The first time we rode together, I chattered. We were in my town, he was exploring. Didn’t want me to show him. Told me he had a photographic memory and had looked at a map. I chattered anyway, about the buildings, the history, the day, the weather, food….whatever came into my mind. We stopped for gas. As he got out of the car, to fill the tank, he looked at me and said, “Could you just sit there, and be beautiful?”
He shut me up. With a smile. He could do things like that. Just stop me dead in my tracks. No one had called me beautiful for maybe 30 years. I look back and wonder if that’s the moment I fell in love, really in love.
We went to a park. We walked a bit. We found a secluded spot, and did some heavy petting, lol. I felt like a young version of myself. It felt wonderful. His blue eyes twinkled. We stopped for steamed hamburgers. He flirted with the girl behind the register. Maybe 50 years younger than himself. He made me laugh.
He spent the night…I don’t remember anything distinctive about it. I wasn’t used to having a man sleep with me. It had been more than 10 years. It wasn’t his first time, but I was just starting to be able to sleep a few hours with his warm body next to mine, hearing him snore occasionally. But the fact that he said I was beautiful…he owned me, then.
For some months that was what we did. Go on excursions, usually from his house. He would take me to beautiful beaches mostly. Hidden spots. I knew the waters off shore as well as he. Maybe better. I felt at home there. Once or twice we got on old dirt roads wide enough for one car in the woods. Roads where the GPS made it look like you were driving through a field. When we did that, I never talked much. It was all new to me, what I was seeing, what I was doing. He would ask, “are you ok, you are so quiet?”
I loved those days.
It didn’t last. It went from “could you just sit there” and “are you ok” to “can you ever be quiet” to “let it be” to “I heard you the first time” (but I didn’t know it because he couldn’t respond) to “shut up” to “shut the fuck up” and not giving a damn if I was ever ok, and now we don’t talk, at all. Once in awhile I message him, when I get the vibe…but he never answers. Once in awhile he leaves me an angry voice mail. Or sends me a one-line barbed message. Those are hard to pull out of your skin, without tearing a big hole in it. He refused back then to hear me. He refuses now.
It’s not that I need to talk….It’s that I need to be heard.
Just heard. Not agreed with. Not patronized. Just heard. Just hear me. Just someone to say, “I hear you. What you have to say is important to me.”
Just heard. My ex husband refused to hear me too. He’d yell over me, to make sure. He had a voice like a marine drill sargent, one of those voices you didn’t compete with. I swore I’d never let myself get in that position again. But I did. Eventually, I did.
Hear me. Someone, please. Just hear me. I’m real. I love you. I need you to hear me. I’ll hear you….I promise….
He’s out there, the one who can hear me. I already love him……