To the first love of my life,
I was brokenhearted when I Iearned you died last Wednesday.
I fell apart yesterday when I accompanied you to your final resting place.
And I became shredded as I told my best friend how I never got to tell you how much I loved you, and how long I've loved you. To think that it was sheer chance that put me in your science class just over 25 years ago, and happenstance that we would be together 3 more times since then.
You noticed I wasn't like the other students when I let you listen to my demo tape. Just something I did for fun. You were impressed that I knew my way around a music studio. I learned about your love for music that day, and that made me respect you even more. I think that helped us have a closer relationship, all things considered since we were student and teacher at the time.
I fell in love with you in my final semester. Grade 13 Chemistry. But I was just a kid to you. I kept my feelings quiet. Forward a year or so later, and I started to visit you just before the end of the school day. I'll never forget how your eyes lit up and how your smile went from ear to ear. You made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Seeing you made my heart smile. It was nice to connect and keep in touch with you after I had graduated.
And even beyond. We had been a part of each other's weddings. You came to a few of my birthday parties. I came to a few of your gatherings. The Halloween party I had at my house where I sat on your lap with a couple of our friends, taking pictures. You didn't react, you just let me.
...and I'll never forget that night in May, back in 2009. We were sitting in your dining room, talking with some of your other former students. I happened to sit beside you. She had put your son to bed and decided to retire for the night. He didn't want to come with me to your party. On a whim I let my leg touch yours, the full length, under the table. You didn't seem to mind; in fact, you didn't even flinch or move at all. We stayed that way for a good part of the rest of that night, chatting and laughing with others, while, unbeknownst to them, we had our own little secret going. I think it was that night we both knew how we felt for one another.
Then our marriages fell apart about a year later. We had lunch. We talked about what happened, but without going into too much detail. I longed to ask you out, but knowing myself, I was too broken. You were too perfect. I was too scared. Maybe you were too? So I let it go. Looking back now, I wish I took the risk. But I was also worried about ruining our friendship.
Eventually I did work on myself, and life got better for me. But yet I was still too scared to ask you. I don't know why. I guess I felt that you were out of reach. You were off in your own world and I was in mine. In time I found someone who swept me off my feet, and you faded into the background.
...but not completely. We still kept in touch as friends. You even invited me to another party not too long after he and I moved in together. You two met, and you seem to like each other (he liked you very much). I remember you walking past me. You looked at me and for that one second it felt like no one was around; it was just you and me. You scratched the top of my head affectionately. My heart melted.
The last time we were together was at my 40th, last November. I had been prepared to cancel because I was so tired. I was getting sick and I could feel it. Socializing was the last thing on my mind. If anything, the thought of seeing my friends made me fearful and want to cry. But I'm glad I didn't. You coming partway through the night unannounced made my heart stop. I was so happy that you came. Everyone who mattered, and everyone that felt I truly mattered were there. Especially you. It was my best celebration ever.
I don't know how you felt, and I wish we could have talked about it, when a couple of weeks later I told you he proposed and I said yes. I knew you were happy for us, and I know you knew I was ecstatic. But at the same time I couldn't help but feel sad. Sad for you, sad for me and sad for us never being. I wonder if there was a part of you that fell apart because I was marrying someone else, instead of being with you. As much as I love him, there's a small part of me that feels the loss of us never happening.
And then when our friend told me that you died last week. My world stopped. My heart broke and a piece of me died that day. I thought I couldn't feel worse after my grandmother died two years ago, and your death did it for me. Everything came back. Everything I felt. Everything I still feel. I realize now that I really did, and still do, love you. I don't know if I will get over that, if I will ever get over you. While I am very much in love with him, and we are happy, you are special because you were (I realize this now), my actual first love.
I wish I could have said more than our legs touching under the table. I hope it was enough but sometimes I think I should have told you that I was, am and forever will be in love with you.
Until we meet again, mi amore. You remain alive in my heart for now and always.