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.

Not Now, Not Ever

He had never been hers. Not once in her life. She gave him everything she had, her whole self, and he gave her his heart, but he couldn’t give her anything more. Or maybe he wouldn’t. She didn’t know the difference anymore.

All she knew was that she wanted him, all of him, all of the time and that wasn’t going to happen. Not now, and though he would say “one day,” she knew in her heart, not ever.

And her heart! Accepting this truth left her heart feeling irreparable, strangled, tortured, dead. It ached so dreadfully, she didn’t know how it continued to pump blood through her veins. It was physically agonizing inside her chest. The hurt was consuming her, and her poor heart begged for respite.

So she ate, she drank, she abstained, she slept, she exercised, she cried, she checked out, but nothing made it stop. Not for long. At times, the ache would temporarily subside. She would smile and laugh on occasion, but the pain would come back more fiercely every time she remembered she couldn’t share life with him, couldn’t have him exist as a part of her world.

She tried as hard as she could to live in her fantasies, in the pretend world she had created for them, but it was to no avail. Reality crushed her. He would never be hers. Not now, not ever. He never had been. And she had no one to blame but herself for thinking otherwise.

image by Steve K art

Up the Stairs

She finally left town, as she had told him she would. And he let her go without protest. She moved away, got a new job, and enrolled in school. She heard he had a new love interest, and she told herself she too needed to move on, but the magnitude of her heartbreak was big, and she cried often. She had wanted him, but he hadn’t wanted her. She took some comfort in knowing she had never actually told him she loved him. If she had admitted that to him and he had not reciprocated, it would have been even worse for her.

She started dating someone she had been friends with for a few years. He was a decent enough guy and he made her laugh. He also thought she was beautiful and sexy, intelligent and well-spoken and she liked that. She came to love him, even though it never quite felt like what she had known before.

She threw herself into the new relationship, and was excited to see things move quickly. Before she knew it, she was engaged, and it seemed like the prior chapter would finally be coming to an end.

Nearly two years passed when she was going to visit friends in the area where the One lived. She found a valid excuse to have him stop by where she would be, and he agreed to make an appearance.

She was so anxious to see him, she could hardly conceal her excitement. She couldn’t wait to see his smile, and to see him happy to see her. She was trembling with anticipation, but did her best to hide it. When she heard his muscle car pull up, she went outside to meet him. She didn’t want anyone else to see her face when she saw him. That would be a dead give away.

He stepped out of the car as she reached the bottom step. She showed her biggest and best smile to him, at last able to reveal how genuinely happy she was to see him. But… he did not smile back. He looked tired or indifferent, maybe even a little bothered, but not happy. Still, she couldn’t help but continue smiling at him as they greeted one another. She was so very attracted to him. She hugged him, hard; pressing her whole body against his. She was disappointed it didn’t elicit much of a response from him.

She attempted at conversation before turning to head up the stairs asking him about his new lady, but he was short, almost defensive with her in his responses.

What was going on? Why was he being so cold?

She wanted so much for him to just be happy to see her, to smile his panty droppin’ smile at her. Or least give her a little grin. But he wasn’t having it.

As she turned to go up, she threw an extra switch in her step as she climbed the stairs ahead of him. She knew him well enough to know he’d at least help himself to a look at her ass. She’d give him a sight to really see. Perhaps he’d smack or grab her ass like he used to when no one was looking. Maybe he’d grab her by the arm, turn her around, and kiss her with all his might. Much to her dismay, he did neither. He just walked up the stairs without a word.

Once she reached the door, she was left with no choice but to open it and walk back inside. Back to hiding everything again. She guessed that wouldn’t be difficult for him. He had been distant since the moment he stepped out of the ride, but for her, her heart began to ache all over again.

He never loved me, she thought. How could I have been so stupid?

She quickly regrouped and plastered on a smile as she introduced him to her new beau. He had been waiting inside the whole time, completely unaware that she would have left him behind in the blink of an eye if the One had asked her to. She resigned to say to herself it was probably for the best. She had learned that was what you did when you didn’t get what you truly wanted. If it was really for the best, why did it feel so shitty?

He left almost as quickly as he had arrived. As she watched him walk out the door, she wondered if it would be the last time she’d ever see him. She tried to find ways to cross his path again, but it never seemed to work out. Sure, there was social media, a picture here or there, but she wouldn’t actually set eyes, or hands, on him for almost twenty years. It was the longest wait of her life.

I Miss You

My heart misses yours.

I lie down at night and I think about you:

your smile,

your eyes,

your smart ass remarks,

your declarations of love,

your growls for one more…

I am blanketed in the memories of me and you.

I love you so truly, so completely, so intensely.

There is much I long to say to you.

I want to pour my love all over you and wrap you up in my naked limbs.

I want to love your body til it is spent, then caress it and let it rest until it craves me again.

I want to feed you my love and let my body quench your thirst.

I want to give you everything, lover.

I love you always and forever.

