“A time to embrace and a time to refrain.”
I went to bed with a sick and murky feeling in the pit of my stomach, right below the ache in my heart. Underneath the genuine joy, I felt a deep sense of guilt and sadness. Seeing him stirred up a multitude of new and old feelings, unearthing a part of me I didn’t know was still there, buried for a good, right, and salutary reason.
I loved him. It was not a romantic or erotic love, but it was a deeply affectionate one. He was one of those favorite campers we weren’t supposed have. In time, like so many others inspired by their favorite counselor idols, he joined the staff, becoming one of us.
Pulling out my camp photo album and reminiscing for old time’s sake seemed like the natural next step, but it felt weird showing him the pictures. Actually, no it didn’t, not at all. It felt weird showing the pictures to his wife. Things were not the same.
A cord of three stands is not easily broken. You hear this passage read at weddings. These words are profoundly true. When a man and woman are married, you can feel the invisible repellent, the palpable force protecting the boundaries of a sacred relationship.
To breech this Force brings certain disaster. I can’t see it any other way now. Nothing is innocent anymore. You don’t step outside your own marriage, and you don’t step into somebody else’s. Love looks different once you’ve vowed to forsake all others. Love no longer means letting them in, it means keeping them out.
True love means you don’t love them anymore.