The memories come crashing in as I walk along, absorbing the news. Memories of a forbidden love, a love that saved me with its intensity and desperation, memories of the quintessential bad boy with the heart of gold. A love doomed, a love that was short-lived and ill-advised and one I was blessed to have known.
At 23 I was fortunate enough to have a bad boy affair and smart enough to not pursue it beyond the fun that it was. He was my Edward Cullen, and in fact, his name was indeed Edward. We met at a party my cousin was holding, a drunken bash, a regular occurance and after a loud physical argument with my then-fiance who had become regularly more physical in his dealings with me. (This one in particular ended with him throwing a beer bottle across a room at me, missing me and going through a wall and him(fiance)leaving)
I was despondant. I knew I had to leave the relationship. I was sitting on the back porch, it was a foggy night and there was nothing to see except grey drizzly fog when a voice said "hello". He was handsome. His smile lit up the night, defeating the grey that surrounded him and I impulsively invited him to sit down beside me. The connection was instantaneous and we talked for an hour before walking into the fog, out of sight of the party. We shared a first kiss, the kind of first kiss that all other first kisses are measured by. We left shortly after on his motorcycle. My cousin tried to talk me out of it to which his friend said "Is your cousin not good enough for me?" His friend, my cousin relented and we spent the weekend together before he reluctantly took me home. He was to leave the following day to return to his(our) home province.
Edward was a rebel. He had a bad boy image to uphold and was very determined to do so. But he also had a heart that was more rare than gold. Every cliche'd conversation right down to "I'm no good for you" and "don't fall in love with me" fell between us. And we didn't fall in love necessarily but it was something pretty damned special and not even remotely stereotypical in its essence.
After that weekend I went home, a newly fallen woman to try to make sense of a relationship I knew I had now doomed. I thought my weekend fling was over, it was the first ever such affair I'd had and I was shocked to see the bad boy waiting for me at the bus stop when I got off work that following Tuesday. He had changed his plans and would be around for another month. We planned and schemed and thus began my only illicit affair, one I refuse to be ashamed of, one that neither of us could seem to stop, pushed along by passion and youth and selfishness. We both had others we were to be loyal to but that mattered not a bit. Neither of us cared much for their feelings it seemed. We were trying to fall in love. We thought we had. We said the words and we felt the passion. I think we must have in some way.
I have memories of clubhouse sandwiches, the crispness of the bacon vivid in my mind at a restaurant that looked like a castle. I remember walking through cemetaries,(don't ask) climbing treehouses and spending time in them, in fact we frequented a treehouse at the edge of a farmer's field. We called it our place. Motorcycle rides were also part of our days and sneaking and lying accompanied our relationship, but not too each other, to the ones were supposed to be loyal to.
Slamming into my memory is the ebony hair I ran my fingers through and the piercing eyes that shivered my senses, strengthening and weakening me all at once. Never was there such an intense time in my life, never were my emotions so close to the surface, all of them, love, fear, defiance, passion, all simmering and bubbling through the tips of the hair on my skin, heightening my senses and connecting us. Never would I want to experience the stress of such a situation again, but oh, my it was exciting!
We never really ended it...it was never really over...but I moved back home with the intent of leaving my existing relationship which I did. I saw him at a local fair after that, and the spark was still there but circumstances prevented us ever being together again. We connected through the years, never in person, always in secret and never after we were in our respective relationships, just enough that we knew, both of us, that the time we had together was real, was special and was remembered.
Our last moments together were at a local dance in his home town. It was a slow dance, a country song, one we both complained and laughed that we hated. I will never forget the song. It was pretty hokey and now I always remember it as our song. The feelings we had were still there, we could feel the pull, that night but we couldn't arrange to be together, I had a commitment to drive others and he had to drive somewhere early in the morning. Somehow we managed that slow dance. Then he was gone.
We both knew it was over and that it would never be over and he reassured me he'd never forget me. He was leaving town the next morning, going to Grand Falls he said, so we wouldn't have the opportunity to be together again. It was love failed. It was love too stupid to die but forced to end by chance and circumstance, it got tucked into the recesses of my mind like a precious souvenir you put away, until something reminds you of that special time in your life, you pull it out, hold it, look at it, then gently wrap it back up and put it away. It took me a good ten years before I didn't think of him frequently and hope, somehow...but I never saw him again.
And so life goes on. I met the love of my life years later, the one who is still the most wonderful man I've ever known and that love and this love are worlds apart and incomparable. He too found strong lasting love and was blessed with beautiful children and more recently a grandchild.
Today I was forced to pull the memory, the souvenirs of that time we had 20 years ago from its special place, each of them tumbled out one by one from their hiding place, when the news reached me that Ed had been killed. He was driving on his motorcycle, my bad boy to the end, to Grand Falls(the same trip he was to take the last time I saw him) when he was killed.
I always thought I would see him again on this earth even if just for a brief moment. I picture the young man he was, handsome, funny, tanned, lean, the sparkle of the demon in his eyes, a grin that said "anything goes, anytime!" I would have loved to have seen the man he had become, mellower maybe, grey at the temples perhaps, but with the same sparkle and same grin. My cousin saw him last year and said he looked older but was the same old Ed. How was it that when she said to me "I have some bad news" Ed was the first person who popped into my head, and I knew?
And now I get to spend time with the memories. They keep coming, vivid and unbidden, a lot of living can be packed into a few short weeks with one such as my bad boy! I see the jeans he wore, they looked good, I remember the skirt he liked me to wear, how he loved my legs(apparantly they were magnificent back then lol) and I go back to our place, a rickety abandoned tree house and it's empty and I sit there alone in my mind. But he's welcome, the incredible spirit he is, to visit and sit awhile. I'm going to miss knowing he's somewhere sharing this great earth with me. I'm sad for the family who loved him most, his wife, his children and his mother who treasured him above all others. God Speed love. Heaven is in for one helluva shake up!
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