a private introspection
|Has it always been here? Has it always been her? Have I hidden my own deepest emotions from myself for twenty years…ashamed or afraid to admit or face such an intense love for a woman? When did this yearning begin? Was it when I first noticed it, in the last year or so, or has it been lurking in me, waiting for the right moment to make itself known, waiting for my mind to open? I have so many questions, so many doubts. Is it because I’m dissatisfied at home? Is it because her life is crumbling, and she’s always been my rock? Did I run from her all those years ago, mistaking this love for youthful restlessness and a need to ‘do something’? I can’t say. I do know the love is there. It is intense and it consumes me. I want nothing more than to hold her and give her all the love and tenderness she can take. I want to show her all the love she has not had from her husband in way too many years. Somewhere along this malicious path her marriage has taken, I have realized the desire to make up for his shortcomings. I have never wanted to give love to anyone this much. It scares me to feel this…this…vulnerable.
I look in her eyes and I see the pain her man has caused her. I see her fear and disappointment. Her smile doesn’t always shine in her eyes anymore. It angers me. She may forgive him, but I don’t know if I can. She seems so broken and raw. Didn’t he know how fragile she was? Didn’t he know how she loved him? Saying she deserves better is only a lame excuse for self-pity on his part; that’s easier than holding her love with the grace it deserves. He’s such a selfish, reckless fool, and he’s broken my friend, her heart and her spirit. No, I don’t think I can forgive him…not for a very long time, if ever.
She was here with me recently, and I lay with her in the quiet amber mornings, a protective arm across her waist, watching her sleep. I wanted to keep the demons away, to give her some peace, if only for a short time. I watched her face, watched her brow furrow, her nose twitch, her eyelids flutter. Was the fool hurting her in her dreams, too? I ran my hand through her coarse curls, and caressed her forehead softly. She opened her pale eyes, quietly questioning, at my touch. Did she recognize what she saw in mine? I told her to relax, and go back to sleep, never stopping the movement of my hand, though I was nervous. She let her eyes drop lazily back to slumber.
I want her to know what I feel, but fear the result of telling her. I don’t know if she is ready to learn it. I don’t know if she is ready to accept it. Nothing would be worse than losing her completely. I find myself telling her a secret here and there, sending an intense note, writing perhaps too rawly, trying to tell her without telling her…silently begging her to read between the lines, willing her to understand that my touch means so much more than a friend to a friend, that I would embrace her soul if it were possible, willing her to understand what my ‘I love you’ really means…willing her to see it in my eyes, and yet afraid to hold her gaze.