laugher/guesser/parties/dimples/songs/good books/sweet movies/mcflurries/starbucks/late conversations.
There is a word for that:
I’m in love with her, okay?
If you are looking for a word that means caring about someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you: It’s love!
And when you love someone, you just don’t stop.
Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy, even then. Especially then!
You just don’t give up. Because if I could give up, if I could just take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love!
That would be some other dispensable thing that is not worth fighting for.
But that’s not what this is.
"I don’t know, I always have a thing with letters. Like how a person’s name could easily gives you a tiny heart-attack, how a good headline catches your attention faster, or how a suitable song title makes better ambiance.
So when I tell you I love you more than words, I just want you to know,
that I’m a really big fan of words.”
"I want your Monday morning
sleep soaked eyes
dream drenched voice,
'five more minutes please babe.'
I want your Tuesday afternoon
glassess off, laughter on
'just hold me for a while
it’s been a hard day.’
I want your Wednesday evening
fingers through hair
teeth nibbling nails
neck craning, eye glazing
'this paperwork never ends'
I want your Thursday night
drinks for two
muscles let loose
'just me and you'
I want your finally Friday
stretch soul smile,
sun sipping light
from the glaciers in your eyes
fingers unfurl, hand extends
'c'mon babe, let's go wild'
I want your weekend.
your movie marathon Saturday
reading by the fireplace
kissing in the blankets
want your Sunday morning
orange juice and pancakes
white sheets, tender skin
hair like the Fourth of July
'let's not get out of bed today'
I want your ordinary
and your stress, rest, release
I want your bad day and that terrible night
I want you drunk in my arms
forgetting the place but never my name
I want your lazy and your lonely
and your fist full of fight
I want you everyday
in every way
for the rest of my life.”
It’s about 4 pm in the afternoon, third week of October, and winter is coming soon. I’m a middle aged guy, 39 to be precise, trying to grab a quick coffee at the Wayne’s. I just went to Ivy Lane, a florist just a block away from the coffee shop to get some flowers for house decoration my wife asked me. The girl told me it would take around 20 minutes to arrange the flowers, so I decided to get some coffee while waiting.
I entered Wayne’s, a pretty small coffee shop and café. I ordered a glass of Americano, passed through the cash register, and I was looking for a seat when I thought I saw someone I know, sitting next to the empty seat I was going to sit on. “Josef?” She called my name, she said it with a question mark. “Dorriane?” I asked her back, looking as surprised as her. Then she said, “Oh my God, do you even still remember me? How are you?” And then in a split second everything from the past came back, or almost everything.
“Sure, of course I do! I’m fine I’m fine, and you look good! How’ve you been? Geeze, it’s sure been a while, I mean, 15 years maybe?” She nodded quickly, and said “Well thanks, and yes probably that long since we last met. Listen, why don’t we have a chat for a while, we sure have so many things to catch up with.”
“Yes, yes why not, I’m waiting for the flowers from Ivy Lane to be finished so I’m going to stay for a while, are you waiting for someone?”
“Yeah, I’m waiting for my driver to pick me up, I have to be home before dinner, but I think he got stuck in the traffic.” She explained.
“Well I can drive you home if you don’t mind, where do you live? I offered her a ride. “Not far, I live at the north, you know Sunny Hills? Just a few blocks before the Madison Square?”
“Talk about timing! I need to pick up my daughter from her violin course at Madison in about 1 hour, so I guess I can you give a ride before that.” “Sweet, thanks! I’ll tell my driver to just go home.” I then grabbed an empty chair, put my glass on the table and started to talk with her.
We had a pretty good chat. She was still with her cheesy jokes, clumsy ideas, and stupid questions, and it’s not a surprise that I didn’t find that annoying at all. Maybe it’s something I love about her. The way she could make me feel smart, in the same way she could make me feel like I don’t have to be the smartest guy on the earth to impress her. It’s like being young again, talking to her.
We pretty much talked about the past, and for so many reasons, it made me sad. If there was an actual saying for the situation, it’s that she’s “the one that got away”. She was the girl who showed me love for the first time, she was also the person behind my first real heartbreak, if there ever was. She was my baby, I watched her growing up from a teenage girl to a real woman. It was unfortunate that we had to part before I know her as a woman.
