The Prince That Really Was A Frog
I was recently betrayed in the worst way by someone I trusted and about whom I cared deeply. It was such a hurtful ordeal, that for a couple of weeks, I blocked out the “world” and retreated to a sanctum of depression. Well, initially, it was utter depression; drowning in a sea of self-pity, beating myself up about what I could have done differently, wondering where I went wrong and asking the perennial question, “why me?” I was in dire emotional turmoil, almost beyond consolation. At such times, there are perhaps only two people in the world who can break that barrier to help me see any silver lining. It was inevitable that I’d reach out to them. But amidst all the storms of my life, I’ve always been able to find that inner strength, or, maybe it’s my faith to which I turn to begin to feel that calm. I’d end up doing so once again.
Although gregarious by nature and renown for my candor, I’ve always shielded myself from allowing too many people to get too close. I’ve had the same group of “closest friends” for most of my life. Even now living in New York – thousands of miles away from them in Barbados – distance or time apart does not affect our bond. They know and understand me perhaps in ways that I myself do not. My journey in New York has yielded a few dear friends and although I can’t compare them to the ones back home, they can best be described as God-sent. Still, it took time and special circumstances to build the handful of friendships here. That was until I met this friend in question. We were introduced at a social gathering by a mutual friend and easily established rapport. To use one of my favorite phrases,“the vibes between us were just Irie.” He and I formed one of the quickest, closest friendships I’d ever had.
He made it easy to talk to and I soon started opening up to him in ways I hadn’t even done with guys with whom I’d dated or fallen in love. Unlike most guys with whom I’d formed acquaintances in New York, his first or main objective wasn’t to try to get into my bed. He listened to me and seemingly showed genuine interest in everything I was and was about and he was always respectful. For that reason and many more, I found the moniker “Prince” most apt for him. Closer in proximity than my “boys” back in Barbados and apparently caring for me almost as much, I began to trust “Prince” implicitly. We’d talk every day, be it via text, email, phone or in person when he made that “trek” from a neighboring state. If I were having a gloomy day, he always knew the right thing to say or do to bring sunshine my way. I was beyond reciprocative in compassion and loyalty.
Soon, I let him in completely. He came to know much about my past, my insecurities, my every day happenings, my hopes and plans for the future. He told me that he was right there with me and for me. “Prince” made me feel like I was one of the most special people in his life and that he needed me/my friendship as much as I needed him/his friendship. There are few feelings more comforting than knowing you’re enhancing someone’s life.
With our “relationship” came many a sacrifice on my part that I chose to keep from him. After all, selflessness comes with true friendship. So on that day when it was revealed to me that “Prince” had been deceiving me all along, that he was pretty much making a mockery of me and my circumstances, that he didn’t care half as much as he’d pretended and that he couldn’t stand up for me or put up a fight for our friendship, I was devastated.
I cried for a few days on end; sleepless each night. I was mad at myself for letting him get so close, for what now seemed like no reason. I blamed myself for him treating me as less than a friend, less than human. I played over every moment of the development of our friendship trying to figure out his motives, seeking for clues that I missed; clues that could have shown me he was an imposter. I wanted to go back to the day we met and avoid it. But the pity party didn’t soothe the pain.
I tried to console myself with the notion that I in no way warranted this cruelty and need not hold on to such a creature in my life. More importantly, I came to accept that I cannot be responsible for Prince’s lack of integrity. Sure, the onus was or is on me how much I let someone in, but if that person turns out to be of unsavory character, that is on them. I hit my knees in prayer, for strength, guidance, for a forgiving heart and most of all for that spirit of “let go.” Immediately afterwards, as agonizing as it was, I severed all ties with “Prince”.
When I eventually reached out to my boys to talk, they reminded me: “You have so much to offer this world. He doesn’t deserve a friend like you. It’s just another lesson and it’s great that you got it now rather than later (in the friendship).” Even if laden with clichés, they were right: “Roger that.”
“Prince” was not my boyfriend. We were not having sex. And admittedly, even though there was much scope to blossom into a serious romantic relationship, we were not in love. But he was someone I let into my life, my world and my heart – without reservation. I thought I was the same to him. Who knew that a friend could break your heart? He sure broke mine.
~ I Keep it Irie ~