Hana and Emma, how are you two doing?"  Walked into the kitchen and touched a few things.  Opened the fridge.  Closed the fridge.  Walked back into the living room.  "Hello, Hana and Emma, you guys still doing okay?"  Walked upstairs.  Sat down at the computer.  Reread the email.  Cried some more.  Sucked my thumb.  Held on to my boobs. Told myself, Don't do anything.  Don't respond.  This is dangerous.  You are married.
The rest of the day, I was seeing the world through different eyes.  I felt a euphoria that I don't think I'd ever felt before.  I was smiling so much.  I was being a nice mom.  I only ate for nourishment and not pleasure.  
That night I totally wrote him back.  I told him I cried.  I told him that I always referred to him as the boy that would never love me.  
This is it.  I really have to be done with this now.  No more emailing him about anything.  
But then, he wrote AGAIN. 
Had a dream about you last night.  
Your hair. 
Your hands. 
Your laugh. 
Your face.  
The Boy
More crying.  

Another email.  I think I said something like, "Thank you for making me feel beautiful. Something I haven't felt in a long time."

Then him again.  He told me he was in France.  He told me he remembered the time he was leaving for  France in college, and I'd asked in one of my letters if he would pack me in his suitcase.  Then he said, "Ashley, I am in love with you."

Well, fuck. 

I really thought my life was ruined.  I was identifying with Fantine from Les Mis, for heaven's sakes.  

We kept emailing and eventually spoke on the phone.  I think it was a 4 hour phone call. (Where were my 2 little ones during this 4 hour phone call?  I HAVE NO IDEA) 

He told me he loved me again.  I told him about Matt being gay and all.  But I also told him that I was in counseling with Matt.  And that we shouldn't talk anymore.  

This was at the 5 year point of my marriage.  It was the first time I told Matt I wanted a divorce. It was the first time that I questioned my belief in the Mormon church. It was the first time I started listening to Coldplay. 

End of Part 2


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