The First Goodbye

She had been writing her feelings, her thoughts and her heart, her whole life. And he was no exception. For awhile, she had kept and hidden a journal telling their story. She can’t remember now what became of that journal, but she did find this entry in her book of poetry and prose years later…

July 12, 1995

I should not be writing this.
You mustn’t know I feel this way.
Yet it’s distressing NOT to tell you.
How I long for you, ache for you.
Just the mere thought of you,
And my heart races until I am breathless.

I lay my head against your bare chest.
In your capable arms, I am warm and safe.
I think about all I desire to share with you:
Having you, holding you, pleasing you,
Loving you, you loving me; ALWAYS.

You stir up the passion that lies deep within me.
You bring me to the edge of ecstasy.
There is nowhere I can run from you.
The sweet terror of falling is before me. Every sense heightens. Every muscle tenses.
Every nerve, every inch of my body, Screams for your touch.

No one else can quench this thirst.
There is none who can extinguish the flames.
Nothing can feed this ravenous hunger. Sleep refuses to come,
As visions of you torment my nights.

You intrude on my private thoughts,
The same way you penetrate my core;
I let you inside of me, consummately.
In my mind, we are perfection together:
One motion, one groove, one flow.

My body, heart, and soul are completely satisfied,
Whenever I’m with you.
I want to stay in this place forever with you.
But how can I? Is it even real?

Suddenly, I begin to rouse.
No! Don’t let me wake up!
I need to stay here with you, baby!
Embraced, desired, beloved.
But the day dawns, and I must rise.
I must leave you behind.

This love I feel is ardently strong.
I wish on every star for you to feel the same.
I weep for this is all just a dream,
The fantasy of a silly, love-struck girl.
It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
In my dreams it’s more real than anything;
But in reality, it’s only in my dreams.

 

She truly loved him, but she couldn’t bring herself to admit what she felt. She couldn’t risk losing everything and everyone. He still hadn’t made any indication that he was serious about her. But he kept coming around all summer.

Fall came, and she moved into a new place. She loved having him over, loved being in his arms. She always felt so safe in his embrace. A couple of his friends were let in on the secret, though she had told no one. A lot had gone on with her friends recently. Including some events which had very serious repercussions for him as a father. No one would tell him what really happened. She was the only one who believed he needed to know the truth. And so, when he asked her, she supplied it. When her friends found out, she was mocked and called weak for doing so. But she knew it had been the right thing to do. Her friends had begun turning on her, and he still hadn’t said a word to her about how he felt.

She decided to tell him she was leaving. She would tell him about a guy she had known awhile and that he was interested in her. Wanted to openly date her. It wasn’t entirely true, but she needed an excuse to see if he would try to stop her. Much to her dismay, he didn’t. He just resigned himself to it, and wished her luck. In that moment she believed he had never loved her. It was all in her imagination.

They had one more night together before she left. She hadn’t seen him in weeks and he called out of the blue asking if he could come by her place. Seeing him was going to be difficult, even more so if he worked his magic on her. So she told him if he came over they wouldn’t be having sex. He said that was fine, he just needed a place to stay for the night. So she agreed.

When he came over, they ate and started a movie. She excused herself saying she needed to take a bath. She soaked herself in vanilla-scented bubbles and shaved carefully. She got out and dried herself off. She put on some black lingerie she had saved for a special occasion. Goodbye was certainly special. She slipped into a pair of black heels and a robe, which she left untied.

As she came around the corner into the living room, she asked him if he was ready. He looked up and smiled.

“Thought you said no sex?”

“Who says this is about sex?”

She turned off the TV and turned on the CD player. The notes to Prince’s ‘Do Me, Baby’ filled the room and she began to dance for him. She slid the robe off her shoulders and did some grinding in front of him. Much to her surprise he kept his hands to himself and simply watched her.

She kept going, dancing, grinding, touching herself, watching his eyes closely. He may not have been touching her, but his eyes and the newly formed peak in his drawers told her how much he wanted her.

She sat down on his lap, straddling him. She could feel how hard he was beneath the satin against her lips. She let her body move against him. The next song was playing, more uptempo, but she was rolling her hips, slowly, deliberately against him, and he was loving it. She could see it all over his face.

She worked his pants open and slid herself onto him. He felt like home. She was only a few thrusts into it when he came without any warning. She stopped moving and looked at him.

“Are you serious?”

“I’m tired. I just want to get some sleep.”

She was more hurt than she let him know. She tried to play the tough girl. “How you just gonna nut like that and not wait for me?!”

He simply shrugged.

She stood up, sliding off him. She smacked him with the strap to her robe. She hadn’t meant to hit him in the eye, but she did.

Didn’t he feel what she felt? How could he not see how good they were together? Why did he insist on playing it so cool?

Whatever he felt or thought at that time would remain a mystery to her for two decades. She assumed he was just that kind of guy, trusting no one with who he genuinely was.

