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- Growing Up Bronx
We were barely even friends yet. We met at the most unlikely of places, the office. Neither of us knew what it was exactly, but we both knew that there was so much more brewing beneath the surface between me and her. As sure as my given name is Angel, we both knew it.
One day, shortly after meeting each other, we were just chatting casually in the pantry. I felt it; I know she felt it, and I decided to chance it. I looked at her, and said, “Would you like me to show you around?” She said ‘Yes,’ and shook her head eagerly. So we went to this private location, a network room. I showed her what went on back there, and I did the work I needed to complete, and then we were alone. We barely knew each other, but the passion and connection between us was so powerful! This couldn’t be denied, and though she no longer acknowledges my existence, I bet that she cannot deny this truth anymore than I could. We were soul mates. The universe conspired to bring us together, and there we were. Two souls intertwined into one. Effortlessly, without words, without setup, or fancy ceremony, we simply fell into one another’s arms and began to kiss passionately.
Back then I used to party all the time, so I invited her to come with me to Webster Hall. She accepted my invitation, and we spent a magical night dancing. The most memorable moment would be dancing to Cisco’s thong song. We held each other close, our bodies pressed together, fully clothed, but making love and connecting spiritually there in the middle of that loud ass night club. Though we were surrounded by hundreds of people, there was only her. Nothing else mattered at that moment. Time stood still, there was only her. The only thing I saw was her, the only thing I heard was her breathing, the only thing I felt was her warmth. My heart was hers, and hers was mine. Even now, many relationships, and over a decade later, she still very much holds a piece of my heart.
For those of you wondering how that can possibly be, seeing as though it has been so long, and I am a married man. Think of this, when you love, you give your heart to the person that you love. Do you think that because the relationship ends, that you get it all back? It doesn’t work that way my friends; you can reclaim most of it. However, part of your heart and soul will always belong to them. Ladies and gentleman, this woman had all of me, my entire soul. I loved this woman so deeply, and passionately. It is only natural that I’d leave some of myself in her hands. Even if she doesn’t want or acknowledge it, that part of me will always be hers.
However, let’s get back to the story…
I remember that night after the club, I took her home. Now, if you don’t know me, I’ve always been a gentleman when it comes to how I treat the ladies. Over the years, I’ve been dumped for “being too slow” and I’ve even been cursed out by a girl for not “pushing up on her” while in her house. Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, finding that balance of assertiveness, while being respectful, and not offending them for being “too slow” or “too fast” is no easy task.
So yes, I took her home. I dropped her off, by her building, and I bid her a goodnight. We’d only known each other a short time, and I didn’t think I was invited over to her place. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to go over, but it seemed too soon. I guess I am old school in that sense. Well, the next day she expressed that she was disappointed in me for not “taking her home.” I was extremely surprised by this, and that following weekend we were on a bus to Atlantic City for a weekend of “taking her home.” I planned to take her home, the way no one ever could. Home is where the heart is.
In any case, that weekend also happened to be my 23rd birthday. I still remember it so vividly. Running for the bus with her, eating really bad steak for dinner, walking on the boardwalk, and the sexual pinnacle of my young life. Hearing her delicately moan “Ha–Ha-ppy bi–birth-da-y” as I passionately made love to her for the first time. That moment absolutely has to rank at the top of my all-time greatest encounters ever! I feel bad, but I don’t feel bad that we ruined those bedsheets.
Throughout the rest of that summer, we shared amazing days and nights together. I was totally and completely, helplessly in love with her. I adored her, and the wonderful thing about it was that she loved me just as powerfully. What could possibly go wrong?
Oh boy, there I did it, didn’t I?
Things started to get complicated for us due to circumstances that I will not be sharing here. Let’s say that things got really bad, not between us, but circumstances that directly affected us. However, our love persevered and we continued living our dream, but it was slowly becoming our worst nightmare.
What ended up being the nail in our coffin was not those circumstances, we were getting past that. Our love was strong enough for that. However, could we stand up to my stupid pride and my damn ego? That was another story. We had survived so much, but my pride would prove overwhelming and drove me to behavior from which there was no turning back.
This woman was Taiwanese, and for those of you that are familiar with Asian culture, the older generation has not always been supporting of mixed couples. Some of the older generation is downright racist and hateful of other races. I mean no offense to my Asian brothers and sisters, I speak only the truth.
At that time, I still officially lived at home, but most of my clothes and personal items were at her place. It pains me greatly to think back to that time, but how can I write without remembering? I still remember one of the last meals we cooked together at that Forest Hills apartment. We always did things together like that. The other memory that stands out about that period was us showering together, I remember watching the water drip down, from her stomach down between her legs and into the tub bottom. I love her so much, everything about her mesmerized me, even watching her shower was a blessing.
I live in the same area now by the way. You can’t imagine how difficult it was for me when I came to Forest Hills the first few times, years after we split up. It was suffocating. With time, I managed to move on from it. Now some years later I ended up moving to the same area. I still remember, but it doesn’t affect me the same way.
So as I mentioned, I had pretty much moved in with her at that point. Then one day she tells me that her parents are coming over from Taiwan. I thought that was great, I’d get to meet the people that brought my love into the world. However, I was sorely mistaken, before her family came over, she asked me to remove all of my personal items from her apartment. All my clothes, my military uniforms, my pictures, my toiletries, everything there that was mine had to go. I felt so confused, like she pulled the rug out from under me. She explained to me that during the few weeks her family was here, we were to have no contact outside of work, and I couldn’t call, or anything when she was home. In short, if her family knew about me, they’d disown her completely. So she had to cut me off for that period. Can you imagine the way I felt being “evicted” from the place I came to call home by the woman I love?
This is where my pride and ego came into play. I had worked so hard in my life to get to where I was. I worked at the same place that she did. I earned as much money as she did. Even though I didn’t go to NYU, I worked hard and earned my place as one of her peers. Also, she loved me, how could she do this? I remember trying to appeal to her, but once I saw that it had to happen, mentally I checked out of the relationship. If she wasn’t willing to stand up to her family for our love, then how much did she really love me? When the time came, and I left the house, I pretty much cut communications. My pride was hurt. I was angry. If you don’t want to talk to me, then don’t talk to me at all. Little did I know how seriously she took “not talking to a person.” This would go on to become one of the greatest mistakes in my life. The cross I bare.
At the same time that we were on “break,” I met this other woman. She was hot, sexy, and wanted to “comfort” me. Well, guess what happened? I had a shattered ego, a broken heart. I was a proud young man, torn, and then another fine woman made herself available to me. I took the bait, and this finalized the days of our relationship.
One day, she saw me walking with the other woman, and she messaged me asking me who she was. I lied, and said she was a friend, then I asked “What do you care, I thought you don’t talk to me?” Though I lied, I think she knew the truth. Sometime later during that month, I passed by her at work, and she introduced me to her mother. She said, “this is my coworker, Angel.” I greeted her, and was cordial. However, by that time I had already done my dirt. We never said we were through, but kicking me out began an “unofficial breakup” period for me. I realized later that she didn’t feel the same way, and in her own way, she tried to make things right by introducing me to her mom. However, by then the damage was done. It was only a matter of time before she knew that I had been intimately involved with the other woman once she kicked me out.
The day she found out was the last day she ever spoke to me or acknowledged my existence.
Growing Up Bronx