A Common Yet Tragic Love Story

Without looking for it, a prodigal son met a prodigal daughter.

She made him feel alive and loved.

At home where before he had none.

They connected innocently at first like many boys and girls do — a laugh and a kiss under the moonlight after walking hand in hand — but soon after, after sharing tears and confusion and wine, lots of wine, they also began revealing their past tragedies, their pain, and their flaws.

But despite the pain and the flaws, lord, she was someone alright — at least to him in that moment that felt like a lifetime.

Someone he could be himself with like no one else. Someone he didn’t need to wear a mask for or could wear any mask he wished.

Someone he could learn from. Someone he could teach.

Someone he could laugh with. Someone he could mock the rest of the world with.

Someone he could be vulnerable with and wanted to be vulnerable with. Someone he would let cry in his arms and did. Someone he could cry in front of and did.

Someone so sexy and brilliant — crazy and wild and dangerous — it set a fire ablaze inside of him he couldn’t suppress.

Someone he knew could break his heart and probably would. But it was worth the risk and the pain if it worked out in the end.

Someone he could really love and maybe already did love but wasn’t sure.

He remembers kissing her in the early morning, A.M. twilight, after their cigarettes dissolved to ash and stained their lips. He recalls kissing her with his mind as she told him through unshed tears the theories of her father on why we’re all here, as she feared her struggle with her past. He remembers kissing her on his bed after she asked him about what she said and he told her his thoughts on all that is, was, and will be. He recalls it felt like home, a warm past long unknown, tossing and turning as a child dreaming alone.

He can see it, taste it vividly — kissing her with all his hopes of heaven and how their mouths tasted of ash lost in the wind.

But soon, very soon, their innocence and affair together didn’t last. Too much was shared and said and done. They were the right people in the wrong time and place. Or, the wrong people in the right time and place.

Either way, they found out the hard way how two broken hearts can sometimes hurt each other more than they were hurt before.

He remembers the parting kiss that pulled them together one last time — once numb, their fingers interlocking hand in hand, leaving them with a last touch of spirit as he walked out the door without looking, only feeling the final caress of fingertip to fingertip slip away into the night.

Through it all, he learned love is hoping for a chance at something beautiful and life changing no matter the risk or the pain. And that sometimes the pain wins out with no rewards for the risks yet the journey was still worth it.

He occasionally still wonders how she is doing, where she is and what she’s up to.

Memories rumble around in the attic of his mind, as their narrative changes with more perspective.

He wishes her well now that time has done its work, now that the heartbreak is gone and the tears have dried up over the years.

But he knows he can’t go back. Or, that he doesn’t want to go back.

He knows he’ll have to find a new someone.

But first, he has to learn to love and care for himself rather than waiting for someone else to save him from his own hells as he hopes to save them from theirs.