Monday, May 16, 2005

Truth or Fiction? Short Short Story or Fact?

He said 'I don't think you love me anymore.'

If I told him 'yes, I did', then I would never leave him, despite trying unsucessfully for the five years of our marriage to get him to let me in...to make me part of his life. So I lied. 'No,' I said, then packed my suitcases and left.

He told me I had until his law school graduation, two months away, to come back, no questions asked. He asked me how he would live the two months financially. He never said 'I love you. Let's try and work things out.'

I told him I would continue to deposit money into our account from my paycheck. My expenses in the commune would be low.

I attended his graduation. Had the wild, heady feeling that at the party after the ceremony he might still sweep me into his arms and tell me he could never live without me. Had he done that, I might have come back.

He didn't.

I loved him for many years after I left. No, not in the romantic way young love expresses itself, or even in that comfortable way married couples grow into...just a feeling I had that we could've had something if we'd both tried harder.

I fool myself a lot

truth or self-deception? Who knows how memories deceive us?

We didn't bother to divorce until I was ready to leave the area three years later. There was no need. No desire. I was with someone new but had no desire to marry him. And...there was a certain comfort in that lingering connection.

I wasn't to see him again until six years later. We'd made two passes at looking at getting together again, but, both times, at the last minute, I chose somebody else.

Not an uncomplex relationship.

He finally remarried twenty years after we broke up. A younger woman and they've adopted a child. He makes over a million a year. Lives on a huge wooded plot on a lake.

Ever so often, he sends a note.

Ever so often, I wonder how things might have gone, had I stayed.

But retreads of old paths never work.

I know that. So do you.

3 comments:

Michael Parker said...

Tragic and real. This is a great poem. (I can't believe he made you pay for his graduate degree after you broke up!)

azure_erin said...

Beautiful. I love the ambiguity of "truth or fiction"... made me wonder, really wonder if the voice telling the story had experienced it or if it was made up. Evoked a true feeling of melancholy... in the best way.

Pris said...

Thanks for the comments. I'll leave the reality of it ambiguous here. Makes it more universal. Haven't we all had someone in our lives at some point who left us with that ambiguity?