A brief tale of fiction because I am too tired to comment on Peter Jennings and not tired enough to go to sleep.
This story has a begining and a middle but there is yet to be an ending to it and in some ways that is most fitting because it is a story of love and not just any kind of love but one that is all consuming.
The love we speak of is the kind in which you are addicted to the other person, they are your air and your blood. They share your heart and own a piece of your soul. It is the best kind of love and the rarest to find outside of the love of a parent for their child.
Daniel and I had been friends for quite a few years when he first mentioned Anne to me. They were both married to other people and happily so, but somehow they had met online through a bulletin board they both posted upon.
At first it hadn’t been anything more than a minor flirtation that slowly matured and developed into a deep friendship and then into a raging inferno of love and lust. It was not planned and it caught the two of them by surprise as it was clear that the feelings that they had were quite deep and very strong.
In some ways it was a very different and unique kind of love. Daniel and Anne were not strangers to love as they had both had past loves and of course they were both married to people that they thought were besheret. Neither one of them had gone to the chuppah with any thought or sense that one day they would view the work week the way that they had viewed their weekends for it was only at work that they had real freedom to write and speak with each other.
Their love was different because of how they had met. They were an online match, almost a cliche in the information age but it was an accurate description. So it was when they began communicating with each other they were able to avoid the pitfalls and challenges that sexual tension in men and women brings. There was no concern about whether he should try and kiss her or if she should let him. No worries about finding the perfect dress, shirt, jeans, heels, cologne or perfume. It was very freeing.
Anne and Daniel bypassed all that and concentrated on communicating with each other because words were all they had. And something interesting and amazing happened, there was complete honesty. It was the kind of honesty that you sometimes feel when you share your lifestory with the stranger who sits next to you on a long flight.
I remember well the day that Daniel told me about how happy he was and how scared. Somehow he had stumbled into or onto a relationship that he knew was different. Every time he spoke with Anne his heart sang and he knew that she was someone special.
Anne felt the same way. Daniel said that he felt foolish at how fast she figured it out and how at ease he felt when she told him she loved him. There was no awkward moment and no uncomfortable silence. He smiled and repeated it back to her. He loved her too and he apologized that he had to say it over the phone and that he wasn’t able to show her in person his true feelings.
That moment changed their lives in a dramatic way because it called their current married status into question. It changed their relationship, molded it and forged it into something that had to be characterized as a torrid love affair. It was a burning love based upon friendship, respect, and believe it or not incredible desire.
When Daniel told Anne that he was going to find a way to come and see her he could feel her heart pounding and he knew that when they finally kissed he was going to have to hold her firmly because her knees would buckle. That kiss would be another defining moment.
Shortly thereafter they found a way to meet. It was only for a few hours but when they hugged each other it felt like they had always been together. Lovemaking was something that could not be described as anything but the merging of two souls in common cause and desire. They moved together as one and their goodbye was bittersweet. For though they knew that they would see each other again it felt as if a hole was being ripped out of their being. There was a huge gaping wound that bled and ached.
If there is such a thing as love at first sight they were the couple that would have experienced it. Later that week Anne received a card from Daniel that said:
“One kiss. One touch. One man and one woman and nothing will ever be the same. You know it and I know it and we live it.”
She cried tears of joy. At her desk she looked out of the window and wept because she could imagine losing this man but wasn’t sure how she could manage to get him. She had never wanted to be the other woman. It wasn’t even a passing thought.
Until she met Daniel she had thought of herself as being very happy with her marriage and her first husband. Her first husband, that is how she thought of the man she lived with. He was the father of her children and someone she cared about but not someone she wanted sharing her bed any longer.
She was a good wife and a good mother. She doted on her children and she tried to keep the first husband happy in all ways, but every time she slept with him her heart cried out as if she was being violated.
For his part Daniel was in a similar situation. He felt trapped and experienced bouts of extreme sadness at the time he had lost and would not be able to spend with Anne. She was so good to him and did so much to make him happy but he never could completely forget about his own home life.
It was also good and he was also a good husband and a good father. But Daniel knew that it was only a matter of time before it was obvious to everyone that his heart had a new flame and it made him feel guilty.
He hadn’t gone searching. He hadn’t done anything to shortcircuit the marriage but somehow he had found someone new and he couldn’t imagine living without her. Sometimes he would try and be practical and think logically about it. He’d think of walking away and telling her that he was sorry, that it was too late.
But every time he thought about it a dull pain in his head appeared and a sharp ache in his side. And he knew that one day they would leave their current spouses and go to each other. One day they would have to face the pain of ending one love affair and beginnning a new one and though the thought of it pained him he was more upset by the guilt he felt at the excitement of starting a new life.
So there you have much of the story of of Daniel and Anne. It is tale with a beginning and a middle but the end is not yet written. Some loves can only be delayed but they can never be prevented.