“The chains that break you, are the chains that make you.― Anthony Liccione
And the chains that make you, are the chains you break.”
University of Britchester Cameron Campus Home
Do you know that person, who gives and gives, cares SO much about others that their heart overflows, they’d do anything for those they love, fight like a lioness for the ones they care about, yet they themselves somehow always end up getting the short end of the deal? No?
Well, you do now.
Yeah, I know … not a monologue from the rich girl, right? At first glance, everyone in the world would tell me to shut up and suck it up, cos to them, I have it all and then some. A famous, wealthy mother, whose side of the family is nothing but even more wealthy, high caliber celebrities, a lawyer father from a warm, simple, loving and grounded family, an excellent older brother, a lawyer like our dad, Nick, whom I seriously adore. No, really, I mean it. Sure, we do bicker on occasion, but that may be because we talk so much. I could never understand all the sibling rivalries you hear about. I love my big bro Nick, or Nicky, as I call him. His wife is great. My parents are the best parents EVER. As are my grandparents on either side and all the aunts and uncles, cousins. I am in my final semester at university, enroute to graduate with high marks in Performing Arts & Music. I have already written published music pieces and performed on stage before large audiences, including at the Starlight Accolade Award Hall.
So, what would I have to complain about? That’s what you are thinking, right? Well, pull up a chair, grab the beverage of your choice and get comfy, while I fill you in what my prestigious dream life really is like.
First some backstory. Ever since I can remember my family and I were often harassed by fans and paparazzi, once my family was even held at gunpoint by a crazed, obsessed fan of my mom’s who had broken into our then home, which marked the first of what felt like a million relocations to the point that my brother and I had to look at our cell phones after waking up to remember which town we were in then. We lived in San Myshuno for a while, maybe that’s why aside from Del Sol Valley that city always feels the most like home to me, until as a preteen I was nearly abducted from high school by another obsessed fan. Another relocation, this time into what turned out to be our forever home in Del Sol Valley. There they know how to protect celebrities and their families.
So welcome to the other side of fame and the reason I am seriously reconsidering my chosen career path. I just don’t know if I want to do music anymore. Maybe yes, maybe no. All that publicity I get already is too much. My brother did it right, being a lawyer, he just flies under the radar. Me, not so much. I love music, but maybe it should be a beloved hobby, I just feel like I need something different.
Only what is the prized question here. From early childhood on I was called a musical prodigy. I played the violin and the piano better when I was 8, than most performers at the peak of their lives. I never saw me do anything else and doubt anybody else has. But sometimes when your entire life gets shaken up, you question everything. Literally EVERYTHING.
Okay, enough prologue, on to the shaking up part of my life. I could be wrong, but I think it all started when my best friend and college roommate Bianca dropped out of college without warning some months ago, leaving me all alone on campus, which is freaky if you are used to always having someone around. Meaning, thanks to my worried family and because of what I told you earlier, I am now shadowed by personal security 24/7. It’s usually just one guy, sometimes two, and they stay out of sight for the most part. But they follow me everywhere I go. If you attended college and remember it, you know why nobody would want that.
My best friend Bianca also might – or might not – be pregnant by my uncle Gavin, who is 2 years younger than me and normally a great guy, we used to be SO close, more like friends than family, but ever since Bianca broke up with him and express-married her college boyfriend, Gavin lost his mind. I am not even really joking here. Total 180. He is now such a … let me call it ‘rake’ for lack of better term. Total man-whore, like my dad and grandpa used to be when they were younger, so maybe it’s some hardwired genetic predisposition unattached Cameron men get when stressed or whatever, but I hate it. It’s just not him at all.
I tried to talk to him several times about my suspicions, always straddling the promise I gave Bianca to not tell anyone that there is a possibility her husband isn’t the father, even though she never admitted to me the other guy was Gavin, she just won’t tell me who, which only confirms my suspicions. And I think I am right, because she knows me just as well as I know her, and she is afraid that I would tell Gavin. And she would be right. I so would. And have.
Whether or not she admits it, I am convinced of it anyway, and I got tired of playing hide and seek with Gavin about something this big and important, so when during one of my last visits back home I went to see him and my careful pussyfooting around the subject didn’t yield any results again, when my careful hints of saying it without saying it didn’t seem to register with him again, I finally just slammed my suspicions right in his face thinking anyone would want to know that they may (or may not) be a father before too long, yet without even entertaining the possibility for a split second the new rakish Gavin just blew me off rudely.
