The Unexpected Gift

A ran into an old boyfriend from college not long ago.  I was in the dairy section at the supermarket and heard a familiar voice say my name.  Before turning around I already knew who it was, his energy had invaded my space and my senses were already caught up as I turned to see my old flame.  We both smiled and kind of surveyed each other.  He gushed at me saying that I was still just as beautiful  and I remarked that he was still just as striking as ever.  He was, yes, just as striking especially those eyes, still intense and wild, and the most beautiful shade of brown.  We stood there and talked for a while, trying to cram so many years into what we knew were going to be  just a few minutes.  At one point he stopped me from talking and touched my arm.  This man proceeded to present to me a precious gift, one that I thought I would never receive from him.  It wasn’t anything that I could touch.  I couldn’t see it.  I could only sense it from him, from his heart, from his soul….this is a summary of what he said:

I want you to know that all of that stuff that happened with us, all of that stuff that I did to you, things that made you cry and broke your heart?  None of that was you.  I know that I told you at times it was you and blamed you for things but all of that, all of me being a butt hole was completely on me.  I treated you badly, I knew I didn’t deserve you.  You were like a gift that I wanted, that I prayed for, but I didn’t know what to do with you when you were right there in my life trying to love me.  I didn’t know how to be good for you, I couldn’t and did not want to get my act together , I was wild, so to prevent from damaging you, I pushed you away.  I would never have forgiven myself if you would have gotten caught up in what I was doing then, I just knew you had to go and be as far from me as possible.   I just wanted you to know that.  I know you blamed yourself and it was me, it was all me. I need you to know that it wasn’t you.

He stood there peering at me with those eyes.  Time seemed to freeze as memories good and bad buzzed through my mind and tears welled up in my eyes.  He was right, I did blame myself.   I thought often that if I could just be more of this way or less of that then he would love me, but the funny thing is that as much I did love him, I  could not bring myself to change.  I would not change and eventually we did go our separate ways.  Something always told me that I was enough, more than enough, but when you are twenty something and the person that you love walks out of your world it is hard not to internalize that and take it personal.   We continued to talk for a short while longer and then he ask me for a hug.  We hugged.  In that embrace I felt a man, a man that I once loved, I felt our history, I felt what I once hoped would be, I felt what I knew could never be,  I felt a familiar energy, still captivating yet now only safer …solid, I felt forgiveness, and the sense that we would always, always, hold that time  we we were young and in love with idea of each other, but still searching for that thing to fill the void.

We talked some more and hugged again.  It seemed hard for us to both say good bye to each other.  There was this longing to stay in each others presence, but we had built lives not designed for the other.  I am grateful for the few moments we spent that day, I am grateful that I got to see the man that he evolved into, and am grateful that part of his evolution included setting me free.  We were in a store with many items that could have been gifts, but sometimes the greatest gifts cannot be touched, they must be offered from a humbled heart that only time and living life can purchase.

Thank you old friend for that gift.  Love always –