A brief story about the power of love. To be included in a future novel.
What do you see on the other side of a door when you look through a peephole?
This question was asked of me one day by a close friend of mine, one that I had known for quite a while. Because of the length and intimacy of our friendship they knew everything that I had planned for my life. What I said I would do and what I said I absolutely would not. When they asked me this question I began to try and think of something creative or fantastical, reminiscent of a 'through the looking glass' vibe. At least that was the feeling this question evoked in me. However, nothing of that sort came to mind. Instead all I could think of was a question I had heard and been asked many times in my life by a variety of different people. Teachers, interviewers, parents, and a few friends. That age old question we have all had to answer. Where do you see yourself in 10/15/20 years?
I had always, beginning at a very early age, some say too early, been very adamant that I would never get married, never fall in love, and never, ever have kids. I detested the idea of being with one person for the rest of my life. I absolutely loathed kids. Even at the young age of 8 years old, I abhorred their very existence. Children my own age were not spared an ounce of this hatred. It knew no bounds. I had even planned, again quite young, to have a hysterectomy at the time that I turned 18, so as to avoid any possible chance of an accidental pregnancy. I was told by several people, friends and family a-like, that in time these feelings would change and that I would regret such an operation, had I actually carried out what I originally intended to do. They were convinced that one day I would suddenly wake up and want a husband and kids and all of that housewife nonsense. This made me very angry. Now, I was never, and still am not, a diehard feminist. I simply just did not like to be told what I did and did not want, or what I would and would not do. I had made my decision and by god I was determined to stick to it. I would show them. And I did, for quite a few years.
I never got that hysterectomy, I could not possibly afford it at the age of 18, and I did do a bit of dating, but it was never anything serious. A few flings here and there, only ever lasting a few weeks, if that. I had my ego bruised many a time but since I was not looking for love or anything more than a good time, I recovered very quickly. Until very, very suddenly I found myself absolutely, positively head over heels in love.
I cried for hours the moment I realized what I had done, or rather what had been done to me. This boy…no…this man, whom I had known for years ever since my 6th grade year but was never too close to, popped back up in my life at a time when I was, in every sense of the word, broken. I had been battling an extremely debilitating episode of depression, one that had been building and escalating for years, and I was at the time of his arrival in the process of recovering from an almost fatal psychosis.
Only a few months before our reunion had I begun psychotherapy and started a very strict schedule of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. I held nothing back from him. I told him everything about what I dealt with and what I was still currently dealing with. I told him more than I had ever told anyone before. I don't know why I did. From the beginning he had a way of putting me at ease. He made me feel as if whatever I was saying was so very important and that he truly cared about me. He told me that I could not do this, that I could not recover on my own and that he would be there to help me if I would just give him the chance. You see, I had known very early on that I had strong feelings for him, but I was involved with another male and if there was one thing I did not do, it was cheat. I knew in the very pit of my heart that I needed to be with this man, but I felt obligated to stay with the first one. And thus began our cat and mouse game of love. Every day, with every laugh, every smile, every kind and caring word we fell further and further in love with each other. I was just too stubborn to admit it.
Then one day I decided I had had enough of always trying to please other people, of putting the happiness of others before my own. And so began, in my entirely biased opinion, the greatest love story ever known. He helped me recover. He helped me overcome. He helped me begin to love myself once again. The day that we joined forces changed everything about my life. The views and plans I had for my life began changing one by one. All because of the honest love of an amazing man.
So what do I see on the other side of the door when I look through a peephole? Where do I see myself in 10 years? 15 years? 20 years? I see us. I see a wedding. I see children. I see a family. I see the man that I will love for the rest of my life. And though I was once disgusted with the very idea of a life like that, it is all that I want and I cannot wait for the day that the rest of our life together begins.
It is truly amazing what love can do, if only you just let it in.