A few years ago there was a Japanese lady called Wakana. It was one of those strange relationships – I met her and didn't think much of her. Then, the next thing I knew, we're been going out together for a few months before I realised I liked her. Then, the next thing I knew, I'd left her before I realised I love her. Then… it was too late for anything else. I had lost the only woman in my life, at that time, who was everything I'd been looking for, but I only saw that when I didn't have her any more.
What made it worse was the tragedy of a love that could never be. Be what, you ask? Be realised, dear reader. A love that could never be realised.
However, it was a choice she had made, where duty and obligation were felt by her to be more important than love. This was something I was never able to understand, until, at her request, I read the book "Bridges of Madison County." She had told me that she was the woman in the book, and I was the photographer. With this in mind, I read the book.
To sum it up, she was married, he wasn't; they met, fell in love and shared an amazing passion; he wanted her to leave her husband and live happily ever after with him, but she sadly declined the offer, talking to him about the duty and obligation she had to her husband and children; they parted, never to forget each other, and yet never to meet each other ever again. He died a lonely man, years later, never to have loved another woman.
I read that book and I 'got it'. I understood the complications in her life – her perception of it at least – and I understood the depths of her feelings for me that led her to use that book as an analogy, and an explanation, of her feelings.
'Getting it' was not a happy moment for me. You can read about it here if you're interested. Happily, in a sad way, I had the opportunity to let go of her 7 months later by physically and emotionally saying goodbye to her, which was the real beginning of my healing process.
The communication wonders of the internet weren't around during the time period of the 'Madison County' book, so her and I had something that the couple in the book didn't have – the means of chatting online. She wanted it to be every 6 months, which she kept to for a while.
She contacted me again a couple of nights ago, which was the first time in close to a year without contact. It was also the first time we chatted where I knew I had truly let go and moved on, as I told her all about my life over the past year, about Deidre, and about how happy I was.
It was a very positive and enjoyable chat, marred only by some bad news of her own: she had been pregnant but miscarried due to stress. She didn't want to tell me when it was, but since she told me she tried to talk to me when it happened but I was unavailable, I suspect it was about a couple of months ago, as that was when she'd come online a few times and left me messages saying hello, but I was away from the computer. I told her how sorry I was about it, and she said she's ok now, but she was sorry I wasn't around when she wanted to talk to me.
The conversation came to a close after an hour of chatting by us both letting each other know we were happily moving on. She said she felt comfortable about meeting up with me again, and would be happy to meet Deidre. She asked me at one point if I was still available if she needed help. Always, I told her. I also told her that Deidre knows everything and understands how I feel, and would be supportive if she needed any help. She seemed happy about that. I know I'm happy about that too! It's great having a partner who's not jealous of ex's.
I've moved on from wanting anything more from Wakana, and our chat helped me see that. It's a great feeling to realise I'm not carrying it around with me any more. I'm not going to die old and lonely, never loving anyone else other than her. I feel like I've finally closed that chapter of my life, the chapter called 'Wakana'.
Of course, the story continues, and those people who are prominent in one chapter will always be part of the story. Wakana's going to be around for a while, it seems. There will always be that love, that connection between us that will never be broken. But while the relationship we once had will never be again, the love that we share will always be there.
Where this chapter closes, the story moves on with new, meaningful characters and events. Where it was once Wakana and I, and unrealised love, it's now Deidre and I, with very-much-realised love, and a very strong desire from both of us to move forward with that love. The lessons of the past have been learnt by both of us, with our shared experiences, and they've helped us both to find a commitment with each other that we've been looking for all our lives, and never found with anyone else for one reason or another. I'm happy with where I'm at right now, and it feels great!
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