Part two: the count down
So there we were, T and I - two hours apart, trying to maintain our friendship even though it was more difficult than ever. Things between my boyfriend and I were getting worse without T there as a buffer. I had to vent to someone, and that someone became him. Eventually I'd had enough and left him. I moved into the apartment complex T had lived in when she became single. I didn't even look anywhere else. I knew they were a great company to rent from, that they plowed their parking lots well and early and had a maintenance man on duty 24/7. I ended up renting an apartment almost identical to the one T had rented the year before. In this new world, I was glad of the familiarness of the place.
The problem now was that I had no friends in the city I was in. All of my high school friends had moved back home and T was the last friend I had that lived nearby. With her gone, I was friendless, boyfriendless... I needed new friends. Fast.
About this time T started dating a guy named C. It was obvious from the very beginning that he was totally smitten with her. T wasn't as enthused. For one, he worked at a gun store, and she'd never fired a gun in her life. Didn't want to. For two, he wasn't her usual pretty boy type. She drooled over Abercrombie boys; this guy was from the Big and Tall catalog. He was easily 6 and a half feet tall with an endearing, goofy expression. I liked him immediately. I especially liked how he could deal with T's emotional flighty-ness. She waffled back and forth about whether she wanted to be with him. Her pros and cons went something like this: he is good to me (pro), but he doesn't want kids (con), he has lots of money to do things (pro), but has ex issues. She'd call me every week and say she was going to break up with him, then change her mind the next day. It was exhausting. I tried to tell her what I thought she needed to hear. She'd spent a long time with her ex unhappy, so I urged her to break up with this new guy before it got too serious. I was worried she'd settle for the guy that paid attention to her again. Then one day she called.
"So I really need to break up with C," she said.
"So do it already! You know you don't want to be with him long-term," I urged.
"Okay, I will. But we're going to Las Vegas for a few days, so I will do it when we get back."
I had a HUGE problem with this. It felt to me that she was using him; allowing him to dote on her while having no intentions of being with him. Ugh. I didn't say much and ended the call soon after. I didn't like who T was becoming. Since when was she so shallow?
While all this was going on, I'd met Bear. Despite intending to stay single for a good long time, I fell in love with his adorable charm and genuine caring. By Christmas we were official. By March we were engaged. We knew we had moved very quickly, so set our wedding date for a little more than a year away - June 30, 2007.
Meanwhile, not only had T not left C after Vegas, they became official while they were down there. they became engaged then or shortly thereafter. I was still bothered by how C obviously loved T more than she loved him, but since I wasn't with them, I couldn't prove anything.
It was then that two friends started planning their weddings at the same time. T has a HUGE princess mentality - she'd been dreaming about her wedding, Prince Charming, etc. for years. She named her cats Tinkerbelle and GusGus. I had not grown up ever intending to marry, so this was all new to me. Bear and I were both very poor, so our wedding was to be on a budget. A very small budget. We started looking at ways to cut costs while T was not worried about the cost of her wedding at all. And why should she? Between C's money and her parents', she had no money worries at all. What she wanted, she was going to get. The first few wedding dresses she tried on were more than $1,000. Mine cost $99. I didn't even get it altered (it fit well enough and I couldn't afford it, anyhow). I reserved the wedding and reception locations: my parents' back yard. She reserved this spectacular old Catholic church and swanky reception site.
As the planning process continued, my conversations with T became more strained. I'd asked her already to be my maid of honor. She said yes. Then she set the date of her own wedding a week after mine. Knowing how emotional she can be, I asked her if she thought she could handle both my wedding and hers. She said yes. I told her that I would make sure to be back from ym honeymoon in time for her wedding. I asked her if I was going to be a bridesmaid. She said, "well, maybe, I just don't know, I may have to have C's sister in mine, and I - I just don't know." I was really hurt by that.
But that wasn't all. One day we were shopping, and she asked me what my wedding colors were going to be. "Well, I said, we're getting married right before 4th of July, so probably red and blue. It's what will be on sale as far as plates, tablecloths, and decorations go," I said. Bear and I were trying to pinch every penny we could.
"Oh," she said. I pretended not to notice that her mood took a nosedive. I didn't know what was bothering her, but knew if I ignored it, eventually she'd tell me.
And boy, did she ever.
Tomorrow: part three (the fall out)