You remain my beloved, even when you rejected the opportunity to become my lover.
Everything I know about love, are the feelings you have taught me. I will never reach out to claim you, steal you or borrow you, but I keep you within me, and missing you is my silent companion. I feel like I belong to you, and as time passes I wonder whether the thoughts of you will ever set me free.
Before I met you I neither knew nor touched the depth of my intensity. During my first year in Kenya, I met a young Kenyan man, who was attracted to me physically. He claimed that he felt my intensity, the way my eyes spoke, he called it. I almost laughed, and considered this some innovative pick-up line. Eventually, I let him down easy after two dates. He was married and much younger than me, and I did not want to complicate my life. I always thought that men mistakenly felt this vibe from me because of physical attraction or plain lust. Then I met you, and your eyes were twin mirrors reflecting back the intensity of my own soul. If I had imagined this, I would have never stayed for that first coffee, and avoided meeting you again. But I got addicted to that connection, because I recognized you, beneath all your uppity exterior and snobbery. You are my emotional twin, a mirror to my soul.
One night last week the pain of missing you made itself felt again, and I lay awake torn apart by longing. The hours dragged past, as I tried to breathe slowly and deeply through the agony. Eventually sleep arrived, but not rest. The next day I caved in again and texted you. You were your usual nonchalant self, speaking how you are sick of having lunch alone, and you even mentioned your solo birthday lunch. You will never know how much it cost me to say no to meeting you on that day. I spent the lunch hour outside in the office garden, away from people. I put down a mat on the grass and lay face down in the afternoon sun, weeping silently into my folded arms.
You offered me coffee again, and said that you will be happy to see me “when you feel better”. What if I never feel better? I know that I cannot meet you anymore in the open, without letting my arms reach out to you, without hugging you so tight that I crack my ribs, or yours. How dare you try to make a friend out of me when you are my beloved? It is not fair. Love is still steering my course, I set it free, I breathe it in and out, and send it out to you on the wind, with every silent tear. I send it out to you at night when I put my head down to sleep and in the morning when I first open my eyes. I do not resist it, nor resent it, I just accept it along with its suffering.
My longing is deep and powerful, and I treat it like a wild and unpredictable animal. I let it fight and pull against its restraints, I let it act out its wild nature, in the hope that it will become tamer one day. Sometimes I wish I was dealing with something as natural, primitive and elemental as lust. Because physical desire is a wild animal that I can understand. It just needs to be fed and satisfied. My longing for you defies understanding, and it can neither be fed nor forgotten. I try to survive one day at a time as Zen teachings dictate. There is no past and no future, I just need to survive this moment, without you.
One day I will stop counting the days since I last had coffee with you, but today I still know, it has been fifty days.