No More Sunsets Here

Woman watching sunsetI stood there, watching the sunset.  You used to stand here right beside me.  This was our favorite place.  We used to hold hands and watch the sun hang in the sky on its slow descent.  It was so romantic.  I thought we were head over heels in love and that we would spend the rest of our lives together.  I thought so many things but never once did it ever dawn on me that you would break my heart.  I didn’t know that when I hired a new receptionist for the shelter that she would come between us.  I could still remember when I introduced the two of you.

You were charming as usual and I could tell that she was as smitten with you as I was.  It didn’t occur to me that you would become smitten with her.  I noticed that you hung around the shelter more but I thought nothing of it.  And when you decided that you wanted to volunteer, I was delighted.  It never occurred to me that she was the reason for your sudden interest.  Sometimes, love blinds us so that we fail to see what’s really there.

Even when I had to work late and you offered to take her home, I didn’t suspect anything.  I thought you were being your usual considerate self.  As I watched you leave, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky I was to have an incredible guy like you and even wished that she could find a terrific guy like you.  I didn’t know that it was you she had set her sights on.  When you cancelled our dates, I didn’t want to believe that something was wrong.   When I walked into kitchenette and the way the two of you broke apart as if I had interrupted something.  Foolishly, I convinced myself that I was jumping to the wrong conclusion and that there wasn’t anything going on between the two of you.

I would have continued living in denial if I hadn’t walked into our apartment one evening and caught the two of you in our bed.  I had gone out with some friends to celebrate a birthday but I was feeling poorly.  I think I was coming down with the flu or something and left early.  You were supposed to be having dinner with your brother and his family.  When I saw the two of you together, I felt as if my world had come crashing down around me.  I felt so betrayed.  I remember, chasing her out of the room and swearing that I would never forgive you.  I grabbed whatever of your clothes that I could get my hands on and threw them out of the window.  I screamed at you to leave and threatened to call the police if you didn’t.  You stood there, stunned and scrambling to get dressed.  You tried to talk to me but I didn’t want to hear anything you had to say.  At that moment, I hated you and I wanted you gone—gone from my life.

She never went back to the shelter again.  A new receptionist, a mature woman, was hired this time.  I took a brief leave of absence to recover from the flu.  As I languished in the apartment, my hatred for you died and I began to miss you.  Pathetic, isn’t it?  If you had shown up, apologizing, I would have forgiven you and taken you back.  Sometimes, love makes fools out of people, doesn’t it?  I was a fool for loving you too much and not wisely.  I was a fool to trust you and her.

Five years have passed since that dreadful night and I have moved on.  I’m not currently in a relationship and I’m not sure if and when I will ready to be in another one.  I have met several men whom I know would be good or a least decent for me but I’m not ready.  I busy myself with the shelter and helping others.  Every now and I then, I drive out here to our favorite place and spend at least an hour, admiring the view and reflecting.  I have embarked on a new life, without you and I’m content.  I bear no malice toward you.   As a matter of fact, I wish you well.

As the sun sets, I turn and walk away.  This is the last time I will ever come here.  There’s no need to any more.  This chapter of my life is over.  One day in the distant future, I will meet someone else and he and I will watch the sun set somewhere new.

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