The irony of this post is that my reference in naming my last post was concerning Joseph's own comment that his response was overdue. This post is overdue on account of myself.
Within an hour of me writing my last post, he surprised me by promptly sending me the letter he mentioned via e-mail, texting me, "I hope this cheers you up."
He didn't attempt to excuse himself for taking so long to respond, but he explained that he had been struggling due to an emotional complex his parents had caused/were causing, in which they made him responsible solely for the relationship between him and them. This isn't a new topic; we'd discussed it during those walks we went on. However, I had come under the impression that that had largely been resolved, since he went all the way home to spend several weeks under the same roof as them. But apparently, such was not the case, and the consequent rawness made it difficult for him to acknowledge immediately what I'd written to him. This said, he had an epiphany the night before I texted him that it was not right nor healthy for the responsibility of his paternal connections to lie on his shoulders alone.
He proceeded to tell me that he truly appreciated what I'd done for him as a friend, that my strength throughout my challenges helped him in his, and that it would be a great loss to lose me as a friend. He had learned that I was gay after I made a comment that one Sunday, when he asked someone to clarify his confusion. He seemed to fully accept that as well as my clearly expressed feelings toward him.
After this, we texted back and forth over the next few days, getting me caught up on how he's doing now.
I had tears come to my eyes as I read what he had obviously taken some considerable time and consideration to articulate. I was so glad that I decided to express faith in him, as I am now experiencing the benefit of the benefit of the doubt. I thanked him for (finally) doing that for me, dispelling my worst fears. At once he also did away with my depression, as it centered almost entirely on this situation, craving acceptance from the person I'd grown to connect with the most.
I've spent the last week trying to enforce the resulting paradigm shift; whereas the little things I passed by on day to day that brought thoughts of him to mind triggered pain, frustration, and heartache, I can now feel contentment and a yearning for the next time we'll get to enjoy each other's company.
Perseverance pays. That much is irrefutable.