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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Romance/Love · #2290103
of a psychological romance novel I'm writing,"The Pendulum Always Swings". Reviews anyone?


"Words of Love"

2,817 Words

They say that 'pride' is a difficult pill to swallow, but no matter how bitter a taste it might leave in my mouth, the time had finally come for me to man up and swallow my own. It was already well past time for me to take the first step on the long, difficult journey that lay before me. My starting that journey was far beyond overdue, in fact, and beginning it was as simple as my putting pen to paper.
          It was time for me to get over myself and get past that useless pride that I was feeling for forgiving Selia for the ordeal that she'd put me through. Let's face it, we'd both already put each other through more 'pointless ordeals' than anybody ever deserved to be put through and survived. Now it was time to let that pointless, self-serving pride that I was feeling give way and fade off into the darkness in which it belonged. Yes, now it was time to let the pride that I felt in her for dealing with her own ordeal truly come to light.
          The sunlight pouring through the dining cabin porthole lit the table as I sat there trying to write a loving, heartfelt letter to my Selia. I'd been having so much trouble beginning it, but I needed to just face reality and get to it. My one true love was on her way to some detox center in Florida, feeling completely and utterly alone. Right now, more than anything else, she needed my words to cheer her up in a world that held very little 'cheer' for her at all.
          That was when the phone rang. As I hurried over to pick it up, I had no doubt at all who it was. The ship's clock had just rung out three bells about five minutes ago, and nobody ever calls after 9:30 at night unless they know you.
          "Hi, Selia," I began with excitement in my voice, "It's great to hear from you!"
          "Hi, Sal." She replied in a mournful, dejected voice, "My plane just landed in Orlando, and I'm at the hotel. I wanted to let you know that I got here alright."
          "Oh, I'm so glad, Babe!" I said back to her, "You have no idea how glad I am that you got there all safe and sound!"
         "You know that I'm neither, Sal..." she said, sniffling, "but when I get down to Jonesboro, tomorrow morning, hopefully I will be."

          "We both know that you will." I told her, "We both know that this was exactly what you needed to do." I was trying to sound brave and reassuring, but we both knew that it sounded exactly like that's what I was trying to do. "I'm so proud of you, just for realizing that you needed to go, in the first place."
          "After what happened that night...after what I did to you," she began, crying as she spoke, "it wasn't like I had any other choice." She blew her nose and went on, "I can't believe you still love me after I hurt you like that." She began openly weeping and said "I'm sorry, my love, I need to go...I can't talk to you right now...I'm too upset." She took a deep breath and tagged the call with those invaluable, timeless words, "I love you, Sal...I'll love you forever...no matter what." With that, She hung up the phone. Even though she wasn't even on the line anymore, I responded to her last words from within the deepest reassesses of my heart.
         "I'll always love
you, my wonderful wife..." I said into a phone with no one on the other end to hear me. "No matter what."

          Yes, 'no matter what' are the most important 'words of love' that exist. The three words that say it all. We both knew them, we both felt them; and we both knew that we always would.
         Thinking about them also made me think about how lucky we'd really been. I was writing Selia what was basically a lengthy love letter. It was filled with what you'd pretty much call a 'loving list of words of love'. I guess that's what all love letters are, when you think about it.