It’s funny how I remember she told me that most of the people in the world won’t marry the people who they really love. And it’s such an irony that it happened to me, or from what I believe in. My wife’s a loving person, she’s a beautiful, strong, independent woman, and I love her, but there’s something in Dorriane that I couldn’t find in any other woman, and I hate the fact that I still think about it that way, even after all this time.
“I think it’s time to go.” She told me. “Yeah I think it’s time, okay so why don’t you grab your coat and wait next to the entrance while I get my flowers from Ivy lane and get my car down here” I told her, while grabbing my coat, half running to the door. “Okay!”, she agreed.
I went to Ivy Lane and paid for the flowers quickly. The florist told me that she gave some extra flowers to clear today’s stock, I put the flowers on the back seat of my car and fetch Dorriane in front of Wayne’s.
“Get in,” I said to her, while opening the car’s door from the driver seat. “Thanks,” She hummed, while slowly entering the car.”
It was a slow drive to Madison square, with a little bit of traffic and a little piece of nostalgia, from the songs we listened to in the car.
“You still listen to these things? That’s great!” She asked me. “Yeah, I don’t really listen to new songs, so I listen to almost similar sets of songs for years, how about you?” I asked her back. “Me too, I guess we turned out to be a boring adults, huh?” She joked.
“Well at least I think we got wiser, you know how they say we trade youth for wisdom, let’s just say that it’s all true.”
“Yeah! Let’s hope so!” She laughed.
It’s an old, unfair story that I shared almost all of my favorite songs to her in the past, so it’s almost impossible to hear the songs without remembering her.
“It’s odd, isn’t it, that we never ran into each other before this? I mean, all these years, and we have to meet again today, after 15 years, and just to realize that we are only separated by 20 miles.” She said.
“Yeah, well, I guess twenty miles is a long ways sometimes.” I told her. I know it’s a little weird that we never come across to each other before, but maybe it was because I was kind of avoiding her. I avoided any contacts with her, and tried not to know anything about her, not because I don’t care, it’s just because I don’t want things like this to happen, and my friends thought that this was the best for me as well.
The rest of the way we didn’t’ really talk, except for her giving directions to her house. “Turn left there, and that’s it, the second house after the junction.”
“Ok, let me park here for a while”
I got out and come around to open the door for her, behind us I can see her house. It’s a nice house, but it’s not something I expected from her.
“I’m very happy that we finally meet each other today, feels like nostalgia,” she said. “We probably won’t see each other again.”
“Well it costs me a fortune to see you, let’s just see, we might bump to each other again tomorrow, who knows?” I told her.
“Yes dear, we’ll never know what’s gonna happen.” She added
For a second there I really wished that I can travel back in time, and I don’t really care if I have to trade it all, the hard works I’ve done, the popularities I’ve gained, and all of the money I’ve earned, just to go back to 17 years ago, at the karaoke room, to a night when she kissed me for the first time. One brave kiss that started all of this, a kiss that changed everything. It was really long time ago, but it appeared in my mind like it was only yesterday.
I came back to her. I didn’t know what to say, I wanted to kiss her though, and I did. I held her around with my arms and I kissed her, very slowly and gently. And she kissed me back, with just enough pressure against me, just to let me know that she’s remembering everything, too.
Then the ugliest thing happened, it all came to me like sets of bullets shot right through my mind, all the what ifs and the should haves. All the of things that I would do if I was with her, like going to daytime music concerts (maybe a classical as we get older), or watch some romantic movies before we go to sleep. I wanted to be in every part of her life decision, and I wanted her to be in part of my and our life decision, too. Like deciding the right flowers and songs for our wedding, choosing the furniture for our perfect white house, or buying the children book for our first kid. I want to go home to her every day, wake up to her every morning. I would take her to a picnic brunch, or just let her decides which fancy cafes we should visit next. I would get drunk with her, sip on our Moscatos before we get too old for that. Let’s live the ice cream cone and vodka life, let’s live life the way it supposed to be, together, side by side.
“I guess it’s time, I have to pick up my daughter.” I stepped back and said that.
“Let me guess, Zooey? Is that her name?” She asked me. “Yeah, you still remember that, I guess the anti-aging products work well, huh?” I joked. “Hey, I’m not that bad at remembering things, okay?” She replied.
“I think I’ve got something for you, wait.” I then grabbed some of the flowers at the backseat and gave it to her. “The florist got me some extra flowers, so I think it’s okay to give you some.” I told her.
She stared at the flowers for a while and smiled, “Peonies?”
