I took a seat by my bedroom window to read my mail the other day. The window overlooks a busy street below. People rushed across the street from one end to another. None bothering to check for oncoming traffic. Phones glued to their ears. Eyes glued to their screens. Late for one thing or another. Misery etched on their faces. Cars zoomed by, most new. I want a new car. I want a new life as a matter of fact. A better life. Don’t we all? As I gazed into the horizon I thought of you. It wasn’t the first time. I think of you every time I look at our son. The son I never told you about. The fruit of the seed you planted on our last encounter. A beautiful mistake. We were not together but we couldn’t stay apart. Our bodies drawn to each other like magnets. I saw a letter addressed ‘To J’. I knew instantly that it was you who had written. I once wrote a letter and addressed it ‘To G’. Greg. I haven’t said your name in years. I smiled and reminisced. I used to mutter your name under my breath every night. Then some nights and now no nights. Nostalgic moments are few and far between these days. I often sit by the same window and write letters that I never send to you. My forever love. My forgotten love. I have a tin box. A makeshift confession box that I keep hidden in my bedroom wardrobe. It is full of unilateral correspondence- letters that I wish I had sent. I should rename it ‘regret box’ because just after I saw the letter addressed ‘To J’ I saw a funeral invitation. I knew without reading that it was you. You had crossed the divide between the living and the dead.
You always had this knack for making me cry. I am a strong woman by all accounts. You admitted it yourself. “I only fall for strong women and I am on the floor for you.” That’s how you announced yourself to me. You had me at hello and this letter …. A letter addressed ‘To J’ was your goodbye. Damn you. Even in death, you hurt me. A gifted man is what you are; you clawed at my emotions and pulled insurmountable pain to the surface. I cried for hours before I read your last thoughts. The grass on my side of the veil no longer turns green. It only grows yellow or brown. It has been trampled on by elephant like men and is now malnourished. I am hoping that you can read this from the great beyond. A place no man comes back from. A place I thought of visiting in the weeks after I left you for the last time. A place I thought I would make my home before I found out about our son. I hear voices in my head too sometimes. I am exaggerating. I get songs stuck in my head for days on end. Those count as voices I suppose. The past week its been James Blunt. He made one good song. “Goodbye my lover.” I remember you said that you would haunt me upon your demise because you love me and you wouldn’t ever want to leave me. You never left me, I admit. I left you. I did it for me. Is that why you jumped? To haunt me? I am assuming you jumped. All the movies made me believe that is how people do it. It would be ironic if you slipped and fell because you were loaded up on that expensive cognac that you bought to celebrate your promotion. Poor Misty. Another heart you left aching. I doubt her pain is comparable to mine. You were my entire life. We were one. I knew no other. It was a sickness. I was addicted. Toxic- that is how you described it. I named him Kai. Your son. Our son. I told him his father was a great man. An author. We had dreams of writing a book of sonnets together. Do you remember? You would write and I would inspire. What a team. I told him you were killed in a car accident. I told him you only died after you saved me. After you saved him. I was pregnant and the crash was glorious. There was blood everywhere. Quentin Tarantino would have been proud. I made you a hero. That is what I saw when I got lost in your bronze eyes. You were my superman. I thought you could take over the world. I would be the one pulling the strings of course. There is always an intelligent woman behind every great man after all. Unrealized potential. Talent drowned by alcohol and inconsistency. I tried to mend your soul. I put patches on your broken heart. I draped my love around you and for a moment that felt like an eternity then, but seems like a flash now, you were well. We were well.
When did you lose the will to live? Had I known I would have come to you. I would have told you about Kai. I knew that you did not attach much value to your own life or wellbeing. I knew. I never thought that you would take your life. Greg. Why did you do it? I should have come back to you, God knows I wanted to. Maybe then you would have something to live for. Someone to live for. I made a mistake that I will live with for the rest of my life. I should never have abandoned us. I know this now. Hindsight is 20/20. I agree. I was selfish. I was ambitious. You were holding me back. You were not doing it intentionally but you were. I needed to grow. I needed to spread my wings and soar. Now here I am, writing letters to dead men. Dead men that I have prayed for every night since our last night together, 8 years ago. I chased the dreams I had and never caught them. I earned accolades that I never really wanted and promotions that left my bank account smiling while my heart cried. I quit last year. I am pursuing cinematography now. Fleeting love. Fleeting hope. So poetic. You wrote me poems. Do you remember? I memorized every word from the first poem you wrote me.
There is no U or I in forever but without you, I don’t want a forever.
That was the first and last line. You proposed in your first poem to me. It was too soon but the answer was yes. YES. I wanted forever with you. In a few years I will be the next Steven Spielberg and if you would have just stayed on course you would have been J.K. Rowling and we would be bigger than Bonnie and Clyde but alas……… you died. I watch a movie so aptly titled “One Day” once year, on the anniversary of our first date. You probably wouldn’t even remember the date. The movie is about us. At least it felt like it was about us. The main characters constantly search for what is underneath their noses until time runs out. I will stop watching it.
The day you saw me happy with a man on the streets I was faking it. It saddens me to admit it. I saw you from a distance and I knew you would see me. As a matter of fact, I saw your reaction out of the side of my eye the moment I squinted and looked longingly at his chiseled face. His name is Mathew. I saw a little piece of you chip and break off. That is what I wanted. I wanted to hurt you. I wanted you to endure a little bit of suffering for all the suffering you put me through. I was petty. Was that the first domino to fall? Did I set you on this path of no return? I think I might be giving myself too much credit. I got married, Greg. Mathew made an honest woman out of me. I have two children- a boy and girl- with my soon to be ex-husband. I filed divorce papers the day after I read your letter. I got married for the wrong reasons. I did not love the man that I have shared a bed with for the past six years. We did not make love. We had sex. Our children are not the fruits of love. They are the result of lust and primal desire. Kai is a love child. The definition of a love child. Just between the two of us he is my favorite. I think I love him more because you still are the only man I have ever loved. It took your death to realize that I deserve a man that treats me and loves me like you did. You shed tears for me on many occasions. I held your face and wiped the salt from your eyes. You were a beautiful man even when you cried. You loved me with every breath until your last. I never stopped loving you. Believe me, being away from you felt like a dagger in my back. Your goodbye felt like an arm twisting and pushing the dagger deeper. I am dressed in all black from my lace knickers to the bow on my head. The lace knickers you bought for me on my 26th birthday. I am on my way to your funeral. It will be an earnest affair but I hope you are at peace. I will bring Kai and tell him the truth today. I will show him his father. As you dotted your I’s with tears so have I. I peppered this paper with tears from the first word to the last. I will set this letter on your coffin as they lower you into the earth. I will shed tears and my heart will break as the final goodbyes are said. The priest will bless your soul and mumble some Latin no doubt. I will live my life from this day in honor of your memory.
Your forever love,
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