I am a straight heterosexual male in his mid twenties and have an active and happy sex life. But this story is not about me, rather it’s about a man whom I met in college, a gay man. He alone taught me how much one can go for love, and forever change the way I see my pink counterparts.
I met X one and a half years ago in college through a mutual friend and we did a project together. My initial impression of X was that he was autistic, he didn’t speak much during the group meetings and there wasn’t any eye contact at all. Throughout the times we worked together, he was immensely private about his life back home (X was an international student) and he rarely speak about his hobbies and stuffs. However through a glimpse, I noticed that he had a photo of 2 Golden Retrievers as his laptop’s wallpaper and he, after noticing what I saw, proudly said to me that the 2 dogs were his best friends & his pride and joy.
I slowly gotten to see a side of X that I didn’t know exist. He enjoys Classical music, albeit the more recent artists not the classical, Classical ones. Most importantly I learnt that he was a very caring friend and someone who loves his family alot. I also learnt that he kept a photo of someone in his wallet and I was dying to know who that person was! He ensured me when the time is right he would let me know; afterall it was just 2 months of us knowing each other.
We ended the semester acing the group project and with a good note. I was all prepared for my 6 months long exchange program at the States to wrap up my degree. We maintained contact through texting as X went back to his home country for the holidays to work for his dad. Our texting periods are usually the same as he would be commuting to work like me and ended work the same time. Thus over that period we grew rather close.
I was scheduled to leave Singapore 3 weeks after term started as I was visiting some relatives in Sydney and then to the States after staying 2 weeks there. On and on I continued with my intern while X was in school. We still texted and I remember a week before I left, X asked me if it’s ok if he joined me for 1 week in the States as I’m arriving a week earlier to tour the city. I was very, very surprised and frankly taken aback by that. It was just a week before his mid-term exams and he was in his final semester no less; to take a whole week would severely set him back on his studies. I mentioned to my parents about X’s decision and their response was not at all unusual - they were concern that X had other motives. I did thought about it but in the end I said it would be fun if he joined me.
So fast forward to the trip. It was nothing short of enriching. We had loads of fun exploring a new city and visiting the theme parks and shopping districts. Both X and I had never been to the States and thus everything was very new to us and we certainly enjoyed the new culture.
He surprised me 2 times with premier tickets to a Broadway musical that I was dying to see (and tickets was sold out 3 months ago!), a dinner at a 3 star Michelin Restaurant! Both of them which he insisted on paying because it was his idea. I tried slipping the money into his wallet while he’s asleep and he would pass it back when he knew about it. The silly boy even went to bed with the wallet in his pocket just so I couldn’t repeat my actions.
My parent’s words didn’t bothered me until the final night when we had champagne. Usually it was an occasion of celebration but X’s face was not reflective of that. Over dinner he looked at me in the eye and he told me that he was sorry. The look he had on his face was just so.. Sad. And I asked him what’s wrong. It was there and then that he took out his wallet and showed me the photo.
It was a photo of me.
I stared down on the photo for 10 seconds and when I looked up I saw tears cascading down X’s face. The sorrow, pain, relief, uncertainty and guilt was all present. I always told X that I could read his emotions but at the instance I had no idea what he was feeling. All I know was he apologizing continuously for his actions - for liking me and he begged me not to hate him.
I told him it was ok and I was glad and extremely flattered that a gay man would consider me attractive. We went back to the hotel and sat by our beds talking more. X has never been in a relationship before because he felt he wasn’t attractive enough and he never once held hands with another individual before.
He asked me if he could kiss me because he wanted his first kiss to be with someone special. I hesitated awhile but ultimately I gave in. The sadness that X had was so intense and I know how it felt to have a one sided relationship. We kissed for 2 seconds (I was counting) and after that he gave me a tight hug sobbing into me while I pat him on his back ensuring that he will one day find someone that loves him back. He looked me in the eye after that and his hands reached onto my groin. I didn’t know why, but I didn’t resist and that night X gave his very first (albeit bad) blowjob to me.
Soon after, he went back to Singapore while I continued my exchange in the States. I couldn’t talk to him after the incident but I didn’t had the courage to tell him directly. He still initiated contact with me but I chose to either ignore or gave one word replies. I guess he more or less knew my intentions and slowly but surely it stopped.
So time went pass and it was time to return to Singapore. It was after 2 weeks when I landed that I receive a message from X, asking if he could meet me to return me my notes. I agreed and we met at that very same coffeeshop in Holland V, 6 months ago.
X looked different, he got fitter and was wearing a ring on his hand. I didn’t question much but secretly I knew that he had finally found a boyfriend and that was the reason why the contact stopped.
It was there, that X passed me my notes and a folder. I asked him what was this and he told me that inside the folder was 146 letters written to me over the past 6 months. It had details of everything that happened to him - his first accident, him failing 3 mid-term tests, his scuba-diving adventures and the demise of one of his dogs.
It was only then that I realize X has never once forgotten me as a friend and the only reason why he didn’t contact me was because he wasn’t sure if I still wanted him as a friend or not. He written those letters whenever he wanted to tell me about the on-going events in his life. My heart sank when I learnt his intentions.
That was not all. He handed me another letter and told me to open it. It was a wedding invitation. X was getting married - to a girl. I looked at him confusedly and he told me that he had to marry this girl as their fathers were very close business partners. X was arranged to tie the knot.
It was also only then I realize why did X travelled half way across the world for a week with me. It was his only chance to travel with a man he loved because he knew that he wouldn’t get a chance to do that after graduation. I was his first, and only man that he kissed and had the opportunity to travel together.
X asked me to be his best man at his wedding. With tears in his eyes he told me that he would really love it if I can walk down the aisle with him, just that he would be taking the ring from me instead of putting onto me.
When I learnt of everything, I couldn’t help but burst into tears for whatever X has done for me. This man has love me in a way that I could not believe any human being is capable of. This man has shown me that if you truly love someone all that matters is if they’re happy. This man has shown me what is it like to have someone love you to such an extent.
I am sorry X, that I am unable to return your feelings and I am very honored to have you as a friend. I hope that whatever happens in the future, you will be strong, healthy and happy. Yes I will walk down the aisle with you, just not in the way you envision but nonetheless I wish you nothing but happiness in the days ahead.