The Path To Take
This past Saturday Suzanne tied the knot to the boy she has been dating for over two years. It brought a sense of closure and relief to me as I looked back on the past and my relationship with Suzanne and what might have been.
My family moved during my Senior year of High School. Suzanne was my sister's best friend that she had made from our ward. First time I met Suzanne she had come over to pick up my sister because they were going downtown. I walked down the stairs to see who was at the door, and she stood there all 5'3'' of her. The first words I heard from her mouth were "I didn't even know this neighborhood existed back here." I was immediately turned off because I thought she sounded like a snob, so I turned around and headed back upstairs to my room.
For whatever reason, Suzanne started coming over to our house all the time. It annoyed me because whenever she was there she would just make fun of me.We would all sit up in my sister's room on her bed Sunday afternoons after Church. Lindsay would be working on her online class so she could graduate on time. I would be laying at the end of the bed listening to Suzanne complain about her current boyfriend who was a complete and total loser. He was a punk that didn't go to church and the two of them were always fighting. She kept going on how she wanted to break up with him.
Suzanne, my sister Lindsay and I all worked together at a day camp. For one reason or another, Lindsay didn't go to work one morning and I didn't have a car, so Suzanne had to pick me up. We're driving in the car and she looks over at me and says that she had something to tell me. Absent minded staring out the window as we drove along the interstate, I asked her what. "I think you're absolutely beautiful and I'm really attracted to you." My mind came crashing back to reality and my neck snapped towards her. "What?" Apparently all her teasing had been flirting and I had been clueless to it all. Partially because I was gay (though that part of me hadn't really surfaced yet) and because Suzanne was absolutely what I considered to be out of my league; beautiful face, hair, body, teeth. She drove a Lexus and her family came from money.
Suzanne wanted to kiss me and be close to me (I should have seen the warning signs this early) but I refused because she was still in a relationship with her boyfriend. I told her I wouldn't kiss her till they were broken up. They broke up two days later and we started unofficially dating. We wanted to keep it a secret because so many people had warned me about her. They said she was bad news and I was a good kid. My friends said this to me, my parents said this to me. Me being dumb and 18 thought I knew better than them all.
Suzanne and I shared our first kiss together a couple days after we began dating. It was my first kiss and first girlfriend ever. We were laying on my bed after work up in my room. She was wrapped in my arms and I leaned down to kiss her because I felt that was what I was supposed to do. I was sloppy and unsure of myself. I felt uncomfortable which at the time I brushed off as nerves because it was my first kiss and I was in my bedroom with a girl, but in reality it's because I was uncomfortable because I didn't really like it.
Throughout our relationship she would try to make out with me and I would refuse citing I was preparing to go on a mission and I didn't want to do that. Again, lies I told myself to get out of something that I knew was uncomfortable to me.
Suzanne and I had a rocky relationship. I had all these external influences telling me that she was bad news and I was going to get hurt. My relationships with my parents and my close friends were strained because of this. Suzanne would want to spend all her spare time with me and I would feel suffocated. I would want to hang out with my guy friends instead (ironic). We would talk about marriage, how I was going to be a surgeon and she was going to be a nurse. She told me while I was at work, she was going to go shopping and spend all our money (this upset me when she would say this).
I left for college in the fall 3,000 miles away and we decided to stay together. I became very mentally ill at school and Suzanne kept me going because we would talk several hours on the phone every day. For once in my life I did feel that someone did love me (though however unhealthy that relationship was). I felt attractive and accomplished. Suzanne had been the first person besides my mother or old widows in the ward to tell me that I was attractive. I liked the way Suzanne made me feel and the idea of having a girlfriend more so than actually having one which is why I think that we stayed together for so long.
We began to get very heavily involved with each other. Suzanne flew out to visit me for Thanksgiving break. She spent a week with my family and I, we had Thanksgiving at my family's cabin. We ended up ending things over the break because she had a guy she liked and her and I had been fighting so much. A couple weeks prior I found out she went out to dinner with her ex boyfriend and had lied to me about it. I had to find out from my friends who saw them together.