          In a universe filled with so many different words of love, Selia and I had always considered three of them the most powerful. No, they weren't 'I love you'. Those are the most important 'words of love' to teenagers in High School, I guess...to the first girl or boy who you say them to. 'We'll be in love, forever'? Nah... too mushy, too sappy, and too predictable. 'I want you'? Nope. That had too many different meanings, and most of them were sexual.
          No, the most important 'words of love' in the English language are very simple. They're 'no matter what'. 'I'll always love you, no matter what'. 'Through the good times and the bad, together or apart, fighting or cuddling; through it all...nno matter what.' 'Regardless of what you ever say or do, I'll always, always love you...no matter what! Period.' It didn't matter what you might say before those three little words. Whatever 'words of love' you choose to use first, the thing you need to do is tag them with that all-important three-word conclusion...'no matter what'.          
         They seem like pretty easy words to say, don't they? 'No matter what'. Plain and simple. Actually, if you think about it, they're
really easy to say. What isn't that easy a thing to do is to mean them when you do. And you can't just mean them when you say them, either. You need to feel them, too. Once you do, you can honestly tell them to someone and have them listen to the words instead of just hearing them. That's what makes them so important...otherwise they're just words. There're more than enough empty words of love out there. 'No matter what' should never be among them.
         Anyway, Selia'd hurt me in ways that even she didn't know. She'd attacked me and fought with me, (don't worry, we'll go into that later....) but I'd forgiven her almost immediately. She'd done the unthinkable...so I didn't even try to think about it. The only thing I could think about was our love. Our endless and eternal love. At that moment the most important, the only thing that mattered to me was doing whatever I needed...whatever
we needed to do to get her better.
         They had her spending the night in Orlando before her connecting flight took her the rest of the way down to the detox center in Jonesboro. Despite the fact that she was right down the road from 'The Happiest Place on Earth', it sure as hell wasn't exactly like she was 'going to Disney World.' For
Selia, who was on here way to 'the Crappiest place on Earth', it had to seem like it was some kind of a cruel joke. An almost symbolic joke.
         Tomorrow morning she was going to be leaving behind the world of dreams that everybody else called the 'Magic Kingdom.' Her fate was taking her south to Jonesboro to enter the world of nightmares that was going to be her own personal 'Tragic Kingdom'. That 'Tragic Kingdom' that all detox centers are. Well, like I said, we'll go into this a little later. I've got a letter to write....
'My Darling Selia,' I began, 'I just spoke to you on the phone for the final time and I already miss you much more than you can ever imagine. We both know that you'll be there at Jonesboro to help you to come to terms with your alcoholism, and you have no idea how proud I am of your taking this first step on your journey toward recovery so willingly.' I gathered my wits, tried to control my emotions, and went on, 'I know, too, that we'll be missing each other and be filled with a sense of profound loneliness unlike anything that we've experienced thus far.'
          'I'm sure that you knew, even before that first time we met, that we were destined to fall in love; even though you were afraid to actually call it that on that first 'date'."
I stopped for a moment and re-read what I'd written so far. It didn't really sound as remotely childish as I'd thought that it might, so I went on, "Now, we've been separated for the first time since that fateful day that brought us together, and I feel an emptiness inside of me that goes beyond anything that I'd even conceived was possible.' I was already sniffling, myself, like Selia'd been on the phone; but I somehow managed to keep on writing. 'Still, I draw strength from the fact that you'll be coming home to me a better and stronger person than you were back when I saw you drive off into your future yesterday.'
         Okay, I couldn't write anymore. I was trying to write Selia some words of encouragement, and I sounded like a bad actor in some kinda infomercial for depressed people. She was already feeling sad and lonely in a place she didn't want to be in the first place, and the bullshit I was writing was only going to make things worse. Yes, Selia was right down the road from the Magic Kingdom, even though she'd never be able to get to it; and all I could think of was the magical way that we'd been brought together in the first place.
         One day, what seemed like a lifetime ago, Selia had changed my entire universe, forever. It'd been an existence that I'd perceived as nothing more than a painful tragedy I'd be dealing with for the rest of my days. That was when fate brought her into my life.
         Both of us had lost our spouses, and we'd met at one of those 'self-help' groups for surviving family members. She was so beautiful and looked so alive and cheerful, and I knew that, beyond both of us losing our spouses, we also had a world of things in common. The talk just flowed so freely. Everything seemed to flow so naturally. It'd almost seem like we were made for each other!
         The only thing that'd ever stood in our way was the world of unpleasant memories that would always exist around us and that would always attempt to surround us both. Fortunately, since we'd met, we'd both long since learned to leave our memories where they belonged...in the past. That still didn't stop me from thinking about them from time to time. That much couldn't be avoided.
         The problem was that, as naturally as everything seemed to flow back
then, it didn't make this letter any easier to write, right now. Since the moment I'd first taken pen to paper, my brain had desperately searched through its furthest depths coming up with ways to avoid writing it. It was like my brain and my heart were in a prize-fight with each other, and the 'ring' that they were fighting in was that nebulous, crowded 'arena' that was my memory. Sure, those memories were in the past. It didn't mean they were gone though.
         It struck me like an earth-shattering blow from the 'prize-fighter' that was in my brain that I'd find just about any excuse I could to not write it. I had to write it...but, more than anything else I was afraid to write it, I suppose. In point of fact, as my mind wandered from one of those memories from my past to the next, it was simply my brain's way of keeping me from doing exactly that.

