It's been 3 months since I last spoke to Aries. It's been even more since I've seen him. This has been a strange time, with some days flying by so quickly I never had time to think about him, and other days the reminders were so prevalent that the days seemed to stop, flooded with memories and the insufferable "what ifs".
Before going to my sister's ballroom concert, I realized that he would most likely be there. It made total sense: he was ballroom captain in high school, his uncle is the team coach, he has friends on the team, he is friends with people who are friends with people on the team, his uncle and aunt were performing in the concert, he loves to watch ballroom. Adding it up, it definitely makes sense to conclude that he would be there, especially since he wasn't there last night (I asked my parents when they got home from the concert yesterday evening).
And so, I carefully applied mascara and lipstick, fixed my bright blue ribbon, found a comfortable pair of shoes, and made sure I had cash in my wallet. It wasn't going to matter at all. We'd see it each other, we'd ignore each other, and we'd be done with each other again. Staring at my reflection, squaring my shoulders, giving the mirror a firm look -- ready to go.
3 months of not speaking, 6 months of not seeing later -- it was fine, right?
Wrong. Deader than a three-day-old dead man wrong. But the strange thing is, I don't know why.
I really don't know why. I kept catching myself glancing over my shoulder to see if he was coming. Stop it, I said, You're acting like you actually want to see him. Then other self, Well...maybe you do. Maybe you still... to which first self firmly stepped in with a resounding Shut up and look at the stage.
See him I did -- and it was awful. I heard someone say my name behind me, so I turned around. It was a friend's parents, and as I shifted to face the front again, there he was. That second of eye contact was one of the most drawn out seconds of my life. He looked at me in a way I can't even describe. I don't know how to describe what I felt either. It was like...like an allergic reaction. Shaking head to foot, heart pounding, unable to talk, and so very cold.
I don't know why I reacted that way. What was even stranger was how I felt after the concert. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to hear his voice, I wanted him to hold me like he used to, I wanted to be friends again. The only things that kept me back were fear of what friends and family would say if I did that and fear of Aries himself. I haven't felt that afraid in so long. Neither have I felt such longing for someone.
What the heck, right? I don't get it. WHAT. The heck. Why on earth do I want to go back to him? Why do I wish with all of my heart that he'd given me some clue that he wanted to talk to me? Why does it feel so hard to breath?
I made it home in one piece (probably because I wasn't driving) and made it to my room before I broke down. I desperately wanted to talk to someone, but I couldn't think of anyone to call. And all of the sudden I was hitting the dial button on my phone, not even sure of who I was calling...and Brady answered the phone.
Brady is another person I haven't talked to in almost three months, but that hasn't been the result of a falling out (or a safety precaution). He and I both had to leave the choir at the same time. Of all the people to call, right? However, I am so, so glad that I did. He's one of the people who is already familiar with the situation, so I didn't have to explain. He is also one of those people who has been given the gift of knowing exactly what to say in exactly the way it needs to be said at exactly the right time. If you ever have a problem, talk to Brady. You can be sobbing so hard you can't talk and he doesn't care. He just waits and listens, and not just to you. He listens to the Holy Ghost and shares what he feels and hears. I am so grateful for Brady.
I am so, so grateful for the friends in my life who help me. I'm so grateful for my family's support, and even for the dagger eyes that my little sister shot Aries (she's not one you want to mess with). I am also so grateful for a Heavenly Father who cares about me enough to inspire the still working subconscious parts of my brain to select Brady's number and press the dial button.
Right now, I don't understand why this hurts so much. I don't understand why I would give almost anything I possess to be a part of Aries's life again, and to have him back in mine. I don't know why I literally ache with missing him. I don't know why I feel this way, but it's how I feel.
Another thing I'm grateful for: this is from Sister Teddy Wright's letter that she sent this week. As always, letters from missionaries come at exactly the time I need them. I'll share what she wrote with you:
"A week ago I was looking outside at the rain and the storm that was coming in. The rain here is intense and it passes as quickly as it comes. As I was looking and pondering I realized that Heavenly Father gives us personal storms. And although it seems hard, the whole reason for storms is to make the earth more beautiful. That is the reason for our personal storms. The Lord is making us more beautiful and letting us grow. And with the rain always comes the promise of a rainbow."
Aries, I wish you nothing but the best in your life. I'm sorry for the mistakes I made. I wish that we could have fixed things. Because we couldn't, well...good luck to you.