April 23rd, 2009
He was the first I knew of romantic love. Those beginning hours and days, for that’s all it turned out to be in truth, imposed a gentle panic on my life. When would I see him again? Does he really love me? Is he coming back? I drank up every single saccharin word he blabbered, and they were bedazzling doozies. Once, early on, I listened with pressed ear as he called from out of town to longingly report that his trip was “heaven,” but one “angel was missing.” And I just blithely gripped the phone in a swoon, ignoring the foreshadowed irony. Angel, indeed.
I spent hours in Macy’s right before his birthday, scooping up shirts and belts and colognes I thought he’d like. I threw them all done again when in a fit of “this is too soon” reality hit me, and ended up buying a book instead. Just a little old thing that took me two days to pick.
He’d perfected this way of looking at me, of lowering his voice and adopting a gruff urgent tone that conveyed I was all there was for him. I accepted it like a fish believes the worm.
Of course he broke my heart, for that’s what men like that do.
And now my friend — who dated “his” brother — wants me to check him out on Facebook. And I just don’t think I can. It’s 16 years later and I don’t think I can. I’m married to a man who tells me the truth and does what he says and says what he means. I have two lovely children. And I don’t think I can. I’m still angry, isn’t that weird?
He cheated on me time and again. Lied. Used. Roped me in. Set me adrift. Then threw some twine. Which broke and broke and broke.
Now he’s married with two lovely children and I wonder about his wife and whether he changed his spots and whether I’ll ever let go of what he took.
Isn’t that weird?