When Soon is Too Latebymsnomer68©
I sat across from him not knowing exactly what to say. Nervously, I fidgeted with my napkin waiting for him to begin. We had already gone through the obligatory small talk and pleasantries. I had a feeling that the conversation danced carefully around taboo subjects, but I had a feeling the dance had ended and it was time to change tempo. The way he looked at me caused a warm pink sting across my cheeks, it was the same as it had always been, dark and wanting.
He was direct, as I suspected, the time for small talk had ended. "Why did you really leave?" he asked. I took a deep breath searching for the right words. At one time we had been the best of friends, the greatest of lovers, and also the worst of enemies. The love I felt for him was just a pure and hot as the anger and hurt that he had provoked within me. Anger, hurt, and love that eventually drove me away.
"I had to," I croaked out in reply. My explanation was the absolute truth. There were too many nights alone. Too many unanswered calls. Too many days wasted in emptiness.
He would kiss me passionately as he left whispering lightly into my ear "I'll see you soon." The days would pass as I eagerly waited for soon to arrive. I would check my phone messages over and over again just to make sure there weren't any that I had missed accidentally, there never were. As they days turned into weeks, there would still be no word. The white-hot passion we shared would evolve into something else, rage.
I was enraged with myself for giving in and enraged with him for taking what was so eagerly given. Together we would eat of the fruit, but alone I would strangle, choking on its bitter aftertaste. Finally, soon would arrive, inexorably, the cycle repeated. I seemed powerless to break it, powerless to resist its allure. The only way to outwit passion was to remove myself its sweet, seductive grip.
"Hmmm." He mumbled, one eyebrow raised, he was sizing me up. Uncomfortably, I shifted in my chair. This was the first time we had met since my exodus. Face to face was different than a quick e-mailing, more challenging and dangerous than a brief occasional phone conversation. This was real.
Time had waged its war, each of us sporting its scars and spoils. Words that once carelessly flowed were now cautious and guarded. Innuendos perhaps lost in translation. "I've missed you." He said softly, his eyes looking through me. The pink sting I had felt earlier progressed into burning crimson heat. He was acknowledging what I had already known. He truly did miss me as much as I genuinely missed him.
When I planned my escape, I had no intentions of revisiting my captor. I moved as far away as possible, and I had moved on as well as I could. Maybe that's why I agreed to meet him. Perhaps I was searching for resolution. He told me once that I couldn't help who I loved. He also told me once that he was not relationship material, a statement I thought he had made as a copout to avoid entanglement. He had always been very direct about his feelings, but still I was reeled in, helpless and hopeless against the searing passion I had felt.
In his absence, I began to doubt my feelings for him. I convinced myself that it was just an illusion, something I had concocted in my own mind. But seeing him again, it felt as real as it had. I trembled in its wake. During our conversations I began to understand that he was also trying to move on, but the past was his warden. He was his own judge and jury, convicted for a life sentence. At one time, I had believed that I could free him, but I could not. He had willingly incarcerated himself and soon was the only thing he had to offer. For me, soon was too long to wait and way to painful.
He continued to look me over. I could feel his eyes touching every curve of my face, slowly moving down caressing every inch of my body. He took a deep breath, finally breaking the silence, "Sometimes, I wish things had turned out differently between us. I rushed you and I was too impatient to wait any longer. I should have waited. It was something neither one of us was ready for"
There was such genuineness and honesty in his words. I struggled trying to find a reply, breathlessly I whispered, "Sometimes I do too." Gathering my courage, I went on. "You weren't alone, I wanted you just as badly." There was an energy between us, burning and consuming as the sun itself. When we were together, its rays would bring me a joy I had never felt. In ecstasy I would bask in them, hoping they would never end. I always knew they eventually would, over and over I would take the risk and suffer the heartache, waiting for time to pass and soon to return again.
"Oh, I doubt that." He said a devilish grin splayed across his face. For a moment we revisited that first night, first whispers, first kisses, and first love. The truth was, I had wanted him then and I wanted him just as badly now, but the price was much more than I was willing to pay. I longed to hear his feverish whispers. My body longed for his gentle touch and unyielding caresses. My mouth for his lips our tongues dancing a primitive dance. I longed for his hardness and to be under his command. But, I knew what would follow, a soon that would return way too late.
The bright afternoon sunlight reflected off the small band on my finger, gently reminding me of my reality, a promise made, a soon abandoned. "How is he doing?" he asked staring down at my finger. We were both drawn back from our past and thrown into the present. "Its still hard to believe you are a newlywed" he whispered.
I had found a refuge from soon, in someone who offered me a future that he never could. I loved this man, but not with the same fevered, consuming passion that I had felt for him. My love for my husband was softer and gentler, not like the waves of the pounding sea in which I had almost drown. "Yeah, it's going pretty good." I replied, smiling as I thought of him.
"That's something I could never do, get married again." He went on, "It seems that I meet women that are too clingy or use the "L" word way too soon." I appraised his words, maybe reading too much into them. He hadn't changed that much after all. Chewing my straw lost in thought, I wondered which category I had fallen into, clingy or if I had been charged with misuse of the "L" word, or maybe both.
"Hmmm," I replied not knowing what else to say. I could empathize with the women. He was a blessing and a curse, a pleasant dream and an unyielding nightmare. I waited in silence for him to continue.
"I guess," he said with a sigh, "I'm not relationship material. I really feel that I am better off alone." I felt an anger welling up inside of me. How many times had I heard the same statement? How many other women had heard the same word I had heard, "Soon." I shrugged it off, struggling for words to respond.
He glanced at his watch, "Oh, its getting late." I knew there was much more that he wanted to say and that we could have talked on all night, but he was right. It was getting late and it was too late. " I just wanted to see you again, to make sure you were happy," he said as he arose from the table. Taking my hand he pulled me up, drawing me close. I could smell his masculine scent. I inhaled of it deeply. Instinct was raging within me like a caged beast. He wrapped his arms around me squeezing me gently. His breath tickling the hairs on the back of my neck, teasing them to alertness. "I know I didn't treat you right," he whispered into my ear, "For that I am truly sorry." He rocked me back and forth; I melted into his arms reeling in the sensation. " It just wasn't the right time for us. Sometimes, I wish it had been" he went on to say.
My tears fell like rain. He had said the words I had needed to hear for so long. "I'm sorry." I replied back through the sobs of resolution, perhaps giving him the one thing no one had ever given, absolution, "I forgive you." He lifted my face gently wiping away my tears. Our lips brushed, not in a kiss of passion, but in a kiss of open and honest love. One last hug that seemed to last a life time and said everything else we could not say and he was gone. I knew the road he traveled, he could find his own way to his house. I wondered if he would ever truly find his way home. Pulling out of the parking lot, I pointed the car in the opposite direction, home. I mussed about if our paths would ever cross again. Someday, I hoped they would.
I didn't regret the past. I had no regrets about what had happened between us. I had no regrets for the decision that I had made to leave. I had no regrets about marrying. I had needed to love someone and needed to be loved. I needed a future which was something soon could never offer. The only regret that I had was that "soon" arrived far too late.