"They say the more you love, the more love you have to give. Life has taught me it how easy it is to love more than one person"
Helena had picked up the pencil, and then decided to write this in pen. She wasn't sure if it was a letter or a journal entry or just some
thought on a future scrap in a drawer. But the phrase had been rattling around in her
cage for hours now and she wanted to say it out loud, write it down for
Helena had heard that sentiment before, but suspected it was meant to be about relatives, about friends, about puppies and children and all of the
beautiful unique snowflakes she would be fortunate to to meet. She suspected it
was meant to be a platonic sentiment.
But due to a possibly evolved
perspective, or just an inconvenient glitch in her DNA, Helena had found it had
To be more succinct: this was not the first time Helena had found herself simultaneously in love
with more than one man.
The first time this
had happened was in college. She had been madly, intensely focused on Miles, who
was dating a friend of hers, sort of, kind of, just enough to be around more
than usual. It had been the kind of crush she actually hadn't expected to come
much of anything because he was, very simply, so damn beautiful. He was cool. He
dressed how she would dress if she were a guy, he had a music collection
way bigger than hers and knew more about movies than anyone rightly should, at
such a young age. He was, in a word, ideal. So when Miles had dumped Julie, and
had suddenly turned his attention on her, she was so very surprised, so overcome
by the sense of a bank error in her favor, that she went for it, even though she
was, at the same time, very clearly falling head over heels in love someone
else, someone very wrong, in every possible way, for her.
What made Tim
especially wrong for her was that has was, by everyone's estimation, a complete
and total asshole. Cute, yes, and smart, definitely, but with offputting
aesthetic and political inclinations and a talent for purposely alienating
anyone he didn't think highly of. Which initially included Helena until one
night, while especially drunk, she explained to him, in no uncertain terms, how
stupid his opinion on some political issue or another was. The next
morning, wandering down to the commons she found Tim suddenly friendly, and ten
times as charming as he had been before.
And so there she was, in love
with Tim and falling in love with Miles, and quite frankly sleeping with them
both, and too overwhelmed to even hide it. And she kept waiting for her heart to
choose, for her disturbing lack of morality to get the better of her, for the
virtues of one to supersede the others. But while she found herself growing
fonder of Miles by the moment, more impressed, more clear on how perfect a match
her was for her, she also found herself having amazing, almost clairvoyant
conversations with Tim. With Tim she had sex that made her forget her friends,
her classes, and sometimes even her name. With Miles she was heady with pride,
swooning with admiration and wanting to make out endlessly, in private, in
And the more she gave into either experience, the more she wanted
This, initially presented an amusing challenge to everyone
involved, but as anyone could have guessed, the charm was short lived, and one,
then the other, began to mistaken her fickleness for lack of intention, lack of
feeling, and, frankly, and quite possibly lack of a soul. And so she found
herself getting over two, very different, but very deep heartbreaks at
You'd think she would have learned her lesson.
What was that
adage? If at first you don't succeed....
Jesus. And the irony of it all
was that Helena couldn't even really believe in half the things she was
experiencing. While she supported "alternative lifestyles" in theory, she knew they were
not for her in practice. Years ago, acknowledging her inability to "shut off her love" valve, Helena had joined a polyamorous society. When she had first discovered that such things existed she had been thrilled. Convinced that she was just more flexible, just more open than most people, she filled her head with rhetoric, tossing off the proprietary sexist roles our monogamy centric society had cast before her. And, finding herself uniquely popular in this new group, she took on one lover, than another, shared deep beautiful thoughts moments with them all, relishing the ability to do so without the guilt she had become accustomed to. Finally, a world in which she could love Tom, Dick, AND Harry and not have to lie to any of them about. Finally a sophisticated circle of men and women who understood that shades of grey could be managed with respectful and open communication.
The only problem was: she discovered most people did not manage these complex relationships with open OR respectful communication. In fact, she found that most polyamorous people were dicks. Maybe it was just a glitch in the system, maybe just bad luck. But, heady with freedom from "rules" she found her new group of friends more squirelly, more secretive than her past lovers, apt to push boundaries and consistently interested in squirreling out of even the smallest emotional obligations, she grew to feel a certain repugnance towards the movement as a while. And in the end, she became convinced that adults, like children, needed boundaries and discreet choices.
Sometimes one has to
make a choice and stick with it, damnit.
That was when she met John. And, looking back now, she marvelled that she had gone that long only loving him. Sure, she had experience transitory crushes, sure she had lusted and covetted. But these were brief thoughts, usually symbollic and generally hormonal, and she always found herself returning, relieved, to the incredible, solid, universe they occupied.
And yet here she found herself,
once again, orbiting two distinct planets, oscillating in emotions, and
completely fine, on some level, with the dichotomy.
She couldn't deny
that she was, every day, falling more and more Max. She was stunned by their
compatibility, amazed at how little so many of the horrible, annoying character
traits she had always assumed would annoy her, consume her with jealousy,
actually proved an issue. She was almost free, for the first time in her life,
from her consuming self awareness when she was with him. And she was absorbed in
many deeply erotic ways.
But she wasn't sure how much of this had to do
with the fact that she wasn't any closer to getting over John. In fact, as she
spent more time with Max, she found the nostalgic, personal feeling of
attachment for John bubbling to the surface more and more. She didn't desire so
much as yearn for him. She was finding herself intensely protective of their
shared memories, all that they had been through together.
But maybe that
was because she was sure, if John ever knew the whole story, he'd probably never
speak to her again.