Sunday, November 30, 2008

revision

It was December, there were Christmas lights and it might even have been snowing. He was drinking Merlot. I was drinking Merlot. We were sitting at a corner table at a just-opened restaurant that neither of us could really afford and the waitress kept coming over and asking if we were ready to order. Every time we said that we were sorry, that we hadn't even had a chance to open the menus yet.

We were talking about people from work and about dirty poems in dead languages, but mostly we were picking up our wine glasses and putting them down and laughing. I kept touching a bracelet he had given me the week before. He asked if I wanted to stop by his apartment after dinner, just for a little while, just for a couple of minutes. And I asked if he was planning to show me his etchings.

And then I said it. And of all the I love yous I've ever given anyone, that's the one I most wish I could take back.

24 comments:

Ya Chun said...

holy cliffhanger!

Antigone said...

I can't believe you were drinking a Merlot!

Monica H said...

Dang it...finish the story!

painted maypole said...

oof

Julia said...

That last sentence is rather loaded. A couple other stories lurking in there, yes?

niobe said...

Antigone: What can I say about the Merlot? I was young and foolish.

And, everyone else, it's the same story I keep telling over and over again. It's just about the oldest story in the world. I loved him, wholly, truly, madly, with every fiber of my being and he, well, didn't feel the same way about me.

If I keep repeating it, it's because I'm futilely hoping that by telling and retelling it, I'll bring myself to some kind of understanding and acceptance. If I never finish it, it's because there's just not that much more to say.

I loved him. He didn't love me, but he liked me enough that we were together for a long time, with me stupidly thinking I could somehow change his mind and heart, that someday he would fall in love with me.

Eventually he met someone else, someone he really did love and he left me for her. And in many, many ways, I've never gotten over it.

Amelie said...

So probably I was lucky that my Steve did not want to be with me.

Tash said...

Now that I am where I am, I guess I've realized there's unrequited, and there's unrequited.

You did keep the bracelet, right?

niobe said...

Tash: It wasn't an especially pretty bracelet anyway. Sadly, he wasn't exactly notable for his honesty, his faithfulness, or his taste in jewelry.

Christine said...

a timeless story that i think all of as can relate to.

i liked the way you told this ...like a mini-fiction story

Betty M said...

What is so wrong with Merlot - surely much of Bordeaux can't be that bad?

Topcat said...

Shit. I hope you laughed after you said it .. said you were just joking.

I love how you say that in many ways you have never gotten over it. I love how you let life just be messy. Strings hang. Sometimes we never get over shit.

Wordgirl said...

I have one of those stories too.

And honestly -- you are a lovely writer -- I've now decided if you aren't a fiction writer you must write NON-fiction then...no?

Damn.

ewe are here said...

Hey! Half your story is missing!
Get back here!

c. said...

Hmm. I'm not sure if I've ever regretted saying those words, but I certainly regret not saying them. At least to one man.

I'm sorry you were ever given an opportunity to regret these words, Niobe, even though you meant them with your full and honest heart.

Aunt Becky said...

*nods head vigorously*

I have one, too. Sadly, no bracelet to show for it.

Cara said...

I can't exactly say I regret saying them, but I do regret that I didn't realize there are different ways to mean it.

I confused love with so many emotions over the years.

Grad3 said...

I hate(d) that...

Anonymous said...

This post is its own beautiful short short story. Remarkably lovely (if painful)....

Dayna said...

Life is messy. I think on some level we can all relate. I'm sorry.

Lisa b said...

I hope you find your acceptance Niobe.

Rach said...

I gave far too many away...

And I wasn't always young and foolish...

Karin said...

Those memories pop out at the strangest times. Even though there are some things we regret later, they are fun in the moment. And I think enjoying our moments is a worthy action.

niobe said...

Wordgirl: Thank you. My day-job writing, such as it is, is pretty solidly on the nonfiction end of the spectrum.