THESE FEELINGS CAN NEVER GO AWAY
By Amy L. Melendez
The feelings I have for him. The way I think of him, the way I remember him, his soft sweet voice, that calls for me in the night. Those wonderful large sad eyes of his and the way they filled with tears when I was crying into his hands begging him not let me go again. The way his body felt against mines, the last time we laid down together, when his heart was touching my heart. Still hear it pounding, still can hear him say my name…over and over and over again. Or was it me…saying his name over and over and over again. These feelings of passion and want, so much want that I can’t bear. It feels like I want to “catch up” with the years that have past and separated us through circumstances.
Can this be what has made all the great star-crossed lovers stories of the past famous? The lovers that never got it quite right and were destined to be torn apart and separated.
Lovers like Romeo and Juliet, Heathcliff and Catherine, Yuri Zchivago and Lara? I’d like to think so; I’d like to glorify this “love” as something like that. But this is neither a movie nor a sad song. This is a crime to my heart…It’s a wound that does not go away. It sits in my heart and stays with me day and night.
Soulmates I have been told. What a laugh….soulmates? What am I learning now from this beautiful man….did I kill him in another lifetime? Were we gladiators fighting in a coliseum in Rome centuries ago and as he lay down I pierced his heart with my sword? Did I hold him captive in some dungeon every night and tortured him? Did I love him and leave him stranded somewhere with his heart pounding waiting for me to return? Did I run away and never come back into his arms again? Was that how it started?
Must have been a pain beyond your wildest imagination because surely now, I feel the consequences and the anguish returned to me. I have not stopped crying since I found him, I have not thought one second of a way to get him to “Come back to me”, his LOVE, the one he wanted before, the girl he longed for. I think I love him too much, if one can love someone that much. Maybe he is weak; maybe it’s too soon for him. All the excuses, and still, I lie alone in my bed, thinking of HIM and what went wrong…Fate, Destiny, Karma, Circumstances…all words.
The story starts out innocently enough…July 13, 1977
A long time ago he felt this way about me. I was too young to know. Only a child myself, in many ways, just beginning to learn about the power that every young woman knows she has inside of her as she is turning into a woman. The sexual power a young beautiful girl has at the peak of her teen-age years can be very strong, especially to a young teen-age boy who was only too eager to be around her and love her.
He just happened to be there in July 1977 in a small deli near one of the favorite hang outs of all young people near the beach in Brooklyn, NY, I met him while my Cousin and I were buying our snacks in the morning and I heard her talking to someone at the counter as I bought my sweet peaches from the produce section. I heard her saying hello and that was when I heard a voice that must sound like what angel sounds when they talk.
At that time in my life, I took him for granted, another one of my sweet boyfriends who were in abundance in those early summers of my life in Brooklyn. A very handsome, strong, tall and sexy boy that I thought was a bit awkward but sweet, quiet but with a gentleness that you could also find in a good friend as well. My cousin introduced us as we walked together along the boardwalk. The same boardwalk that 33 years later, we would both find ourselves walking across, in a different season. This time there would be no bathing suits or shorts, no sunshine, no working on our tans and no anticipation for a “date” later on and no sitting by the water. This time, it would be cold and bitter but with a beautiful full moon out in the dark sky looking down on two beautiful sweet lovers of the past that Should Have Been.
What was I to know back then? How was I supposed to know…that this sweet and loving boy, now one of the most handsomest men I know, would end up back in my life and teaching me what the words “In Love” really means over 30 years and 30 summers later, in my “Golden Years”
I moved around quite a bit after I left him “standing at the beach”. I wanted to marry my first boyfriend ever. Only a short but brief marriage but always coming back to Brooklyn to see my family in between breaks from my young married life. Always, always, he was there. The sweet boy who was also my friend and playmate as I can remember. I never ever thought of him as anything more. We grew up alittle together. Shared some thoughts and good times. Always around, always someone I can speak to about my problems, but when I think about it now, I don’t think we ever really spoke about any problems, there were many more years ahead for those conversations.
As the years past, approaching my 50th year on this planet, I started to think more about my life and where it was going never to be fully satisfied with one job, place to live or man to love (it’s all a lot of oysters but no pearls). Its like the song from U2 – “I Still haven’t found what I’m Looking For.” Until one day – in September 2009…. My time for “Karmic debt repayment” began. It was to be the worst and the most wonderful time in my life…. my love, my wonderful, sweet and handsome love, was sent back to me, unknowingly, through sad news.
It was on September 22nd to be exact; that I found out a former boyfriend of mines had passed. He was the love of my teen-age years and I was devastated to learn that he had died at such an early age. It was such heartache to hear this and I cried so much for my friend. I should of known that these tears were but an omen, a prelude of what was to come in the next months
“…Hello Its Me, I’ve thought about us for a long, long time…”
What is it about speaking with someone that you have not spoken with in years that makes you nervous? I mean, what do you say to them??? Hello, how are you? Glad to hear your voice again? What’s going on? When he called me and I heard his voice, it was like hearing from a ghost, someone who was in the past, still frozen in time….It was very strange to me to hear this man again, this man who I knew from when he was a boy, someone who was just another boyfriend on the beach, a friend of the family, this man, that I had some of my earliest sexual experiences with, this man who is now, older, speaking to me from across the miles and who would eventually bring me to my knees for the true love that I started to feel for the first time in my small, chaotic, , miserable little life.
It Should Have Been Me.
That is all I could think about after this. Back into my life, wow, how could I even think that this guy would love me again? Should I play my cards right and sit and wait. My friend…Baby, come back to me, I would ask, beg, then we finally met in Brooklyn – January 2010. It was to be the happiest time in my life. It was also to be the beginning of a love affair that was so worth waiting for, the arguments we would have, sometimes not talking to each other for weeks, then months. It was the worst time in my life if I can remember now, my bloodshot eyes, missing him not calling me. I used to call him and leave a message for him to call me, silence, all the while from him. Death to me.
One time, he was ill, and I flew into LA to see him. I had to be careful and waited until I knew that I was to be the last of visitors. I stayed at a nearby hotel. I was so worried. He had a problem with his throat, he had some virus that stopped him from working for a while. I went to see him and he looked so tired and sad, but when he saw me come to him, he had that sweet smile on him again.
We were together for a few years until I fell ill. It was my daughter who told him that I was in the hospital. He came to see me and I was so embarrassed that he saw me that way. I did not even want him to come all that way. But I guess when you are in this much love with an old friend, distance is nothing. We came a long way from 1977 – it was no bother.
My love, who I never married, my lover, who I never gave a son to, my long lost love who was brought to me by Fate to love again, thank God, all I can say, Thank God that my Love was brought to light to see that this was all good, and worth it. All the lovemaking, all the learning, all the embraces and sacrifices we made throughout this trip, was so worth it.
I would do it all again for this man…..
He comes by to see me, his Leyna as he always called me, every year now. Slowly as he walks towards me, he sits at the bench that faces me. Its been over 30 years since they laid me down to rest, as if I could ever rest, and when I see him, I still get that whistful feeling, like I did in life when I knew he was going to call me, or that one time when he visited me in my hotel room in Brooklyn years ago for the reunion. Still with that handsome face, sad eyes and sweet smile. He walks slower towards me. Once, I saw him weep into his hands. He wept so much that I thought he felt me sitting beside him. My sweet man, so happy to see him but wish he would not make that long pilgrimage to see me because it was so far for him to travel. Wonderful man, now a grandfather, loyal friend, my only love, who as I lay here, year after year, winter and coldness, the heat and the darkness, I still love….these feelings that can never go away, even in death.
To My Soulmate – Winter, 2010