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2003-06-24 - 12:59 a.m.

"The truth can't hurt you it's just like the dark- it scares you witless but in time you'll see things clear and stark"

'I Want You'- Elvis Costello


Reading back over my last entry I can see that what happened on Saturday night was inevitable. I was essentially writing words of encouragement to Ellie because she has copped a lot of completely unjustified flak from this medium recently, and also because she's been getting down about a guy who is acting like a two year old (and is supposed to be one of my good friends- I just can't escape drama can I?). I found the aforementioned tirades against her particularly ironic given the circumstances surrounding her current issues- the idea of looking for someone to blame when in fact she takes too much of the blame herself.

But at the same time I had some serious issues of my own turning over in my head. I myself had been the subject of distasteful allegations, and subsequently some big talking empty threats. I was being thrust back in time a year ago to a time I thought we had all put behind us, and in doing so it made me think more and more about how badly I'd handled the year following Ellie and my breakup, with particular reference to what happened between Cindy and I.

I needed to talk to Ellie about what was upsetting me because she is my best friend, but I couldn't because of the way I'd handled the past. I ran from the truth, and everytime I was put on the spot I dug a deeper hole. I don't believe I have been that person since I guess October last year. Probably when I became involved with Jane. Although Cindy and my sexual relationship ended in July, there was an incident in September which neither of us handled well, and which led to an all too familiar pile of shit hitting the fan not long after. I kissed her when she was with someone else, and I tried to hide it from Ellie. That was the last time I lied to her- that incident and it's fallout was the end of who I was and the beginning of who I am.

If only it were that simple.

I'll say this from the outset. I've never regretted anything that happened between Cindy and I. What I've regretted is the way I've handled it, mainly with respect to Ellie, but also it's clear that while I never had any bad intentions with Cindy, our relationship hurt her on a regular basis. It usually revolved around the fact that I was only giving what I felt I could offer, and that wasn't always enough. We went through that often enough. Something that I thought was okay within the bounds of what we had would hurt her, obviously enough because just agreeing on something isn't enough, you have to believe it in your heart. That used to upset me, because I never meant to hurt her. But we worked through it.

Finding out over a year after an event that I've managed to upset her more than anyone else in what has been a pretty upsetting year for her is not so easy to take. After getting past our complete lack of willpower, after accepting changing dynamics on both of our parts, after accepting that we no longer played the pivotal roles we had played in each others lives- what I found out last week floored me like nothing else.

And I realised that one of the things that upset me most about it was that I couldn't talk to my best friend about it. And when I was writing my last entry, before I had any inkling of how soon my thoughts would become actions, I hated myself for how I'd treated Ellie, and desperately wanted to make things right.

While I haven't lied since that last time, I'd never set the record straight about the lies that came before it. It wasn't an ongoing deception and betrayal because what happened between Cindy and I from February until July last year was not relevant to my life from October onwards. That doesn't detract from any of it (good or bad), but I didn't see it as continuing to lie to her because it was completely in the past and not relevant.

Until last week.

The reason that I set the record straight on Saturday night was because after Friday night when I spoke to Cindy at length about the issues we had to resolve, and Saturday morning when Ellie started to get curious about what Cindy and I had to discuss, I realised that it was the only way I could be certain I wouldn't lie again.

"She broke down, and I broke down, 'cause I was tired of lying"

I haven't cried the way I did on Saturday night since Ellie and I broke up almost two years ago. I cried because directly or indirectly I've managed to hurt at least two of my closest friends (I won't count Annie because she has no reason to feel I've hurt her, particularly when she's hurt me so much). I cried because I couldn't face the person I used to be. I cried because Ellie told me she felt completely alone and without anyone she could trust and I understood. I cried because I couldn't convince myself that Ellie was wrong when she said that I was only telling her now because I needed to, or because it was convenient to me.

And I cried because I left Ellie by herself while I ran into the arms of the most beautiful person I know.

Sometimes when Jane tells me how much she loves me and couldn't do without me I feel almost overawed by the responsibility I hold in making sure I never hurt her the way I've hurt others. But on Saturday night I needed her more than I can ever remember needing anybody. And I loved her so much it hurt.

I feel bad because all that Ellie really needed on Saturday night was to see that she wasn't alone, and I made her feel like she was. But I didn't know what else to do. She didn't break down because she was angry at me, it was because everything was just happening at once, and she needed someone to tell her it would be alright. But I didn't know how to comfort her when I was the one who had just fired the arrow. I wouldn't even touch her. I was too scared she would flinch away in disgust.

I let Ellie walk around with her thoughts even though I knew that wouldn't really help her. I made her promise me she would let me pick her up again, because I honestly didn't know if she would. After having my mini-breakdown at Jane's house I went back to pick Ellie up by myself, and took her back to my place, and lay with her, and showed her I was still there for her. Jane was completely okay with this. It never ceases to amaze me how lucky I am to have such a caring, understanding girlfriend.

And by Sunday morning things seemed back to normal. If Ellie was upset it was (at least to my knowledge) not related to what had happened the night before, more what has been happening for the past few months- and I was able to be there for her when she was upset.

"Oh no love you're not alone- you're watching yourself but you're too unfair. You've got your head all tangled up but if only I could make you care."

I hope I'm doing things the right way this time.


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