I recently learned that an old friend had died. His death came upon me like a phone call in the night, unexpected and emotionally jarring. I found myself reminiscing about the times we had spent together.
Over twenty years have passed since I last saw him. And yet, in my mind's eye, I can see him as if it were yesterday. He is wearing a leather jacket, a broad smile stretching across his handsome face.
I remember the way my heart flipped when I saw him, and the voice in my head that said, "Give it up, Leah. He will never be interested in you."
I thought I would never see him again.
But, Fate had other designs...
It turned out he was interested in me. We had a brief, passionate romance that ended in heartache.
I soon discovered that his interest in me was merely superficial. He enjoyed visiting, but became less interested when he saw the emotional baggage I was toting. To use street vernacular: he was a Play-ah.
Though I was distraught, our parting seemed to mean very little him. I walked away feeling less of who I knew myself to be. I felt...pathetic, desperate, ashamed of the way I acted around him.
So, why, over twenty years later, do I feel bereft at his passing? Perhaps it is because I never told him how much he meant to me...just as he was. Sure, he was a Ladies Man, and I just another notch in his bedpost, but he made me feel...audacious and desired. He was a charmer who possessed the rare quality of being able to make every person he spoke with feel special.
I wish there was some way to tell him how sorry I am sorry that he had to suffer. I wish I could tell him how much he meant to me, how I used him as a yardstick to measure every man that came after him.
I wish, too, that I could tell him how much his philandering broke my heart. I wish I could let him take a peek at my days gone by - let him see how many tears I wept over him - how many times I wished that he would make some grand gesture to prove to me that he truly loved me...just as I was.
In the end, I realize that things happened the way they did for a reason. He lived a full, vibrant life and loved many women after meeting me.
I married a loyal, honest man who says he loves me despite my many flaws (verbosity and over-analyzing being at the top of the list). We have been blessed with two beautiful children. Could I hope for more?
The loss of my ex-lover has taught me to accept things as they are and not as I once wished them to be. I am learning to accept the notion of loss, and that some things, though powerful and true, must remain unspoken.
Sometimes, when the house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts, I wonder if my memories of him aren't just highly-embellished illusions, conjured to ease my lonliness and quell my feelings of self-loathing.
It is during these times that I remind myself that I have been blessed with a life far greater than I ever imagined. And these reminders help to ease my regrets...