Not that it makes a real difference either way, but we were from a similar social context. Our families had more in common than we both knew at the time, and the facility we had with getting on with life in general was probably in many ways a bi-product of our upbringing.
And not that it matters that we loved each other, but we did. It matters that we cared about each other, excruciatingly so in the beginning, and comfortably so after we’d settled into the feeling.
After the fact, I’d acknowledge that it didn’t bother me that she’d moved on. It was bound to happen inevitably, and I had no license to say anything on the matter. I only felt compelled to feel something because I had been with her once. I had once loved her, and I somehow felt that everyone else was unworthy of her resonate fierceness, or the fragile way she was constructed as a person. If she loved him, I had to agree that he must be worth loving.
She and I still spoke, often enough to remain close. Between the banal exchanges on the status quo and complexities of life in general, I’d caught glimpses into what he must have been like as a person, as her lover. Lately, they’d been experiencing what I often call a lull in a relationship, when both parties know that the love is somehow salvageable, but cannot get along for the time being. She’d been upset, and he’d delved deeper into that place that I knew he often went to in times of tribulation. The demons he chose were drugs and alcohol. She had rescued him from some uninhabitable places these vices took him to a few times before. But tonight, in a fit of fury induced by another argument, he’d run off and she had refused to give in, bitter and angry at the pervading unhappiness that their relationship had recently become.
As she received the frantic voicemail message from his mother, it didn’t even occur to her that it might be him who had blown everything to pieces, had destroyed everything himself. She called him, unaware that though he might cosmically be able to hear her, his ability to respond to her in life had been obliterated by his own miscalculations. He had sabotaged his life, and in the process their relationship had been destroyed. If the alcohol poisoning hadn’t given into rigor mortis, they might have continued…
When the truth was finally handed to her, she collapsed, inevitably troubled by a pain the reverberated throughout her body. I spoke to her as I knew that her parents could not, in a way that I knew her friends would only try to broach. I mostly listened, my own confused tears emanating from the pain I felt from her own pain being transmuted to me. At this moment I loved her more than I ever had, simply because this was the moment where she had needed this love the most.
-Veronica Best 2007