Another Questless Knight 2/21/21

Disappointment for Richard Bleil

We’ve been friends for about fifteen years, but never met. Seems to be a theme for me; I have several friends I’ve never met. Apparently, it’s easier to get along with me when you’re not with me.

She is stunningly beautiful, very smart, has a heart of gold and a spirit larger than life. Many years ago I was a fan of Xena Warrior Princess. People always assumed I was actually a fan of Xena’s leather clad character, but in reality, I loved the story line, a story of friendship in a show that rarely took itself too seriously. As sexy as she is, it has always been our friendship that has drawn me to her. I was with her, at least in spirit, when she met her biological father for the first time giving her an ear and encouragement, and she stood with me even after my jealous wife made me give her up while we were married. I’ve always wanted to meet her, but the opportunity never seemed to come up.

And as much as I adore her, we actually rarely speak. We’ve kept in touch and do talk fairly regularly, but usually through “likes” and comments in social media. On occasion we’d text or call, but it was uncommon. Then something unusual happened about two weeks ago. She texted me and said that her relationship was ending.

I am shocked she reached out to me as I’m sure she has much closer and better friends than I, and frankly, I was equally shocked to hear this news. She’d been with her common-law husband for over a decade now, and I thought their relationship was rock solid. She deserves to be in a loving relationship, and I thought she was, a tribute to how the image of relationships on social media can be made to appear stronger than they actually are. It broke my heart because she deserves to be happy, and I’ve been living under the delusion that she had found the happiness she so richly deserves.

She told me that things haven’t been good for about a year, and that she’s trying to save up some money to buy a car so she can return to her home state. Basically, the trip is coast-to-coast, and she would pass in a direct path right past me in the middle of the journey.

This was my chance. I could finally meet her, help her out, and play the proverbial “white knight”. I have the truck I bought with my first Coronavirus relief check and, although she’s not new or pretty, she is actually very reliable. She has “personality”, including a missing front drive shaft making her rear-wheel drive only, an issue for me here in the Midwest but should not be in the southern state to where she was aspiring to return. I was going to drive out to get her, drive her back to my home (since she would have to drive past it anyway, and to “sell” the truck to her for five dollars. She would have been welcome to stay here if she so desired until she was ready to resume her journey, but frankly, I was really looking forward to meeting her and getting to spend at least a couple of days on the road getting to know her.

As more things came to light, I planned on more than that. I was going to give her a little bit of cash so she could safely make it to her destination, get a AAA membership for her as protection, pay for her car insurance for the first six months, take her shopping for clothes if she needed them for the cold weather and more. None of this was sexually motivated.

I am smart enough to know she has never been, and could never be, interested in me. She doesn’t think of me as a man, I’m sure, and that’s okay. Our friendship doesn’t require that, but, if I’m being truly honest with myself, that doesn’t mean that my mind didn’t wander. I thought about what I would do if she actually wanted to be with me, and even worked out an entire speech on how I would turn such an offer down, telling her that my desire is strong, but that I cannot, and will not, let her sleep with me if there is any feeling of obligation or element of “thanking” me for what I was doing for her. She’s had enough men trying to take advantage of her for me to add to that list. No doubt it would have taken a strong will, but I knew I could because what I could gain from our continued long-term friendship is far more important than risking it for a short-term fling.

None the less, I could not stop my heart from hoping that maybe, just maybe, we could be more. The odds of winning the lottery are no doubt higher than of creating a life partnership with her. My heart yearned for this impossibility to become a reality, even as my head reminded me that she deserves so much better than me. Logically, I doubt we would work even if we tried. I think she would bore of me within hours, but all of the reasoning and logic in the world can’t turn the heart away from what it desires. I dared to hope.

Then it happened. She texted me and told me that she is staying with him. I’ve seen warning signs with him from the beginning of their relationship, but I had always hoped I was wrong for her sake, and now there are more. And yet, she decided to stay. And my heart sunk.

I’ve been excessively depressed ever since. My friends have noticed it, but I found it hard to actually talk about. For a brief time, I could be that white knight. I had the chance to help her out of a jam, get her on her own feet and even do a few things to be sure that she never again found herself in a situation where she is stuck because she didn’t have the resources to get out from under someone. And that opportunity, the chance to meet her, the chance to be the shining hero, and maybe even the chance, slight though it be, to be more just disappeared.

I would be a liar if I said this didn’t hurt. I can’t explain it because I know how ridiculous this hope really is, but it feels real. The knight still lives I guess, but the quest is gone. Once again, I’m without focus, and without direction. Just another questless knight, and a knight without a quest is a meaningless knight, a knight without value.

None of this is her fault. I want her to be happy; that’s the first and highest priority. She didn’t hurt me, I hurt myself in giving that impossible hope enough life to grow into a flame large enough to burn me. We’re still friends (and she’ll probably read this; I only pray she will still be my friend after doing so) which makes her a bigger part of my life than I frankly deserve. This is all my own fault; the demon that needs to be slain is my own. I only wish I knew how to do so.

 

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