So like me. You are I.

“You love him!”

Hosea had screamed these words at me a hundred times before. There was no use in lying… pretending… I loved Him. It was more than apparent. I couldn’t say His name without glowing.

“I do,” I said sorrowfully for Hosea. If there was a way I could undo this… Take away his hurt for him. I only ever seemed to cause it though. I only ever seemed to cause it.

“My wife loves another man! How am I supposed to live with that?”

“Not another man,” I said. “I love another man as well.”

“Same thing!”

I wasn’t angry. And he had every right to be.

Hosea huffed and dropped down in the chair. His head resting in his hands.

I sighed and took a moment to find my words. How could I say all I needed to say without hurting him? So he would understand there was no need to fear?

“There is so much you don’t know,” I began. “My feelings, my thoughts, my goals, my motives, my dreams.” He looked at me. “My desires.”

In truth Hosea knew none of those things.

“No,” he said. “I don’t.”

“But if you knew,” I said. “If you trusted, you would relax and you would know, you have nothing to fear.”

“There it is. I don’t trust.”

I quietly sighed. I had to explain. He had to know.

“Yes,” I said. “I love him. But that is all. All I want for him is his happiness, which he has, so long as I never speak to him again. His happiness gives me happiness. With him, that is all that matters. I’ve lived without you, and I’m living without him. I can not live without you again,” I said. “My feelings are that I love him and I love you, but his is an unrealistic love that can never be. My thoughts are that I am mentally ill. I have too much breaking me. I have distorted ideas and thoughts. I need to get better, I want to. My goals is to fix me so I can live with you.”

“You don’t want to be alone,” Hosea said.

“No. I don’t. Not anymore. Not now, when I know I don’t have to be. And this motivates me to get better. My dream is to live with you until the end of our days here in New England—perhaps with a house in Ireland—but here with you.”

“And what do you desire?” he asked.

“From him? His happiness. Nothing more.”

“I don’t…” Hosea sighed. “I don’t understand how you can love someone you…”

I waited as Hosea collected his thoughts.

“How do you know you love him at all?” he asked. “When it could just be a love of Ireland you transferred to him?”

“You don’t think I’ve asked myself that very question? For a year it’s all I’ve thought about: whether or not I truly love him or if it’s just transference.”

I knew now. Last night, I just learned with Ian how much I did love Raven.”

“You said if you were in Ireland you would fuck all the men there,” he said.

I nodded.

“And I recognize that as a feeling of lack of control,” I said. “I get urges to run, to escape, to fuck when I feel out of control.”

I really need to talk to my therapist about this.

“And Him?”

Him. My Raven.

I already thought of that and knew. I didn’t want to fuck Raven. I didn’t desire him or pine. I missed him. I missed everything about him so… so very much. But not pined or longed for him. I was content with my lot. Content, so long as he is happy.

“I only miss Him,” I said.

“But your mother. There could be more to it than this.”

“There could be,” I said. “Everything you are asking, I’ve already asked myself. I have my love of Ireland. Yes, I love Ireland, but she also gave me back my Mum. For that, my love of Ireland is mentally enhanced. In addition, I have my mother issues. It’s like…”

I didn’t know the words.

“A child gains their sexual identity from their parents.”

“but this is from your same-sex parent.”

“Exactly,” I said. “Like a kind of reverse Oedipus Rex complex.”

“Hence your need… urge to fuck men when you’re feeling out of control.”

“And Irish men besides,” I said.

“In some ways—”

“Don’t say it,” I said already drawing the conclusions he was making.

“So then where does He come in to all of this?”

“Yes, Ireland is there, but…”

How could I explain how much he was so like I? How could I explain how much I loved him because he was so much like me?

“He and I share a lot of similarities. Like a friend you love. You feel when they are missing.”

“You always said he understood you,” Hosea said.

“And he did,” I said. “He was me. We shared so many likes and dislikes… it was creepy at times how alike he and I were. Same movies, same  passions, same books. Same authors, hobbies, believes, studies, pastimes. Same abuse… He understood because he too had the same issues. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have to explain what was wrong with me. He looked at me, and… he just “got” it. He understood me.”

“It’s loneliness,” Hosea said.

“What?”

“You were lonely.”

I burst into a sob. At once, tears streaked my face. “Yes! I was, but when he…” I inhaled and worked to get myself under control until I could talk through the tears.

“Trauma is like a cave. Some, very few even step foot in the cave. Jacob never even saw a cave. While others enter and emerge a short while later with scars. Others, like Joe… he entered and wandered too deep. He was too malformed by the time he emerged. Some, like Robin Williams, go in and never come out. Like Van Gogh… They die in the cave. But I,” I said. “I made it out! With a smile and a strength. I am happy for what I survived and grateful for what I have. I made it through to the other side. And I’m a better person for it.”

Hosea nodded pensively, mentally digesting everything I was saying.

“And He was there to meet me. He too had been through and emerged on the other side. So that when we saw each other, we both were lonely enough to be seen… and we understood it. Without a word to explain, we knew. While you…”

“Oh, I made it through,” he said.

“You did. But you found another way out of the cave.”

“You’re lonely,” he said.

“Yes.”

And all at once, I didn’t know. Did I love Raven? Or did I love the idea of not being alone finally? Did I love him? Or the idea of being understood?

“And you finally found someone who could relate to you.”

“Yes.”

So the question is, strip all the things away that makes me feel not lonely… and what is left? Do I love Raven?

 

Protection. Ian said. And Comfort. From Hosea… I was getting the protection. But from Raven I was getting the comfort. He was sating the very thing I needed, craved, and lacked from my mother.

It is no wonder you loved both?

 

 

About the Author: Angela