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My Treasured Secret

I was up until 2 a.m. downloading music from the 80's and reliving precious, precious, precious memories. Why is life the way it is?
My heart yearn for yesteryears, for those carefree years when I was seriously and deeply in love with...When I thought I knew everything, and together with...thought we could rule the world. The year was 1982.


Our lives took different paths, and in 1988 I left my first love forever, and moved to my country where I started dating my now husband of 21 years.
December 14, 1988 was a sad day for me because that was the day I left California forever, also leaving behind my life.

On the day of my departure, I spent the entire day with him at his mom's house. He seemed very happy to see me, and was all smiles with me. I thought to myself, 'Okay, he's okay with me leaving.' He held my hand, took me to his mom's bedroom, closed the door, and sat me on the bed. He sat next to me while still holding my hand. He was visibly nervous, and no longer smiling for his apparent happiness and gaeity had been all a front.

We talked. He told me that he couldn't believe that after so many years, our dreams of being together forever didn't come true, but that he knew he was at fault for not being more responsible in our relationship. We talked. He hesitated a bit before telling me that there was a girl that liked him, and that he was going to check her out. Strangely enough, I felt no jealousy. We talked. I asked him if he liked her, and he said yes, so I told him to pray on it, and wished him the best. We talked.


Little did I know that his heart was shattered, that his pain was almost unbearable, and that his love for me was deep and intense. Little did I know that four months after leaving me he would ask this girl to marry him just to forget me. Little did I know that my emotional turmoil was going to be almost unbearable.


I was love sick for a long, long, time. Although he was engaged to be married, and I was dating (...), we would write letters to each other, and talk on the phone. We were so into each other that we had made plans to get back together again. He wanted to send for me, and I desperately wanted to be with him. His wedding as for March 1990, but I was supposedly going back in December 1989, I mean Jan. 1990. December '89 was when (...) and I got engaged. What a hot mess! Our plans of getting back together again never materialized, mainly because of money issues.

Needless to say he married this girl 15 months after I moved back to my country. I was a living corpse. We were engaged in 1985, but I broke everything off mainly because of his irresponsibilites. I was functioning normally, going to college and all, but I was emotionally dead. Up until the day of his wedding I still had hopes that our merciful God would allow us a second chance at being together.


Fast forward. In 1995 he contacted me by phone. He asked my sister for my number and she gave it to him thinking he wouldn't call. I answered the phone, and was ecstatic beyond words seeing that he took the time to call. My husband wasn't home when I received the call. We talked, but the conversation started shifting gears.


Although I don't remember all the details of that conversation I remember telling him that I was destroyed when he got married. He told me that he cried when he saw my wedding video (I had sent a copy to his mom). We talked about us, and what could've been but was never meant to be. After all the "I love yous", "I will always love yous", and "you'll always be in my heart," I asked him why did he marry that girl. His answer was unclear to me. 'I thought. I just thought,' and left it at that.


I can only guess what he wanted to say, but out of respect for his wife and my husband didn't say anything. 'I thought I was in love with her.' or 'I thougth I wasn't in love with you anymore.'


Fast forward; In 1997 I visited California with my husband and oldest daughter. Eight years after that conversation we had in his mother's bedroom, and he taking me to the airport, we saw each other. He was nervous. I was happy. At one point I sought him out while he was alone, and asked him if he was going to give me a hug. We hugged and he was overcome with emotions. He stumbled over his own words as he told me that I was beautiful, and that I had a very beautiful daughter. That was the only time I saw him while I visited California.


Fast forward. We spoke once or twice on the phone in 2000, and we even dared write each other. I still have the only letter I received from him. Writing to him was a mistake I regret making, not because we did anything wrong, but because his sisters and mom were in an uproar over it. He and his wife had broken up years before, but they were upset that we had any kind of contact at all. During one of those conversations he told me that I had sent him to the Moon and back when we hugged in '97, which surprised me because what little physical beauty I might've had when I was a teenager was gone by the time we saw each other again.


Fast forward. We saw each other by chance when I visited California with my mom and sister. He was speechless when he came to the car to say hello to my mom, and saw me behind the wheel. Our eyes locked, and I was just as surprised as he was. He said my name, and after composing himself a bit asked me how I was. He noticed that my hair was long, and made mention of it.


He was back with his wife. He introduced her to my mom, but not to me. That was an awkward moment. When his wife left, he told me that he wanted his sister to call him at home so he could stop by and talk to me. I never did tell her. I was too nervous; too afraid that I would stir up trouble between him and his wife.


As I was putting gas in the car, I was telling his sister, who happens to be my best friend, that he looked really good. I was so overcome with emotions that I started crying really hard. She asked me why I was crying, but I didn't know why. She asked me if I still loved him, and I told her that I would always love him, and that there's a place in my heart especially for him. I believe that was in 2004.


I haven't seen him in 8 years, but I always think of him, to the point that I'm writing about him. He's my treasured secret.
I wonder if he thinks of me as often as I think about him. Our love was so young, so pure and very real. I was 15 and he had just turned 17, and our relationship lasted almost 6 years. I find it hard to believe that he thinks about me and feels what I feel.


I have another confession to make. Why did I get married? I got married because he got married, and there was no reason for me to wait anymore. It was difficult for me to deal with the reality that everything we shared, everything we planned, everything we did meant nothing to him (or so I thought), as he waited for his bride to be at the altar. He married her, but in one of our phone conversations he confessed that if I would've shown up before the wedding or at the wedding he would've felt sorry for her. He didn't say anymore, but I knew what he meant.


Is he happy with his wife who's about 7 years older than him? Would he be happy to see me? Would he want to talk to me? Would he dare tell me that he still loves me? Would I?


I feel that our relationship ended, but never had any closure. I have three beautiful children, and a gorgeous granddaughter. He has two children of his own whom I've never met. I would love to see him, or at least to talk to him on the phone, but would it be wise? What would we talk about?
Thirty years ago I was dating him, getting to know him, acting like a typical teenager of that time, listening to Air Supply, and all the beautiful love songs of my generation. Many things have changed. I changed.


I took out a picture of me when I was 17, and tried to see what this young man saw in me. He thought I was gorgeous. He loved everything about me, especially my eyes; he said I had sad eyes. I guess I was a bit pretty, but never beautiful or gorgeous, but to him I was, and that's what mattered to me.
He always called me babe, and I called him sweetheart.

Downey82 Downey82 41-45, F Aug 14, 2012

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