Ripples in the Water (The Return, 1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Extract from Chapter: The Return
Written: January 2010

 

As I read the words I recognized the handwriting and started to shake. I felt it again, just as I felt it only days before as I walked through the airport and passed the place where we said goodbye. It was a feeling that I have felt so many times, time and time again, sometimes triggered by a place, a memory, but for the most part just always there.

That same feeling paralyzed me again in the summer when I visited a special place that I always loved. A place where I learned to swim and fed the chipmunks. My life long wish was to share that special place with a special person. The wish came true but it wouldn‘t last. The flowers between the tree had dried up and were carried away by the wind, all gone. The clothesline where I once hung his clothes was empty, the only things there were clothespins hanging on to nothing, reminding me of myself. I had to leave after only two days, it now felt so empty, even though it was filled with memories. So ironic, all those happy memories yet, the one memory I wished for most ended up being the reason I can never return.  Every memory, every dream, every special moment left there forever.

I went to the city where it all began, a city I love and wanted to live. I’ll never forget that first night when he said “I feel like a little kid”. What happened in that room was something I had never experienced in my life. He was real, he was warm with a great smile and it seemed I had known him forever. So there I was, back in that once great city but like the cottage, I couldn’t stay there either. I saw the hotel were we spent our last night in a tiny room where I remember I thought I was going to die; I had a panic attack like never before. We had a rough day that day, I remember it well. We didn’t speak for a while and when we did we argued. It was awful, things were starting to unravel. It was a sleepless night and when the panic attack came, he held me and saved me, even though I knew he was so angry with me. There were many tears from both of us that night. It was a night mixed with every emotion possible and I remember when he said “love me”. That would be the last time I made love to anyone.

Life seemed impossible for a while, I counted each day, wondering when I would forget. I thought it would get easier and it did for a while but not one day has passed that I don’t think about everything that happened. I feel guilt, sadness, loss, and so much pain, some days worse than others.

There were gifts, a funny little fish with a bit of a story behind it. A teddy bear that made me feel as good as the one I had when I was a kid. It took a couple of years to part with them, I knew I had to because it would help me heal…or would it? There was a carving I sent him that quickly came back in the same box it was sent in. There are pictures that I don’t look at and came close to destroying many times.

It all started four years ago and it changed everything, just as everything each of us do on a daily basis changes our day or possibly our life.  If you are unlucky enough to get hit by a car or fall off your bicycle, it hurts for a while and you get better. When you get hit by love, it never goes away. It leaves a scar that won’t heal and pain that hurts more than any physical injury. Some deal with it better than others but I’ve learned it never goes away. In the last two years I have lost my father and my beloved dog who I think about every day. My Mom now struggles at times to remember who I am. I have lost most of my friends, all my own doing. After losing a connection like I’ve never had before, I began to compare all my friendships to that connection. They just weren’t very strong, or didn’t seem to be, and sadly, I began to think they weren’t important to me.

The other day I saw a video on you tube. It seemed like he had relived parts of a trip we once took. I wish I hadn’t seen it but a bit too late now. So here I sit, putting my thoughts in writing because they say it helps, and it seems to be, at least for now. I always thought that one day, probably when I died, he would get my letter. My letter that would help him understand and maybe, just maybe forgive me and remember me as we once were. I always had a fear that he wouldn’t understand and I wanted it to make some sense.

I think it was my fathers grave that really hit home. I stood there crying and shaking, not because of the loss of my father, I was over that for the most part. Ironic, huh, my father, 49 years in my life and I can cope with his loss. Yes, I cried and I have memories but I’m okay. But what really knocked me down was the memory of him. Ever since then I’ve been a wreck. Day after day I struggle to figure out why.

Which brings me to why I’m writing this now instead of later. Later is too late, or so I’ve learned. I don’t want him to wonder if what happened was real or not and I’m hoping that this will somehow bring him some relief, some peace.  Love is such a powerful thing. I’m not so sure about whoever it was that wrote it’s better to love and lost than to have never loved at all. I have always said the price of love is pain. What I didn’t realize is the amount of love and the amount of pain are proportionate, and I know how very true that is and now I have finally realized it lasts forever.

He is always on my mind and in my heart. I will never connect with anyone like I did with him. It was magic, in so many ways. 


Submitted: April 21, 2012

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