She has always known that he was the one that got away. She knew even before she released the binds that tie them; she would always have a shadow of wonder in her heart with his name on it. They met at work, and she was instantly enamored with his boyish good looks. She had caught him giving her long side looks; she found herself liking his attention. He was several years her senior. And very much a gentleman. Certainly, too much of one to make a move. One day she marched up to him and with coy eyes locked on his, quietly said, “I find myself attracted to you.” With that proclamation, she pivoted on her heel and was gone. She did not wait for his response. She did not look back.
It was the early 90s. Long before the days of text messaging, friending or swiping. If he had a response to her statement, he would have to wait to see her again or call her. And he did respond.
How the romance started is blurred sentiment. It was a trepidations one fraught with longing for a man she knew was too good for her. He was sweet, smart and witty. He did those kinds of things writers and romantics dedicate volumes to – he wrote her poetry, he shared his art, he placed roses at her feet and teased out her intelligence by listening to her speak. She was young. College promised her a way out of the mundane and a ticket to partying and doing as she pleased. Not exactly a welcoming environment to a long distance romance.
He did come for a visit once. She remembers her friends making fun of his gentle ways. It’s funny how life has a way of working out. Those friends have long since been forgotten, and she has spent the greater part of her life searching for the very thing she couldn’t accept back then. Last person first.
This wasn’t the kind of romance that’s splashed across the pages of your beach reader. It was simple and naive. Had she kissed him? The soul responds with a resounding yes – but the memory is faded like long forgotten Polaroids tucked away in the attic. She has no doubt of his prowess. Her heart chooses to remain shielded in the beautiful imagery of the hours of time they spent together exchanging their love of art – her dance and his prose. Intertwined in a moment in her memory where she practiced her choreography in the glow of his headlights. She remembers his eyes on her, shining like blue-green pools imploring her to take his hand.
As she puts down the letter, she feels herself snap back to the present. Busy days, busy lives separate them like a galaxy across dimensions of space and time.
Has time created the earth real sense of what they shared? Perhaps. But the heart speaks more than the mind can know. She was glad that she had turned him away. He would have longed for more than what she could offer in the long term.
The beauty of his presence never to be forgotten.