See, the big problem is that I wasn’t with them 24/7 and officially, they were long broken up, almost two years actually, and also officially, Bianca has been dating her now-husband for about a year and change, so I really don’t know for sure whether or not Gavin and Bianca even … ya know … could’ve made a baby. All I know is that he had shown up at the Campus home several times when Bianca was still enrolled. Now while I know nothing happened then, maybe those weren’t the only times. Neither of them would admit anything to me, then again, would you? So maybe he really can’t be the other possibility, but then again, I also know Bianca and know there hasn’t been another guy, unless she had some one-night-stand somewhere when I wasn’t around, but then again, why would she risk everything to keep that baby then?
Anyway, Gav and I ended up arguing in a big way. I don’t think I EVER argued with Gavin before. Well, there’s always a first for everything. This is another first I would have gladly done without.
When he realized I wasn’t gonna back down, he just left suddenly, and nobody’s seen him since. Yeah, scary, I know, but we’re sure he’s fine. Well, unharmed anyway, just hiding and pouting, probably while nailing his way through the chicks of wherever he is at the moment. You see, a great part of my mom’s side of the family are Vampires, we aren’t, but her mom was born that way and my grandpa was turned long after my mom had been born. They are the type that live in the modern world alongside mortals and who live on blood alternatives. Basically, normal people like you and I, just with fangs and some special skills. So, if Bianca’s baby really turns out being Gavin’s, there is also a 50% chance it would be born a Vampire, and THAT would be an unfathomable drama, and she DEFINITELY won’t be able to do what she is planning to do if it is his, but mortal, namely pass it off as her husband’s. His family and hers would try to proverbially lynch her, but luckily, she has me and my family and we won’t let that happen.
But until we know for sure, we basically know nothing. So, until the shit hits the fan, one way or another, all I can do is be a good friend and support her.
As if that wasn’t terrible enough, fate managed to one up itself on me yet.
There was this evening I will never in my life forget. Let me tell ya … so my fiancé, well, boyfriend … UGH, that is also a long yikes-worthy backstory. You see how my life looks like a dream at first glance, but the closer you get the more convoluted it gets?
Let’s try this again. So basically, he, Doctor Rohan Sharma, M.D., has been my big brother Nick’s best friend for a long time. I think they met on the first day of junior high. As these stories go, he and I eventually fell in love, despite quite a significant age gap of 6+ years. Rohan also has a small child, a daughter, Aryelle, from some ‘no-strings-attached-just-sex’ kinda thing, but the mother, who happens to be one of my cousins – yeah, I know, right?! – isn’t really the motherly type but a total career woman and not too involved. Rohan and I became a couple, got engaged, then broke up, then got back together and he gave me back the ring, even though we never officially got engaged again.
Anyway, so it was a cold, early Autumn evening – I will never forget that part, Autumn was normally my favorite time of year – when I got back from a long weekend at my parents’ home in Del Sol Valley to find Rohan waiting on my doorstep for me. I could tell by looking at his face that something was wrong.
And boy, was it ever!
Once inside the campus home living room, the front door barely shut behind us, he broke down, crying like a baby, there is just something about seeing a grown man fall to pieces like that, while telling me that he found out he was gay, begging me not to hate him for it.
Nothing like having the love of my life come out to me. Pure heaven.
Naturally, I am only human, barely 21 years old, so my maturity level only takes me so far, and I did all the stupid stuff any girl in my position would probably have done, called it a terrible joke, told him he was insane, it had to be some weird mood, begged him to reconsider, told him he was a bastard and only played me, how dare he, told him it was all lies, told him he was crazy or drunk or high, yes, I know, not my proudest moment.
Rohan did what he always did, stayed perfectly calm and grounded, letting me vent, just took it.
Finally, after we both cried, sobbed and argued, I was ready to listen.
And I heard him.
Loud and clear.
He told me that he still loved me, and always would, truly and genuinely, and I believed him. And I still love him, deeply and truly. But our love is different now. No longer physical, even though he still kisses me when we haven’t seen each other in a while, we hug, he holds my hand. But I am getting ahead of myself. That is now. Back to that fateful night first. It was all really just a string of odd coincidences leading us there.
After listening to him, and REALLY hearing him, how he discovered it during some medical convention, first listening to the seminar for doctors about mental anguish it causes people who haven’t realized their true sexuality fully for whatever reasons and fears, then later some colleagues dragged him to a club where he met a gay guy who brought it all to the surface for him. How great it felt, like coming home after a confusing, long, lonely journey.
