Our first entry into our contest Lost Love has completely captured the essence of our intent with this entry. Eloquent, straight-forward, poetic and poignant. But do remember, we ask you to recall a recent encounter, real or imagined, with your first love. What if that first love was a Ford Mustang you discovered rusting in field? Or a rescue pooch that was lost when you moved from Detroit to San Diego? Or a re-run of Casa Blanca that you had not watched in 30 years? Or maybe even your own narcissistic portrait of Dorian Gray? Have at it.
I truly enjoyed reading and posting Martin’s entry. I raise a glass of locally fermented blueberry wine in his honor! Your thoughts? Do leave a comment.
A Lost Love
By Martin A. David
A phantom itch in a heart space no longer there. A random sensation. A sneeze that could not be stifled in a silent place. She was all those things. She was none of those things. He had forgotten her. He could never forget her.
She never existed. She was a flesh-searing brand that had never healed. It was all a joke. She had never existed. However, she was there. He saw her. He tried to look away, but he saw her. She didn’t see him. He was glad. He didn’t want to be seen. He didn’t want to see.
It was her. He was sure it was her. Looking at her filled him with fear. Looking at her filled him with sadness. Looking at her filled him with loathing. She was a lost spirit and she looked like a creature that had risen from a grave. He tried to look away, but he stared at her. Looking at her filled him with memories.
She had been beautiful. Her long hair had flowed softly like a silken river. Her skin…oh, her skin…touching her had been like a sweet drug to him. Their bodies entwined brought peace to everything around them. Now the thought of stroking her filled him with revulsion. Now the skin he could see, the face, the trembling hands, looked gray and bloated. The eyes that once could read both the future and the past were now blank.
They had been so happy. They told each other they were so happy.
“I am happy,” she said to him again and again.
“Yes, I am happy,” he repeated so many times to her.
Perhaps they had been so happy. Who was to judge? Who can measure; who can define what that simple word means?
He had loved her. He knew he had loved her. There were no doubts in his mind that he loved her at that time. He needed no one to judge or define that complicated word. He had loved her as he loved no person before or after her. He stared at the vacant being that once had been her and tried to imagine that love.
He, for a brief moment, wanted to call out to her. He wanted to whisper, to intone, to utter, to sing, to say her name. It is not proper to summon a ghost. So he held his silence—or rather his silence held him. Her name, almost spoken and never forgotten, now echoed dully in his head. The vision of her, so close to him and yet so many planets away, danced tauntingly with the memory of her from that other time. If he closed his eyes, if he looked away, which apparition would triumph?
She moved. She stepped, haltingly, into the passing crowd. He stared at the space where she had been. She was gone. She was lost again….or was he?