Monday, October 12, 2009
A Decade in Love- Pt II
From that day on, my heart began counting the days, months, and years until I met him again. The first year was the worst; I wept uncontrollably as if a part of me had died. Countless nights, I forced myself to eat and sleep. My family was worried, hearing me speak of him often. They knew I hadn’t let go of him. Not approving of our relationship in the first place, they said that it was better to forget him- the pain would go away soon. But it never did. I dreamt with him almost every night, sometimes good dreams; sometimes nightmares I couldn’t decipher. I dreamt I saw him sitting on steps, staring out into the heavy rain, his arms folded on his knees- waiting for me. I stroked his hair passing by him and up the steps, bidding him to come. In another dream, Nathan and I were laying side by side on a bed of green grass in an open field. We were staring up at the clear blue sky when suddenly a giant hand came out from the clouds, cut open our chests, removed our hearts and stitched in new ones. I woke up thinking, ’What a crazy dream, but this is a good sign; we won’t have to wait ten years.’ He’ll be coming for me soon. But he never did.
A second and third year went by- impatience and bitterness settled in. ‘Will it really happen?’ I thought, ‘will I ever see him again?’ I began losing hope, praying fervently for him, hoping he was doing better than me. At another visit to New Jersey I saw his sister and we spoke of him. She said he had moved away and from time to time would call her and share his dreams. She said he too would think of me and dream with me often. After telling her some of my dreams, especially, where I saw him staring out into the rain; in astonishment, she said, “That’s not possible; Nathan had that exact dream two weeks ago.” I remembered then it had been two weeks since mine. ‘This must be a good sign’ I thought. But the signs and years came and went and still- no sight of him.
In August 1999, I moved to New York City, hours away from both my families. I wanted to be left alone and find myself along the way; so I rarely visited either family. I climbed corporate ladders, traveled different countries, joined poetry and choir groups in church, went out with good friends. Still the void of him haunted my mind. And from time to time, I’d search for his face amongst endless crowds. I refused to admit that I still missed him after all this time. I engulfed myself in work masking the loneliness I felt. I entertained myself in empty relationships that never measured up to him. In the depths of my heart, I knew he was the only one for me. In March 2005, I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. The city had chewed me up and spit me out. Thoughts of Nathan crossed my mind. Somehow, I was still hanging onto his love. At times, I thought back to his last words to me- I felt we were cursed by them. I felt I would never truly be happy in life, no matter where I lived.
My brother and his wife opened their home in New Jersey to me. Once again I moved out of state and close to family. I considered myself a gypsy with the many times I had moved. I didn’t know my heart was searching for Home. I was broken, depressed and after all I had done, my life was empty. My prayers had grown dim. I stayed with my brother, his wife and four children for one year. They cared for me as if I was a child. When I began feeling better and more optimistic on life, my brother announced he and his family were moving away to Ohio. They asked me to join them, but I refused. I felt a sense of panic. But one day, stopping at a red-light, I asked God for direction. “Lord, where do I go from here?” I asked, “I have no family of my own, no one to care for me, I’m drawn in many directions. Lord, what do you want me to do?” I heard a still, small voice, “Be still and know that I am God!” For the first time in a long time, I felt as if God was preparing a huge surprise for me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I remained there in that part of New Jersey until I was led up north again where my mother used to live. Years before, she had moved back to her homeland, Puerto Rico.
One December day, in 2006, I took a wrong turn and was led to a restaurant where Nathan’s younger brother worked many years ago. I stopped in for a bite to eat and to ask for directions. When I looked up from the menu, there he was. Nathan’s brother, all grown up, with a stunned look on his face. “What are you doing here?” he hugged me, “I thought you were living in New York?” “And I thought you weren’t working here anymore!” I answered sarcastically. I explained to him that I had been in New Jersey a while- living a little more to the south. “I’m now trying to rent an apartment up this way, but it’s been a while since I’ve been here,” I laughed, “I got lost or rather, took a wrong turn searching for it and somehow ended up on this road.” “Funny,” he said, “my brother, Nathan, just moved back in town as well.” My heart skipped a beat. “He’s had it pretty rough these past years, I’m sure he’d be happy to see you again,” he told me. “You think?” I asked, “After all this time?” “What about his girlfriend or wife?” I asked him trying to get more details of his life. He smiled, shaking his head, and told me Nathan lived around the corner from the library. The library? The same library I frequently sat in almost every day only a few steps away from his house. My stomach was in knots. After our short conversation, everything fell into place. It couldn’t be! It was then; I remembered it was 2006- Ten years! Ten long years, after Nathan spoke those words to me, “… ten years from now; we might just find each other one last time.”
A few days later, I worked up the courage to go see him. I knocked on the door and his voice cut through me like a knife, “Come in.” Many times I had dreamed of this day and wondered if I ever saw him, would the love still be there or, had I, all these years, hung onto an imaginary love. The house was filled with his family who were visiting. His mother, sister, nephews and nieces were all there. I felt a little out of place, wondering what they were thinking. They all welcomed me with smiles and hugs. They asked me tons of questions- where I had been; what had I done with my life. Before I got around to him, I felt his eyes heavy on me, piercing me with his love. I walked over to him, stared into his green eyes and squeezed him tightly. With a broken voice and tears in my eyes, I whispered, “It’s been ten years, my love, the curse is broken.” He searched my eyes; I could feel him shaking. He smiled at me with love and said, “It’s good to find you again. I searched for you, but I was told you moved. After all these years, I never stopped loving you.”
I was home; he was always my home. He was my best friend and my soulmate. He was created for me and I was created for him.
It’s been close to three years from that December day. Our love has only grown stronger. We, now, both understand that losing and finding each other again was all part of God’s great design for our lives. We accept the fact that only a Higher Power could keep our hearts yearning for each other for more than a decade. Today we hold the same friendship with a loving God that cared enough to knit our hearts together, forever.
Our Love Story
copyright © 2009 Ellie Kings
Art by Jacqueline Gerritsen