I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!
Fall of 2016
I need to go to her and say goodbye.
Besides, security here at PHL is pretty tight and I’m probably starting to look suspicious standing here with no luggage.
I slowly walk over to her.
“Heeyyyyyy!” Rebecca leaps to her feet and hugs me tighter than ever before.
“Charles! You came!” She eased out of my arms but remained close.
“I told you I would.”
“This is Mari.” She reached out to the girl she was with.
Mari stood and shook my hand. She was obviously Latina. She had shoulder length black hair and caramel skin. She had an air of safety around her I could feel. It comforted me and quelled my anxiety.
“It’s nice to meet, Charles. Rebecca has told me so much about you.”
I wanted to say: ‘All good I hope’ but decided against that awful, dated cliche.
I sat down next to Rebecca. Her dark eyes twinkled. Her raven tresses were pulled back in a ponytail.
“I’m so excited about this trip! It’s going to be an awesome adventure!” Mari looked at Rebecca, nodding and smiling in affirmation.
“I’m really proud of you. I’m sure this took a lot of thought.”
“It did, and as hard as this is going to be I feel like I have to do it.”
I smiled and agreed.
We chatted and Rebecca and Mari went on and on about where they were going and what they’d be doing when they got there.
This isn’t how I imagined it.
I pictured us locked in a passionate embrace. The classic movie scene. The moment where the girl is about to get away, but destiny steps in and saves the day for the hapless hero.
I thought about this scenario as my eyes moved from Rebecca’s eyes to her full ripe lips. I watched her speak but couldn’t hear her.
Like all of my previous relationships, I could always look, love and partake but I never heard any of them that had come before Rebecca.
I’m a beauty addict. (Or a modelizer like Michelle used to call me. She was right. She was quoting Sex in the City, but she was right.)
I’m a shallow, superficial fool when it comes to affairs of the heart. I want to live in this Peter Pan like existences with all of these young women.
What am I missing? Why am I like this? What am I searching for with these young ladies?
Have I been such and ongoing, consistent failure, that I’m hoping to recapture what I was at fourteen with those lovely girls of Summer in the 70’s. My teen years. My young life? Here I am in my mid fifties and I love like a teenage boy. But I’ve learned so much about people and the world. But I still have that one single tear in my heart for something that’s been lost.
The innocence of young love. That touch of the hand. That magical first kiss.
I’ve been in 3 rock bands. Worked in banking for 20 years and advertising for 10.
There isn’t a sin I haven’t seen. I’ve done everything with everybody for decades and loved every mad minute of it. I loved the feeling of soaring on wings of steel to the heights of ecstacy, but always too close to the sun.
The searing pain of losing the woman in my life is the exact opposite and worse than the dopamine drop of falling in love.
It’s like the cocktails are amazing and I feel wonderful, but the hangover is so bad and goes on for so long, I may never recover from another loss again.
But Rebecca has saved me from that searing pain. She’s going away before I can squander her time and her heart on my foolish, nostalgic desires.
“I’ll be back in like, three months.”
Her words snapped me back into the moment at hand.
“Yea, you’ll do great work there. I can’t wait to hear all of your stories when you get back. I’m sure they’ll be amazing.”
“Hope so!” Chirped, Mari.
“I’m gonna miss you, Charles.”
“I’m going to miss you too, Rebecca.”
I wanted to say her name because I knew for awhile I would never have the opportunity to utter it again.
Sensing we needed a moment, Mari excused herself to the restroom. (Thankfully!)
“I’m really glad you came today. And I really appreciate you supporting me in my decision.”
“Of course. I think it’s amazing. You’re going to have the time of your life down there. Travel and exploration is what we do. It can be so broadening in your development as a person.” (For fuck’s sake. I’m literally quoting my father!)
“I appreciate that, Charles.”
“Don’t get mixed up with the Cartel down there, cause you’d fit right in!”
Rebecca laughed. That lovely sound that comes forth from her sweet soul. Like the sound of your favorite song. Her laughter has always let me know that I was okay and that she felt safe with me. Women can fake certain things but not their laughter.
I know when it’s real.
She calmed down and took my hands in hers. They were warm and soft. I could feel all of my energy going into my hands at that moment. Just her touch. That was all that was happening in that moment. That, and her eyes.
What’s happening to me? Am I changing?
There’s just something different about this one.
I can’t quite….
The announcement came over the intercom system that her plane was arriving.
