“The older I’ve gotten, even with 6 billion people on the planet I have come to realize that love, true love is a rare thing.” I nodded and sipped my coffee. He continued.
“I mean…most people are together for the money, or the lifestyle, or the children, or because they don’t want to be alone, or its easy and convenient. But passionate love, I think that’s something that most people don’t experience, or at least they can’t make it last. Can they?”
“Yes, they can.”
“How? What is that kind of love anyway?”
“It’s when you see the worst in someone and still love them anyway. And you work through it.”
“How do you know?”
“I’m living it.”
“But you are single?”
“Yes…He decided he didn’t want to work through it…and I was too foolish and immature at the time, so it wasn’t going to work. The final straw was I said something impossible to forget…something I never meant…something …” It was still difficult for me to think about. “I made an ass out of myself defending it. I didn’t learn from my mistakes. Foolishness, selfishness, stupidity and none of it was ever how I felt…I was just…” I sighed, my voice trailed off as I stared into my coffee. “He’s the biggest regret of my life. But I understand why he left now…I didn’t give him any other choice. You can’t be with someone that hurts you…that is arrogant, that does not thinks about how words and actions affect others. Someone who cares more about appearances, than people. Someone who says mean things. Frankly…I would have broken up with me too…”
“You aren’t like the person you are describing? I don’t see you that way.”
“Well…I guess I’ve made progress then. Storms…have purpose…”
Is there anything you can do?”
“No…nothing. I zapped all the love he ever had for me right out of him. So…I guess for him I wasn’t his true love…no..nothing…nothing to do. To do anything would be disrespectful. When you love someone…you respect their boundaries. He made his abundantly clear.”
“He doesn’t love you?”
“Then why don’t you move on?”
“What? I’m single?” I smiled, singleness was a disease to some…to me, well…it didn’t mean anything other than a label partnered people like to give me.
“Moving on means…you learn and you let go….and you grow…that is all. It doesn’t mean you stop loving that person. That sort of love doesn’t die. It just changes forms, I can’t go back to the past, nor do I want to…I don’t want to be stuck as the person I was, and he sees me that way, so no..no there is nothing to be done.”
“But…he doesn’t love you?”
I grinned…with warmth and the softness of the cream in my coffee, “No..he doesn’t but..that’s his problem…and not mine to worry about. Love doesn’t demand that someone love you back…it just is.” I sipped my coffee and stared out the window to watch the sun rise over the row houses and market while I listened to the colored man greet the dawn with song.