The day you two met, you knew right away that she was the one for you.
You ignored the senseless games of delayed calling and calm chaos.
You could hardly to wait until the work whistle sound before calling her for that very first time. You decided against the guy code of waiting 2 – 3 days to call, as not to seem too eager or desperate.
You reach for your phone, whisking your finger against the touch screen to find her contact, which you added almost immediately.
You didn’t want to take any chances of the wind breezing by and blowing the tiny paper fragment with her number out of your hands; into an eternity clouded by what might have been.
You’d no sooner have turned for that last fleeting glance when you caught her catching you catching her. You smiled at one another as if you were back in junior high, and the feeling is amazingly familiar.
While walking away, you recalled every word of the conversation, criticizing what you said or didn’t say. Her name was already engraved in your mind and etched into your soul like a hot iron branding a new bull.
Her scent and her smile were amazing and nothing you tried to do would counter your thoughts into anything less, or even more meaningful.
You carefully caress the numbers on your iPhone, taking a deep breath, pausing between each number to make sure you get it right the first time.
“Hello”, you speak, “uh this is the guy you met on the subway platform today.”
Pleasantries reciprocated, you can tell that she too is smiling while talking to you as if to say, “I am glad that you called.”
The moment of anticipation lapses into 2, 3, 4, then 5 hours of talking on the telephone. It’s now a little past midnight, the room has grown darker from the setting of the sun, eerily quiet as midnights often bring.
You bid her goodnight, apologizing for keeping her on the phone for so long but only to see if she enjoyed it as much you did. The call would eventually end, and you both got up for work in the morning.
Fast-forward 8 months and she has become the love of your life.
Not only do you love her, but she has become your best friend. You can no longer remember what life was like when she wasn’t there, or imagine what it would be like without her. You complete each other’s sentences and every moment with her surpasses the last.
You ignore the hissing and ridicule of your friends who now call you whipped. They believe you no longer hang out with them because she won’t allow you, when in fact, you PREFER to be with her.
She makes you smile when the day is dark, and the touch of her hand against the back of your neck softens the blow of the boss’s fire. Every detail of your day you anticipate sharing with her, and her with you.
She understands you like no one else can, and her counsel was as if Hypatia of Alexandria had channeled through her.
You began to think of a future with her, wanting her to meet your mother, your friends, your siblings, with no need for preparation because you know that everyone will love her as much as you do.
While she is away on the opposite coast, the time difference delays your daily talks as she waits for her work day to end 3 hours later. You turn on the tv, after grabbing a beer from the fridge and ease down into the sofa.
You take out your phone to look at the hundreds of pictures you’ve taken from the countless moments you’ve spent together. While brushing your finger side to side, a text message appears at the top of your phone.
VANESSA: I miss you.
It’s your ex-girlfriend, the crazy one who broke your heart into a million pieces, but you remain powerless to her devices.
Your heart begins to race, now sitting up straight, reading the text message without opening it, so she doesn’t know you’ve seen it. You know the right thing to do would be to delete it, and block her phone but you bite.
You open the text, and you began to form a response.
YOU: okay, I’m shocked to hear from you.
You deceived yourself into believing an innocent response is just you being friendly but your intentions were broader. You knew exactly what you were doing, she was, your first love as dysfunctional and dangerous as it were.
VANESSA: I was in town, thought I’d say hello and see if maybe we could meet.
By now you can feel your heart pounding in your chest, brow moistens and while your mind is telling you no, R. Kelly is telling you yes. It’s just an innocent meeting, you tell yourself.
You arrange to meet with her, taking consideration for your appearance, even spraying on a hint of the cologne she always enjoyed you wearing. You meet in a cozy dimly lit coffee shop in the village.
The light rain outside kept away the usual crowd, so the place was almost empty.
You sit down, after pulling her chair out first and she says, “that’s one of the things I always liked about you, and I see you are wearing the cologne I bought for you.”
The conversation quickly eases into the past, with provocation for the future, a future that would begin that night.
Conveniently enough, her hotel is right beside the coffee shop she cunningly selected. She leaves little perplexity to her intentions, and by now you have entangled yourself in her web of remarkable tragedy.
You enter the lobby of her hotel, arms in tow when your phone rings. It’s 3 hours later, 5pm on the West Coast and you can feel the vibration in your left pocket when you, 3 hours earlier had moved your phone to silent.
You’ve not only failed to answer the call, but you are trembling with fear and guilt. You search for the nobility of this moment and it escapes you.
You make your way up the elevator, floating the long corridor to her room. Room 511, but it might as well be 666. She reaches for her key card, turns to give you a subtle smile, as if to say, “once you enter, there is no refuge.”
She moves into to kiss you softly on the lips, the taste of her lipstick was as the fruit in Eve’s garden.
The door slowly opens, when suddenly the text alert you also thought had been silenced, brilliantly sounds from the inner sanctum of your pocket.
You excuse yourself for a moment to look at the text message. “Hi, sweetie, I tried to call you but I guess you’re still working. I just wanted to hear your voice and tell you I miss you and I love you.”
Your eyes well up, your chin drops and the look on your faces tell your nemesis everything your lips could not say. Do I stay, or do I go is not even a question for you at this moment because you know.
You know the heartache associated with heartbreak but you now know the joy of loving someone that loves you back. In that moment, you feel what it means to not have HER in your life.
Gentleman, the choice is easy. When a woman loves, she loves hard and sacrifices all she has for you because she loves you.
Without hesitation, she has placed you, her lover, her friend, her confidant, her future on a pedestal where only you reside.
Not only do you love her, but you need her. You need her as the air that navigates the airway into your lungs providing precious life.
The other woman, is a bittersweet reminder of juvenile years gone by, a prerequisite to a horrible and ghastly life.
The choice is yours, therein also the stain upon your character that cannot be removed.