Today, Armando and Scott are firmly, unquestionably in love. They share a house they own together, last summer they got civilly united, and they spend their days wrestling with nieces and nephews and generally providing a home for those that don’t have one. But it wasn’t always this way. This is their story.
Falling in Love…As Friends
That spring, they pair were getting ready for bed after one of the aforementioned nights out, when things shifted dramatically for Scott. He had gotten in bed, and was cozying up to the pillow when he felt Armando sidling up next to him for some serious sleeping of his own. They were both completely wiped out, but before Armando crashed hard into the blissful oblivion of sleep, his hand reached out to clasp Scott’s. This act of bed-time hand-holding was something Scott had never experienced, and as he watched this beautiful, kind man that had unexpectedly entered his life slip into a blissful slumber the luckiness of his situation seemed almost too much. This wonderful guy had chosen Scott to spend his night with, and though they were just “friends”, in that moment, Scott realized that he was in love.
Over the next few months they grew seemingly closer. Scott knew how Armando felt, but chose to listen to his actions rather than his words. They rarely spoke of Armando’s feelings, thinking that mentioning it would light the fuse that would explode what had been built between them. During this time they attended Armando’s niece’s first communion, another event attended heavily by his family. Again, they welcomed Scott with open arms and a few raised eyebrows at Armando going back on his anti-relationship stance, which of course set him to grumbling. They couple also took a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in June of 2007, going dolphin watching and exploring the night life.
For Scott is was a beautiful, but stressful time, as his feelings for Armando only continued to grow, but Armando was stubbornly digging in his heels. While his nature is ordinarily very giving, he couldn’t bring himself to devote himself to Scott, and would not be forced into it under any terms, so the two just continued to skirt the issue.
During a trip to a comedy club, that silence was broken. One of the comedians that night was working the crowd, asking questions and tossing out one-liners to play for time. Scott is generally mortified at speaking in public, so did his best to hide, but the comedian soon found his way to Armando and Scott. He asked them a simple question that ended up getting more of a reaction than he bargained for. “Are you two together?” Without thinking, Armando immediately said no. Not only had the hope of a relationship he’d nursed for months been dashed, it had happened in public, with a spotlight no less. Scott was furious, and they left shortly after.
The following weekend, on July 7th, Armando’s sister was having a barbeque, to which Scott was supposed to attend. Unlike other weekends, Scott hadn’t come over directly after getting out of work on Friday, hoping his absence might prove a point to Armando.
When Scott arrived before the party, Armando sat him down and explained at length that, while they had a lot of fun, he just wasn’t ready for a commitment, but hoped they could be friends. It was clear that Scott’s feelings had taken on a level of seriousness Armando wasn’t prepared to handle, so they broke up.
All the time and effort and love that Scott had given this man seemed wasted in that moment. He felt like a fool. Gently, Armando asked him if he still wanted to go to his sister’s party. Scott laughed, gave an emphatic no, and broken-heartedly left Armando’s life for what he hoped would be forever.
The vacancy Scott left weighed on Armando in that moment. He couldn’t quite imagine his life without the man who had made him laugh every time they were together, the man he had spent so many nights with, but after the breakup with his first boyfriend it had taken years to put his life back together. The freedom he had worked so hard to build was more important than sharing his life with someone, or so he thought.
As he said goodbye to Scott, Armando told himself that he had done the right thing, that they could be friends, that he didn’t need the love that Scott had so freely offered him. The careful dance he had done around his own emotions had ended in heartbreak, and it would be many months before he fully realized what he had lost that day. It was in that moment that he almost gave away the years of joy that would be to come.
CLIK HERE FOR PART 2 OF ARMANDO & SCOTT’S STORY WHEREIN ARMANDO LEARNS HIS LESSON WITH A RECONCILIATION TO REMEMBER