Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful? Jun23

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Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?

This is a follow on to http://laloba.com/so-whaddya-got/ – It will mean more if you read that one first …

Thursday He got past my defenses (and not just the caller ID)

So, two days later, working away, phone rings, not a number I know, but could be a client, so I answer, thinking nothing of  it.

That voice, there’s that voice.  And that country delivery that I recognize from a lifetime ago.

I talk, he talks, some light stuff, how are you, what a beautiful daughter we have, it’s been two lifetimes since we were together.

I’m a little pleased that he’s calling from another number …. I didn’t answer when I saw his name the first time, didn’t return the call, so he’s trying another way to get in touch with me.  I’m pleased he called again. And unhappy with myself for taking that satisfaction.

I’m moving through the conversation unsure of myself, unsure that I want it to continue, not knowing how to end it, when I realize he feels so familiar.

And hearing his voice feels so good.

And the things he’s saying are so respectful, so caring, so NOT 17.

I know we’re not teenagers anymore, but I can’t help feeling like I’m fifteen all over again and scared.  Invigorated, intrigued, a thousand different emotions pulling at me at once but the one that screams to be paid attention to is that one that is the 15 year-old-girl I haven’t known in forever.

Of course he told me he’s sorry.   And that he knows he can never make it up to me. He tells me several times that her life seems to have been very good, and that it turned out for the best, it seems.

It may have turned out for the best for her, I say.  It probably was.  But it wasn’t the best for me.

I don’t intend to let him off the hook that easily. It was the not knowing that she had a great life, not knowing that she was okay, not knowing was the hardest part.  If I couldn’t take care of her, at least knowing she was doing well would have made it bearable.

The subject changes, he admits that’s true.  We cover the years that have gone by, our tastes are very much the same, our opinions frequently mesh.  Seems odd, because I didn’t know things like that when we were really together.  I guess the only thing we cared about then was that we cared about each other.

He speaks of an ex-wife, not unkindly, just matter of factly about when they were divorcing.  The only mention I make of an ex husband is that one is Italian, when we’re discussing the Cherokee history again.

Abruptly he says, And we’ve got a beautiful daughter. Its shocking really.

I started laughing.  It can’t be too shocking, you’ve known about her for 45 years.

But to talk to her, and see what she looks like and see how her life has been – It’s well, its hard to find the words.

So we went on, for how long, I don’t know, but a long time.  Sometimes about her, sometimes about memories of us. I let the conversation go where he took it, it was his dime, and I was unsteady still about having this conversation.

As it drew to a close, he asked if he could call me again, no pressure, no expectations, but that he’d like to call me.

I heard myself say, I’d like that.

And then it was hard for us to say good bye and hang up – neither willing to be the first to go.

It’s been a couple of days and I haven’t heard from him again 🙁

I chide myself for wondering why. Chide myself for caring!

I don’t need to do this. Don’t need to go there. I don’t know what he wants.

But memories of that summer pop into my mind; I remember the softball field, the swimming pool, making out every night when he took me home til someone would flash the lights and make me come inside.

He remembered lots of details that surprised me.  And he seemed to enjoy remembering as much as I do.

There is so much going on in my head.

What AM I THINKING??? I told our daughter that I didn’t want to talk to him at all.  Walkin’ heartache, that man is.

But he brings a delicious frisson of excitement that I haven’t felt in so long I don’t remember when.

And, there is the thought that he knew the wild heart I was back then; and maybe he knows the way back to her.