Something amazing has happened in my life. I am in love...real honest to God absolute head-over-heels in love. Aside from the usual joys of being in love, this new state of being has given me many gifts, inner gifts of discovery about who I am, what I want and need in my life, what I am willing or not to sacrifice, and what makes me tick.
It is almost sad to tell, but I was with the same man for almost 20 years, and despite our valiant efforts it never flowed between us. One of us would be on the other off. If I was up he was down. While I hold to the "opposites attract" theory to some extent when it comes to my life partner, there needs to be some major similarities between he and I. For 20 years, that man asked me why I loved him...my pat(and rather lame) reason was to smile coyly and say, "Because you are you!" This answer never satisified him and now I understand why. The fact is that I did not love him. There was no underlying respect or appreciation to that relationship and a woman must respect and appreciate her man. For me, any feelings before or without that are (quite sadly) merely infatuation and lust. I freely admit to having had both feelings for him but what I felt is not love. We got married and had children and then struggled diligently to "make it work." It did not. Two years ago I realized that, if after 18 years we could still not get it right, it was time to move on.
When I was 23 I met a man and fell into lust & infatuation fast and hard. He was gorgeous, passionate, and very married. The fact that he was totally enamored with me didn't hurt my feelings one bit. I was young, beautiful, and very naive. The fact that I was totally enamored with him didn't hurt his feelings one bit either. What a lethal combination that was. We began seeing one another and the attraction became bigger than the both of us until that fateful Sunday when we made love. It was so overwhelming that we both cried.
Our connection was so strong that I could call his name out loud and he would go to the phone and call me to see what I wanted. The stories I could tell you would send chills up and down your spine and put goose-pimples on your goose-pimples. The chemistry was over-whelming for both of us. We could not be in the same room and not touch. It was the most wonderfully hellish-heaven one could imagine. He was my everything. Then it happened; I got pregnant.
The miracle of conception changed me from a young, crazy, and wild woman who was content to be with her married lover when he could get away to a woman who was now going to be soley responsible for a new life. I could not raise my child as the product of an ill-fated love affair nor could I remain a mistress any longer. The life that grew inside of me gave me the strength and courage to do the most difficult thing I have ever done barring nothing before or since. I left the state of Virginia, went home to my family, and began life anew.
I went back to Virginia for a while, and even spent time with my beloved but it was never the same. To be perfectly honest, when I got pregnant again, I was not sure if the baby was his or not. I moved back to my family, this time for good.
Life without him was empty, lonely, horrid. I reached into depths of my soul and found strength I never knew was there. I moved on; I perservered; I survived. I raised my daughters with more love than I knew was possible. I also moved into another relationship and had more children. To this day, I regret bringing other lives into my mess but I was simply someone trying to get on with my life and eek out as much happiness as I could. Some where deep in my core I always believed that I would see my beloved again before one of us left this planet and some how I managed to keep him safely and securely tucked into the deepest most inner part of my heart. When I heard him calling out to me through love songs on the radio and the risk of drawing him out into the open became too real, I stopped listening to the radio.
However, every five years give-or-take a day or two, he would come crawling out of there and consume my everything. I could hear him screaming my name. It grew louder by the moment until I would give in and call him on the phone. It was always as if we had never parted and we would always giggle because he had, in fact, been calling my name. These calls proved enough to enable me to once again tuck him safely away and get back to my life.
Two years ago I was at the 18 year mark of my then current marriage and had the epiphany that those 18 years of work had availed us nothing. I initiated a seperation and once again started life anew. I also had the need for closure where my beloved was concerned. Loving him had shadowed my marriage and I do not doubt that it affected my ability to love whole-heartedly the way a committed woman would do. A few months into the seperation, I made a phone call and left a message for my beloved to contact me. Although excited at the prospect of hearing his voice, I knew what I had to do and I was prepared for it. What I was not prepared for was his reaction when he returned my call.
This man was giddy and had a desperation in his voice that I had never heard before. He had been looking for me and his daughter for over a year and had given up hope of ever finding us. My message had proven to be right on time and he was thrilled to be able to talk to me. It was as it always was. We spoke of old times, laughed at the crazy things we had done, compared notes on who had remembered what, and then discussed the current status of each others' lives. I was newly seperated; his wife had passed away suddenly a few years back. I cried because I hurt for him; I cried because I had not been there to soothe his ravaged soul. His time was limited and even though he was currently in a relationship, he asked if he could call me back in a few days. As we had not tended to my business at hand, I agreed.
The next phone call was mind, earth, and life shattering. I picked up the phone, and this is all I heard: "I can't talk long. I just called to tell you that I love you." The phone clicked. No 'bye', no 'later', no explanation. I am not sure how long it was before I was able to draw a normal breath. We spoke occasionally for the next few months but only as friends who cared deeply for one another. Everytime he said my name, it took my breath away. We laughed, we reminisced, then suddenly we began making plans. Everything changed.