I apologize for the delayed update to my last post. Thank you so much to all that prayed for me over this past week in response to my post; I appreciate it very much. The short answer to the question I left hanging is no, the Deep Dark Secret Club did not grow at all.
Let’s look at Part 1: The Club
The conversation went well….or as well as could be expected. The couple arrived at our house at 9pm, chatted with us for a little bit, played with the dog, and admired our home. They had never been to our place before, so we gave them the grand tour. We all grabbed drinks, sat down around the table, prayed, and dove in.
We talked till 3am.
It was long, it was painful, but it was worth it. It was encouraging to hear both of them confirm many of the decisions that I’ve made over the past few months and the things that I have pushed for in our house. Throughout the course of the conversation, Greg was filled in on many things that Mr. Experience, Number Four, and I have talked through over the past couple weeks. Many of the things the four of us have talked through in arguments and “discussions” were rehashed for this couple, including everything that happened over summer. For the first time, I told Greg how much it meant to me that he apologized about a couple weeks back for the things that happened 6 months ago. For only the second time in my life, I saw him cry.
Number Four got the conversation going for our group, and then he didn’t say a whole lot through the rest of the night. The things that he did say were well thought through and things that I needed to hear; he has a way of bringing up the baseline reasoning for why people do things, and it was interesting to be pushed to think through my actions in ways I hadn’t before.
To be honest, most of the conversation happened between Mr. E and I. Through the 6 hours that we talked, presenting our sides of the story and listening to the couple talk us through ways that each of us were wrong, I think, for the first time, I realized just how incredibly different the two of us are.
And we’re the only two remaining in the house after May.
Somewhere around 2:40am, we began to wind down. Each of us had presented our points, explained ourselves and the actions we took. I felt that there was finally completely clear air between Greg and I, and that Number Four and I could see our differing opinions and agree to respect each other in spite of those. Mr. E, to me, seemed pissed at the direction the conversation had gone. The couple had a lot of good stuff to say, pointing out flaws in each of us that had been magnified by the combination of the four of us. In me, they said it boiled down to the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to say what I thought in many cases. Because of this SSA crap that I deal with, I have built so many walls around myself, I’ve become Fort Knox in a sense. I am so scared to expose myself in any area of my life because someone may see this area on accident. So many times during the conversation, one of the other roommates looked at me and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that before.”
Which was hard. But good.
We ended the conversation as friends, still excited to go through the next four months as roommates in the Bachelor Pad. I left that table with mixed emotions, thankful for the fact that I felt I had said everything that needed to be said, but still aware of the fact that Mr. E and I were going to need to wrap up some loose ends at some point.
Which brings us to Part 2: Roommates
Mr. E and I sat down a couple nights ago at my request to talk through next year. I told him I was working on talking more and expressing what I was thinking through, and so I needed to be open with him. We’ve been discussing different options for two new roommates over the past few weeks, and I’ve been hesitant about all of them. I finally told him the reason I’ve been hesitant: it had nothing to do with the two replacements; it had everything to do with him.
I had sounded out Number Four a couple days prior, and he agreed: Mr. E and I living in the same house would be like putting a match to a gunpowder factory. The combination we have now works because I’m close friends with Greg, Mr. E is close friends with Number Four, Number Four and Greg get along perfectly, and Mr. E and I have learned to tolerate one another. Remove the two middlemen, and you have an explosion waiting to happen.
The truth is, I don’t want to live with him next year.
That night, the two of us talked for an hour or so, both of us staying civil (which was somewhat unusual), and discussing the reality of what next year would look like. He confirmed that he too had been hesitant about living with me, but he didn’t want to say anything to rock the boat. We both agreed that us together in a house without Greg and Number Four, regardless of who the other two replacements are, would probably not be a good idea. And, I told him, I honestly think we would be better friends if we didn’t live together.
We laughed at the end, talking about how this seemed to be the most amicable divorce in the history of divorces. Each of us offered the other the house, making arguments on why they should seek other roommates. Its a beautiful house, and I will be sorry to lose it, but it was a way to keep the peace. He’s now looking for roommates for next year, and I’m beginning to look for another place to live.
So the short of it is: come May I’ll most likely be finding a new place to live.
Which brings us to Part 3: May
I’m dreading it.
It’s like the iceburg looming ahead of the Titanic, unavoidable and capable of sinking the entire luxury liner. This year has started off rough, but it holds so much promise. And yet, the reality of May clouds everything, brooding over this year like some dark cloud.
I was brought to tears last night at the thought of saying that final goodbye to Greg. For five years now, he’s been the constant friend in my life, the guy who I’ve done everything with. Yes, we’ve had our rough patches, but what friendship hasn’t? Yes, we’ve had to work through tough issues and forgiveness, but that’s what deepens a friendship. For five years, we’ve gone to see movies, produced Theater productions together, lived together, hung out together, sung together, and just been friends together.
And, come May, that all comes to an end.
He’s moving away.
And getting married.
As graduation approaches, my smiles become more forced and the happiness more an act. My heart aches with the knowledge that, within a few short months, I will have to hug him at the door of our house, say goodbye, and watch him drive away to the other side of the country. Such a thought paralyzes me with sorrow, wrenching my gut until I must force myself to think on something else. I know that God provides friends for a season, but never before have I dreaded a coming goodbye so much.
The hurt has begun to grow inside, and the next four months will be an act of self-control, learning to have joy in spite of sorrow, learning to find my joy only in Christ rather than others.
Oh, but my brothers, it hurts.
For now, I have the joy of the next four months with him and the other two guys. We have hashed out our differences, made peace with one another, and now seem to have reached a place where we can live with one another in harmony.
But all good things seem to come to an end.
And I only have four months.
Or, I suppose, since it’s the end of January, I have three.
Lord help me.