The steel bird that would come from the sky and snatch my love from me before I ever had the chance to slowly ruin everything between us.
It’s better this way. Three months? Six months? It’s all the same. It doesn’t matter. I knew in my heart it was over before it began. All of the dates and stolen kisses were for naught.
I shouldn’t feel this way. I should be happy and rejoice in the fact that I had the time I had with Rebecca. Maybe this has been a warning to me to be more cautious. To be careful with the hearts of these women and not worry about mine. My time is running out and moving into old age. They’re just beginning their lives. I may bring them wisdom and comfort but it will always be fleeting.
“Well I guess this is it.”
“Yea. You better get your friend so she doesn’t miss your flight.”
“Hey… Chaz. You’ve changed me forever and you know I’ll be thinking about you when I’m away.”
I felt the searing in my chest.
“Thank you. I’m happy to have you in my life. You’re a wonderful girl, Rebecca.” I could feel my voice begin to waver.
Must hold on.
Must hold on to myself.
Because I’ve already lost hold on Rebecca.
I was so close this time.
Mari returned and they picked up their carry on bags.
“I’ll be back in three months! We’re sooo going to get plowed on cocktails, Chaz.”
“You are so right! Can’t wait!”
We walked towards security. This all felt so robotic and automatic. Like I was walking through someone else’s dream. It wasn’t mine. This perfunctory exit from my reality.
My dream was waking up next to Rebecca in my bedroom. Her hair disheveled from a night of lovemaking and deep blissful sleep with me. I smell her as she leans her nude body against mine. She’s warmer than I am. She snakes her leg over me and pulls me close. Our faces only inches apart.
The only time you can do that is if you’re in love with someone. That never happens anywhere else.
I know this is the end. We’ll reach airport security and they’ll go through and I’ll be left standing here alone.
Mari loads her bag onto the treadmill that scans her bag and Rebecca follows suit. Mari steps through the metal detector and begins to gather her stuff. She takes her phone and keys from the little dish.
I’m dying a little bit.
Maybe a lot.
Rebecca turns and embraces me.
“Come on Miss.” The TSA attendant barks.
Rebecca goes up on tiptoes and gets in my face.
“You won’t forget me will ya?”
“No dear.” was all I could muster. It took everything I had not to cry.
“I’ll write to you, or text you or facetime or whatsapp you! I promise.”
“Don’t worry about me. You’ll be back before you know it and we’ll be blasting citywides at McGlinchey’s.”
What else could I say here?
Rebecca kissed me hard on the lips. Without shame. No matter who looked on.
Even as I held her in that moment I could feel she was already long gone.
It was over before it could begin…
I’m sitting in a little speedboat with my father. It’s a warm day in July. I’m about 13 years of age. We’ve anchored in the Delaware bay on the western side of Wildwood, NJ. We’re fishing. The sky is blue filled with big fluffy clouds that take turns giving us a break from the sun.
“It’s not good today son. But I see some birds working over there.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It means we should take the boat over there and join them.”
“Well, you can see the gulls over there flying and dipping into the water. That means that they’re feeding. They’re feeding on little fish.”
“There’s a reason all of those little fish are swimming to the surface and getting snatched up by all of those birds.”
“There’s something bigger under the waves that’s chasing them. We need to be a part of that.”
“Cool. Let’s go!”
My little fish Rebecca, was about to be clipped by a giant bird. I would be left to sink back beneath the depths and eventually die.
She brought her hands to my face like she always did. I liked the feeling of being captured by her. Like I was her prey. When all along in my mind she had always been the elusive quarry.
Her lips parted from mine. “I have to go. But I’ll be back before you know it.”
“I’ll be right here.” She pointed to my chest.
“Don’t pull that ET shit on me now.”
Rebecca smiled and turned to rush through the security check point.
This was the end.
I watched as the girls walked toward the gate that led to the plane that would take them away.
Mari went in and Rebecca followed close behind.
But then she stopped for a moment and turned back to me.
She gazed upon me with those unforgettable eyes. Those vibrant eyes that were now full of tears.
I had no alternative.
I looked at her and mouthed the words, “I love you.”
Rebecca cocked her head and blinked once. Tears rolled down her cheeks. Then she spoke. I could only read her lips over the noise of the terminal.
“I love you too… I’m sorry.”
She shook her head and entered the tunnel.
Rebecca was gone.
The Dark Wings of Destiny had finally Scattered our Days.
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