          The mind was a powerful force, to be sure. The problem was that, as powerful as it might be, it wasn't strong enough to fight with itself. Clearly, as capable as it was of burying the thoughts I was trying to avoid, it couldn't do a thing about burying the memories that it couldn't.
          No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't help but remember all of them, whether I wanted to or not. No, it kept drawing me back to a past I was trying so hard to forget. The painful forces that gave rise to misery and suffering were what led Selia and I together to begin with, but knowing that wasn't helping me in the least. Somehow, it seemed like such a long time ago, but it'd actually been less than a year ago.
          I'd tried to so hard to forget about the struggles that'd rampaged through my very world. Yes, it seemed like an eternity ago, but now the misfortunes of my past still seemed to be haunting my present. As miserable as those memories were, it didn't alter the fact that our living through them is what made this entire ordeal all the more painful. Now, it was time to put all of that behind me. Like they say, we should remember the past but live for the present; and in the present, I'm writing the one true love of my life a letter. A love letter. Maybe I could try some poetry?
          'What is this thing that they call love?' I began, 'What is it that we blindly seek? A Blessing from the Lord, above, or just a crutch borne by the weak?' I continued, 'Is 'love' a path we follow, all, or just a journey we all make? Does "love" prepare us for a fall, To find it's all a foul mistake?' yeah, I was cookin' now, baby! "Is "love" a road we all must follow, to a place that no one ever finds? Arriving feeling sad and hollow, at a place that's only in our minds?
         Okay, this was actually starting to get a little sappy, but I just couldn't stop myself, 'But ne'er we'll take another drink, for pain is all that it will bring, and thus in our sobriety, we know our hearts are sure to sing...' Okay, I was out of control at that point, 'Is love a game we're forced to play that only fills our hearts with strife?' I tried to stop, but kept on going, 'No, I think not, for I can say, a life without love is not life.'
          Alright, I forced myself to put the pen back down again. I shook my head, as if to clear it, and re-read what I'd written again. 'Seriously?' I said to myself, as I crumpled up the page and threw it across the room. Was this really what I shootin' for? Was I even capable of writing something that didn't sound like I was either a psychiatrist using SAT words to write a pretentious essay on the nature of 'affection' or a bad stereo-type of a lover weeping to himself about his lost love or something? There had to be some kind of a happy medium.
          A 'happy' medium...a sad medium? Who even knew anymore? I didn't even know what I was expected to write at that point.
          That was it! 'what I was expected to write'! If I thought that I was writing because I was expected to, how could I write anything at all? I couldn't write from the heart if it came off like I was being forced to write it! I didn't know what I had to write at all. The only thing I knew was that I was trying too hard to write it, and I'd never be able to until I stopped thinking of it as an 'assignment' and started thinking of it as the 'genuine and honest love-letter' that it was supposed to be.
          Selia was my wife...she is my wife. Selia is the one and only love of my life. She was the focus of my life, the center of my world and my reason for waking up in the morning. Now she'd be waking up a thousand miles away, and I'd be waking up alone. I'd be missing her with every fiber of my being every minute of every day, just as she'd be missing me! That was what I needed to be writing down!
          I picked up the pen again and started in to writing. Now that I'd gotten past that first hurdle, the rest was going to be easy! All I needed to do was write down what I was actually thinking! What I was thinking, and what I was feeling.
          I needed to let my Selia know that I didn't care that she was an alcoholic. It wasn't a 'problem that would destroy us', regardless of what she thought. It was just a challenge that both of us would overcome, together. She needed to know that nothing...nothing was going to come between us. Certainly not a little booze and bad feelings. No, Sal and Selia were going to be together forever! No matter what!

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