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Watching Love Escape
The details are a little hazy, but I remember what I was thinking that day I watched love escape. At first I didn't have a clue about what was happening.
I saw the pain in his eyes as he desperately searched for someone to explain his version of the infamous "why." Our eyes met and he immediately raced to me and drenched My ears with his sonnets of "the break-up."
The weight of several shared years is too much to pour into a complete stranger's ear, but I listened to half a lifetime's confessions jaggedly summed up in less than ten minutes.
He tied it neatly with the bow of "she's telling our friends and family that she wants me back."
As if he never spoke those words, he spewed a swift "but she's telling me she hates me and never wants to see me again."
Thinking, "Oh, no he isn't!" I patiently waited as he did what people always do when they are desperately grasping at straws of hope, yet running from obvious answers. That is, I waited for him to ask the stranger who has no vested interest in the success or failure of his relationship for jewels of wisdom, along with the spoils of hope, and a grain of truth.
He never should have asked me what he should do, what I thought about it all, and how to move on in life without his reason for living.
Being a hopeless romantic, I told him to never let go.
I said, "If you love her as much as you appear to love her, never let go. Don't waste a second longer telling me what you should be saying to her."
Ordinarily I would have minded my own business, played dumb, said I didn't know what he should do.
Maybe it was that sick look I saw in his eyes that made his pain contagious. A pain so fierce that it forced its way into my veins giving it fresh blood as my pain. His anguish was transformed into my very own piece of "his" heartache which clumsily pushed me to advise him to hold on.
For some reason, that I am yet unable to phantom, I could distinctly taste the salt from his tears. As tears rolled down his left cheek, they willed themselves into filling my tightly clenched jaws. I was speechless until I saw what I was sure was a scene too intimate for the eyes of a stranger.
I still believe the embarrassment recklessly sparked the simplistic impromptu reply. Thinking, "Damn! I should not have said that."
I was a little jolted and aggravated because I knew he wanted, needed, more. He needed deep philosophical words of wisdom and I gave him fortune cookie advice. How rude and completely disrespectful of me.
I immediately looked away to avoid eye contact; knowing it was silly of me to allow my heart to be woven into the pain of another with no valid reason other than misplaced love.
It could have been the memory of an escaped love of my own that persuaded me to offer such a simple thought for advice thinking it held strong magic, the kind that erases pain and mends broken hearts.
Or it could have been the selfish utterings of an envious stranger, but the response to my words made me believe I was right and he should never give up.
With a short "hmph" and a slight head nod, he smiled and walked away.
Relieved as he walked away, I continued on my path distracted by my plans for yet another uneventful evening alone. In the midst of my mental debate with myself over the choices for that evenings single course meal, I was startled to see the stranger approach me with a beautiful bouquet of tulips.
Taken aback and still not registering what was happening at that moment, I told him how lovely the bouquet was and ensured him of his inevitable seat on his well deserving throne as the King of his lady's heart.
He sheepishly grinned and said, "Beauty, these are for you."
I halfheartedly laughed thinking, "This has got to be one of the cruelest jokes anyone has played on me in a long time."
Not giving me the opportunity to ask the thousands of questions in my head, he answered them all simultaneously.
"You come here often. We seem to run out of groceries around the same time. You caught my eye, and I said to myself that I would not stand idly by and Watch Love Escape."
Angered and confused, I asked, "What about the….!?"
"The break-up?" he asked.
The look in my eyes held the sharpest of daggers with my target in sight.
He immediately chimed back in saying, "I wondered what a life inside your world would have in store for me. I panicked as I changed my mind about approaching you. I didn't know what to say so I fabricated this elaborate tale of loss love, but your simple matter-of-fact approach ensured me that my love would be safe with you."
Unconvinced and silently listening, I knew that I was the one allowing love to escape.
I could not allow that to happen; he still calls me his and I call him mine and each day we watch love escape to find out it is only burying itself deeper into our hearts ……..