March 9, 2011 Wednesday
There are three words I wanted to hear when I was 14 years old. Three words from you. I wanted to say them to you and hear you say them back. I could live without hearing them. But I ached to hear them. I don’t know what I thought would happen if I did. But somehow, I knew that it would be an amazing thing.
But you never said them to me. You told me you were saying them to someone else and wanted to be friends. So you were my friend, and I loved you in silence. And then you left town. I knew I would never see you again. And that you’d never say the words to me. Because you didn’t feel them. Or even think of me. And that hurt worse than anything has hurt in my life.
So I forgot about you. Forgot about the hole in my life that you left behind. I tried to fill it in with other words and places and people. And most of the time it worked. But I was not complete. I was not the best that I could be. I was content. Safe. Boring. Dull.
How wrong can a girl be?
It turns out that you were thinking them. You’ve been thinking of me for YEARS. 35 years. And wondering where I was. And remembering. And aching. And searching for me, hoping I could fill the hole in your life.
And then you did something about it. You searched. You found me online. You took a chance and said hello. And then you said more. You asked if I remembered. And I didn’t. But that didn’t stop you. You filled in some blanks and got me to look at my diary so I could fill in more. And spun a tale of teenagers in love, of chemistry, of magic.
And then you spun it further, right into the lives of the grown-ups those teenagers became. And the magic was still there. And boy, howdy, so was the chemistry.
But there was nothing to be done about it. You’re married. I’m married. You’re glued to a career and a family, doing good things for this country. I am glued to a career and a local project and a disabled husband and my family. But we kept on talking. Just for fun. Just for another ear in the dark of the night.
And one night, I gave in. I had to see you. Had to know. I flew to your side and we had the most amazing 39 hours of my life. And it was incredible. Not just in bed, but in the restaurants and riding the car and wherever we were together. Remembering the good old days and the bad ones, making new memories. You rocked my world. No regrets.
And then came the silence. The wondering. The idiotic lack of communication. But we finally got around that, too. Admitted it had been incredible. For both of us. Admitted we wanted more.
Then the doctors told me I was very sick. You had inspired me to get the test done that saved my life. I told you it wouldn’t be fun to stay with me while I fought it and you should go. But you stayed and made it clear I was still sexy and worth your attention. That you were there for me no matter what.
There was one more night. You came to me. I showed you my life and you fed me lobster. Even the waitress in the restaurant could feel those words hanging in the air between us, drawing a heart in whipped cream on your dessert. But we still didn’t say them.
And then you went away. To a new job. To a full time life with your wife. And I went off to battle cancer.
And then they told you that your dad was dying. And you had to do a crazy drive across 5 states in the middle of the night. And someone had to talk to you, keep you awake, help you face fear and death and family. And I did it. I even made you laugh!
But then the silence descended again. We went from calling, emailing, FB messages and texts to just texts. So few words. But the connection stayed.
And then my dad died. And I told you about the memorial service. And how I cried. And you said it was good to get it out, not good to keep emotions bottled up. And I said it. I love you. And you said, Love you too. In facebook chat. A thoroughly au current media for an age old sentiment!
Wow. I stared and stared at those words. You wondered where I’d gone? You said you already knew. That you’d always known. You started writing about making very sweet love to me.
And now the silence has come again. I am left to revel in the knowledge that somewhere out there, a handsome man loves me. And moved mountains to find me and tell me when I finally had the courage to tell him.
And now I am left to wonder what it all means. What do I want it to mean?
At this rate, I wonder if I have to live to be 90 to figure it out.
March 16, 2011
And now your father is dead, 17 days after mine. I boggle at how parallel our lives are. And how we can help each other through the worst of days.
Where will love take us? Will it matter? Will it change our lives? Or just be a sweet background thread in the tapestry we’ve already sown?