It would be more than twenty years before she would finally know him, intimately, and he would bare all to her. Twenty plus years before they realized they had been soulmates all along. So much in common, so much connection, so much chemistry. They simply discovered it too late…

 

More of the Same…

Every night it’s the same:
I lie awake unable to close my eyes, except to gather my tears and push them down the well-worn trails on my face.

Every night it’s the same:
I remember the things you said, the way you looked at me, the way you touched me, the way you loved me.

Every night it’s the same:
I hope I will awaken to your call, that I will hear your voice again, and you will tell me everything is going to be okay.

Every night it’s the same:
I pray for the strength to let you go gracefully, compassionately, reminding myself: I asked for this.

Every night it’s the same:
I miss you like an addict: trembling, longing for one more look, one more word, one more hit of you.

Every night it’s the same:
I die a little bit with every slumber. There are only so many beats in a heart, and you have them all, you are my heart.

Just Kids

19 MONTHS AGO

 

Once, I was seventeen. I was young and inexperienced, desperate and insecure. Still, I wanted the world and reached for the stars. I naïvely thought everything in life would always work out, and I would get what I wanted because they tell us we deserve the best.

 

Then you came along, and you were exceptional. You made me laugh. You picked me up when I was down. You became the lover I couldn’t resist. The lover I craved, sexually, emotionally, mentally.

 

But we were too young then. We were foolish. Every time we were together, my heart fell deeper in love, but my head kept telling me you were playing a game I couldn’t win.

 

That’s what I thought it was for you: a game. You teased me. You played with my emotions. You tried to get me to admit I loved you, but were careful not to say it yourself. I wanted to say it, but I couldn’t let you use my heart to feed your ego. I couldn’t risk giving my heart to someone with no guarantee of reciprocity.

 

So rather than say it, I let my actions speak, hoping you would read between the lines. I left my arms tight around your neck when you told me, “Don’t put your arms around me unless you love me.” I held on tightly saying firmly that I would do as I please, but denying I loved you. “I got love for you, homie. Don’t flatter yourself.” It was just a game, and I was losing because my body quivered with excitement at the idea of loving you.

 

Still, I had no indication from you about your feelings, and I was too afraid to ask. I was terrified you would say you had no real love for me, and I would have put my heart out there for no reason but to be crushed. So I ran. Like a damned coward. I called it off, had one last unforgettable night with you, left home, and didn’t look back.

 

I never got you out of mind though. EVER. Countless times I thought about you, wanted you, and realized just how huge a mistake I had made leaving you. But my regret seemed pointless: you never bothered to come after me. You didn’t even try to stop me from leaving. I assumed I had been right all along: It was all just a game to you. My heart was shattered.

 

I was determined to fill that void you had once occupied; frantic to piece my heart back together. I said yes to the first person to make me happy after you. It was reckless and hasty, but I didn’t want to be alone, and I wanted to be over you.

 

Most relationships are great in the beginning. Feelings of newness and butterflies are sometimes all it takes to make you believe you made the right decision and are headed in the right direction. And though things were tough for a moment, along came my beautiful baby girl and I wondered how I could think it wasn’t meant to be. This child was (and is) everything to me. As time went on, things got rocky (again), but baby girl number two came, and it seemed that was all that mattered once more.

 

But…there was always something missing, something not quite right. I was never fully myself. Never fully honest with anyone about who I am, what I wanted, or how I felt inside. I never felt safe enough with him to be completely me, silly and raw and naked. You accepted everything about me, and though I felt insecurity about your feelings for me, they were my own insecurities, instilled by years of daddy issues, abuse, and heartbreak. And when I feared telling you I loved you, it was only projection on my part. You never did anything to me to warrant my distrust. Truth be told, I never felt safer than when I was with you.

 

I never got over you, not completely. I know you know that. I would ask about you in round about ways, never revealing the secret, but seeking, as a friend, to know what you were up to. When I found out you lived not too far from me, I hoped I would run into you somewhere. I would look for you in cars as I drove down the highway, wishing one would be you. Seeing you again after all those years, was all it took for me to remember why I had never truly let you go.

 

So here we are, and this is me: genuine as I know how to be, heart on my sleeve. It may not be the smartest thing to do, but I know you would never intentionally break my heart, take advantage of me, or take my love for granted. And though none of this makes a lick of sense, it is what it is til it ain’t, right?

 

Well for me, it’s LOVE. I am completely in love with you in just one month (plus those 20 years I lived without the piece of me you held). I love you intensely, passionately, infinitely, always and forever. I don’t intend to make the mistakes of my youth again. I’m all yours, and you are mine. That will never change. And I will love you for life.

 

I can’t find the reasons

That my love won’t disappear

Can’t find the reasons

Why I love you, my baby, my dear

Can’t find the reasons

Wanna love you all night

Can’t find the reasons

Gotta squeeze ya, real tight

Can’t find the reasons

Baby yeah, for my tears

Can’t find the reasons.

~EWF

Image quote by, Arrigo Boito