When I was seventeen I worked for my father. My life consisted of a strict routine and very harsh consequences for rules that my parents had for me. My father was, and still is, an important man. I live, and always will, in his shadow. It is a blessing and a curse.
I couldn’t date anyone because if I did I would have been subjected to an inquisition like no other. Where I was going, what time I was going there, who would be there and so on and so on. So I hid things from him. I had several relationships but they were based on what every teenager desires. Social status, sex, simple attraction and infatuations. I never partied, did anything slightly rebellious or anything of the sort.
Working for him was interesting. I made good friends that I still have today. Important friends who have important duties in state and local courts and former Police Detectives turned VP’s for the Bank we represented. We worked with the United States Marshals Office as well. They helped us serve documents to people we were sueing. I was able to make friends in very good places.
While I was working for him I was in my last year of High School. I wanted to join the marines and after go to the University Of Arizona to study criminology. After I got my degree I was going to apply to Quantico to become an FBI Agent. So I had a plan. You always have to have a plan. But reality struck home when my father refused to allow me to join the armed forces. I chose him over my dream to serve my country and I regret it.
While working there I met a fellow law clerk who I’ll call Marie (Which is not her real name).Even though it has been over twenty years, I can remember the first time I saw her. I looked down the hall and saw a girl with permed auburn hair down to her shoulders. She was wearing a dark dress with a floral pattern. Marie turned her head slightly to glance at me and then continued walking down the other end of the hall as if to say, I’m unimpressed.
Over time Marie slowly opened herself up to me. We would talk about the most random things but it always seemed we were laughing with each other. Her laugh is almost a drug and I became addicted to it. We worked well with each other. I can see her smile now as I think back. Her beautiful eyes would stare through me. Marie was fascinating. One of the things that was different about her than other girls whom I knew was that she was quick witted and fairly composed, humble and warm.
Marie was wise beyond her years. I could talk to her about anything and she would be able to understand. I really feel that she had some kind of burden on her shoulders that was hard for her to bear. Somewhat like the shadow I lived under with my father. Whatever it was I can remember one day I realized something. I not only liked her, not only did I understand her, but I also respected and cared about her. Which I still do to this day. Marie and I became close. It changed me. I went from being uptight to a more relaxed person. I felt like a better person around her to be quite honest.
Marie was exciting and confident. I can remember her walking around the office as if she didn’t give a care in the world what people thought about her. Something I had a hard time doing. Being the son of the boss I had a responsibility to my family. I think Marie understood that but wanted to see me more independent from my father.
The situation was difficult at times but between us there was magic. It was pure. Nothing I did or said that was irrational or emotionally charged mattered because I knew I would always be forgiven and I would always forgive her without regretting it. Marie herself gave me choices to make, an ultimatum of sorts, and unfortunately our flame was extinguished. I chose my father over her after she presented me with the option of either her or him. Again I chose my father and again I regret it to this very day. I had a hard time forgiving her for that but I did so none the less. Marie went her separate way and I went mine. Yet I always thought about her and still do. Even though it was twenty years ago I realize how in love with her I was.
When we went our separate ways I had a difficult time. I don’t know what it was but all I knew is that I needed her and without her I almost felt less of a person. I remember how it felt to be next to her, to hold her in my arms. Over twenty years later I realize how in shambles my life has bent since I lost her. I don’t blame her one bit, it’s just I know with her I would have had some semblance of sanity and someone to laugh and enjoy time with while sharing things together. I appreciate and treasure every moment I had with her. I realize now what I felt for her was true love. My first love. Marie taught me how to love and no one has ever made me feel the way she had.
I almost got married once. Yet within me was a hesitant, doubtful and cautious person that was left with the agony of losing my best friend and wishing Laura was Marie. I couldn’t stop wanting Laura to be Marie. I have thought about Marie at times. Over the years I buried those feelings deep and haven’t addressed them. For me to face them is too painful. I have learned to build walls around myself in fear of experiencing the pain again.
I wonder what I would do if I saw her again and how I would feel? I’d probably listen to Coldplay’s “Magic” on repeat and ask her to as well, but I can imagine I would probably have a total meltdown. I’d probably remember how much I loved her and my walls that gave me solace would somehow come crashing down leaving me defenseless. I would probably lash out in a tirade of uncontrolled ramblings that I would employ to tell myself to not fall for her again. Lashing out because of the bitterness I keep close to my sanity to filter out old feelings of regret from not choosing her over my father.
Sometimes I wonder how her life has turned out. I’ve heard rumors but I never put much faith in rumors. If she has had a difficult life and a run of bad luck it would hurt me because that means she would be hurting. I have learned of information that indicates a very different person from the woman I knew.
Honestly though, if she was in a good place with no stresses and free from chaos, being tied down and not “escaping reality” I promise you I would have a place for her and her alone in my heart. If she did want me after that I know we could work things out. If that were the case and I saw or heard from her, I would tear down my walls for her. I would be able to experience a love that I have only felt in my dreams since we parted. As an adult I would do anything I could to keep her from any difficult situation or things that caused her problems or duress. Because I have learned how to avoid problems by making wiser choices.
Even if it was me that was the problem, I would remove myself from her life. Because I couldn’t bear to have her hurt and I don’t want her to hurt. That’s how much I love her.
Everyday I want to send her a message of how wonderful she is and how strong she was and is still. I want to remind her she made an impact in my life and she is more valuable than words can describe. That anything she would ask of me I would provide. I have questioned love for the longest time. To see her face would remind me but as I said, the pain of what I learned about loosing love has marred me. It really is not her fault because I’m the one who let it happen.
The silver lining is I realize I have to be happy with myself first before I can make anyone else happy. Each day is a different story, but she is always with me. Slowly I have learned that love and relationships may not be worth giving up all of yourself to someone for.
I want to thank her for her kindness, her decency and understanding. Thank her for teaching me the kind of love that changes people for the better. Marie taught me more about myself than anyone has since, and I miss her dearly. I just want her to be safe and solid as I knew her to be. I learned how to say goodbye to love a long time ago…and I say it now. She is the only one who could unlock the rusty gate that surrounds my heart. I would wait for her for an eternity before I would ever let anyone else have it.
So to all that question my motives for writing and expressing my deepest darkest secrets, I do it not to pick up the opposite sex or for you to think I am some nice guy. I can be stubborn, presumptive, impatient, emotional and jump to conclusions. Why I write is for personal reflection and even now I have clarity I lacked before. Especially about what kind of people I want in my life. I want people like both my family and her. I dont want to choose. If I had to choose I would choose both. But I would definitely focus my time in sustaining and elevating Marie to the platform that she deserves.