I’m writing this down because my heart needs to release the pressure. This is going to be tough on both of us, but I beg you to hang in there with me.
I’ve known pain of all sorts, abandonment, hatred, hopelessness, but never the acute agony you laid on me when you asked me to leave you and never return. That was more than twenty years ago and the loneliness still crashes into me. But you made your choice – at the insistence of outsiders – and I obeyed your will.
For months I cried myself to sleep. I sought comfort in the arms of other women, abusing them in turn. Nothing satisfied, and I had not even closure. I managed an accomodation somehow, and after about two years I settled for a copy. I did manage to love her, but though she would never know it, she would forever be in your shadow. And so it has been for these long twenty years. God how the guilt of seeing your face when I look at her has wearied me, but I have found no way out my captivity.
It was never about the sex. I took great pleasure in your arms, but the longing was never driven by that. It was your heart, and how you completed me. It was your ability to make me believe your love without words. It was the simple joy of being with you.
And so I have hidden my pain beneath a shell of feigned bravado, secured firmly in place with mistrust. I suppose I did the best I could, but I haven’t been the man I should have been.
When I saw your note, out of the blue, three weeks ago, I was transfixed. I was terrified. But my heart raced! It was all very casual, and I couldn’t tell what you were thinking. I had known you were married, and you confirmed it. You seemed happy with what you had, but God forgive me, I wanted you to feel the hell I did. The betrayal was real _all_over_again_, and it was like I was I an awkward, unable-to-cope teenager again. You were so superficial in those first few contacts that I couldn’t even imagine what was going on. You were the one that bid me go, but then decades later you were asking for friendship.
I mustered my courage and tried to ask my questions easily, but I’m afraid I couldn’t control it, and my feelings all spilled out. To my amazement, you tentatively reciprocated the same feelings, and it was then that we were actually communicating. Every note was happiness, every syllable was like a drug I couldn’t get enough of. I still read them over and over.
You gave me a lot of closure. You owned up to the break up, and regret for having done so. And then there was the phone call. That was a sweet, painful twenty minutes. To hear your voice was enthralling. I’m sorry I cried. You told me that you had missed me, and that you even still loved me. Still, you were a little cagey with what you would say; perhaps it’s because you won’t give your feelings the power to take control.
I want to tell you that I know the love I felt for you back then was real – as real as it gets – because I *still* feel it. I had managed to hide from most of it, but it’s still there. It always will be. Somehow, that love that was encased in pain has rebloomed. Just like that, you had the power to end my pain. If only I could show you the beauty of what I’m feeling.
But we haven’t spoken since, and it seems we can’t. We’re in an impossible situation, because I won’t betray my wife, and you can’t leave your husband. I’m still not really clear on where you’re at. All I know is that I keep hoping against hope that you’ll contact me to at least let me know that you’re well. I keep checking my messages for some more of what my heart wants, all the while wishing I could just tear the place apart until I fell down exhausted. If the unfairness of this life were a person, then surely I would do murder.
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