The Heart's Gift

The Heart's Gift

A Story by vampireonion

Bad grammar, a fail title, ad a romantic tragedy? It HAS to be my story.

Dear John,

People told me it was a stupid summer romance, a fling that would end. Yet why now does it feel like so much more? It seems we cannot truly now what we had until it is gone. I still remember your hand in mine; the way they seemed to fit so perfectly. I still remember your lips on my; the way they softly kissed. I still remember your laugh, your voice, your touch. I still remember.

Maybe I'm supposed to remember. Maybe this memory is supposed to haunt me until a die, and maybe even longer after that. I'm not sure, but I am grateful; grateful I never have to forget. Forgetting would be worse than remembering. It'd be like the greatest moment of my life ended. So many people forget what hurts them, but what hurts us most is also our greatest triumph. It is the never ending cycle that keeps everything in balance. For or greatest high there must be an equally great fall. Nothing can ever be perfect; no one can ever be truly happy.

It is true I married Scott, and it I true that with him I had three wonderful children. Yet, despite all in me that loves them, it's never the same. I always feel it, that yearning. I know you feel it to. We haven't talked in so many years, and so many fond memories, children, jobs, and gray hairs have grown between us, but yet I still feel connected to you. It's like you and I are forever one; forever together. I don't know how life would've been should we have remained, but I do know it was impossible.  We were never meant to truly. Be, but we touched happiness.

Happiness. I found it in your arms every day, in your lips, in your scent, in your feel, in you. You were my happiness, and I truly want you to know that.  I hope I was yours, but does it really matter? If we love one enough their love back is naught but a bonus. No, it's not a bonus. I think we simply tell ourselves that to composite for any hurt we may feel, but I know it's a necessity. Your love was more than a drug; it was the air I would breathe. I don't think you'll ever know how the love felt from my perspective, but something in your gaze that still watches me to this day tells me you loved me just the same. I don't think two people could love each other so equally; so mutually.

Do you remember the first time we went out? I couldn't get myself a pair of nylons and the war had yet to begin from our front, but I drew the seam up my leg like all the other girls. When it rained you laughed as the ink slid in a terrible mess off my legs into a puddle upon the street. I was horrified, petrified even, but before I could even cry you kissed me. It was my first kiss, you know? Not my first kiss, but my first <i>kiss</i>. I don't think I ever felt so horrified and glorified in my life. It was a date fit for the movies.

After that I remember we began to grow as fast as the summer heat rose. Ever since that one night we began to grow closer and closer. We strolled along the lake together, hand in hand.  We want to the fair together, and Lord knows did we go to the movies often. I remember you dragged me to see <i>Here Comes Mr. Jordan</i> and in turn I caused you to see <i>Hold Back the Dawn</i>. In turn we each hated the movie and complained, and yet we always knew the joy was who we saw it with. I don't think we'd ever have agreed to see the movies with anyone else.

I feel bad for our friends. They often teased us, claiming we were the silliest couple one ever saw. We ran off too dance to swing music by night, yet by day we acted like the most proper and classic couple, as my mother would say. Oh, did my mother love you. She adored you in every manner. She often told me what a fine young gentleman you were. She taught you the most prim, proper, educated, and rich boy she had ever seen. Your parents thought otherwise of me. I was the most hated guest when I would arrive at your home. Your father, a decorated veteran of The Great War, saw me as a weak and fragile girl. There was always the issue of money at hand. I had none and you held it all.

It was wondrous that that never kept us apart. You would laugh at your mother's attempts to pick at my flaws, always reassuring me that she had once been a flapper herself and was not one to judge. Instead you would whisked me away in the night and out to a nightclub where,, among friends, we danced the nights away, only for you to come home and notice your mother had waited the night for you. We were quite the rebellious teenagers during that time.

School began for me that fall, and I had one year left before joining you at your university. It was our plan; our dream. We had our whole lives so precisely arranged as though it was made by the Heavens. It had been only three months of summer love, and all those warnings that school would break it did nothing to us. We were as every young couple during that time was, young and hopelessly in love. We were so blissfully ignorant.

It was a long fall, but we made it last. We made it a point to see each other once a week, every Sunday after mass. The whole sermon I could feel the anticipation build; the desire well up. Then, suddenly, it would end and I'd run to the small diner we always had lunch at. As soon as I saw you I would explode and jump into your embrace, which was always ready to catch me. After our lunch we would take a walk through the forest, savoring the rich colours, and then when the weather grew too cold for such a thing we would do so anyway, dancing along the way to keep ourselves warm. I think we danced too much. It's a wonder our feet never fell off our legs!

It was that faithful day I will never forget, though. December 7th is a day that holds a place in my heart, brain, should, everything. You enlisted right away, always having been brought up in a military fashion. I cried endlessly that night. I wept so hard for you my father was beside himself with worry. He threatened to call the doctor should I not stop. What was done was done, though.

We wrote each other every day of that war, and yet the numbness I felt never quite went away. I knew of all the horrors you faced, and you knew of all my petty ones. I kept myself from telling how long it all lasted; how long that dreaded war dragged itself onward. I listened to the radio every chance I got, always hoping for some sign of Hitler's army receding, praying there would be some fault that would allow our men to return to us. It began to worry me, as I am sure it did you, as those Dear John letters began to fly about. Yet, I remained faithful, even without the promise of marriage.

