She inspired me to be better and to do better. She loved me with everything she had and when she realised that, she took it all away without consulting me. After all, how could she love me as much as she loved her faith? Her position? Her station in life? I’ve had love from many people, but her love was different because it challenged God. It said to Him, “this is worth fighting for.” At least in the beginning that’s what it shouted. As time grew, it was silenced by the church, by her family and by what was expected of her. I loved hr so much and I know she loved me too.
It began with a shy smile, a handshake and an unspoken estimation. She sized me up and subconsciously I guess I did the same. I saw blue eyes and a crooked smile. her hair was long and swept back messily almost begging me to fix it behind her ear. the unmistakeable accent of an American on Australian soil she epitomised a fantasy: she was exotic to me, and cute, and off limits. I fell for her in an instant and felt my palms (the palms of a girl with enough dating and fucking experience) get sweaty and my heart bounced around in my chest like a nerd at a disco. I had no rhythm and I had no answer for the question of “could she ever like me that way?”
It’s funny how immediate my feelings leapt out of my heart, I had only heard a few simple, generic sentences come out of her beautiful mouth, yet there I was ready to declare my major in “loving you 101.” Her sister was with her – she was actually even cuter, but she wasn’t the one I couldn’t look at. I had no trouble making eye contact and conversation with her. She was fun and vibrant. it was the other one, however, who blew my mind back into the days of social awkwardness around pretty girls. I began calling them the “Sin Sisters” because they made me want to sin.
It began quite innocently, at least I pretended it was innocent. I was in a living situation that had become stressful for all involved, so I stayed away from my share house as much as I could. I began interrupting and my interruptions become common place; daily fixations on “the work” – she was a mormon missionary after all, in the service of her Heavenly Father at the beckoning of the living prophet. Secretly my fixation was on her (perhaps not so secret as I’m quite certain that others had their suspicions about us). I was 25 and she was 22. I had experience with men and women while her experience was limited to the 3 men of the church – the father, son and holy ghost.
Like a bad porno our story developed from acquaintance to friend, to confidant and eventually it scratched the surface of lover. Ours was a love story that had no chance of beginning or being. It only had a long ending, which was the sum of all it’s parts. To us, however, it was unmistakably real. I know that because all those years after it failed, she still couldn’t look me in the eye. she couldn’t tell me about her children or her husband without giving away that she was not happy. I knew how happy looked on her and it was an emotion that I had dressed her up in time and time again. She knew that I knew and she couldn’t fake it anymore than I could fake a love of men and all things heterosexual.
Even now sitting alone in a bar thousands of kilometres away from my wife, I’m unable to forget how she touched me or kissed me. I know “real” and she was it. She held my hand the entirety of our last day together in Australia. She cried as she embraced me. She promised she would wait for me to come to her. She kissed my cheek as they all watched – the church, my family, her God. She told me she loved me and the whole way home she cried into a tape recorder as she continued to declare her love for me pausing only long enough to touch the teardrop around her neck that I had given her. A keepsake of me, of how I cried for her, of what my life would be like once she had left – lonely solitude and full of sadness. Even knowing she was waiting wasn’t promise enough since I knew it was soon to wash away.
Her family would take care of that. her faith would too, and her church would condemn her love for me. Her truth was not me anymore, it was the lies of her faith. Her mother had pre-warned her about people like me and she was right to do it. People like me fell in love with people like her – those who are open and receptive of love in it’s purest form. Born out of honesty.
I loved her unconditionally and without bias. Everything about her I adored. Even the quirky and strange things that I couldn’t understand, like how she ate cereal with water. I love her enough to chastise her when she needed it. To reprimand her when no one else would for her own good and peace of mind. I praised her when she didn’t think she was worthy of it. I held her when she cried, when she was overwhelmed and I let her shine the rest of the time. I never held her back, I just held her up.
But none of it was enough as she forgave my debt to her and returned to the church, asking for forgiveness and moving forward into a life of matrimonial bullshit with a man that doesn’t know her like I do.