“Yes!” I second her. “Well thanks a lot then, so see you when I see you, I guess?”
“See you when I see you, Dorriane.”
Still smiling, she gave me a slow gesture of goodbye wave, as if dismissing me, and then went inside. I got back to the car and start driving. All of this time I’ve been praying for her happiness, but I didn’t have the courage to ask her if she was really happy or not, I guess because any of the answers would be terrifying for me. I looked to the flowers which now is on the front seat. It was her favorite flower, I remembered that. I used to be her favorite, too.
Having to drive and pick up my daughter was the only thing that stopped me from crying. I mean I’ve got nice cars, big houses, and all the other good stuffs, but that does not mean a goddamn thing. Because the best things in life aren’t things, and maybe this is just how life works. Maybe for some people it would never be fair, maybe for some people, they have to fell in love the hard way. Time’s gone , and it’s never returning, I concentrate on that. I can hear the strong wind outside from inside the car, and I saw Zooey waved her hand across the street. This winter is going to be so cold, I said that to myself.
I started this day with pouring cereals into our bowls. I wanted to give her a surprise breakfast-in-bed so I tried (so hard) to got up before she did. She was still sleeping when I came silently to our room. I put the music on, while slowly increasing the volume. Then I kneel beside our bed to wake her up. She was still sleeping until I saw she opened her eyes slowly. I took a picture of that moment. That’s when I thought I’ve succeeded to give her a surprise without being noticed, at least this time. The first thing she did when she came back to this world was smiling. She gave the smile, the smile which showed that she wasn’t so surprise because she already knew that I’m going to do this. But believe me she didn’t. Unlike any other couples that give their partners surprises at some particular reasons, let us say on their anniversaries, christmas, or valentine’s day, I’m that guy who gives her surprises any day, at the most random day and not even close with any of our relationship events, just a day, like Wednesday. Because you know, a birthday surprise is never really a surprise.
The music playing on the background was french songs. I got it from a well-known playlist website using the famous hashtag #french. The playlist name was “At a coffee shop in Paris”. And it was okay, not really memorable lists of songs, but it’s French anyway, any female soprano singer and lots of trumpets will do. She looked like she enjoyed it while finishing her breakfast as she crunched her cereal well. I know this whole thing might sound cheesy, but that’s just our thing,we both found that travelling, especially together with your partner is such a romantic event. So when we’re not travelling, we like to pretend that we were travelling, to those places we’ve never been to, or to places we’ve been to, but without each other. So well, even though I’m not really sure if French eat cereals for breakfast, but let’s just say it is, today’s destination was Paris.
We started to get ready right after we finished our breakfast. We were pretty late that morning, so we had no time to chill around as we had to rush to get to store in time. And that just gave me an idea, maybe I should make a ‘shower-together’ morning surprise next, okay maybe next Saturday. I was driving the car to our store when she tried to put a shades on me. “To make you even cooler Mr.too cool!”, she told me. I love how she always tries to put an effort to joke around with me, even when she knows she wasn’t so funny, so I always feel really thankful and appreciate it a lot every time she does that, as she is always funny, for me at least. We arrived to our store earlier than we expected, we own a general store where we sell almost all of the things we like. We always come earlier, even before our staff. We like to set the decoration settings or change the placement of the display items. We decided to change some part of the placements today, so we were a bit busy. As we almost finished, I was standing next to the cash registry when she said “Okay let’s put these flower vases here, and we’re done”. For a second I wanted to ask her to put those flower vases back to the place where I’ve put them just now, but I just ignored it. That’s one of our differences, she always thinks that everything does not have to be so neat to be pretty, that somehow there is a beauty in a mess, while I, on the other hand, always think that organized things is pretty. Well maybe it’s just my perfectionist side talking, or just my inner OCD, perhaps? But I’ve learned a lot, about my ego, and as our relationship goes through, I think at some point we agreed that we found our place somewhere in between.
She finished the decoration setup and turned the “closed” sign aside to “open”. The staffs were late today, but it wasn’t the end of the world, there’s never more than 15 customers by the very first open hour. She turned around and walk towards me. She was asking for a hug, so I went forward, hug her and kiss her cheek. She was smiling, and I could see her happy eyes, like every other day.
