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The Fire I Can't Put Out
The morbid awakening of a nightmare, that mortified confusion, the utter frustration.
You want to understand. It’s one of those things that brings you to your knees. Pushes you on the
floor leaving you on your face. It’s merciless. It’s feeling less. It’s dangerous. No one can save
you from the relentless pain that will soon come. Life is a game, and you will lose.
We were together four years. “Ha!” you say. “Four years aint nothing… you’ll be fine...
you have your whole life ahead of you….” To all of you with such attitudes, don’t worry, your
ignorance and lack of compassion is hardly offensive. Sure, maybe someone out there has had it
worse, but I’m not “someone.” I’m me and I have a story. So I am going to tell my story whether
you listen or not.
I was introduced to his fake perfection in the most awful way; blind dates are the epitome
of dreadfulness. Not romantic, nor elegant, and certainly not ideal. My first impression of him
left me appalled at his behavior and disgusted with his classless opinion of women. Surely my
best friend could have done a better job as the Friday night match maker! Even though that
whole evening was terrible, he and I still, ever so politely, exchanged contact information. I had
no intentions of even talking to him again. Little did I know, he felt very differently.
He called me three days after the date. I promptly made him aware of my disapproval of
his mischievous ways and explained my plan of not continuing communication. He completely
disregarded what I said and persisted as if we never had the conversation. Ten long and drawn
out months, he called and texted and emailed constantly. Many friends were concerned with his
persistence and asked why I didn’t get a restraining order. I explained to them how he was never
threatening or violating, just determined. I saw it more as… patience. He knew what he wanted
and he was going to stop at nothing to get it. I liked it. I mean, I thought it was cute that he
actually thought he had a chance and it entertained me to watch him try. However, my curiosity
began to get the best of me. His calls became a part of my regular routine which eventually led
me to wonder the motivation for his persistence. With every rejection, he was more patient,
respectful, and understanding. So one day, I called him.
He answered so energetically you would have thought he was about to win one million
dollars. I proceeded to ask him why, after all that time, did he continued to pursue me. His reply
will forever shock and amaze me. He said, “I can’t let go of the hope I saw in your eyes. It’s like
I saw a glimpse of my true potential. I saw everything I can be and I can’t be that without you.”
I was speechless. It didn’t make sense in the slightest but I couldn’t help but think, maybe, just
maybe he was telling the truth. What if he had a change of heart from how he used to be? I mean,
after all, he has been trying to talk to me for ten months. I felt myself begin to let go. Nothing
could stop this growing interest of a possible relationship with my new found hero. All the walls
I had built up over the years came tumbling down. I started to fall, holding only onto the promise
of his passionate love for me.
For being rough around the edges, he sure had a tender, loving heart. I often found
myself mesmerized by his voice. He’d talk to angels and he stars would start to spin. When he
sang, those spinning stars would form a constellation in the clear blue sky. I always swore that
constellation was his tangible love. The stars would be the only thing I have left as the word
“army” hit me like a vicious, unforeseen cheap shot… I could feel myself collapse as the
paralysis overtook me.
Devastation immediately sunk in, soon followed by good friends fear, confusion, and
hopelessness. I had left all I had ever known for this new life with him, and now this new life
was leaving me. It was the ultimate rejection. I saw my life as a before and after picture. On the
before side, there was me, taken away by this unrealistic dream of hope and love and trust; those
things that don’t exist. In the midst of being consumed by unexplainable happiness, I could see
myself slipping into a lace back wedding dress. I was so beautiful, twirling around in circles as
my skirt followed closely. All of a sudden, I began to panic. Before I knew it, everything began
to change. This picture of my life was being mutilated right before my eyes.
The after part of the picture was me now looking down to see flames coming up the dress
as smoke rushed towards my face. I found myself trapped. Every move at that point was fatal.
If I stayed in the dress, I would be burnt alive but if I were to somehow escape, I would have
nothing. All my dignity, dreams and decency would be gone. I didn’t want to leave him before
he went overseas, I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to be the first one here when he got back
with my arms wide open.
This gut wrenching inner conflict consumed my mind for weeks. I then found myself at
the cross road. The next day he faced deployment and I had a decision, do I remain faithful and
pursue him from a distance like he did to me for so long, or do I save myself while I am still
alive and start running, never to look back? I didn’t sleep that night. I was too busy over thinking
scenarios. When then and there, in that cold, lonely bed, it hit me. Had I forgotten all that he had
taught me? Had I not learned anything? I thought of how he always told me to be strong, that he
would always be there in the end. “Just look at the stars and you will see my love…” he would
say. I knew what I had to do, and I was ready. I would be the first person he saw when he came
back home. I would be there, just like he was for me.
He was leaving me and I couldn’t do anything about it. I begged him to stay but he was
determined to leave. Little did he know he was never coming back. As I stand here over his
tomb stone, Ill forever question if I should have begged more. Would it have made a difference?
I guess some things we will never know. What I do know is that I am here alone, without him.
It’s what’s not said that is heard the loudest. There are so many things I wanted to tell him, so
many things I wanted to do together. Some say it just wasn’t in the stars. Others say you can’t
fight fate. I say they are all crazy. It wasn’t his time to go but I don’t expect anyone to believe
me or care. Ill forever remember the person many saw as trouble or heart break, even an outcast.
When he was buried, my heart went with him. Every now and then, I find myself looking to the stars,
searching for his love but I can’t ever seem to find it. No matter how many times I call his name,
he never shows. Stars fall. Songs fade. Fires die, but he will always be the fire I can’t put out.