DEAR ABBY: When I started my freshman year of college, I was a loner. I had low self-esteem, the result of a disability I was born with.
On the first day of school I noticed "Will," who was also a freshman. I thought he was cute. He was easy to talk to, and we hit it off instantly. We became inseparable, often visiting each other's families on weekends and breaks.
At the end of the first semester -- out of the blue -- he called me a "b-tch" and told me to get out of his life. I was crushed! He left school shortly afterward without saying goodbye.
Later I was given some shocking news. His roommate told me that Will was gay. I went through the gamut of emotions from disbelief to anger to sadness. And I felt used.
Twenty-six years have passed. I answered the phone at work two days ago and was surprised to hear Will's voice on the other end. He was shocked, too. I asked if he remembered me and he said he did. He came into the store several days later, and we exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses. I looked at his Web pages and saw pictures of him holding and kissing men the way he used to hold and kiss me.
They say you never forget your first, and I haven't. The problem is, I still feel hurt. I want him to know that, but I don't know what to do. Am I making too much of this? -- "GRACE" IN NEW YORK
DEAR "GRACE": No, I don't think so. Your relationship with Will ended without closure, so your hurt is understandable. Give Will a call and invite him to join you for lunch. Tell him you were deeply hurt all those years ago, and then ask him to explain why he treated you the way he did and what happened after he left the school. Don't be surprised if he tells you he loved you, too, and that he tried to be straight but simply could not be who you wanted him to be. Sometimes that happens.
DEAR ABBY: My mother passed away a year and a half ago. My parents were married 50 years. Dad is now 76 and recently started "seeing someone." While my sisters and I weren't thrilled about it, we never said anything negative about her to him.
A few weeks ago he found it necessary to include this woman in our weekly visit to our mother's grave. We told him if he wants to go there with her -- fine. But do not drag her there with us. This was our private time with our mother. We didn't want a stranger there.
The end result was they broke up. Now Dad is blaming it all on us. The breakup is a secondary issue. What are your thoughts about his insisting she be a part of the cemetery visits? -- GRAVELY CONCERNED IN OHIO
DEAR GRAVELY CONCERNED: Frankly, I am surprised that the woman would want to be included in the weekly visits to your mother's grave. However, before she accepted the invitation, she should have made sure that her presence wasn't an imposition by asking your father if it had been cleared with you. As to the "secondary issue" -- I suspect there was more behind the breakup than you have been led to believe.
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