Simply and Forever, YoursbyEMiamiRiverRat©
This will be the only telling of a love that truly exists and has spanned more than half of two lifetimes. In it, you will find not one word of fiction. The teller sadly understands that few ever find such a love.
He is having me recount for him two separate and interwoven stories as a third-person, as they are painful for him in the proof-reading.
It is his fervent wish that she allow him to bear that pain alone; in his hope that she may find in this some measure of understanding of the depths and breadths of his feelings in these, his last words of a love now lost.
This open letter is to his love, as his final tribute and farewell to the finest person and most wonderful, complete friend ever to have graced his life. He wishes to say "Thank you", most of all for your kindness and patience in recent years, and for all his fond memories of the years long gone by.
His enemy, Time, has cost him more than he would, of his own volition, ever have been willing to pay. But, understanding that he too has played his own part in this travesty of all that was right and proper, that should have been, leaves him greater regret than he can ever put in words.
Time has taken from him, from the world, a total and true woman; one at once real and ethereal, a mystery, dancing fairie, withering nymph, foxy vixen fleet of feet, and much, much more.
Greatest of all his regrets was that woman, whose dreams... desires...hopes... and fires deserved fruition, was denied that which should have been heaped upon her much as roses and adoration.
Time has made a shell to enclose and wall off that woman fantastique. No longer are there the wondrous desires, fine hopes or sparkling dreams once extant; nor the energy or desire to seek them. The shell protects her from such things. Only kaleidoscopic fractal dreams, wishes denied, and sucking emptiness await she who occupies the buttressed shell that now entombs.
He doesn't, he can't, he won't ever understand. A chick can peck through its shell if it tries, as it must; yet she tries not. Her only place of solace, her shell castle, has not made her forget but has numbed and blinded her to the splendid life that exists outside her self-imposed prison.
Regardless of attention or effort or affection, she reacts to distraction with anger or dismissal; or merely ignores the attempt – with neither sniff of flowered bud nor soft hand on giver's cheek.
Who sees the woman once of this world, but now inside a shell that shields, yet does not nurture?
Where is she who now appears only in ghostly glimpses...flickers, obscure shadows, and faded pastels of what once was a shimmering rainbow of sparkling magic spanning the sky? Where is now the vibrant, radiant soul?
But, stop! Time has not ONLY been that woman's worst enemy. It has been HIS as well.
Time has left but a weathered husk of what once was a strong, well-minded, romantic man who stood to every challenge and won every battle but those he fights now alone, no defiant Amazon with bared breast and archer's bow at his side, as she.
Aging hopes, fading dreams, a sharp knife and inkless pen are his only weapons now in his struggle through each day...only to face the same battle again tomorrow until he falls forever.
He cares not - as quoth Poe's raven, "Never more"; or perhaps more aptly Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce, "Today is a good day to die."
Without her, he is missing half his heart. Without her, he is only half; a crusty rind where once a young man stood, a man who now questions his battered resolve, dissolving memories, and o'er dented sword. As Samson and Delilah with his hair in her hand, he is now mortal. Somehow, he understands this must be; yet fears it not.
Time, the enemy, surrounds him. And, as Lazarus, he will there in limbo fight, if only for the eviscerated remains of his own humanity until the end of Lazarus or of Time.
Alone to himself at night, he sometimes wonders what ever happened to those two people who lived and loved so well?
He recalls of laughing motorcycle rides on sunny days and rainy nights, the miniature frog stampede in Panama, endless love in seaside shacks, whispered secrets, boxes and albums of photos... those and more once shared.
He becries there was so much more lost. Unshared when she could not be found were butterflies beyond counting, come many thousands of miles to spin in translucent clouds around him; the blinding chromium sky of mirrors that did not reflect his face; the breathtaking firefly cathedral opened only to him alone; gleaming copper mountains, talks with ancient sages in even older places like Angkor Wat; lost kisses and clasps of hand...far too many things – now all sealed in the vaults of Time. He longs to have been able to share with her such things as will never be again...not for them.
Even the fool that he is knows there will be no understanding or explanation of what happened to those two young, alive, and exceptional people; or why. He would give everything he has ever owned, or built from his own mind and gnarled hands; for her to have so much as a small piece of what she never knew, that he was unable to give her at the few times she was ready to receive.
But he can never retrieve them, nor give anything more. He must accept that any answers God could give to his questions would not change a single thing. He knows he can never go back in Time; and, going forward, that he will never be whole again, as he once was with HER.
One other thing is certain, as well.
It does not matter whether or not he was man or spirit enough to rescue the enchantress from the fortress shell that shrouds her...that he had not the strength to shatter its walls, nor sufficient reach to pull that woman forever to safety in his arms - and yield once again, to her alone, his soul. He regrets what was not to be, but cannot change what is now.
Nor does it matter whether or not she was woman enough, or merely unwilling, to drop her blackened cloak, dust off that fractured man, and heal him with what were once her soft hands and boundless heart; so he could again bask in the glow of her auraic soul full of love, his heart ablaze at the sound of her melodic voice or view of her auburn hair in fluid motion.
Only love makes a heart whole, a whole man. Only half of a heart is only half a man.
He has loved her completely, totally, for more than half of his lifetime; but Time never forgives, grants no mercy, and gives up naught. His enemy, their enemy, Time, is relentless and takes what it wants, but one thing - the truth. He asks that this epitaph be carved into his headstone – "One never forgets what mattered most of all and was lost."
The woman who once was will never fade from what is left of his heart, mind, and soul; for she is timeless. She, who was without equal or parallel, will live always within everything that is him.
Time has cost the woman and the man, and both together, more than they ever have had or will ever have. They didn't lose once, but countless times over what will soon be five decades. Not long ago, they held each other and spoke the last softly murmured words either will likely hear in this lifetime.
Not she, nor even Time, his cruelest enemy, can change or challenge what is immutable. In this, Time is as damned as he, in that they are both tied between the timeless ages and endless infinity, and subject only to the will of the gods.
But he knows all that love can be; and can only hope the woman, where ever she is, will one day find some succor and happiness. May Time be less cruel to her than it has and will be to him.
He sees himself and his fate with unjaundiced eyes - damns himself for whatever miserable part he has played in the imprisonment a beautiful soul. He only prays that she may one day awaken and remember the soon-quiet heart of a man who once touched hers. He finishes...
"My love, tear down your hollow castle and LIVE. Know there is one whose love and affection for you will never fade, never die. Time may win many battles; but not the war that is, and ever shall be, my love for you. Farewell, my darling."
Heart and soul, I faithfully remain
Simply and Forever, Yours