I shall never forget the day that blasted war ended! I was never so overwhelmed with join. It took them quite some time to ship you back to me, but they did. When you returned I saw the change. I saw the difference your mother had so warned me about. Daily I went over to her after my job at the factory, endured her torture, just to feel closer to you. It was at those meetings that she told me about how war changes a man; how war had changed your father. I refused to believe her, thinking she meant to separate us.
I felt a deep sorrow stir in me upon seeing your face gazing so blankly around for me. I knew then what she had meant, and yet I chose to cast it aside; to give you a chance. I needed you so desperately. It was a reunion I could never forget. It was there on the train platform that you proposed to me, saying you never wanted to be apart again. Of course I accept; of course I wanted it.

The months following your return were filled with wedding plans on my end, but your father was introducing you to people I could never forget. They were all rich, high men with power beyond any I could imagine. Now considering you a man your father wished to hire you in his business. It was during the parties those men held that I saw all of what your mother had tried so hard to tell me. She had never truly despised me, but merely wanted to assist me. You see the world you lived in then and the world I lived in then where so vastly different. I felt it tear between us so heavily, threatening to break us. I could not understand what you meant when you spoke business, and I could not calm those horrid nightmares you had about the war. I couldn't give you what you needed.

That is not how it all fell for me, though. I stuck beside you, willing with all my hurt to work everything out. We set a wedding date, had all the right people attending, had all the arrangements made perfect, and it was nearing the time. I began to grow giddy with the excitement, and I saw the anxiety grow in you as well. You had just closed a business deal of a lifetime and were about to get married to the women you loved most. Life was truly playing the cards in your favor. You see, that is why I left. I was not a good card to be dealt.

I crushed you, and I crushed myself, by leaving so abruptly; so suddenly. I took off while you were among those men and trying to rebuild Europe, and left you nothing but a note saying I could not handle the pressure. It was a lie, though. A lie I so desperately clung to for years.

It was so difficult to pack, and I must have had to right that not dozens of times to keep my tears off it. I left with only good intentions. You may still not understand, even after all these years, but I could never give you all that you needed. You needed a stronger woman, one who could make those nightmares go away and keep that business of your happy. Love was simply not enough, or maybe it was just enough. I loved you so much I could let you go; could let you live. Had you stood with me our lives would have been miserable. The rift between us would have grown. There was a war, business, and society between us, trying desperately to push us away. I didn't want to let it. I didn't want to wake up one morning not knowing who you were. I would always love you, but the pain of the distance would only grow with its size. Life had come between us.

I knew you tracked me down fast once I settled as a telephone operator in Chicago, but I ignored all your calls. I was not strong enough to lie to you anymore; I was not strong enough to break down and run back to you. Slowly the calls stopped, and when they did it devastated me. I kept up with you through papers, making sure I knew you had survived, and you had. In fact, you had become engaged once again a few years after I ran off, and you married that woman. I never met her, but she looked perfect for you. I could feel it.

That marriage tore my heart apart, though, and my friends at my new place noticed this. They began to take me bout with them, forcing me to converse with men. Slowly I fell away from you, but I always kept you a place in my heart and still do. It was at one of these nightclubs the girls had made me attend that I met Robert. He was a kind, patient man willing to listen to my heartache.  At first we became friends, for I was not at all ready for another relationship. It didn't take long for love to blossom, though. He was the ideal man for me-middle-class, loving family, good Christian, and an excellent problem-solver. He always knew just how to make me forgot my everlasting sorrow over you. And thus, I married the man, carried his children, kept his home, and sat beside him through all the years life threw or way. It was never the same as the love I felt for you.

All these years I kept myself happy, and yet you always remained at the back of my mind, tugging me to you. I could never truly forget you. Even now in my old age and with the world so brand new and advanced I can wipe it all way and see the same old city, with the same old people, and the same old you. I never thought we would ever have to do this, ever have to be so distant.

I write to you now that it has all ended. I may be an elderly widow with children so grown their children have children, but I still cannot get you off my mind. I know you are still alive as I am. Even today's technology could not find you faster than my love. I regret to break our promise and send you this fated Dear John Letter, but this is a deed I need to do before I may rest. Please forgive me, my dear. Forgive me for all the pain I caused you, for writing you this, for never going out to see you. I am simply not that strong.

I look around this room and see all your friends and family weeping as I send this letter up to you. It is full of men and women weeping over last love and a lost man. Your children are mourning, hugging their children in hope that this sorrow will end. They feel you have gone from them; that you have left, but I know best that that shall never be true. Even when my time comes you will live on. You will forever be near; forever be in my heart, and the heart never dies.

© 2010 vampireonion

Author's Note

As always, please ignore my fail grammar. XD

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Added on March 23, 2010
Last Updated on March 23, 2010




I love, and I mean LOVE to write. I think I'm pretty good at it. Not amazing, but pretty good. My stories tend to be depressing, though. I can't seem to write a happy character. Maybe the depression g.. more..

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