I looked her in her eyes as we lay on a blanket in the park. Half empty wine glasses framed our heads and a movie was playing on a large screen in the distance. People cheered and awed loudly as things happened on the screen but we were concerned only with each other. Her hair was dark and fell across her face, partly covering eyes that reflected the moonlight as she lay on her back. Without speaking she was asking me a question,
“Do you see me?”
I replayed the moments she revealed to me earlier that day. How she told me between bites of frozen yogurt that her biggest pet peeve is people who are dishonest. How she wouldn’t have sex without first having an emotional connection. How she had been abruptly broken up with 5 months ago by a man she loved. How I was special. How it sucked to be sad. I took another sip of wine and said to her,
“You want to see and be seen. You want intimacy…and you want to heal.”
She nodded quietly. Her eyes deepened into endless pools. Then she turned her head away from me. I rested my hand on her stomach then moved slowly up to her heart, listening with my fingertips to her breathing, her heartbeat, her lifeforce. In that moment she was completely honest, vulnerable, and trusting and it hurt my heart. I felt a small recoil in the depths of me, a part of myself I was sure would remain hidden and impervious. As I reached into her, she also reached into me. What came to the surface was recognition, nostalgia, and grief.
She reminded me of a past lover, not in her person but in her nature. I had ended a 4 year relationship with a woman that loved me more intensely than I had ever been loved and I had broken her heart and my own. I had been dishonest with first myself then with her, loving her only in parts and in moments, but never fully. As I watched this honest woman in front of me, revealing her pain and desire to me, I couldn’t help but wonder if my ex was somewhere doing the same. I was partly hurt by the realization but also happy.
I hoped that if she were, she would be doing so with a man who had hurt and been hurt. Who saw her for who she really was and had already made a promise within himself that he could no longer be dishonest, that he must live fully in his truth. I hoped that this new man had learned from the woman that loved him and had become a better man because of it and that he learned to treat a heart as a delicate gift. I hoped that in loving again both of their hearts would be redeemed.
She turned back to me, her eyes glistening.