ONCE

That Elusive Elixir ~ Love

Once, I met and got to know a man. 
A sweet man with kind eyes and a deep voice.

He bought me flowers and the most special gifts, after listening to what I said I loved. He waited for me…at Work, at Home, at place where we checked-in with one other, at places where I had appointments. He was cheerful and loving about these times, and my guilt, from being late again, again, again, due to work, soothed just a bit.

He said he loved me, and he wanted me to feel as though I was loved, cared for, aware that I was special. He said that he wanted to help me; in all kinds of ways, and, too, to help me become ‘battle-ready’ for the coming fall.

When we were together there was comfort, and our talks were a-jumble, all mixed with butterflies and hope, and some inexplicable coincidences thrown in ~ where and when he was born, the music he streamed, the painting on his wall, the way he was treated at the end of his marriage. When we were together I never wanted him to leave. He had to leave, there was work. Yes, I understood work. We both worked hard and shared the same fears of losing stability despite our hard work.

We had a shared intention to look forward together in the same direction, and bringing our best selves to one another. No cliches. We spoke determinedly about the importance of these things and the glue they would create between us. Then, he started talking about different things.

He spoke of how one-sided ‘this’ seemed to be, how ‘I’ seemed to be. He spoke of not receiving gifts in kind, of feeling used, though I had asked for nothing. He spoke, bitterly, about how he did not want to invest in me only to be used, or lied to, or left.

I cried.

I cried as I listened to his perceptions, because I tried so hard, because I was so exhausted, because I did not want to be left either. I cried for him, and his pain, and how it stopped things in its tracks before he could ‘actually try.’ I cried because I turned to him, and told him things, to my own detriment, always and because I, too, loved him; and never wanted secrets. I wanted to bring him my best self. 
 
I listened to his perceptions as I cried, because I wanted to understand, to learn, because I was confused.
He wanted to give — if he would receive.
He wanted to help — if he received help. 
He wanted to care — if he received care. 
He wanted to love — if he received love.

When we were not together, I heard funny stories and received endearing pictures. I read how he could not wait to see me again. I received links to stories I knew nothing about, and sent him songs that touched me, and he responded, responded, responded.

Then, I began to hear less and less from him. Slowly his contact eroded, until now; now, I do not hear from him at all — not at the times I could bank on seeing him, not when I reach out, not when I just need his voice, not when I just need a friend.

Once, I met and got to know a man.

NL~ 2017