To my lover,
I want to thank you for giving me the greatest gift of all: the opportunity to love and be loved.
It is better to have loved and lost than to never love at all – you made me feel alive!
Forget the fact that you lied to me for 3 years straight, or that what we had was based on lies, I know the love we felt was real – even though it lacked a solid foundation to turn into a strong sturdy structure.
A house built on sand will only sink into the earth.
In the story of the 3 little pigs, the first pig built his house of straw and the big bad wolf blew it down.
The second little pig built his house of sticks and still the wolf blew it down.
The third little pig built his house of bricks and the strong sturdy structure could stand up to the big bad wolf.
He couldn’t huff and puff and blow the brick house down because there was a strong structure beneath the frame – a sturdy foundation.
Regardless of the reality of the situation, I hadn’t been in love in years until I met you. I couldn’t re-open my heart and remove the scar-tissue until I found you.
I was engaged to a wonderful girl before I met you. Ironically my ex-fiancé kind of looks like you (another small redhead who is cute as a doll, with a little dog and a musical voice). That relationship painfully smashed up on the rocks, like the Hindenburg going up flames, or the Titanic scraping up on an iceberg and then plummeting into the ocean.
I thought I would never love again after her, but I met you. I had dated many other women after my ex but no one was able to capture my heart and mind like you.
I kept a photo album of you, pictures of you, pictures of us, something I hadn’t done since my previous long term relationship. I went out on dates with women, but couldn’t care to keep even a single photograph of them, they just didn’t matter.
It took me several years to find you and when I did, you were like an oasis in a hot and dry desert.
I need to thank you for opening up my broken and bleeding heart again, letting me feel again. Letting me utter the words “I love you” again.
I don’t throw those words around. “I love you” are weapons of mass destruction or mass creation. You can either create life with the words “I love you” or you can ruin lives and break hearts with the words “I love you.” You must be careful with “I love you”, it’s more dangerous than a loaded pistol…
I didn’t know until you told me, but apparently when we slept together, cuddling in the dark, I would hold you tight and whisper while asleep “I love you, I love you, I love you” in your ear while I enveloped your tiny body. I didn’t know this, it wasn’t a conscious decision, but I loved you with every fibre of my being.
You were the person I wanted to send flowers to because I wanted to show you how much you meant to me, not obligatory flowers for valentines or for saying “I’m sorry”, but instead “just because.”
I sent you gifts in the mail because there was no other way to express my love from over 1700 miles away.
Calling you every day was a pleasure, I would probably still call you everyday if you would answer because I just love talking to you. To me it was so easy and refreshing to hear your voice each day.
Texting you was like Christmas everyday with little gifts to open every few hours on my phone and little love notes to send back and forth through the ether.
It was real.
The way you cried and clung to me every time we had to say goodbye, your world would melt down – so would mine. You never wanted to let me go. We were attached, we had a strong connection through a thin thread from my heart to yours. This thin thread didn’t obey the laws of time or distance and I could feel you from 1700 miles away.
Even after being apart for months or years, I could still feel you in my dreams, your discomfort was my discomfort and your joy was my joy.
I loved the way you would lie on me and our hearts could beat together – bare skin on skin.
Or the way you would perch your feet on my thighs to warm your feet and cool my skin.
The time we had together was brief and always rushed in secret weekend romances, but it was some of the happiest time I have enjoyed on this earth.
What did we do together? Nothing in particular, but we lived.
We enjoyed all the whitespace booked in the calendar and filled it with saying “I love you”, little games, dancing, singing, nonsense little pranks and just being together.
We are human be-ings, not human do-ings.
Every day in my business-life I would do, do, do.
You let me be, be, be.
It was refreshing. I could relax into your feminine essence, drown in your thick red hair and become intoxicated by the scent.
Your smell was drugs for me, it released all sorts of chemicals in my brain and had a dreamlike effect on me. When we broke up I had to get rid of all the gifts you gave me, even those little red lacy panties you doused in your perfume because the smell was driving me insane each night while I lay in bed. The wind would blow through my window and carry your scent from your hidden panties into my bed torturing me at night. I threw out the cursed panties to get my sanity back and to get my mind back from your intoxicating scent.
I know it didn’t work.
I know you lied to me for 3 years about Drake, your English-professor-boyfriend with the same July birthday as me, the same 1986 birthday as me, the same English degree, and in many ways the same person. You had a type, and I had a type.
You were my type, the small pale redhead who talked like a child and had a little dog that you carried like a baby.
I was your type, the older more established authority figure in your life, eloquent with words, mysterious, somewhat tortured and an old soul.
We played the roles we wanted to play. Like a perfectly scripted screenplay.
Even though it didn’t work, I’m still grateful for the experience.
Even though you lied to me from the beginning, I have no regrets and wouldn’t take it back.
Even though you wasted 3 years of my life and I could have found the real woman for me, I’m still glad I had the experience with you. The love was real, the chemistry was real while it lasted.
I know how strongly you felt about me, how you wanted to run away and become a fugitive with me – running from your past life.
I knew how strongly I felt about you, wanting to fly down to Reno and secretly kidnap you to take you back to my lair in Canada.
In another life you would have came with me.
In another life it would have worked.
In another life you would have been single and available to try us out and see if we could have been for real.
I need to thank you for how you made me feel.
You made me feel like a man and you made me feel loved as a man.
You made me feel a way that I had not felt in a very long time.
You made me want to take risks for you, I think about it now, but it’s almost a miracle you didn’t get pregnant with my child (it could have happened).
You made me want to marry you, have children and grow old with you.
I didn’t get any of those benefits, but to feel that way, to feel the desire of love is a gift unto itself.
