The night we met will be one to remember forever. Everything that could go wrong did. Maybe it was a cruel joke that fate was playing. Maybe it was all a grand design to allow us a funny story to tell.
When I laid eyes on you for the first time, you were in front of the crowd singing a (horrible) karaoke version of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb". You knew it sounded horrible, but you gave it your all anyway. I admired that about you.
As we hung out together through our mutual friends, I saw that you put your heart into everything you did. It didn't matter if it was something small like tying your show or something big, like helping someone.
Though it seemed like our timing sucked, I quickly started to fall for you. I knew if we were patient, our time would come. I'm sure you felt the same. The glances you'd sneak my way...the light touches here and there. We just had to wait for our timing to line up.
We shared our secrets through social media. We snuck and met at secret locations. We stole kisses and moments alone. Our feelings grew. But our timing remained unrelentingly bad. To love each other, to BE with each other, meant hurting people that did not deserve it. Their only crime was loving us. Yes, we loved them back, obviously. But our love for each other was greater.
Our secret grew with the addition of a child, one who could never know your true identity because we had to play it off like he was someone elses. I know how much that hurt. For that, my heart breaks in apology.
Your time ended before we could ever actually be together, like a real couple. I held the hand of your other, whispering words of comfort. We consoled each other, she as the widowed, me as the mourning best friend. If only she knew just how much I loved you. You were my soul mate, my long term spouse of my heart.
Now, 30 years into our secret relationship, I'm having to realize my life with only half of my soul and a small part of my heart. I look at our son, a son that looks so much like you, and my heart yearns for you. He is getting married and you are missing it. She's here, not realizing she is witnessing her dead husband's son. He is here, beaming at the man he raised, unknowing that your DNA is actually coursing through him.
But YOU'RE not here. It's not fair.
I'm on my deathbed, illness eating away at me. Our son, his wife, and our grandchildren are saying their goodbyes. I've slipped a note into his hand, revealing the truth...that you are his father. He won't read it until I'm no longer here. I have one for my husband of 50 years as well. It may be the cowards way out, but I have to tell him that, for 45 of our 50 years, my heart was with you, that our love produced my only child, a son.
I whisper my goodbye, eyes closing.
I open my eyes and see you. We are young again. You smile at me, reaching out your hand.
Finally, I'm home.
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