Almost a decade ago. Sherwood Park, AB.
If it were a dream, I prayed that I didn't deserve to wake up.
But it was a huge part of my reality. The most beautiful reality anyone could ever wish for. And once in a while, I would pinch myself and ask, "Do I truly deserve this?" Even up to this day, I would snap into it and relive some moments in my mind. Regardless of how it ended. I was, still am, and will be forever grateful that the heavens sent her into my life.
The human adage of 'No one is perfect.' But I can tell you, her heart was perfect. It was perfect enough for me. It was more than perfect that I thought an angel loved me genuinely and unconditionally.
She was 7 years my senior. She was my angel. She called me 'heart'.
Months after we had made our relationship official, we moved into a townhouse, along with three of her friends. And these friends had witnessed all the love magic that she would enchant me with.
Growing up, I had never had a teddy bear at all. My grandparents and my parents would lavish me with books instead. Upon this knowledge, my angel took it into her heart. She got me a huge cabinet, and she filled it up with teddy bears. On our first Valentine's Day, she was so excited to give me one that had the most resplendent fur fabric.
We had a spacious closet, and she filled up my corner with clothes and garments that I would never, in this lifetime, even pick up for myself.
No matter how tired she was from work, she would still be thrilled to cook for us. And she would feel inadequate or embarrassed if one of our roommates would prepare dinner for me. I am vegetarian, so she was meticulous about my food intake. She always wanted to make sure it was not contaminated with meat. Grocery shopping meant three hours of decision making, as she would read every label she would come across. She was conscious about my health as if I was a kid.
Before she would come home from work, she would call me just to ask if I needed anything. Even if I would have to say 'no', she would still swoop in with goodies. Just for me. From fruits to yogurt - or even an electric guitar that I was lusting after.
She would prefer to do all the domestic chores herself. While I would be down in the basement, in my music studio, to keep myself busy.
If times would pound me into writing, she would be gracious enough to offer me coffee or a snack. And she would then give me all the time and space that I needed.
She would feel guilty if she had to hang out with a friend on her day off that she wouldn't leave without making love to me first. And in about two hours later, she would be back home. Oh, and with surprise goodies for me, of course. An impulse that she couldn't resist, she would say.
Yet this whole time, I was going through the deepest depression of my life. I was still grieving over two of my dearest loved ones' deaths. My grandmother passed away just two weeks after my Dad's funeral. And these insurmountable heartaches had been going on for years. The overwhelming anguish would send me to sudden blackouts and frightening breakdowns. Behind our closed door.
She would never leave my side despite it all. I could hear her worrisome and loving voice as she would hold me in her arms. So tightly. So patiently. She would wipe off my tears and caress my hair. I was like a frail and vulnerable child who needed a miracle to stay alive.
She endured the plight. I was difficult, stubborn, and unkind at times. But she stayed calm, true, and pure. She accompanied me to see a therapist, yet her words and nurturing nature would make me feel better instead.
It went on for almost four years.
Until one Christmas morning, her uncle turned up unannounced. The family. With a traditional name.
I found out the motive behind the visit. I broke my heart. I had to leave.
To save her.
Her words: Do not make me feel guilty. This is your choice. Did you ever love me? Do you ever love me?
Yes, I did. But the heartfelt answer could not be uttered out loud. Neither could it be justified by my words and actions during the lowest cycle of my mental and emotional strides.
The next day, I looked for my own apartment. I found one instantly. And she even tagged along with me to see the place for herself.
Soon after, I had a new home. Without her. Yet she would still come home to me. She would still make sure I had everything I needed, if I was eating right, or if I had even done my laundry.
And another tormenting day hit me. I found out that a stranger, a man, picked her up from work.
When she walked through the door that night, I begged for my keys back. Without a word, she handed them to me. Then she muttered, "You don't even know the whole story yet. But it doesn't matter. 'Cause I don't think you even loved me to begin with."
And she made her way. Into the night. Out of my sight.
Yet still. Always and forever. Into my heart.
Seven years have flown by since.
And I have never fallen in love again.
If it were a dream, I pray to stay in it.
I do. I will always do.
And this prayer always keeps me in the most comforting silence.
Though it is, and will continue to be -
The dreamland that I once lived in.
The kindest and purest love.
That I would wish for.
Again and again.
- Light -