Past love and marriage
On Saturday my ex girlfriend got married. We haven’t been together for almost ten years but she was my first girlfriend and first love.
A and I met when I was 18 and a freshman in college. She was three years older and had become friends with my high school best friend (who was a year older than me and already at the University for a year by the time I arrived). We were introduced, became friends, and shortly afterwards realized we were lesbians. We fell in love and remained so for about a year and a half, although we dated for three years. Neither of us were out to our families while we were dating and were not out to our friends for the first two years or so. The relationship lasted much longer than it should have because of this and then ended tragically and dramatically when she fell in love with someone else.
We’ve kept in touch over the years but that has faded over time. I think I forgot to wish her a happy birthday this year. She hasn’t said anything to me about the baby. I see her name with a green dot next to it on gchat regularly, yet we don’t talk. There’s no hostility, just the changes that come over time.
This is A’s second marriage since we split. Her and the woman she fell madly in love with got married many years ago and have since divorced. The other woman was and is one of my best friends. Two years ago I was lucky enough to stand beside other woman at her second wedding and am lucky enough to have her be a major part of my life. I don’t know if this has added to the distance between A and I or not. In many ways, it does not matter.
When A got married the first time I attended a wedding shower (where I decided you should NEVER go to you ex’s wedding shower) and was excited to see things about the day. Yesterday morning I laid in bed and looked at pictures from her second wedding that I could find through mutual friends on facebook or instagram hashtags. I almost felt sad, not because of the loss of her or her happiness but mourning the passage of time.
We were different people when we were together. I was young and she was scared. It seems like a lifetime ago. I looked at these pictures and hardly recognized her. I looked at photos of her sister and her mom and thought about their lives then and what they must be now. I thought about how these people were huge parts of my life I no longer know. I looked at her standing up to get married surrounded by my high school friends. I looked at the things that were so different and things that were still the same. There was a picture of her posed with a champagne bottle to her lips and I laughed at how I have a similar picture tucked away in a closet somewhere.
Maybe it was just the hormones messing with me but these wedding pictures really struck me. But as I laid there looking at them I also laid feeling this life move around inside of me. Lesley rolled over and, without being awake or aware of my alertness, put her arm around me and pulled me closer to her. Our little family of 2.5, in our little home, thousands of miles away from the pictures. I thought about where my life has taken me. I thought about how I felt when A left and how I never imagined being as happy as I am. She told me after she left that each time a person falls in love they fall in love harder than the time before. At the time, I thought she was a jerk but those words have always hung in my mind. I realized yesterday morning that it isn’t just Lesley that I have fallen in love with in the last 8 years but myself, too. Her and me and our home and our life together and now this baby. I thought about how I’ve fallen for each of these things harder than I ever knew was possible. I thought about that old life, ten years and thousands of miles away, and then I thought about the life I have now. I laid there, with both of our hands on my stomach as it danced around, and fell back asleep.