Few weeks ago, Michael stopped by to settle some last minute things that we failed to deal with since our break-up. Our last meeting brought to the forefront that there were doors still opened that we needed to close. We talked about stuff the way we did when we were together – politics, work, school, our children. Neither of us mentioned our last meeting. As for me, I decided that night that there was no need to ask any more questions. If my suspicions were correct, and he had started seeing the woman during our relationship, I didn’t need him to tell me why. His actions would be enough. We were over. End of story. He didn’t say anything either, he may have decided to leave well enough alone considering the tantrum I threw.
After he left, I went to the store to get a bottle of wine and candles to set the mood for my bath. I sipped wine, while I soaked and crooned about love with Adele.
For a brief moment during Michael’s visit, I was tempted to ask him about the videos we made on his I-Phone that he would take on his business trips. Does he still have them? Does he watch them sometimes? I tapped into our shared memories and relived the moments on my knees before him – naked beneath his gaze as he traced with his lips, my curves. Painting me in his memory, inch by inch – my moans –my groans – my surrender.
I participated in making the videos then, did I have the right to ask him to destroy them now because we're over? Were they not his to keep and watch a hundred times more if he chose, like the memories of us that he cannot give back, and I cannot take away? I trust that he would safeguard them, but wondered what if they end up in the wrong hands, and I wake up one-day to find myself fucking him on YouTube. I gave a slight chuckle and made peace with the possibility. I don’t regret the way I love –
“How can you love so completely and not lose yourself?” I was once asked by Kenny. We were in bed watching TV after making love. We were still fuck buddies at the time – I was too broken to realize that what I felt for him was love. He was sprawled between my legs, his head nestled against my chest. I placed tiny kisses upon his forehead and he leaned in for more like a baby responds to a mother’s touch.
“Is there any other way to love - but completely?” I asked. “Can one love with reservation?”
He didn’t answer for a long time. “The way you touch me feels like love.” He said after a while. “I’ve had women who would not let me hold them. I touch you and you melt into my arms. I love to fuck you, Kitten, but it’s the way you make me feel that stays with me long after you leave my bed,”
I have never known how to love except with all of me – even in times when I went into a relationship with less than lasting intentions, I gave whatever I had at the time. My friends want to know how is it that I have grown less fearful and weary of love. I now know that it was not love that left me wounded – it was hate and ugliness. Love healed me – loss has refined me.
I don't have heartbreaks that I have not taken care to heal, nor do I walk around with regrets with which I have not made peace. One must heal their wounds before they can move on. It's one of the biggest lessons I've learned in the past few years - that I cannot grab hold of a future still trapped in my past. Something has to be left behind, it can be the future or the past - one has to choose which one to hold onto and which one to let go.
Alphonse Kerr said, “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses,”
I immersed myself into the warm water, came back up, took a sip of wine. Now if I feel the need to get involve with someone and be emotionally distant, I won't play at all.
I’ve watched Clark sleep and wonder what story our time together will tell. I don’t ponder these thoughts for long – a rose bud does not reveal all its petals in one day. I don't know if loving the way I do makes me crazy, stupid or brave. It's the self I've grown into - and it feels right.
How can I love so completely and not lose myself? Because my love of self is bottomless. One cannot give what one does not have. When things fall apart, I have it in me to pick up the pieces and move forward.
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
_ Maya Angelou