Sometimes it seems as though you always run into certain people at certain places…whether it’s at the mall, the gym, or at Wal-Mart. For me and him, it was always the gas station. It’s moments like this when I wonder about the circumstance of coincidence or if there really is a thing such as fate.
We locked eyes and I immediately smiled. We had a brief summer fling before my first year of law school and have maintained a sense of mutual respect ever sense.
“You look good!” he said. “You look different. You colored your hair…you lost some weight…”
I just smiled and said, “yes.”
He looked the same. Tall and lean. Jet black hair. Golden skin. The prettiest turquoise eyes I’ve ever seen.
“You look happy,” he said.
“I am,” I replied.
“Good for you,” he said, with a simple nod.
We just stood there, eyeing each other and smiling…both of us carrying silly little grins. Then we both just burst out laughing. Yea…it was one of those moments. I couldn’t remember the last time I was this at ease and giddy at the same time.
“Sorry,” he said. “Damn, you just look really good. I know I just said that like 5 times, but I don’t know what else to say.”
I blushed like a school girl.
After a few seconds of stalling, he looked off to the side and somberly said, “I’m getting married next month.”
“I know,” I said. “Congratulations.”
In those 60 seconds, the mood had changed. Before anything else could be said, I asked for a hug and said that I needed to be on my way. He came over to my car and gave me one of those intimate hugs, where you can feel every muscle and every breath he takes. There was no space between his chest and mine.
“It could’ve been you,” he said. Then he kissed me on the forehead, took a deep breath, released me, and walked to his car. It was like a scene from a movie. Out of all the movie scenes in the world, why was I stuck with this sad one.
In that split second, something came over me. It was like ksoranna took over…my ego that was irrational, emotionally driven and too brazen for her own good.
“Wait!” I yelled and ran to him…straight into his arms. Not only did he accept my embrace…he lifted me up to meet his face. Our lips met and we kissed.
In the middle of the gas station…me in my late 20s…he in his mid 30s…like high school sweethearts saying good-bye…we kissed. My arms wrapped around his neck, legs wrapped around his back…his arms holding me steady…we kissed. Unaware of the stares, unaware of the heat, unaware of the time and place…we kissed. Like the memory of his lips hadn’t been absent from mine, for the last 6 years…we kissed.
As suddenly as it started, it stopped. He gently held me as I rested my head in the crook of his neck, one last time. The look on his face, once he released me…was it anguish, regret, guilt??
“Do me a favor,” he stated. “Please delete me from your Facebook and erase my number.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I can’t bear to do it and you are stronger than me,” he said.
A few seconds later…the exchange of “good-byes” and “take cares.” I knew that the next time I saw him, if I even would see him again, he would be a married man.
I drove off. “It could’ve have been you” repeated over and over in my head. I don’t know what I felt. It wasn’t guilt…it wasn’t even sadness. More like that dreadful acceptance that everyone else around me was moving on and starting new lives and new families…while I was still stuck in park.
I pulled my car over to the side of the road and like another sad movie scene, I put my head in my hands and cried.
NOTE TO ANY MAN I DATE IN THE FUTURE: You must be willing to leave your uneaten food at the table, walk to the car parked a few blocks away, to go get your phone charger, so that you can take pictures of me, if that is my desire. Yes…my pedestal for what I expect out of my future man has risen even higher! But don’t blame me…blame him.
The him that causes me to smile that comfortable, easy smile, shared between friends and past lovers. The him that can pull off a hot pink dress shirt, brown slacks, and brown and pink matching socks to complete the outfit. He looked good.
We argued on the way to the restaurant because he was late, had no idea where he was going, and I was hungry. After 7 years, some things never change. We talked, we laughed, we took pictures and teased each other about who was the more conceited one out of the two of us. After looking through the pics on his phone, the evidence was clear that it was him.
We don’t always get along and barely agree on anything, but for some reason we have remained in each other’s lives, despite a short-lived romance that was more down than up. We don’t have much in common, don’t share the same circle of friends, and haven’t even made time to see each other, yet for some reason I know his number will never be deleted from my phone. My friends sometimes wonder why I put up with his snarky remarks and uncensored comments. It’s for the same reason I still am close with my high school friends, still keep in touch with folks from college…I like having someone in my life who can appreciate the woman I have become, because they once knew the girl I was. He is one of the few guys out there, who knows how I voted during the presidential election of 2004, who knows what I looked like in pictures that I have long since deleted from Facebook, and who will proudly acknowledge my success because he once helped me complete homework assignments.
He has a good head on his shoulder and a good heart. Someday he will learn to love a woman who will put up with his weird disdain for water, Michael Jackson obsession, and conceited mirror loving ways. If they are blessed enough to have children, he will be the most devoted and loving father. That wife and mother won’t be me…but it was nice to know, that at one time it could have been.
We haven’t spoken since that dinner and he is moving to Atlanta, Georgia…this time for the right reasons. If our history is any indication, it will be months, maybe years before we speak or ever see each other again. But the last text he sent me said, “If my wife doesn’t mind, you will be invited to my wedding.” I will take that, as an early invitation. Until then, good-bye for now and take care.
The following words were forwarded to me by one of my best friends. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the original author is, so I can’t give credit where credit is due, but it seems like someone read my mind and decided to write out my thoughts for me. Everyone goes through a period in their lives, where they hold on to things…whether it’s a past love, past pain, past memories, past happiness… And everyone goes through another period in their lives, where they are trying to let go. Some people succeed and some people never really do… So this is for everyone out there still learning to let go and I hope it gives you that extra strength. Speaking from personal experience…letting go, really is the best gift you can give yourself. I haven’t looked back since and I can honestly say, this is the happiest I have been in a very long time!
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear.
She let go of judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
… She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations
about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
Here’s to giving ourselves the gift of letting go…
What if…two simple words
That have haunted me
Like a shadow
Clinging to cobwebs
I cleaned out long ago.
In the back of my mind,
You never left, always there
Reminded by dimpled smiles
Of strangers unaware,
Of their resemblance to you
In the way that they walked
Or in your favorite color, blue.
I can still hear your laughter
Carried by the breeze.
Still remember “Because of You”
Played on piano keys
With the same fingers
That traced my face,
Tucked my hair behind my ears
And expertly removed lace.
I can still feel you
At night, you enter my dreams.
You waited for me to come to you
Like in blockbuster movie scenes
Where the girl always gets the guy
And it’s never too late
And love always wins
No matter how much they tempt fate.
But I am not an actress
And time has moved fast like
The tide stealing sand from the shore
This emptiness I saved for you,
I can no longer ignore.
Memories of your love
Still capture me,
Like the moon, I’m caught
Inside your gravity.
Please, release me,
Set me free
From shadowy cobwebs
That still haunt me.
I look at you and I am reminded of
With their guarding bees
That I tried to taste so expertly.
Yet each drop of honey was not enough
To quench my thirst
Or dry my lust.
So again and again, I would take my chances
Of freeing my aching sweet tooth
With those tempting leaves
Guarded by those stinging bees,
Until I got close to filling my tongue
With that ecstasy,
And I felt the pain of those jealous bees.
And even now, I’ll never know why,
I couldn’t get enough of you,
With your guarded heart
And those frequent lies.
But looking back, I clearly see
You were nothing but a temptation of
Honeysuckle leaves with their guarding bees.