Okay, so maybe I'm not psychic. I just know some people very well, so I can predict their behavior in a way that would make me appear to be psychic when in reality I just spent a lot of time with those people. I just like to seem cooler than I really am. No big deal. :P
As some people know, I've been waiting around for somebody to pop back into my life with an apology of some sort followed by a request for things to go back to how they used to be. Sure enough, I received a seemingly heartfelt apology a couple of days ago, with an attached request for forgiveness. Aries and I had a nice conversation about nothing in particular, because I didn't really want to answer right away. Finally I told him that I wasn't sure what to do about anything. I told him that I agreed with everything he'd said in his apology (except for the part where he said he didn't know what we'd been fighting about...he should have known! I only told him three or four times. Not that it matters anymore), but I didn't know what to do yet.
In short, I was stalling for time to come up with an answer. Should I tell him to jump off a cliff? That was a suggestion and a consideration, but no. Unkind. Should I ignore him completely? Also suggested and considered, but no. Also unkind. I wanted to make sure that I did the RIGHT thing! So I waited, and I thought about it, and I asked for earthly and heavenly help to come up with the right thing to do.
As predicted, Aries didn't give me much time to formulate an answer. He's a 3 days or less kind of guy through and through, whereas I can think about something for a month or more before I feel like I have it just right. He sent me a text a couple of days ago asking if I had an answer for him yet. After saying a little prayer (a helping prayer, as one of my primary students calls them), I felt that it was best to tell him what I talked to my coworkers and a friend about earlier this week. I told him that I do forgive him (which is true), and that we can be casual friends, but any other feelings are gone. I can't give him anything more than that.
Second prediction came true, when he came back with an attempt at a guilt trip. He didn't like the term "casual friends" and said something along the lines of "So I really did lose my best friend..."
Really? He lost his best friend? No way! Shocking.
I don't understand why he doesn't seem to get it. I don't see how he can just expect everything to go back to "normal" and for me to be there for him like I was before. Usually people who put their hand on a stove and get burned don't touch it ever again, even if the knob is turned to 'off'. You just learn not to touch the stove, and if someone told you to do it you don't touch the stove! You learned the hard way and got burned. Why risk it again?
That last paragraph sounds a little bit irritated/anxious. To tell the truth, I'm not super anxious about this whole thing. I've actually felt a lot of peace throughout this current episode. I've been able to refer back to emails from a few trusted friends who have been involved from the very start, and I have several friends who are familiar with this rather long drawn-out story. Most of them only know the medium-sized nutshell (it's kind of a big nut to crack and explain!), but everyone says similar things: forgive him, but don't forget what I have learned.
I really do forgive him. I'm not even very afraid of him anymore (mostly...less afraid would be a better term). If he keeps coming back, fine. He'll just get the same answer. Not only that, but so many people know about him now that he can't get away with anything. There are too many ears and eyes watching this situation for me to be manipulated again. Ann would probably smack me upside the head and then go after him (she's a true redhead, but only when she needs to be). Parker and the girls from work have offered their help if I need it. I don't even want to imagine what Ruthie would say to him! Sister Raddatz and her family are there for me. My sisters and my parents are also aware of what is going on. Several other friends know about it, whether they are from choir, still at MV, or live farther south (Jaden and Kayla and Steven, that would be you).
This time I'm not as alone as I was before. Last time I kept some things a secret because I was afraid and shy, and even a little embarrassed. I didn't want to be "found out", if you want to call it that. Sure, I talked about it. But I didn't tell people about everything that was happening until later on. Now I've learned better that if you can't have a relationship like Elder Holland's, where he wants to shout about it from the rooftops to the entire world, then you better not have that relationship. It applies to friendship as well. If it's a secret, it shouldn't happen.
This has been a novel, I'm sorry. I hope I was able to handle this in a gentle but firm way. I've been honest with Aries. I hope I was kind enough in that. Now it's out of my hands, and it's up to him to take the offer or to walk away. That's all I can offer him. If he wants more than what I can give, then sadly he can't have much of a friendship.
I hope that this is over. I want it to be over. It's gone on long enough. It's time to move on. I get the feeling that it probably won't be over for awhile, but I also get the feeling that as long as I do my best to live well and ask for guidance that it will be fine.
Thank you to those who have been helping me with this. You have been absolutely, 100% vital. I owe you all Lifesavers. After all, you are what you eat. ;)