To Begin Again

Years later, ten to be exact, I understood I should have never asked her to keep her heels while we had sex in that Bronx apartment we had been invited to. I couldn’t see beyond my ego. I was hurt, she’d cheated on me, but only after I’d done the same. It took me ten years to understand that what hurt me the most was to know that I had destroyed everything we had, that I was, at least in part, responsible for the decay of our perfect romance into a destructive relationship. It took me sometime to forgive her, but it took me forever to forgive myself.

She was the best thing I had ever had in my life. I thought, when we got to be together, that I had solved one of life’s mysteries. I even forgot my best friend had been killed brutally, mercilessly, a little before we started dating. I forgot about that loss when this woman, who was everything I had ever wanted in a person looked at me and fell for my charm. She didn’t truly fall for me. Our first months together she missed her boys back home more than she thought about me as a serious partner. When she went back to the US, where I was about to follow her, she met with her lovers and chose one of them over me. That is what I couldn’t forgive. The fact that she did so because, in part, I gave her a reason, by messing up with one of my college classmates, was what I could never forget.

Until I did. It was a sunny morning when I did my running like always. I had already decided I wasn’t going to keep messing with those memories, that remembering constantly something that had happened in my past couldn’t be healthy, mentally, I mean. Nevertheless, she came back, that idea came back. I transported myself to our first moment after the fact of confronting her affair, I put myself there, we were riding a car that was driven by one of her friends. It was a truck, a filthy truck, her friend was driving, she was sitting next to him, and I had my head on her shoulder. The glory of the midwest in the summer was my sight. So vast, so plain, so even, all filled with corn crops, sunny, warm. I looked at her shoulder and I told myself: she is perfect, and I have just lost her forever.

I’m going to have to begin again.