You will probably never read these words, but I know you will feel my emotions as I type them to you across the ether. We are forever connected through a thin thread from my heart to your heart.
This thread will never go away, it will only fade over time, as love never really goes away.
It only fades into a half-life, like toxic waste or nuclear uranium:
Half as potent over time, then half of that, then half of that.
Eventually the thin thread of love, of connection, will be so faint that we will barely notice it.
But it never goes away…
After we stopped speaking for the first time, I sent you a picture of my black leather antique love seat that we immediately had sex on after we were alone in Winnipeg. Sex on the love seat smashed up the wall behind it leaving violent marks on my wall, the caption on the picture I sent you was “You left a mark on my wall…”
You replied “We left a mark on each other…”
I fantasize about you coming back to me in 2 or 3 years when you have figured your life out.
Coming back “as an equal”, whatever that means… There is no equal in life. Only complimentary opposites, but perhaps you come back as something you believe to be “equal”.
Your mother called me on the last day we spoke, she threatened me, flattered me, and bargained with me to refrain from telling you boyfriend Drake or your Sister the truth about your double life.
She said you would come back to me in 3 years, the way your mother came back to her original husband Richard who she met when she was 18 years old and he was 24 years her senior – her best friend’s dad! I looked up Richard on google, I know he is dead but he would be 91 now or something like that and I think your mother is 67. She must have been quite the woman to seduce him and have 6 kids with two different men and still stay married through all of that…
A small part of my heart wanted you to come back to me, like your mother said you would, to reconcile and rekindle what we once had.
The other part wanted to never speak to you again and have nothing to do with you.
In the end, after hanging up the phone with your mother, I forgave you. I said I wouldn’t tell Drake. I wouldn’t tell your sister, telling the truth is up to you. You need to own your life, it’s not really my business. I don’t know Drake and I don’t know your sister.
I loved you, I love you, I give to you and a still give to you. Even though I am gone to you, a ghost and a phantom, I will still give to you.
Will you come back to me in 3 years? If you do, I don’t know what to say.
Truthfully it is one of my biggest fears: What to say to you when you come back to me after realizing the potential life you lost.
I say this without ego: I would have been a great man for you.
I would married you and been faithful to you.
I would have never hit you or disrespected you.
I would have provided for you and our future children, I would have made a great husband.
But you at 22 didn’t realize how good all of that would have been. You were young and thought you would live forever.
You thought you would be young and beautiful forever.
I remember you telling me about your sister and her problems with finding a good man. Your sister is 30 and she is not her youngest anymore. Her beauty is fading, her life-force is fading, her ability to have children is fading and if she wants a family she must act now.
Your sister would slap your face if she knew what you were throwing away.
But it’s not about me, it’s about you and what you choose in your life.
I hold no grudges, I still love you and thank you for the opportunity to love you.
You made me feel loved for a time, something that I hadn’t felt in a very long time and you were someone for me to pour myself into as much as I could from 1700 miles away.
My mind still wonders sometimes “what if?”
“What if?” we had tried…
“What if?” we worked out…
But I know that what I think about is only fantasy because you lied to me for 3 years and had a secret long term boyfriend the whole time.
If you come back to me 3 years from now, I don’t know what to say.
Part of me, would love to forgive you, and try for real – but that part of me is weak. I have already felt the sting of the scorpion and your betrayal, you have betrayed me once, so it is in your nature to betray again.
The other part of me wants nothing to do with you, this is the part of me that is strong. I know my value and I likely won’t be available in 3 years when you are older, more “used and abused”. Maybe by then some guys will have fucked you around like you fucked me around. Maybe by then you will have experienced real abuse, maybe by then you will see what you have lost.
I fear the day of you calling me to “try again”.
I fear the day of you asking me for forgiveness and showing up on my doorstep.
I don’t want to reject you, I have forgiven you and I love you. I appreciate the opportunity to love, the feelings and the rush that comes with what we had.
You are my weakness, I am your strength, such is the exchange of power in love between a man a woman.
I don’t want to tell you 3 years from now that the ship has sailed and that you missed your opportunity. I would rather take you back and love you again like I loved you before. But you compromised your character and your integrity with me while you were committed to your boyfriend Drake… and I don’t know how to reconcile that.
Can you blame it on being young?
Can you blame it on being a woman?
Can you blame it on flexible morals?
Perhaps, but I don’t really buy it.
The girl or the woman who is right for me has a word that is gold and a fixed standard of value -not a flexible standard of value.
You have debased your value and to reconcile that may be impossible, I won’t know until the day comes when you call me on the phone and say:
Or maybe you will just show up on my doorstep, a little older, with darkness in the lines of your older face from the hurt and heartbreak that you experienced with other men.
Maybe I open the door and embrace you in my arms, hold you close and tell you it’s ok. Maybe I take you back like my abused daughter who ran away from home and got handled by a bunch of strange men, “come back in dear” I would say while I get you a hot meal.
Or maybe I just look at you in my doorway and you look at me. Both of our faces older, the lines in our faces deeper and darker from the hurt; from the pain; from the let-down of life. Maybe we just stare at each other and then I close the door on you forever, never letting you back in.
Maybe you show up at my door and my virtuous wife is in the other room with my newborn son, she will yell “who’s at the door?” and I say “an old friend”. You come in briefly and see the beautiful house, the beautiful wife, the beautiful baby and the life you missed out on.
What happens then?
Nonetheless, whatever the future holds, I thank you for the opportunity.
I haven’t been in love for a long time, I probably won’t be in love for a long time from now, it usually takes me several years to get over my last major lover and when I fall – I fall hard as I did for you.
You were very special to me and allowed me to love and feel love, I thank you for what you have done for me and forgive you for your trespasses.
To love and be loved is the greatest gift of all,
I love you still and always will,