Do You Still Love Her?
A Practice in dialogue
“Do you still love her?”
It was such a loaded question, and one for which I was not prepared to answer. I didn’t know what to say, couldn’t think of anything appropriate, so I decided to answer without a filter.
“Do I still love her? I don’t think so. I miss loving her, but do not want to go back. I think it has more to do with missing the presence of love in my life in general.”
“What do you mean?”
“I…” How could such simple questions require such complicated answers?
“I mean… I miss everything that comes with love. I miss trust. I miss waking up and feeling like the luckiest man in the world. I miss long evenings spent doing nothing with my arms wrapped around somebody worth loving. She and I used to go lie in the grass, just being human. We didn’t need to engage in the cliché tasks of ‘counting stars’ or ‘making shapes out of the clouds,’ we just were. We existed in that moment. That is what I miss.”
“Damn man. That’s deep.”
“It’s real.” I meant it. I had known love before, but not like that. Loving her was something beyond description. I really did miss it.
“When did you know that you really loved her?”
“What’s with all these questions?”
“You talk about memories, but you never actually talk about HER. I am just curious about why she was so special that you haven’t found anyone else in over 5 years. She did something to you. I want to know what.”
“I guess right away.”
“Love at first sight is bull shit.”
“I don’t mean at first sight. I mean in the moments after that.”
“I saw her, and thought she was beautiful. I told myself right away that she was going to be part of my life. That doesn’t mean that I knew exactly how big that part would be. I didn’t approach her; I instead waited until she was walking by, and smiled. She smiled back, not shyly, but not completely forward either. I had to speak to her.”
“So what did you say?”
“You have beautiful eyes.”
“Really? That is what you open with? Dumbass.”
“Say what you want, but when I woke up to those eyes for the next 5 years, I didn’t think it was such a bad word choice.”
“Good point. Anyways… What happened next?”
“Those beautiful eyes I mentioned lit up. She gave me a simple ‘Thanks,’ smiled, and walked away. She really was something special. I knew that right away.”
“She walked away?”
“Why was this different than any other girl who had walked away from a conversation with you? Oh… You couldn’t have her right away. That is why she stuck out so much, right?”
“I am not lying. It had nothing to do with the chase, or whatever you want to call modern courting. It was all about her, about who she was.”
“She was sincere. From the first time she smiled, to the last time she kissed me goodbye, everything she did was real. There was no façade, no intended illusion. She wore her emotions on her sleeves, and didn’t act with any sense of deception.”
“I know a lot of people like that.”
There was a long pause as we both digested the words that were passing between us.
“You never talk about this side of things.”
He was right.
“That isn’t an accident.”
“When was the next time you saw her?”
“When I was in Cali with a church group. We…”
“Wait… Back up.”
“Church group… You? Church?”
“Do you want to know about her or my past life as a sheep?”
“She was a friend of a girl in my youth group. We all went to Palm Springs together and came home attached.”
“Is that when you asked her out?”
“I actually never did.”
“So how did you end up dating?”
“It just happened.”
“How does something like that ‘just happen’?”
“We fell for one another when we were on that Cali trip with the church, and were inseparable since. I was working with a theatre company at the time, and we were doing a show at the Keller Auditorium. She came with me when I went to work one day, and the director offered her front-row seats. We walked along the waterfront and through one of the gardens downtown, and she was going on about how cool the show was. I couldn’t respond without ruining the magic, so I just gently turned her towards me and kissed her. We counted that as our first date. I never asked her out; we just ended up in a relationship. I guess you can say that we just stumbled into one another’s arms.”
“Damn, man. You are so… I don’t know.”
“Well fuck you too.” We laughed at this. It is a nice feeling when you hit a point in a friendship where harsh words and rude gestures are expressions of endearment.
“And then we lived a short life of happily never after.”
“I am serious. You have told me how you met, and how you ended up together, but you still haven’t explained what made her so special.”
“How am I supposed to explain that? She was her. Plain and simple. I don’t know what you want beyond that.”
“Really? You think I am going to buy that? The man who has an explanation for everything doesn’t know how to explain what made a person special… Bull shit.”
“She called me Mister.”
“The fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“I use the word ‘Lady’ as a term of endearment for women I care about. Whether they be just friends, or something more. She was the only person to ever respond to that in a way that made me smile: she called me Mister.”
“That’s it? Mister?”
“That is part of it. She understood. She could lose herself in my youthful mannerisms and I in hers. She would come home looking upset, and I would tackle her on the bed and tickle her. She would hit me, then kiss me, and lay there in my arms until everything was okay. She allowed me to be her rock. By doing that, she was mine. She was there when my pops passed, and I got to be there while she watched her father lose the battle to cancer. She never stopped moving forward or smiling. I loved her for that. I didn’t deserve her.”
“Don’t say that kind of shit. You deserve to be happy.”
“I never said that I don’t; everyone deserves to find their happiness. But, I didn’t deserve to be with her at that point in my life.”
“I don’t know. I feel like I have grown since then and am ready to try again, but finding someone who feels right hasn’t exactly been easy.”
“And when you find her?”
“Hopefully, I won’t be so terrified of fucking it up… or of wasting her time.”
About the Creator
Jefferey A Ayers
I am an aspiring writer who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I joined vocal out of desire, and curiosity. This will be the first time I have put my writing out in the public, and I look forward to hearing what you all think.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Wow. Just went through a break-up. This is how it feels with someone you truly love. Made me tear up, thank you.
Not bad, not bad
I loved it very relatable
Simply delightful conversation! I wish to finally find that person for myself.
Well told story. Bravo!
Jeff, this is such a well narrated conversation. Heartfelt. Good job.
Oooof I felt this with every fibre of my being ❤️❤️