“Leave your Wife”

“Hey Mel.”  

You whispered in my ear from behind, I was alone at the bar writing.

I didn’t turn around.  

I shut my eyes and all our memories flashed quickly,  emotions tagged along.  

Excitement, fear, despair, resentment, longing.

I opened my eyes and reached for your hand over my shoulder.

Your touch, a wave of thick honey running through my body.

I rested my head over our bound hands.

Still.  I hadn’t turned around.

I almost didn’t want to, I almost couldn’t.

Years waiting, my eyes began to water and tears ran down my knuckles onto yours.

You immediately reacted and hugged me from behind.

I was dreaming,  I had to be dreaming.  I’ve seen this one before.  

Surely, all of this time living with lingering lost love was a reverie of my imagination.

I didn’t wake from this dream, it wasn’t a dream.

Still I hadn’t turned around.

Where have you been?  You hugged me tighter.

We met by chance as adolescents. You instantly illuminated the pieces of myself that were the hardest to see, especially at that age.  

I adored you.

I was always codependent with those that never seemed to fit the bill and as we grew we saw each other in passing with other lovers.  

The last time we saw each other you demanded that I tell you to leave your wife.

We had spent the summer together while she was away and fell in love again.

Once, you pleaded, only once

I couldn’t.  

I needed you to make that jump for yourself. 

You didn’t

and you resented me for not telling you those seemingly simple words,

“Leave your wife. I want to be with you.”

I’d spent years trying to ward you out of my heart.  

Sage, meditation, writing, drinking, begging,

it never worked.  

Some months easier than others

but still always had you floating in my dreams, my awake, my everything.

I touched my mouth to your hand and inhaled.  

You smelled the same as you always did, even when we first met.

Soaked with tears, I gripped your hand tighter

Still, I hadn’t turned around.

I almost didn’t want to, I almost couldn’t.

Years of reserving this abject space in my heart for you, I took a deep breath and began to turn around.

I woke up.  

Silence.

Dawn.

Birds chirping and I could still smell you and without a thought I said aloud,

“Leave your wife.  I want to be with you.”

My husband rolled over, eyes wide, “What did you just say?”

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