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The Notebook: My Story

I remember when the movie first came out, an instant hit, but much too sentimental for me I thought. Not finding anything else worthy of a couple hours of my time, I ended up watching The Notebook this weekend.  By the end of it, I realised that I knew the story well.   It had hit a few too many chords for me to ignore.

The story is familiar enough.  A boy from the other side of the world falls deeply in love with an attractive girl of a fine family.  Circumstances intervene and they separate.  In the end true love wins and after many years apart they reunite and share a wonderful life together.  There is an interesting contrast when the girls mother drives her to a quarry to show her from afar the rough cut man she had almost married.  The mother apparently did a good job of burying her heart and married someone of better means.  It is this part of the story that I know of, the battle of head and heart.  It is my own story. 

After two years of constantly being with her, her family moved far away.  With naive dreams of somehow seeing each other again we said goodbye. Too quickly, the replies to my letters thinned.   We spoke on the phone, she said she was sorry.  I tried to forget.  Unlike the boy in the movie who fought and schemed for what he knew was his only true love, I was practical.  I had to be strong, I would get over it. 

Years later through a friend of a friend I learnt that she had married.  I eventually did the same, worked hard, raised children did well in my career.  One thing however has remained beyond my reach, erasing those memories, the laugh, the eyes, the sun on her hair the way she made me feel.  I remember the night we spent on a sandy cay, spring break at the beach resort.  I remember the smell of the sea air, the feeling of being young and in love with a beautiful girl.  Please understand that I fight this, I have been married for many years and I fight these memories. They leave me feeling hopeless.  Unfortunately, this is where I realise that no matter how clearly I understand the futility of thinking of her, blocking these memories is like trying to plug a leak in a dam.

I am much older now and understand that life does not favour the romantic. Better to be the heartless casanova who never falls in love.  So, this is a futile gesture against life, but I want to say - I remember you, even if your memories of me have long since faded.  As pointless as remembering is, I have been incapable of forgetting.  

She remains married, happily I am sure and by the power of the internet I know that she now lives in a small village in the north of England.  Of course I dont try to communicate, how silly  that would be.  Though if there is anything like magic in this world, I hope that somehow maybe when she feels sad as we all do at times, she will sense a warm glow and remember the shy boy who loved her.
andsail andsail 51-55, M Mar 6, 2012

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