Call Me:

Love has aged me. As a young girl, I was known as the tomboy of my family; a care-free, happy child and my father’s trophy baby. I loved making him happy above all else, and would do anything he asked me to. He had big dreams for me, though I suppose the girls of my generation were usually not preferred over the boys. He saw something in me, above his sons, and I was ready to make his dreams come true. He was a man who commanded obedience. General-like in stature, handsome and opinionated, there were many who feared my father. It gave me pride to sit next to him and observe the mannerisms of other great big men around him. They would seem smaller somehow, meeker, less confident of themselves. How I worshipped his larger-than-life personality. I could never imagine upsetting him, could never fathom being the source of any unhappiness.

And then, a strange thing happened. I grew older, and met some one who was suddenly more important to me than any one else. A man who, for a time it seemed, was larger even than my father. I can never forget the balcony where we first met. Charming, humorous, distinctly proud, he was all I thought of, and gradually he began to take over my life. My dreams began to take shape in imagination, but always with him there. I was certain of him; certain of what I felt, and that it was going to last. And so, the conflicts of love began.

Our family was very conservative. Most of them were in those days. Reluctantly I began to see the truth- that fighting to marry him would hurt my dearest father badly. It would wound him irrevocably; this ridiculous idea that his prize daughter had gone off and decided for herself who she wanted to spend her life with. On the other hand, I could not pull away from him. I cursed myself for letting my heart indulge. I cursed the impracticality of my own making. The two people I most loved in the world were on opposite sides and I had to let one of them go. Not months, but years of agony pulled me apart. I appeared sick, I was physically ill most of the time, losing my confidence and my thirst for life. Those who knew me well told me I was transformed. Friends and family were concerned. Yet, I guarded my secret possessively, as though it was the last I could keep of my love. Yes, that most beautiful sentiment of all, made me a joyless woman. Love made me age. Finally, duty and love for my father took over, and in what was the most difficult decision of my life, I said goodbye to the purest, most wonderful feeling I had ever felt. But I was never the same again. I was broken, I became fundamentally broken, and though the memories are no longer as alive, I still struggle to get on with life. I heard from somebody that he died a few years ago. I am convinced that one day we will meet again; elsewhere, in another place, in a better time, and this time it will not be to say goodbye.