She turned around as the bell above the door rang, it rings every time someone opens the door. She walked to the front to greet our first visitor today, and I was still standing behind the cash registry. It was unbelievable at first when I think I’ve found the love of my life, but I do love the fact that in her I did. You know how people say that everyone has a secret within them. And they, in their life find a way to found someone who they can share the secrets with. I was not really into that idea, and yet until now, I know I haven’t told her all of my secrets within. I was also not really sure if I really have known all about her. I didn’t know how her first heartbreak was, or maybe why does she like butterfly so much, but I believe she will explain it to me some day. For me it was pretty hard to digest the idea, I used to find it scary to imagine someone who could understand every single little details of me, even my tiniest flaws, adding that I am also such a closed-book person. But maybe the saying was right, because with her I know someday I will. I will tell her all of my secrets, and leave her without any further wonders. Maybe one night, when we couldn’t sleep and ended up talking our hearts out.
Or maybe one day, on one sunny day, on my ‘ditch-work-and-go-camping’ surprise day. Over the green grass, on our red checkered camping matte, when we’d try so hard to be classy, reading books and eating subways. I know it should be sandwiches, but according to the fact that I don’t eat breads, and I don’t like any other breads except subways, let’s just accept it. She would tell me stories and I would tell her mine. And then I’ll say those words. “I think I’ve never told this to anyone before, and I have no idea why did I tell you this.” And then you would smile like a winner, like you just accomplished one huge achievement. “It is what they call trust”, you’d say that.
And I would just accept it, the fact that finally I have someone that I can really trust, maybe forever. And it’s funny because forever, forever, I used to be afraid to call it forever. It’s scary that you make a commitment to others, or even to yourself in that really really long duration. I mean, forever is so long, and we don’t even know what’s gonna happen tomorrow, and that our feelings change day by day. But with her, I think I started to be familiar with the idea, even more to be honest, now I think forever sounds a bit too short for us.
I want to go to places with her, holding hands, making love, laughing, eats a lot of ice cream, everything that I do with her, and I don’t think we’d have enough time in this world. Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t have to sleep so I could just talk with her all night long, but then again, the idea of going to sleep, and waking up to her like this morning also sounds perfect in my world.
These past months I’ve been trying to figure out what really is the purpose of life. And I haven’t really figured that out, but that’s okay I guess. I’m in my 20s, maybe just a few have figured things out in their 20’s. Heartbreaks made me think a lot about life. If my life was in the ‘500 days of summer’ movie, I was Tom after his heartbreak, I was laying down in my bed the whole week, doing nothing but bouncing a tennis ball without any particular reason. But then like in the movie, I’m starting to draw the sketches, the plans of what I’m going to do in the next chapter of my life.
It was really cold here, I was literally freezing. Life made me so good at ignoring things, I was a man with a heart as hard a stone cold, and the irony is I got my hearts melted during this winter. I started to marvel at the beautiful things. I was really a self-centered person before, I always think that I’m the one with the hardest life, and no one would ever actually understand what I’m feeling, because they have no fucking idea of what I was dealing with. I used to look at things in my own perspective. I stand up with my own principles, which is not a really bad thing I guess, but I realized that in some cases, breaking your own principles won’t hurt. Sometimes it’s good to break the rules, and to look at stuffs with other people’s point of view. To think that I’m not that one who is always right. That life also happened to them, as well.
I picked up my guitar again, I started to write my thoughts. I went for a walk alone, I went to the field and play basketball with strangers. I hang out with people I’m not really comfortable with. I watched the leaves fall down from trees. I stared at butterflies sitting on the flowers. I went to places I don’t know, trying things I never did before, and trying to figure out what they can offer me, what things I could actually learn from it. That’s when I realized that life is not about finding love and being happy all the time. It’s about crying, hating, wishing and being let down. But come to think of it again, it’s not that bad to experience things, or being sad, and it’s boredom that kills you. Because good things happen all the time, and sometimes all you need is time, to kneel down and pick up the beautiful parts of life.
I started to talk with my mom, I never say “I miss you” to my mom before, but I surprisingly did, and it feels good. I started to tell people what I feel. I said thanks often, I told people around me that I actually love them, and it’s really comforting, to be honest. I’ve been staring at people secretly behind the glass screen, thinking that I’m the one who’s free, while they’re trapped inside the glass. Meanwhile in fact, it has always been me inside the glass, like a dead pinned butterfly, static and unmoving, trapped behind the box, watching other’s life unfolds. And now I really want to break those glasses so hard.
But before that, I just want to go home.