The cottage was simply made of wood. Nothing fancy, just a few lovely simple rooms. Two bedrooms, a living room area attached to a small dining area, attached to a kitchen. A perfectly placed screen door. It was on Oak lake. I was 16. She was 15. She biked in from her small town almost everyday. We fell and fell hard. We cherished every minute together like they would be our last. Until it was and the summer ended in tears and adolescent heartbreak.
Years pass by in a glimpse and still she remands in my heart. Many days haunted by the memory of a life long gone. My world changed so profoundly from what I thought I knew then. Where did she go? Who did she become? I remember the time I knew what happiness was let the memory live again. Two Thousand and Twelve approaching like a great clock to inventory what we have made of our years. Who have we become? Did we forget who we are? Can we really move on through the elusion of time without properly closing the chapters with care, respect and love. If we don’t I suppose we brave on only becoming a slave to the sands of time.
We carried a deep wound for 24 years. Imagine 24 New Years Eves without closure, without closing that chapter so many years ago that left us so truly sad. I had that closure this week. I received a phone call. The voice on the other end was faint and honest. “Bruce, it’s me, how are you? How have you been?” I could hear the tears because I heard my own. It was her. It was the girl I had loved so many lives ago. “I’m doing great!” I tried to convince myself. Of course we are all doing great when we live in the hectic haze of adulthood. “Would you like to meet me for coffee? I am in Toronto staying at the Sheraton and I would love to see you.” She retracted quickly in fear I would say no. Of course I wouldn’t hear of it. Of course I would meet her.
We met in the lobby of the Sheraton. A hotel chain I have come to know well. The grand Christmas tree in the lobby was the perfect spot to meet her. I waited with nervous anticipation. I have not seen her in 24 summers. Would I look old to her? Would my eyes tell the story of the highs and lows of what I call my life? Will she see how much I still love her? Will I see that she still loves me?
She stepped off the elevator. Our eyes met and it was like magic. It really was magic. We were 16 again and all the troubles and responsibility of a lifetime of reality were gone in a glance. I could see the love and so could she. Not love like you want to romanticize but a genuine love that has never been fowled by the mistakes and bitterness of adulthood.
We made our way up to the Bistro on two. Feeling like characters out of a dozen movies where long lost loves meet again. There was a sadness to our meeting as we knew we were not there to find love but to put closure on the love that got away. As we sat we agreed it was wonderful to see each other after so many years. The waiter brought us water, menu’s and coffee. The napkins became our vales for tears.
We began to tell our stories. She listen like she would never hear again. I did the same. She told me about her fears. I told her mine. She told me about her children. I shared my stories about my long lost singing career. She told me about her sweet husband and I told her of my love. We laughed and we cried and I got to say I was sorry. She shared her heart ache and I shared mine. We laughed some more and we had the home made soup as we cherished every minute like it would be our last. We took some pictures and I promised to email them to her. We knew the time was short. We told our stories and shared about the loves we had found.
We wiped our eyes and put away our childhood memories.
We became friends.
If love is lost, may it be found. If love is adsent, may it return. If you have love, may it last a lifetime.
I have love. Is there anything more wonderful than that?
Happy New Year 2012!!!
The Bistro (@ the Sheraton Queen St. Toronto)
4 kisses out of 5