Rohan was eaten up by guilt because that man kissed him, that man’s gaydar probably picked up on the fact that Rohan was gay before he himself realized it, ended up seducing him. Rohan knew he was cheating on me, but he couldn’t stop it since it felt so immensely great to him. And he knew that was what he really wanted, he knew it wouldn’t be fair to lie to himself now, and above all, lie to me about it. But he was tortured knowing the truth would hurt me. HE would have to hurt me.
And he was right. I was so hurt by all that. Unless you are ever in this very situation, you cannot comprehend how this feels, like betrayal, thinking this was the man I would marry one day, yet here he was telling me he cheated on me, even if it was “only” a kiss. If you knew Rohan the way I do, you’d know that he just isn’t the type to cheat on anyone.
Him kissing or being kissed by another woman would have been bad enough for me, but how am I supposed to compete with a man? But as he was there, sitting next to me visibly in so much emotional pain for having to do this to me, crying real tears, telling me he was mortified of losing me, fearful that I would hate him now, my heart broke for him and I was hurting for him more than for myself, I loved him even more for driving all the way out here right after that convention he was at all weekend, waiting for an eternity for me to arrive, only to do this face to face, while feeling guilty about something that wasn’t his fault, wasn’t a choice, something that already took him way too long to realize.
I hugged him so tight it took his breath away, but he clung to me harder, as I told him he would always have a special place in my heart, that I loved him and always would, but that I wanted him to find the happiness he deserved.
I set him free to be who he was meant to be, even though deep inside it broke me. But I meant it. Every single word. I loved him too much not to want him to be happy, even if it wasn’t with me.
How’s that for being mature?
Yeah, I am proud of myself too, but man, all this sucked!
I could physically feel the huge rock falling off his heavy heart. We held each other, crying for an eternity.
He stayed with me that night. Platonically, of course.
And we talked and talked, he answered all my many questions honestly, occasionally we cried, and we hugged and we snuggled. At some point, when we were just being honest and uncensored, I asked him about sex.
Why did he have sex with his daughter’s mother, and with me, yet never realized it felt wrong. He told me his baby momma was him trying to find himself, me, it was all real. I might well be the only woman he ever truly enjoyed intimacy with, but maybe it was only because he never knew anything else. Or maybe it was because he loved me so much.
He even asked me to keep the ring, the engagement ring, since I liked it so much.
He was right, I loved it, still do, and as I am telling this, I am still wearing it.
I know that’s weird, I tried to take it off a million times or at least wear it on another finger, but it feels wrong, and I feel lost without it.
Eventually … just not yet.
I already let go of the man, let me at least keep the memory of what could have been for a little while longer.
Not gonna lie, it hurt, letting go of someone I wanted to hold on to so badly, and if I had, he would have probably stayed with me, but it would have been so selfish.
I still love him, on a different level. I love him so much, so genuinely, that I WANT him to be with this other man. The other man he finally introduced me to, and who looks NOTHING like I imagined him to look, by the pompous name of Harrison Bettencourt.
My brother and sister-in-law got to meet him as well, it almost felt like one of those meet the parents kinda things. And in a way, Nick, Adrianna and I are Rohan’s only family.
To say that Nick was very shocked at first to hear the news would be the understatement of the century, understandable though, he’s known Rohan for more than half their lives and never even guessed his sexual preferences, then again, neither did Rohan until recently.
Just like me, he wants Rohan happy, same goes for Adrianna. He has their – and my – full acceptance and support, just like ever.
The first few visits I had at my brother’s place – Rohan and his daughter live with Nick and Addy – I admit it was strange, especially when his lover was there too. Rohan and I had to relearn our relationship, somehow, there were so many REALLY awkward moments, but now it is fine, and I look forward to seeing him again. We’re probably a lot more physical than most gay men are with their female friends, but Rohan and I have history. So much history. I am sure the strange, still very close, loving, touchy-feely relationship Rohan and I have is not easy for his new partner or would be for any other partner he may ever have, but I know Rohan won’t change that, neither will I if and when I ever find someone new again.
I don’t want that to ever change. I love feeling him close, gay or not, still the same Rohan.
If anybody new in our lives can’t handle that, they are most definitely not right for us. That, Rohan and I agree on.
At the end of the day though, where it really leaves me is with two great friends, a great family … but also alone. Very alone. My best friend and parents are in Del Sol Valley, my brother and Rohan are in San Myshuno and I am all alone on the university of Britchester campus.
Sure, I could pick up where I left off with Austin, my on again, off again college date.
He’s single again too, and already touched lightly on the possibility of us reviving what we had before. Maybe. He’s a great guy, don’t get me wrong, but I think I have a lot of healing and soul-searching to do first …