Just because I have been meeting you more than I should in my frequent trips to the past it doesn’t mean that you are doing that, or ever did.
Just because the thought of bumping into you every time I go to your city crosses my mind, it doesn’t mean you ever thought the same. After all, why should you? It is your city; you are always there, and you could not guess at my comings and goings. After more than three decades, and the pain I put you through, you had to leave me behind for your own sanity, I think, and leave all our memories buried in the past, in a deep dark hole where they should be kept forever. So that you suffered no more.
Or maybe you just got over it all and want to leave the past where it is, simply because the present day is more interesting. Something I should be doing too, but somehow can’t, or won’t.
My ramblings into the past took me on a trip down memory lane to the street where you used to live, trying to have a glimpse of the house on the top of the hill where we made each other so happy. The house I could not recognize, but when I saw the magnificent view of the city at my feet, the red-tiled roofs shining under the sun and the blue sea, it was so vivid that it was as if we were outside on your balcony, drinking in the view, and you were behind me encircling me with your arms and whispering you loved me; and we were, literally, feeling on top of the world. And all that light and blue invaded us and filled our hearts.
An unexpected encounter
Just because the following day a common friend met you, by chance at a restaurant, and called me to tell; and as we were talking you passed her by and she put you on the phone with me and you were as surprised as I was and I only recognised your voice because I knew it was you and you didn’t recognise mine at all; just because we chatted amicably and exchanged phone numbers, nothing of it all means you’d want to stay in touch, cordially exchanging messages about what our lives have been during these last – you knew exactly how many – 34 years.
Of course, I, the eternal dreamer, thought we might. Because if we could, then we would eventually meet, and I would find the courage to tell you what I have been wanting to during all these years – that I’m sorry, so sorry, so dreadfully sorry for the pain I caused you, for not being true to you, for ending something so deep and true in such a hasty, cold, unfeeling way you didn’t deserve at all. But then, is there a kind way to tell someone who loves you that you’ve fallen for somebody else? If there were, and I could go back to that scene in the past, I would certainly do my best not to break your heart as I know I did.
I also wanted to tell you something else – when you told me no one would ever love me as much as you did, you were right. Or maybe partially right. The one person I left you for never did. Maybe someone else, many years later, did love me that way, but now I will never know because he has also faded into the mists of the past, another cherished memory of happier days gone by.
So, just because I thought our “encounter” on the phone would help bring us together, and maybe allow us to develop some sort of friendship, it doesn’t mean it will happen. In fact, I don’t believe it will. Now I can see you were just being polite under the circumstances, nothing more. I was so glad to have finally found you that I stupidly thought you would feel the same. Why should you? On a second thought, you must have been horrified at the painful past coming to get you, and you simply backed off.
Our mutual friend sent me a photo she took with you on that day. I saw a shadow of the handsome young man you were. A balding, prematurely aged man with dark shadows under very sad eyes. You barely smiled, and what a beautiful smile you used to have! I look at you and you’re not the same, I’m not the same either, we were other people in a different galaxy, that of our early twenties, and that galaxy is lost in the immensity of space and time. And there’s no getting it back, no matter how many trips down memory lane I take or how many times I listen to “Wish You Were”, one of our many songs, on my Spotify list while daydreaming of the most special New Year’s Eve of our lives.
Just want to say I’m sorry
I know you will never read this, and probably I will never have the chance to say it to your face, but even so I will write it: I’m sorry. I’m so very, truly, deeply sorry for the pain I’ve caused you. I’m so deeply, truly grateful for all the love you gave me and for the wonderful moments we spent together. So glad you dedicated all those songs to me, that I can still hear and remember you by. So privileged that I once inspired a great love such as yours. So happy that our paths crossed on that December evening, and, for some time, I believed you were the love of my life.
In the end, it’s like doing Ho’oponopono with you. I’m sorry, please forgive me; I thank you; and I love you. No matter what happens, or as long as I live, you will always have a special place in my heart. And I will always want to look you straight in the eye and ask your forgiveness. Who knows, maybe in another life we can meet again, and then, wiser and with more lessons learned, have the lifetime we once dreamed of together. And then, only then, will past wounds be healed, and that beautiful smile come out again.
Photo by Dimitri B on Unsplash