Y is for YoubyMany Feathers©
You will probably never know how much I truly loved you. And though I told you often that I did, the words even then had no meaning. Not that I didn't mean what I said, I did. But you never heard them with your heart.
But long before I said that, we were friends.
I remember the nervousness, the awkwardness when we first spoke, our lifestyles so different, so opposite. Curiosity driving me to question you, surprised when you answered, honestly and without reservation. And so it was we became friends.
And as friends, we laughed, we even cried and shared the fears that each of us had, even though they were different. But we understood and became something more for one another. Something neither of us understood then, that came later, much, much later.
As we grew closer, those initial walls of protection we had both surrounded ourselves with, came down. We allowed one another to feel, see and begin to understand the reasoning behind them, the secrets and pain that caused them to be in the first place. You shared with me an aspect of your life I could never have guessed at, amazed at your resiliency to have persevered, to overcome the horror of what you had gone through. This...this aspect of 'you' that few knew, few if any would ever know. This, you shared with me.
And even then I began to sense that I could love you, though the words were not yet spoken. Nor in truth did I ever intend to do so. For the impossibility of there ever being an 'us' was too obvious. Too many differences, obstacles, society in general, made the likelihood of anything becoming more than it was, simply too great.
So when those feelings came, I was unprepared for them, as later so would you be.
Who knew that first time we came together that it would become more than the simple lark, the simple curiosity we both thought it to be? Once again I was amazed at your boldness. Not that you were willing, but that you would. You...had no reason to truly trust me. Your past, your pain and your sorrows should have prevented that. But they didn't. And just in that, you opened a part of yourself to me I was unprepared to receive, just as you were when you felt as I did, that first night we spent in each other's arms. What had begun as a frolic, an experiment, an adventure perhaps, turned into more, so much more, and we knew it even as it occurred.
Admittedly, I was worried about hurting you, not so much physically, but emotionally. I was willing, and prepared to take whatever amount of time was needed to ensure that neither occurred. And as you know and would remember, that included stopping no matter at what point we were or had reached.
Something I would later prove to you there on the mountain.
You...amazed me by your acceptance, even more by your willingness to remain vulnerable. It would have been so easy for me, for anyone to take advantage of that, to use it, abuse it chalking one more up on the headboard. But that was never my intent, and you gave yourself to me, only because you knew that to be the truth.
Even now I can look back on that night and remember my nervousness. Yes, I was nervous even as I know to some extent that you were. In many ways, you were "Just like a virgin" again. And I was very well aware of that, even more so because we were both heading into uncharted waters here. I remember wondering how I might be compared, like the comparison of apples to oranges in many ways. Would you be able to feel and experience the pleasure and joy of being with me as opposed to a woman? Would I fail in that, and thus disappoint you as well as myself? The risk we both took was a big one. Our friendship was at stake, though neither of us really realized that then, though perhaps we should have. For though we had grown close, after this we became closer still. And in doing that, those feelings and emotions I had not as yet acknowledged grew ever closer to the surface.
When I first kissed your breast, I could not help but wonder if you would find pleasure in that, or mere curiosity in comparing the differences, or at best, similarities. I could only trust in myself, knowing who I was inside and hope that you would find and discover that for yourself. I could not lead you to that place, you had to arrive there on your own. And you did.
When we eventually became as one, when I felt myself surrounded by you, felt the heat and moisture of your welcomed greeting, I felt to some extent relief. But when I began to stroke into you, softly and without urgency, for no other reason that to share a bonding of souls, I felt you succumb and welcome the newness of it beyond either of our wildest expectations. Hearing your soft moans, the feel of your hands upon my back, fingers no longer caressing, but imprisoning the flesh beneath your nails, I knew, as you knew we'd discovered more. And in that joining, we discovered more than just the simple pleasuring we both felt, but the acceptance of feeling towards one another that became even deeper, more profound than either one of us could have ever anticipated.
In time those feelings that I'd considered, but not yet accepted, finally surfaced. And as the saying goes, "Timing is everything," couldn't have been truer, except in this case, the timing was wrong.
Ironically, it wasn't even saying the words that told you how I felt. You already knew. You knew it in the way I looked at you. You knew it in the way we touched, the way we laughed, the way we cried together. But it was in hearing them that made it real. And in that, you were not prepared to accept or acknowledge that truth. Even though you felt it, and later, much, much later, confessing it as well.
It is the only time I have ever truly regretted telling anyone that I loved them. Even now, looking back, I wish that I hadn't. Perhaps it was enough your knowing without it being spoken, confirmed. Because that, is what drove you away.
And then the games began. The chase, your running. My giving up, your returning. Back and forth we went until we'd emotionally drained one another, not to mention nearly destroying whatever friendship remained. And yet...it did remain. Somehow it survived.
And somehow, we found ourselves and came together again...for a time. And I told you then, as there was no point in saying or pretending otherwise, that if I did nothing else, I would teach you how to love, how to feel love, and more importantly, how to accept love. Even if it was the last thing I, or we, ever did.
Even then it was difficult for you, though you finally came to terms with your own feelings towards me. Finally. But in doing so, you once again formed the walls that had once seemingly protected you, shielded you from the hurts and pains of your past. You had by now, also found the comfort and security of another, and though that pained me, it was accepted. It was another lesson in loving you, showing you that sometimes loving someone includes sacrifice. Sacrifice that not everyone is usually willing to give, or to make. But you needed to know, you could and were still loved, regardless of the pain being caused.
As we both know, as everyone else should know, love isn't always feeling happy or excited, elated or that encompassing sense of peace and joy we feel and share within our hearts. Sometimes it is agonizingly painful to truly love someone. It is that willingness to have our hearts torn from us, to watch as they are shredded and then handed back, only to painstakingly put them back together again, handing them right back not knowing if they will be accepted, or shredded once again. But yet, we do it. We take that risk, because that risk is love. And without it, we would not know how the other side of love feels, even though it be painful to experience.
Have I taught you how to love? How to feel love and accept it? I hope so. I think you do know now. I think you will know when love finds you again. I think next time, you will give of yourself in the same way I gave myself to you. I do hope, you will not have to experience the painful side of love, for truly it is that. But at least perhaps, you will be stronger, better prepared to face it if and when you ever do.
Do I have regrets? Only in that I actually spoke the words to you. Had I not...perhaps we would not be where we are now. But then too, you would not know as I now believe you do, what it truly does feel like to love someone. At least in that, you are now aware, and will know when it finds you again.
And for me? What do I come away with after all this? Well for one, I come away with the memories, but more importantly, I come away with the knowledge and the certainty, that for a time, I got to know the joy of loving...you.