Two Years Later…

Her heart felt like lead. She couldn’t breathe. She didn’t eat much and when she did, her body would not let it stay.

 

After countless times spent together, after hundreds of hours on the phone, after multiple conversations about their ill-fated love affair, she finally had to stop.

 

He was the love of her life, but he was not hers alone, and she couldn’t live with it anymore. She sobbed into the phone and told him, she would love him forever. She said, “later” because “good-bye” was something they had promised each other they would never say, but she could not bring herself to hang up, and he wasn’t ending the call either.

 

Neither of them wanted to let go. But they absolutely had to stop what they were doing. They were both getting hurt over and over, and they couldn’t keep doing that to each other.

 

He remained strong, for her he said, but she could tell he was breaking, too.

 

“I can’t hang up on you. I can’t,” she wept.

 

“You’re not hanging up on me, baby.”

 

“I love you. I am always going to love you. You have my whole heart,” she said the words as the tears choked her.

 

His voice cracked a little. “And you have mine.”

 

“We’ll hang up at the same time, ok?”

 

After a few more tearful moments and failed attempts to press “end,” she somehow managed to hang up the phone. But she had to say it one more time. She texted him:

 

“I know you probably turned the phone off already, but I just need you to know: I LOVE YOU. I ADORE YOU. I RESPECT AND ADMIRE YOU. You are the man of my dreams and the love of my life. I will love you always and forever.”

 

She hit “send” believing it was a message he would never receive. But in the next minute her phone rang.

 

He was sobbing.

 

“I love you. I love you so much. I’m sorry. I just need you to know I love you.”

 

“Baby, I’m sorry! I love you too.” She put her head down on her desk and cried harder.

 

“I’m sorry. I’mma love you til the day I die.”

 

She could feel his broken heart in every syllable.

 

“Baby, don’t apologize, please. I love you so fucking much.”

 

She couldn’t remember how they ended the call that time, but she knew there was still no “good-bye.”

 

She tried calling a couple couple hours later, but the phone was off. He was gone. Gone from her life.

 

She sat and cried, wondering what kind of a life she would have without him in it. She wondered how much heartbreak one could endure before it physically killed you. She wondered if she would ever see his face again. She wondered if she had done the right thing. She wondered if she had lost him forever, or if one day, he would find her again.

 

She didn’t understand how the universe could be so cruel as to bring them back to each other under the circumstances. She didn’t understand how the heartache she felt now would ever cease. She didn’t understand why he had let her go. Again.

 

She did not know how she would go on living. She did not know what she would do to move on. She did not know anything with any certainty anymore. Except for one thing: He was the only one for her. No matter what happened in life, her heart would always belong to him.

The Truth, Finally

He contacted her the day after the BBQ. She told him she wasn’t “allowed” to talk to him because of their past relationship. But he asked her to call him anyway, and for some reason, she did.

He asked her what was really going on in her life, because even though she was smiling that day, he could tell she was not GREAT. She opened up to him and told him how unhappy she was, how miserable her marriage had become, and how she was trying counseling, compromise, and compassion, but none of it was working. All she was doing at this point, was going through the motions for the sake of the kids.

He expressed his sympathy to her, and she asked him, “How did you know I wasn’t doing as well as I said I was?”

“I could see it in your face.” He stated it like it was obvious to anyone who looked. Yet everyone else seemed fooled by her fake happy face. How was he not fooled?

They continued to talk every day for a week. During one converstion, he surprised her by asking her to tell him how she felt about him twenty years earlier.

“I liked you. A lot.” She didn’t want to say too much. She didn’t really understand the reason he asked.

“But how did you feel about me?” He asked again. The earnestness she heard in his voice at that moment, took down her defenses.

“I was crazy about you,” She said softly. Relieved, but a little scared to admit it. He must have been holding his breath, because she heard him exhale.

She decided to use this moment of honesty to pose the question back to him.

“I was crazy about you, girl. You didn’t know that?”

She could hardly believe what she was hearing. He went on to tell her he regretted letting her go all those years ago. He told her she was the One and he had let her get away, because he was too much of a hard ass to be real with her then. He told her he never should have let her go.

She asked him why he was being real now. Now, when they were both married to other people.

“Because I never got over you, never stopped thinking about you for twenty years. I didn’t want you walk away this time without knowing how you really felt back then, or if it was just me.” His voice was more sincere than she had ever heard it. She felt her heart melt.

“Meet me this week and we can talk,” he said. It was more of a statement than a request. She had forgotten how much she loved it when he talked that way. She ignored the little voice in her head that was warning her of the danger, and agreed to meet him.

Breathe, Baby Girl

You reminded me to breathe,
Full and deep.
I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath,
But you knew.
And you’d say,
“Baby Girl, I need you to breathe.”

Loving you and being loved by you,
Was breathtaking in every way.

I lie here, gasping for air.
You forgot to remind me;
You don’t need me to breathe anymore.
I’m suffocating,
I’m drowning,
You took my breath away.

Image of Skylar Grey, I Need a Doctor