when we were kids

he left me when we were kids.
i was 19 and he was 21 at the time when the affair had started. mere children. shortly after i had turned 20, the man who i had thought was the one i was going to marry me, was planning on marrying someone else.
for a decade he has haunted me.
i moved as far away as possible and yet i still see him nearly everywhere i go. one day i was having lunch with a friend and I had thought I had seen him and his wife walking by us, leaving the restaurant. i was three thousand miles from home and i think this is him.
it wasn’t, obviously, he.
it wasn’t me he had wanted, it was her. it wasn’t him at the restaurant, it was someone else. but seeing or thinking i saw him was enough, if even for that briefest of seconds.
when he and i lived in the same city, i used to see him occasionally around town. driving down the street, going into clubs, seeing him in stores. he was always alone and she was never around.
when he had broken up with me, i was devastated. with him, i was everything i thought i could be. i was loved and loving. old and young. pure and a whore. he made possible everything in my heart that had know even known existed or was too scared to show. my own sensual and sexual identities were pushed forward and ripped apart when he was around.
i thought he was the one. i thought we were going to get married.
this to me was love.
it was christmas 1992. I was wearing some paisley/floral type dress i had purchased for the informal christmas party that was being held at his brothers place. i remember watching his brother and his wife and thinking ‘this is what i want. i want to marry him and bear him children and we can have this fantastic life together’. i truly believed that. i envied his brother and adored his sister- in-law. his nephews were not that much younger than we were at the time. I remember us leaving and holding the jewelry box they had given me for christmas that year. his mother had given me a ring that belonged to her mother several months prior to all of this. i think they thought that i was the one, and i wasn’t. i do not know what happened to the jewelry box. the ring i kept and have lost it along the years.