One day, I decided to go through what I didn’t want to keep… because I felt lost. I put on some old music, I went up into the attic of memories. I sought to remember what I forgot. The things that I didn’t purposefully or intentionally forget. At first I felt nostalgic. I felt they breeze on the country wind on my face, and I smelled the evergreens. I remembered the old pickup truck, and the dusty dashboard. It was fun at first.
As the songs played, I unpacked more boxes of the past. I forgot that my mind held all of this storage. I found an old diary, I flipped through the pages. I began to cry. As the 90s country ballad played, I cried. I cried for my sister. I cried for my mom. I cried for myself. But I didn’t cry for my dad, I remember his disappointment when he looked across the table. Not at me, but at her. I could still see my sister’s wet eyes and red face as she pretended that the words that our father said didn’t hurt. I remembered the fights. The arguing. The yelling. I recalled all of the years. All of the hard years.
I remember the confusion. I felt the loneliness. The pitch black loneliness. I remember the nights where I layed awake. I was uncertain about the future, uncertain about tomorrow. I remembered the depression. My pillows were tear-stained, I remembered the moist fabric on my cheek. I remember running out of the house and into the field by the road. The walls of the house restrained me in a way that I couldn’t even breath.
I was wrong. I did purposefully and intentionally forget those things. I packed them away and stored them as if they were never a part of my life. I pretended that they weren’t there, although the memories always were there in the corner of my eye. They were there in the corner of my mind. I never did want to remember, and I never will want to remember. But I never can truly forget.
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When I think about how it was, it hard to put into words. I drift back into the memories often. Just as I pretend that the small electric fireplace is a wood burning one, I close my eyes and imagine that I am no longer in this old chair. I imagine that I am back in California waiting tables, or at my aunts house playing cards. But mostly, I remember you. I remember your voice, your smile. I remember it as it was when you were 28 years old, and I was 23. That was so long ago. It doesn’t feel that long ago. Just yesterday, it must have been. However I am 95 years old, and my life then was so different than it is now. I close my eyes and remember. There was a time when I was free, now I’m just free and lonely. There was a time when the wind whipped my hair, and the sun burnt my cheeks. I would run down the beach as fast as my legs would take me. I no longer can walk, but what my legs can’t do my mind remembers. I remember watching the sunset with you. Your eyes held my heart, and your smile held my future. I remember being in love. I remember touching your skin. I remember your voice, your whisper. Those memories and the framed photos keep me company. There is a picture of us horseback riding in Nevada. The photo is black and white, but I remember the details in color. I can see your blue jeans, the ones that matched your eyes and the sky. My hair was the color of the sun that day as it shone down on us at ninety eight degrees Fahrenheit. You fell off of the horse that day, and I laughed at you because the only thing that was hurt was your pride. I think that the nursing support staff thinks that I am just a deaf old lady. They come and give me my pills, and get my laundry. They come in and out of my little apartment at the nursing home doing their tasks, reminding me of meal times and activities that are planned for the day. They take good care of me, but they don’t get to know me. But it’s ok. I remember being young once, I was never going to grow old. I felt sorry for the elderly. I was never going to grow old. I was never going to stop running, stop dancing. You were never going to leave my side. You were never going to die. I always imagined that I would forever hear your laughter, your jokes. But my ears can no longer even hear the people who share a lunch table with me. I guess all of those “nevers” actually came true instead. However, I am content. I thank The Lord for being so good to me, for giving me a beautiful life. Now I just pray that He takes me home. I know that you are in heaven waiting patiently for me.
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He never loved her. He felt a lot of things for her, but none of them were love. She always loved him. Her judgment of things that she thought of him were clouded by what her heart felt. He saw her body, she saw his heart. Or at least she thought that she did. He approached her, she was flattered. His eyes held a determination when they first met hers. His lips were soft the first time that they kissed. She felt beautiful, desirable, and wanted. She felt loved. She loved his smile. He hated her laugh, but desired her mouth. Her hobbies were stupid, and her time was better spent at his apartment. Her time was better spent on his arm at one of his business events. He never introduced her to colleagues or friends, because she never had anything interesting to say. She was content standing in the background, out of the spotlight. She was happy to be his. He was very handsome. She thought that she couldn’t compete with the beautiful women that approached him, so she never did. After a few months of living together, his true self was revealed. She discovered that he wasn’t as handsome as she thought. The smile that she liked at the biggining was an insincere one. His eyes weren’t misterious anymore, they were just cold. But she loved him. It took some time to realize that she didn’t remember why though. Her heart changed, and she began to see the real him. He was an empty man, a sad and angry man. She didn’t look at him the same anymore, and he resented her for it. After a few weeks of living together, he became bored. Yes, she was sexy and very beautiful, but so were many other women. He listened to his heart on the first day that they met, that’s all he ever did with women. Now his heart didn’t desire her anymore. He felt a lot of things for her, but never loved her. He felt passion, desire and want. Those began to fade.
Why do are hearts send us astray? They say to follow your heart but our hearts have a cruel sense of humor.
What are the odds that I would find you? Or that you would find me? Luck isn’t that lucky, and happenstance isn’t that timely. In the midst of busy schedules and separate lives, we ended up meeting. And then we met again, and ran into each other another time. We talked, we laughed, we learned about each other. And although I wasn’t thinking about anything other than friendship, you saw me. You liked what you saw. After a while, I couldn’t get you out of my head either. That was three years ago. Three of the greatest years of my life. Who’s to say what is meant to be, if soul mates are real, and if there is “only one”. I don’t know those answers. But I do know that there is only one for me, and that’s you. I love you my friend. My joy. My husband.
Her smile, her eyes. They pulled him in. He couldn’t excape them. The stories she would tell, and the things that she dreamed about, grew in importance. He wanted to learn everything about her. Her wants, desires, and goals suddenly became something that he wanted to be a part of. His life was changed. The man, the boy that he was, was no more. His small world got larger. His view broadened, but in a way got smaller as well. A lot of his focus was shifted to her. Whenever he smiled he remembered her laugh. When he walked he remembered her shape keeping pace beside him, her hand in his. She pushed her way into his mind, consumed his thoughts. He didn’t consider himself a romantic, but her soul made him dream. The what ifs, the potential of them, came alive. The days without her went by slow, and the times with her went by fast. After dropping her off he would reluctantly drive home in the darkness and smile. Someday, someday, she will be his wife. They said that he was falling too fast, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t help it. He was in love.
You were made to order, so it seems. No you aren’t perfect, but a little broken like me. Perfectly imperfect. Your whole being is…is…beautiful. And your character…your character is admirable. You were made for me. Oh I know it sounds egotistical for me to think that, for perhaps I was made for you.