Saturday, July 16, 2005

When You Let Go, Hold My Hand As We Part

I am posting here a blog entry I read from a friend's blog which he also reposted from a blog he read. It's worth sharing so here it is.

I was 25 when i met the guy i wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We exchanged vows in a simple ceremony attended by our most intimate friends. After the wedding i went with my partner holding hands through our journey to my one-room flat overlooking the beach. He was a beautiful guy, chestnut hair, light brown eyes and a lean physique. Just what i wanted. I was a happy guy with a wonderful partner.

This was the scene of ten years ago.

The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we adopted a kid, I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affections between us seemed to ebb. John became a college teacher. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school.

Our "married" life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.

Drew came into my life.

It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Drew hugged me from behind. My heart once again was immersed in his stream of love. This was the apartment I bought for him.

Drew said, "You are the kind of man who best draws boys' eyeballs. His words suddenly reminded me of my partner. When we just got married, he said, "Guys like you, once successful, will be very attractive to younger guys."

Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant. I knew I had betrayed John. But I couldn't help doing so.

I moved Drew's hands aside and said," You go and buy some furniture for your pad, O.K.? I've got something to do in the office." Obviously he was unhappy, because I had promised to go and see with him. At the moment, the idea of separation became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.

However, I found it rather difficult to tell John about it. No matter how mildly I mentioned it to him, he would be deeply hurt. Honestly, he was a good partner. Every other evening we alternately prepare dinner, while the other is sitting in front of the TV. The dinner was ready soon. Then we watched TV together. Or, I was lounging before the computer, visualizing Drew's body. This was the means of my entertainment.

One day I said to him in a slight joking way, "suppose we separate, what will you do?" He stared at me for a few seconds without a word.

Apparently he believed that separation was something too far away from him. I couldn't imagine how he would react once he got to know I was serious.

When John went to my office, Drew had just stepped out. Almost all the staff looked at my partner with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide something while talking with him. He seemed to have got some hint. He gently smiled at my subordinates. But I read some hurt in his eyes.

Once again, Drew said to me, "Curtis, please don't make me wait long for us to live together. You don't love him anymore, leave, then we can stay together." I nodded. I knew I could not hesitate any more.

When John served the last dish, I held his hand. "I've got something to tell you," I said.
He sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in his eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let him know what I was thinking. "I want to separate." I raised a serious topic calmly.

He didn't seem to be much annoyed by my words, instead he asked me softly, "why?". "I'm serious." I avoided his question. This answer turned him angry. He bolted from the table and shouted at me, 'You're one fucking sonnuvabitch!".

At that night, we didn't talk to each other. He was weeping. I knew he wanted to find out what had happened to our commitment. But I could hardly give him a satisfactory answer, because my heart had gone to Drew.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted an agreement which stated that he could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. He glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. I felt a pain in my heart.

The man who had been living ten years with me would become a stranger one day. But I could not take back what I had said.

Finally he cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see, wanted to see. To me his cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of separation which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer.

A late night, I came back home from Drew. I saw him writing something at the table. I fell asleep fast. When I woke up, I found he was still there. I turned over and was asleep again.

He brought up his conditions: he didn't want anything from me, but I was supposed to give him one month's time before separating, and in the month's time we must live as normal life as possible. His reason was simple: our son would finish his summer vacation a month later and he didn't want him to see our “marriage” was broken.

He passed me the agreement he drafted, and then asked me, "Curtis, do you still remember how I entered our room on the wedding day?" This question suddenly brought back all those wonderful memories to me. I nodded and said, "I remember". "You held my hand all the way.", he continued, "so, I have a requirement, that is, you hold my hand everytime we go out the house each day until the day we leave. From now to the end of this month, you must hold me from the bedroom to the door every morning."

I accepted with a smile. I knew he missed those sweet days and wished to end his marriage with a romantic form.

I told Drew about John's conditions. He laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. "No matter what tricks he does, he has to face it. You're leaving him for me." he said scornfully. His words more or less made me feel uncomfortable.

John and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. We even treated each other as a stranger. So when I led him out for the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, "daddy is holding papa in his arms." His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with him close to me. He closed his eyes and said softly, "Let us start from today, don't tell our son." I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I led him outside the door. He went to wait for bus, I drove to office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. He leaned on my shoulder as i held his back. We were so close that I could smell the fragrance of his shirt. I realized that I hadn't looked at this intimate man carefully for a long time. I found he was not young any more. There were some fine wrinkles on his face. He was nonetheless still beautiful.

On the third day, he whispered to me, "The outside garden is being demolished. Be careful when you pass there."

On the fourth day, when I took his hand, I seemed to feel that we were still an intimate couple and I was holding my sweetheart in my arms. The visualization of Drew became vaguer.

On the fifth and sixth day, he kept reminding me something, such as, where he put the laundered shirts, I should be careful while cooking, driving, etc. I nodded. The sense of intimacy was even stronger.

I didn't tell Drew about this.

I knew he had buried all the bitterness in his heart. Again, I felt a sense of pain. Subconsciously I reached out a hand to touch his head.

Our son came in at the moment, the last day. "Dad, it's time to walk Pop out." He said. To him, seeing me holding John, almost embracing him, we being the two persons who love him most, had been an essential part of his life. He gestured our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face because I was afraid I would change my mind at the last minute. I held his hand, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. His arms surrounded my waist softly and naturally. I held his body tightly, as if we came back to our wedding day. But his much frail appearance made me sad.

On the last day, when I held his hand I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. He said, "Actually I hope you will hold me in your arms until we are old."

I held him tightly and said, "Both you and I didn't notice that our life was lacking of such intimacy."

I jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my decision. I walked upstairs. Drew opened the door. I said to him, "Sorry, Drew, I won't leave John. I'm serious."

He looked at me, astonished. The he touched my forehead. "Are you crazy?." He said. I moved his hand off my head. "Sorry, Drew," I said, "I can only say sorry to you, I won't leave him. My marriage life, however illegitimate, was boring probably because he and I didn't value the details of life, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I understand that since I led him into the home, we had our kid, I am supposed to have him until I am old. So I have to say sorry to you."

Drew seemed to suddenly wake up. He gave me a jab in the face. I staggered a bit, my lips bleeding. He then slammed the door. I walked downstairs and drove to the office.

When I passed the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet for MY John. i never gave him flowers, but i felt it's the most appropriate thing to do after everything. As i thought of the words to put on the card. I smiled and wrote, "I'll hold your hand each time we go out every morning until we are old. Be with me forever."

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