Does anyone out there have one of those old flings whose memory just won’t go away? As a young married woman I struggled with an emotional tangle that was beyond my maturity and caused incredible anguish for years. I was very much in love with my husband, but I had lingering feelings for another person who was in my life immediately prior to him. In my young heart and head, I had no idea that loving two persons simultaneously was not only possible, but happens with incredible frequency. When I would encounter him after my marriage, it was obvious that he was equally unfinished with what we had together, so it didn’t help me to move on. I felt terribly disloyal to my husband any time I remembered the other guy. I last saw him in 1964. This was written a few years later.
Last night I saw him while I dreamed.
How wonderful it seemed
To feel his arms and see him smile,
To hear his voice while
I saw that gleam I’ve misses so much
In his eyes. I felt his touch
And knew. How could I have been so wrong
To stay away from him so long?
I felt so warm and glowing.
Then I awoke, knowing
He’s gone. And probably forever.
I haven’t seen him........ never
Since three years ago
When I told him that I must go,
That our love was in the past.
I tho’t it wrong, it couldn’t last.
And he agreed it was best,
For me, at least.
And since that day I’ve wondered
If we blundered
To let go of a love I wanted.
I suppose for some time, I’ll be haunted
Wondering what we could have had,
Had I not decided it was bad
For love to be so strong.
That it could last that long.
There’s no returning, anyhow.
To days gone past. And now
This hollow, empty feeling
That sometimes leaves me reeling
And grasping for something, anything to hold
Hasn’t left me dead...just cold.
I’ve lived with it three years, so surely
I can live with it three more.......... or thirty.
Ah, there is a post script on this. In 2002 we stumbled upon one another on the internet (thank you, Classmates!), and had a short meeting in 2003, after 39 years, as he was passing through KC. The meeting was sweet, nostalgic, and pretty much ends there. No, there was nothing wrong. We were just different people than we were back then. I’d kept him at that age in my memory, and I think it was about the same for him. We keep in touch and he will always be in my heart, but I have been able to put a ribbon around the old memory, stick it on a shelf to rest, at long last.