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Dear B…

On March 7, 2007, I walked over to La Prima Tazza where you were waiting for me. We had only chatted online until that point, it was the first night we met in person. You were waiting for me on the bench out front wearing your dark blue suede jacket that was ruined in Germany a year later. Up until that point, I had only known you as the guy who always had an excuse not to hang out; you had to do research for your oral exams, you had to practice, or, my favorite, you had to clean your apartment. I remember thinking afterward that you needed someone to talk to. One thing you repeated during our first meeting was that you didn’t want to be gay, and I remember thinking how I had felt that way too for so long, and I wanted to help my new friend realize he didn’t have to be ashamed. I doubt either of us would have anticipated anything that followed over the next three years – our friendship becoming a romance, you moving into my house, all the while both of us keeping this a secret except to our closest friends. I want to believe that the past year and a half would be what gay married life would be like – us hanging out after work, watching DVD’s, going to the farmer’s market. You’ve filled the void created by the estrangement between me and my family, and having you live with me has brought a stability to my life I’ve never had before.

I wasn’t surprised when you told me a week ago Wednesday they offered you the job in Texas. Every interview you went on I knew it could be the one, but this one there was no question. I’d known about this interview for two months and I knew you wanted the position. All the updates you gave me while I was in Washington DC said “this is the one.” The hardest part for me has been telling our friends. Whenever I tell them you got a job in Texas, the first question they ask is “Oh my goodness, you’re moving?” Then I tell them no, I’m staying here. The confusion and silence that follows always hurts the most; it’s as if they’re asking “why not? Don’t you love him?” At very least, it forces me to ask myself that again and again.  I’ve always told you that you should take any job that came your way. You’ve worked 15 years to do what you do, and I love you too much to see you pass up something like this. I think you know how hard I worked to get where I am, and you love me too much to ask me to leave everything behind.

I’ve always wanted you to have the freedom to find yourself. When I first met you, I think you were trying very hard to fit yourself into the mold others wanted for you. As we got to know each other you’ve grown in many ways, but I’m afraid that I’ve pushed you too hard to live in my life and my world. Now that you’re in Texas I know you’ll have the freedom to define your life as you see it. I’ve repeated over and over this past week I don’t think now is the time to talk about “us.” I keep telling you this because we’ve always been best when we just let things work out. Right now you have to worry about moving into your new apartment, learning music for two services and a recital, finding where the Walmart is, and learning a new routine. Both of us are going to have to figure out how our lives work without the other being there. Once we’re through these initial humps, we’ll have time to figure out when I can visit, and how we work together in each others lives. We can work out the new normal.

I don’t think you’re leaving me and I hope you don’t think I’m pushing you away; I simply don’t want you to be sad that I’m not there with you. I know you’re going somewhere where you have friends to support you, and I’m know that you’re strong enough to get through us seeing each other every day. That been said, as soon as you’re life is under control and you want me to visit,  let me know.

Good luck with your move, B. We’ll talk as soon as you’re settled.

Love,

NV

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