Tuesday, October 29, 2019
The Coward's way out.
I did something minor last week that I truly regret doing. It caused me to miss out on one of life's good moments, and it also robbed someone of their chance to shine.
After the meeting went so well with my school friend, I vowed this time it's going to be different. I waited a few days to let him get over the shock of seeing me again, then I started to text him. I think texting is one of the good modern inventions, it lets you drop in and out of someone's life without bothering them if they are busy. I hooked him into my texting vortex and he hasn't been able to escape yet. It's been great, we sometimes text until ten at night. One day he mentioned another school friend that he often meets up with, Chris. He said Chris was happy to hear we met up and also wants to see me.
I already know that Chris turned out to be a really nice guy so I wasn't hesitant. My friend also assured me that he never said a word to Chris about my sexuality. I said I knew he wouldn't say anything. He also reassured me not to worry, he said Chris never judges anyone, he said that Chris is one of the nicest guys he hangs around with and also he knows for a fact that Chris is completely comfortable with the LGBTQ community.
I hate the anxiety of going to tell someone that I am gay. I know it's not supposed to be a big deal but no matter what I tell myself, I'm still that confused and frightened teen back in the eighties. I knew it's time to tell Chris as well, I just wanted to get it over with so that it didn't ruin our reunion. In a moment of weakness I told my friend that I trusted his judgment, I told him that I hate telling people, it makes me anxious and I said he can tell Chris the next time he talks to him.
That night I started to have regrets about saying that, I felt it was a coward's way out of telling someone. I felt that I had better tell Andrew in the morning that I would man-up and do it myself. It would probably be awkward, he might have questions but it wouldn't be a big deal. The following day however I got caught in things and completely forgot about my texting. Later that day I received a text from Andrew, he said Chris had popped by his work and they went out for lunch. He said he told Chris about me and about our conversation. I felt like, "oh well it's done" and was prepared to move on until I heard about Chris's reaction.
Apparently when he told him, he said Chris actually lit up, he was so happy for me that I finally felt comfortable enough to tell them. Unlike my friend, he wasn't surprised and had it in the back of his mind all this time that I was probably gay, (that still bothers me lol). Andrew said to me, "I wish you were there Steven to truly appreciate how happy and supportive he was for you". That made me feel bad but then came more guilt. Chris told Andrew to say how proud he was of me and how brave he thought I was for telling them.. plus how happy he was for me.
I knew in that second that I made a huge mistake not telling him, not only had I robbed myself of a life affirming moment, I also robbed Chris his moment to come through for me and shine, I took that away from him. I told Andrew that I felt later, I had taken the coward's way out, that I was trying to make it easier. I said in my defense that this doesn't come with a handbook on how to do it.
Andrew said I shouldn't be so hard on myself, he said I am working through a lifetime of anxiety. He also said no one would blame me, he and Chris understand, they were there, they know exactly what it was like. He said the thing is now that I need to know, I have friends who are 100% behind me... and I must remember that.
I was thinking to myself... don't cry, don't cry, don't cry... meh okay, maybe just a little this time!