It’s inconceivable that there was a time when I couldn’t picture you in my mind. The day I first saw you seems so far removed from all those preceding it, like another life. I knew I had to have you, could have you. That was my whole reason for being there, for such an encounter. Only at that moment did I realize my expectations had, for once, been truly inadequate in preparing me for reality. I also knew I shouldn’t approach you. There was, unspoken between us, a warning that went unheeded. You promised me only obsession and, very possibly, regret. I also knew that I would embrace you with abandon. In that place, where destiny had brought us together, I could partake of you with no intrusion from the outside world.
The first time my lips touched you, my senses erupted, my heart ached for the years I’d lived without you. It was as I feared. My desire for you could never be satisfied, but I could drive myself mad in the attempt, plunge recklessly down the path that might well lead to my undoing. Relinquishing myself to the moment, that perfect moment, when we first existed only together, I could stave off the eventual guilt and sorrow of our inevitable parting.
Hours, even days apart, the time tortured me. Sometimes I allowed myself to think that we were better off. Kept at a distance, it seemed I might unshackle my heart and soul from you. Eventually a day would come when I could not drive you from my thoughts, try as I might. As if you waited solely for me, you were there when I arrived. Amid the swirling activity and noise, the light seemed to cling to you, the sound muted around us. I longed for every second with you to mirror our first moments together. I feared familiarity might break the spell, send me drifting never to return. How wrong I was.
I never anticipated just how damaging our relationship would become. The guilt was mine alone to endure, but it nagged constantly at my conscience. I knew my obsession with you took a toll on me, body and soul. Why was I so weak? Justifications for my love leaped easily to my lips. I craved you, and fruitless attempts at logic and reason fell before my scything emotions. Even when I admitted to myself that you were not mine alone, I wanted you.
It was a night like countless others. Even now I can’t identify its fundamental difference. Had I found some well of inner strength? Had my desire for you finally waned, as it had for others over time? I knew when I saw you that our romance would soon be over. Perhaps I would think of you in days to come with fond memories, or perhaps anger at my own frailty would poison my recollections of the joy you brought me. You tasted just as sweet, but somehow I felt the emptiness of startlingly brief elation. I knew it could only mean farewell.
Sadness prevailed, obscuring everything else at our parting. No promises hung in the air, no expectations, even as the taste of you lingered on my tongue and threatened to send me running back to you. In my car, the dome light briefly revealed a final testament to our parting. A crumb of you, glazed devils-food doughnut, graced my shirt. I hesitated a moment before plucking the last of you from my chest and flicking you out my window. I saw through the shop window, that many others enjoyed you, with coffee of course. The question still arises in my mind today. Had I savored that last taste of you, instead of casting you into the night, would I have ever known freedom? I think not. There would have been heartburn either way.