The Lagoon

Yesterday D. got another job offer, to go to Morocco in May. It’s a really wonderful opportunity for him. Taking it, which he has decided to do, means that he will not come to New Zealand to live with me there, that it’s over between us now. It’s hard to believe and it’s also totally predictable—so much time, so much distance, so many languages, so many contingencies and continents and complications. Part of me knew it couldn’t happen with us; part of me is too practical not to know that it was a very long shot, no matter how exciting and romantic our story.

That’s what he said, when we talked about all this. “Let’s keep our story beautiful, stella, let’s not ruin it.” I think of Paihia and Ahipara, of Samoa and Rome. I think of his sweet words and sweet kisses and the unrestrained joy at being together, but it’s like a dream, now—I see us swimming in a lagoon on a tropical island on the other side of the world, simply and peacefully happy, completely free. How many people ever get that, even for a day, ever in their lives?

And that’s where he stays, that’s where a part of me stays with him, for a long time I think. There will never be recriminations between us, there will never be bitterness or hatred. I can’t be with him but I won’t ever lose him completely the way I’ve lost other people, because there will never be the devastation of betrayal. We couldn’t do it and admitted it while we still liked each other enough to save each other from pain and confusion and disappointed expectations, and I’m grateful for that, that the dream stays the dream.

A more cynical part of me does think maybe I shouldn’t have trusted him, maybe I shouldn’t have believed even a little bit that this could happen, maybe I shouldn’t have allowed myself to fall in love so quickly and easily. I wouldn’t be crying as I’m writing this entry if I had held back and kept my distance the way I sometimes wanted to.

But it turns out that’s not how I do things anymore. I am not willing to do things by halves if I can help it. Now how it works for me is this: love as much as you’re able for as long as you can. Accept all the consequences of open eyes and an open heart: the deep joy, the sharp pain, and the bewildering coexistence thereof.

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