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Different Loves 2

Some loves that come into our lives
Teach us something. 
About love, about life,
About ourselves. 

Some loves that we strive
To keep 
Are lost. 

Sometimes the love is right
But the time is wrong. 
Sometimes pain between
Two people
Cannot be overcome
No matter how strong the love. 

Some loves are tinged with regret.

I had a love like that. 
So did you, I imagine. 
A love that makes you wonder,
"If things had been different..."

I loved a man once. 
I first saw him looking out a window
On the second floor. 
I was moving in. 
Boxes in my arms.
He leaned out the window and said,
"Are you coming here?"

I squinted up at him, through
September sun. 
I said simply, "Yes."

And he smiled. 

"Wait," he said. "Please wait."
And I did. 

He came rushing out the door.
He must have taken the steps 
Two at a time.

He stood in front of me,
And reached to take the boxes. 
His hand brushed mine.

He held the boxes under one arm
Leaned in
Until his face was near mine. 
He brushed my hair back and said,
"You are?"

"Michelle." I gave him my name. 

"Michelle," he said.
"Yes. Michelle," he repeated.
As if he were trying my name on,
To see if it fit. 

And it did.
Easily. 

Have you ever had a conversation
That you wanted to never end?
Of course you have. 
"You hang up."
"No, you hang up."
But nobody does?

It was like that.
Hour upon hour.
Standing in the hallway,
Sitting on the stairs. 
Walking through trees,
Lounging on the porch.

Looking at the black sky
Until the sun rose,
Sending the stars to bed.

Have you ever
Poured out your every thought,
Without hesitation,
Knowing they were safe?

Even the darkest ones?
Did you dare to voice them?
To examine them?
To begin to understand yourself?

I did. 

This was a defining love,
A love that searched endlessly
For meaning
And depth. 
Young, idealistic, intense. 

And two years later,
He was gone. 
We didn't drift apart. 
We didn't grow tired of each other.
We didn't fight.
We didn't even break up. 

We faced a tragedy together.
It doesn't matter what it was.
It was out of our control.
But it tore us apart. 
I could talk to him about everything. 
But not that. 
Not able to reach me,
Not knowing what to do,
He left. 

Hundreds and hundreds of miles away. 
And, broken,
Detached,
I waited for him to come back. 
And over the next year
He did. 
Many times.
And we pretended
That it was the same.
But something between us
Had died. 

Not love. 
I still loved him. 
His absence 
Froze me. 
Beyond mere pain,
I was numb.

Maybe what had died
Was a part
Of me.

I used to blame him
For running.
But long before he ran,
I hid.

In the aftermath of what
We could not control
We made decisions
Badly.

Almost twenty years later
He called me. 

He had just turned forty. 
Had never married. 
"We never did break up," he chuckled,
Knowing I'd been married for years. 

We talked. 
Forgave. 
And understood. 

"I did really love you."
"But I didn't know how."
"I know."
"It's okay."
"It's okay."

This was a defining love.
A love that changed me.
And him.

People say it wasn't
meant to be.
I don't know about that.

I do know
That if things had been different,
It would have been different.
But even in that sentence,
You can see
The absurdity of the thought.
The truth is that it wasn't.
It wasn't different.

Beautiful
Heartbreaking

But a gift,
Nonetheless.

And while this love
Is shrouded in a wistful fog of regret,
I am grateful for the gifts.

First love.
Remembering quiet whispers,
Complete acceptance.
Total immersion into a
World of our own making.

First heartbreak.
Remembering anguish
And tears.
And being afraid of
Never feeling
Whole again.

Learning about survival,
Strength,
Healing.

Learning about the
Destruction
Brought on by
Fear,

The enormous cost of
Guarding your heart
Against the one who
Loves you.

And the futility of
Attempting
To twist something
              (someone)
Into something
It cannot be.








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