Dear Second Love,
Do you remember that night at the San Francisco Symphony? You were sitting between me and our mutual friend through whom we came to know one another. He liked you, but I couldn’t restrain myself any longer as the intoxicating music led my hand secretly to yours for that first soft gentle touch. Gentle touches evolved into passion and from passion into fire. So many memorable days and nights together on that beautiful campus. You really were a sexy, smart, sassy southern California girl, but I admired that you remained grounded in your original culture. Both families accepted our Love and so it seemed we had a future.
But, we both graduated and off we went to earn our way — you to Southern California and me across the ocean to Europe. We bridged the distance via the written word and overcame the obstacles threatening our Love. You left your job and secured an internship in Europe — together again not just in spirit, but in the flesh. You were expecting the proposal, and rightly so, but it never came. All those romantic opportunities in Paris, or Tuscany, or Venice, or Vienna, or Salzburg — a little planning, a little thought, a few words, to ask for your hand. And when you asked me to accompany you back to the U.S. as you pursued your graduate Ivy League education, I said not now, for I had planned a year-long journey throughout the old world — a year of complete and total freedom. You said there would be consequences…and I accepted the challenge, promising to return after my journey.
Upon my return, you had a boyfriend, but that didn’t stop us from sharing a bed. I knew he was nothing more than revenge. And I was excited, for I had discovered my path — landscape photography. You, like the others, frowned upon my discovery. And I understand. A life with a man pursuing such a dream would be full of struggles and poverty. You loved me for my thoughts, but perhaps more for my potential in the world of business. You appeared ready to let go — and so I went.
I was shocked when you called me so upset, crying, when you learned of my marriage. You said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were thinking of getting married?” Well, the thought never crossed my mind…you loved me for who I might become, not for who I was, both the good and the bad. You recently contacted me and I learned you are living in Hong Kong, probably making loads of money — that you are married to an English journalist and you recently gave birth to a daughter. I bet she is beautiful. I wish you Joy and that your Love endures. Perhaps you contacted me to ensure you made the right decision. You did. I am poor and continue to struggle finding my way through this maze of mediocrity.