Last night we had to make a run to the Armory I was assigned to when I deployed. I was going to meet one of my military friends and hand him some artifacts for the museum display he is creating for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I worked in Psychological Operations so I have some pretty unique artifacts, oh and no it was NOT as exciting as it sounds.
We drive down the road to the Armory and it dawns on me the car in front of me is his as I can see his licence plate. He has a custom plate you see so it was easier then it might sound. I laughed and told M1 that was the person we were going to meet and explained his plate to her. It is a military slang term but rated G so we are good.
We pull into the driveway at the Armory right next to him. He gets out and he greets me super enthusiastically. I of course return his enthusiasm and happiness at seeing him. He takes the objects and says to me “Hey it is really good to see you. We really need to get together for lunch. Please would you come with me to lunch sometime?” I agree and he said he would email me later. I start to drive away and my buddy goes to his meeting.
As I pull onto the road, M1 looks at me and says “Now wait just a minute. Did I just hear a guy inviting you on a lunch date and you accepted?” I am not sure why this is so strange to her. I mean she knows I have military friends who are men and that sometimes we get together for lunch. I steal a glance at a red light and see this incredulous look on her face. I laugh and say “Oh hon not that, we are just friends. We tried the whole boyfriend girlfriend thing and….well it ended badly.” M1 practically screams “Wait what back up you dated someone? No wait you dated HIM????” I laughed and said “Yes dear I dated. Yes he is ‘old’ but we are only three years apart. Yes boyfriend and girlfriend but that was a long time ago. He is a good man with a giving heart and that is why I like him so much.” Yeah we need to have a camera in the car to catch the look she gave me.
She stumbles over her words now “Can you tell me what happened?” Ummmm yeah all right lets back up. I said to her, all right remember I told you that there was a cadet who made my life miserable and then years later she showed up at my Armory? She says yep and I say all right well her name is L- OK PC and I are now dating and we go to dinner, movies blah blah all the same things that couples do. I meet his parents he meets mine, we have a lot of shared friends. About 8 months into our relationship he stops calling, stops answering the phone and basically falls of the face of the earth. Soldiers we both know confirm he is at work so that sort of makes me happy. Nothing is wrong health wise with him or his family.
At the 3d month apart point my boss comes into work. Now she is a bit of a gossip so sometimes I just had to fact check her. She comes in and says “Umm something you want to tell me?” I am confused and say “no” She says “Look are you sure you have nothing tell me because your boyfriend reports something else.” I look at her and say “OH PC and I are not talking anymore. He refuses to have anything to do with me.” She looks stunned and starts to back track “I am sorry, so sorry” and she rushes away. OK whatever now I am just pissed what did he say? Well soon enough I found out, he was engaged to L- (M1 gasped out loud at this one) I was shocked, angry and devastated. I did not even know what was going on and how long had he been seeing her? A few weeks pass and I see PC, he walks in and says to me “I am sorry. I didn’t know how it happened. Please forgive me.” I tell him I need time he understands and leaves.
Fast forward several months and we are now mobilized. I am not in his unit but I was taken from my unit and placed in his because of my speciality. Wow just wow. We avoid each other as much as possible and are professional when together.We deploy to theater PC stays in Kuwait, I am moved to Tikrit, Iraq. Fast forward several more month, there is a murder, I am assigned to counsel all involved and am shipped to Kuwait for the trial. PC moves all personnel so he knew I was there. He asked if we could talk and one night we did. He told me that he was dumped at the alter by L-. He knows he screwed up, he knows he hurt me badly and he just wanted for me to forgive him and maybe be friends.
Well all right I can really use a friend right now. So several nights a week he would walk around base with me so I could just be a person, not a witness, not a counselor and not the widow escorts. He was a true friend when I really needed a true friend so as a result I forgave him. He messed up, he knew he was wrong and he apologized. He then extended kindness so yes I forgave him. M1 was off the wall astounded. She could not believe that I dated, was cheated on and now we are still friends.
I looked right at her and said “Look kiddo sometimes people make horrific mistakes. Yes he messed up. Yes he cheated but he also requested forgiveness, acknowledged my feelings and supported me in a haneous stressful time. You can’t hold onto anger forever it only hurts you and shuts potentially good people out.” She looks a bit thoughtful and says “Well do you still like him?” I laugh and say “Well yes but I think he just wants us to be friends.” M1 laughed and said “Maybe not he did invite you to lunch!”
Chill kiddo those are your hormones raging not mine. But then she got serious and said “Well did he really hurt you?” I said he did but that I knew deep down he was a good person and that L- well I can’t type what kind of person she is. Forgive move on and yes we are still friends and yes we share confidences occasionally.