Like a river


Life is like the water in a river – each chapter begins, unfolds, and then it’s gone forever, as the water flows from its source to the estuary, only to lose itself in the immensity of the sea.


Like flowing water, our happy moments only lingered for a while, and then they were gone, swiftly but inexorably heading towards the end, an end neither of us wanted but both knew was inevitable. It’s incredible how all relationships are so similar in their first phase, joyful and passionate, but all endings are different from each other; each one unique, special, some more heart-breaking than others, but all of them painful.


The pain of heartbreak may come in different disguises; it may be hot with anger, cold with disappointment or leave a bittersweet trace of sadness, of longing for all that was, and might have been, but is no more. It may come because love has ended or when there is still love but you are heading in opposite directions, reunited for brief moments of closeness like in the good old days, only to go your separate ways again. In our case, I believe I felt disappointed at first, but then the cold gave way to a sort of friendly sadness that – strangely –does not hurt. When I look at you, I see the man I have loved so much, but at the same time I know that person is lost to me forever, and it’s so odd, because I have never felt like this towards anyone; and I can only wonder if this special feeling I have for you has to do with what we had between us – because it was so very special and so overwhelming and made us so truly happy for a few years.


Sometimes when I recall those early days of our love, I think I was never as happy as I was with you; nor had I ever felt such a feeling of completeness, of having found the one I had been looking for during my whole life. For a time, we had it all – love, passion, but also deep trust, companionship; we laughed together, we travelled the world, and each trip was more perfect than the previous one; remember when you said you only existed to make me happy, and how I laughed because no one had ever said, or made me feel, that? But you sounded true, and happiness flowed through me. Little did I know that, like the water of a river, it would not stay in the same place. It would move on.


And move on it did. And we grew apart. The circumstances of life changed us. Maybe we should have fought them; I wonder – had we been strong in our resolve to build a life together, things might have changed, as is inevitable, but maybe not so inexorably, to the point that all tenderness evaporated and we became like two strangers, two lost souls without a purpose. Slipping towards the void, the point of no return.




A year has gone by. We now meet as friends and if in the beginning it was slightly awkward, it has become easier, more natural. We get together with our group of friends and no one would say we have been lovers; we are friendly, serene, no strange atmosphere between us. But I know you, and I know myself – I know us.  There is still something special between us, something that will linger. I don’t know what to call it, nor do I want to. Some things are better left unsaid. It is enough to know you and I have been the most special love to each other, the strongest of ties, the most meaningful moments. Those years of our lives, those unique, wonderful moments of love and passion and tenderness – no one can take them away, because they were very real while they lasted. And when you look at me, and smile, I know it in my heart that you will never forget me, nor will I ever forget you. And that bittersweet sadness gives way to the certainty that, no matter what, there will still be this feeling between us, this feeling without a name, this unique feeling that still binds us, and will not go away.


Like the water of a river our love reached its estuary and lost itself in the vastness of the ocean, but some tiny molecules will stay alive, and we’ll treasure them in our hearts for as long as we live.

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