He Loved Me…

He loved me. I knew he did. He loved me so tenderly. He loved me with a reckless abandon. He was thoughtful and selfless. It was never about him, it was always about me. His heart was so pure and innocent yet tenacious at the same time. I always knew there would never be another like him.

I took advantage of his love. I used it for my own selfish needs. He was for me that crutch and security that I thought I could not live without. He was everything to me that was good and bad. I never loved him though. I could never bring myself to love him with the energy and force that he gave to me with passion and generosity. You ask if I felt guilty? No. Never. I deserved to be loved. His love, I took for granted. He would always be there for me. After all, where would he go? Would he run away? I was all he had. I was simply splendid. Yes. Simply splendid. Hmmph. I sound like a new fangled brand of organic granola. What could be better than that? I was like the top notch product found on the shelf at Whole Foods. I was more than that. He knew and I knew it.

When I got up for work that morning, he ironed my clothes for me and laid them out on the bed. He set my bath water with pomegranate sea salts so I could soak in the tub for twenty minutes. After I was dressed, my coffee was prepared in my favorite to go mug and oatmeal piping hot with almonds and cranberries was waiting for me at my place setting at the table. I took three bites, grabbed my coffee and my laptop and headed for the door to catch the express bus 3 blocks away on Grand Avenue as attempted to kiss me goodbye. I smiled timidly and slammed the door. He stared at me from the window. I did not see him but I felt his eyes burning in my back. I did not think about him again until I returned at 8 o’clock that evening.

Most of the time, he placed my dinner in the microwave. On Thursdays, we would order from Luz, my favorite Spanish restaurant in the neighborhood. I headed straight for the kitchen but the house was forebodingly quiet. Everything was in place. There was no food in the microwave nor dishes in the sink. I headed to the bedroom and began to get undressed. I checked my cell phone while I sat on the bed. There were no messages. I probably should have been concerned but I was overly confident. I put on my pajamas, got under the covers with mounds of pillows and my laptop. I started to work on a presentation for work. I called Lee’s Kitchen and placed an order for Singapore noodles and wonton soup. The food arrived 45 minutes later. I sat at the bar in the kitchen to eat. I left the dishes and the remaining takeout on the counter and walked to the master bathroom to brush my teeth.

The local news was playing in the background. I heard the voice of the news anchor speak of a six car pile up on the Long Island Expressway. I was so unsympathetic.

The phone rang. I answered. The gentleman on the other end of the line spoke in an official and calm tone. My heart dropped at the same time as the phone tumbled from my hand. My knees became feeble. The room was spinning. A thick, raspy sound was coming from my body. A pain so distant was in my chest. There was no oxygen. My overly confident self was no more.