I Saw the Love of My Life with the Love of His Life, and it Changed My Life…For the Better
Always a gentleman, he didn’t leave me broken, just blue. Never having experienced a teen romanticist period, he was the only man that my heart has yet to love. A slow burn of a union, trading glances, and quiet chatter, over time, evolved into what became my heart’s sole fixture. Smitten doesn’t cover it. Engrossed doesn't tell half the story. Transformative is what it was…speaking more of my love for him than his for me.
He was kind. He was good. He was gentlemanly, but he wasn’t all in it; it was like he knew that he couldn’t stay. And because a whole woman could never settle for being loved in partial, we eventually had to part. But little did I know, his parting was the beginning of a year's long stint in a self-imposed emotional holding cell. The emotional imprisonment of what if’s, maybe’s, and one day’s filled my consciousness, and the hope for a full circle moment of reuniting in sacred love lay quietly beneath the surface of my heart’s greatest desires.
There had been others in his life after we parted. The first girl had my eyes, I wondered if she matched my vision. The second girl had my hue; I wondered whether the chocolate that she served him was bitter or sweet. The third girl had my style, but was she like me in demeanor? The collective of women that I saw bits and pieces of myself in provided me with a false hope that maybe one day, he’d trade in his bits and pieces for the whole of it.
Though he made his rounds during my imprisonment, I received no visitors. Wanting to keep his space vacant if he should return, I discouraged others from stopping by. Plagued with a case of Stockholm Syndrome—I convinced myself that my greatest desire was the one thing that eluded me: HIM. And this was my reality for years, until one day, I saw him. With HER.
They were together in the park, and I, alone. Always a lady, I approached the duo to make proper introductions—for playing coy to avoid him or anyone has never been my style. I surveyed her from head to toe for a closer view. From the tightly knit coils of her indigo dyed 4C twist out, to the stainless steel bar of her septum piercing, down to the matte black lacquer of her exposed toenails, I took her in. And for the first time since he began dating after our breakup, I didn’t see myself in his girlfriend. And just like that, I was free.
They looked alike. Like a pair. Like a unit. Her bristle to his wooliness. Her eclectic flair to his eccentric ways. She, a kaleidoscope to his mosaic of color. Together, they're a proper pair. Visually inserting myself by his side, I understood that the contrast would have been too great. In that moment of startling clarity, all dormant hopes for a full circle moment were laid to rest indefinitely as I experienced a full circle moment of a different kind.
It was now clear to me that as long as I continued to see myself in his choice for a partner, I would hold on to hope for a place in his life, a place that I never really had. That’s why it didn’t work with the others. That’s why it couldn’t work with me. With no hidden malice, I walked away from the couple with a slight smirk on my face—grateful to Time for finally including me in the knowledge of what it had told him years prior: that we could never be.
Sometimes opposites attract, and sometimes they distract. He was never my heart’s greatest desire, just a vehicle to an experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Finally released from that emotional holding cell, I relished in the high of freedom—grateful all the while to him for rousing within me worlds previously unexplored, and grateful to her for being the physical embodiment of a world that I didn’t have a place in.