I moved back home over Christmas break and her and I met up on Christmas Eve to discuss things. We decided to remain friends.
I enrolled at the local community college and got a job working at the hospital. We still saw a lot of each other. Then this guy broke her heart. She came to me for comfort and like a dog returning to it's vomit, we got back together. In this time I got my own apartment. We were both 19 now and felt much older and more mature. I hadn't thought about a mission because I simply couldn't do one being so temperamental with my medications. Suzanne and I began to spend a lot of time together. We decided to take our relationship a different route this time. We didn't include anyone else in our decisions. We were open and honest with each other (or so I thought) and didn't attempt to keep our relationship a secret. For a while, things worked. I was actually happy and she was too. I would get off work, we would grab a pizza, and then we would head back to my apartment and curl up on the couch and watch a movie. It felt good, it felt right.
Suzanne and I were in a good place and we both agreed we were happy. We began very realistically talking about marriage. We named our children, two girls and a boy. We had a wedding date set. We talked about residency and where we wanted to settle once I was done with school. Her parents were going to buy us a car for a wedding present. For once I was excited about the future and what was ahead. My life was planned out before me.
Then one day I received a phone call from my bishop. A member of our ward had been killed in a tragic car accident. My Bishop asked for me to sing at his funeral. I obliged and didn't give it a second thought.
The funeral came and I performed. This man's family was not Mormon and as I sang over the pulpit, I could see the spirit touch their hearts through the song I was singing. A line from my patriarchal blessing came instantly from my mind "Your voice will be talented to teach in a very special way". I knew when I got my blessing that was talking about my singing voice. The spirit overwhelmed me and I started sobbing. I decided that it was time to pray about going on a mission again. I received a blessing and the confirmation came... I was supposed to go on a mission.
This news ate at me over the next 24 hours as I battled within myself. I had this perfect job, friends, apartment, and Suzanne. How could I go on a mission? How could I leave that all behind?
Heavenly Father answered this for me. The 48 hours proceeding the revelation that I was supposed to go on a mission were hell for me. A bunch of skeletons came tumbling out of Suzanne's closet as stories and lies conflicted and I realized that the person I had been romantically involved with for the past year and a half was not who I thought she was. She had been unfaithful to me in our relationship and slept with a total of three guys, some while we had been dating. What made it more sad is she continued the trend already set in her family; both her parents had cheated on each other.
The sad realization came that who she was depended on who she was dating at the time. When she was dating me she loved the scriptures and going to church, when she was dating the guy after me she loved trucks and NASCAR and country music. She was lost and didn't know who she was. She had no moral foundation and no real testimony of the Church.
We experienced a very nasty break up. I was so hurt. I cried and yelled. I didn't understand how someone could hurt me so much and lie to me.
On the plus side, this solidified that I was supposed to go on a mission, it sure made it a hell of a lot easier.
Suzanne and I made up right before I left. She wrote me my entire mission. Then once I came home, I headed out to school and haven't seen her since. Things never clicked again and I never felt that urge to get back together with her. We remained friends on Facebook and would occasionally catch up.
Suzanne finally gave up on putting a front of pretending to be something she wasn't. So pictures appeared on Facebook of her drinking, wearing immodest clothing and hanging out with her non-member boyfriend with his cigar.
I feel like I dodged a bullet on this one. Married life is hard. Married life in a mixed-orientation marriage is even harder. I'm glad I didn't add infidelity, and lies to the mix as well.
Suzanne getting married got me to think about Jane some more. Her latest letter just had me falling for her even more. She sent a picture of her companion with her ankle hurt and Jane draped her hair over it to fix it because it's magical (a la Tangled). I really believe I could be happy with her. She has the solid testimony that continues to grow and become stronger which each passing day.
What the future holds, I don't know. But I do know and can testify that my Heavenly Father is directing my path to where I am supposed to be.