“…as soon as you have a secret, something about you that you are ashamed to have others find out, you have given other people the power to hurt you by exposing you.”
– Ayelet Waldman
I absolutely love that quote. I really, really do. Unfortunately, I love it because of how apt it is, which is not a good thing.
The friendship between Kyle and I has to be kept secret on his part. If Lora finds out, she'll leave him. I don't think this is a bad thing, because any relationship that dysfunctional shouldn't continue, but he does. So I ignore it, bite my tongue, and don't speak to him while she's there at all. I don't approve of the relationship because of her controlling, vindictive nature, but he loves her and I care enough about him to want his happiness...no matter what that means.
However, what happens to him if one of the people who does know (Bryan, my mom, our landlady) spills the secret? I don't see Bryan or my mom being that vindictive, though they are VERY angry at her...they'd never do anything to hurt me, and hurting my best friend hurts me. However, our landlady is older and quite forgetful. She knows I'm talking to Kyle because she saw a text he'd sent me when the screen on my phone lit up in front of her, but she doesn't know we're not supposed to be talking. I figured it would be better to spare her the ugly details.
She has been having problems getting some money out of Lora that she was owed when Lora left. Lora has $600 left to pay, it was supposed to be paid by August 1st, and Lora hasn't contacted our landlady at all. She is beginning to get very upset, and I don't blame her. She plans to call her this weekend, when Lora happens to be in NY with Kyle, and I know it's going to go very badly.
I can't explain to Charmaine that she can't mention me and Kyle, and I'm afraid something will slip that will expose the entire thing.
It's getting to the point where, as much as I love and appreciate Kyle for his friendship, I don't think I can keep doing this much longer. Crossing my fingers every time Charmaine has to call Lora is just not a situation I should have to be living in.
I shouldn't have to be a secret.
Kyle shouldn't have to be ashamed of staying my friend.
This entire thing is so depressing that I just want to wash my hands off all of it.
I've always believed that friendship was the most important thing ever...that if you found someone you had this much of a connection with (like Andy and I), you should do whatever you can to preserve that connection.
Now there is an internal struggle between my loyal nature and my instinct for self-preservation. Do I stick it out despite the pain so I can be here for him when they fall apart (because I know they will, I've known Lora for five years), or do I run to protect myself, despite knowing he'll be left utterly alone when she leaves?
Both options suck.
I'm damned if I do, and I'm damned if I don't.