...but it wasn't. I wanted that pounding in my chest, lump in my throat, stumble to find the right words, butterflies in my stomach, sweaty palms, every song reminds me of her, can't wait to see her again kind of love. All those prepubescent feelings that overcome you in junior high school with your first heart throb (or second or third for that matter!) I'm 57 and still fondly remember stealing my first kiss in kindergarten, the first song I wrote and sang to a high school crush behind the cafeteria stage. Crushed both times and it wouldn’t be my last. But, I still believe that my best years are ahead of me and that love will find me again.
I Thought it was Love...but it wasn't. But it sure felt like it. I was in that dangerous post divorce adjustment period and it snuck up on me a little over a year ago. Unplanned, unexpected, unexplained, uncontrollable, unbearable, and utterly wonderful except for one thing. The romance. The romance was not returned but the love was. It was 7 months filled with acts and deeds that could not be mistaken for anything but love but I never spoke the words because I feared what the response would be. Then the week after Christmas and before New Years the chance presented itself to say those three words.
I’m not sure she wanted to hear them but I wanted to say them. I needed to say them. Words that might change the dynamics of our friendship forever. Although I had been open, honest and transparent not saying these words was like a lie of omission. It’s still a lie. Until “I love you” fell from my lips to her ears I would never be truly authentic and I needed this. I needed this no so much “for love” but for me.
“…I love you.”
She listened patiently not only with her ears but also with her eyes until I spoke my peace. Her response didn’t come to me as a total surprise. It wasn’t the answer I wanted, not the answer I had hoped for and this man’s heart was disappointed but not destroyed. Her tone was soft, gentle, caring, and understanding because she had stood where I was then. Her words were tender, kind, uplifting, and full of hope for the future. How could I not love such a sweet, sweet spirit like that? I knew there would be thoughts that had crossed my mind that I would forget to share so before I drove off into the darkness I handed her a CD.
“Listen...Just Listen,” I said and now I share those words, still only for her because I know there are others who have felt the same way. And even more who will.
I Thought it was Love...but it wasn’t. It was more. More than I ever knew love could be and will be again.