LawdyMissClawdy – Life Speaks is proud to introduce a new contributor to our “Young Authors” category: Ms. Teresa Deely.
At just 16 years old, Ms.Deely possesses an insight well beyond her years. With an ability to look deep inside our hearts and uncover those secret places we all keep tucked away in hidden corners, Ms. Deely makes us reveal them to ourselves in this sensitive tale of love.
A QUEST FOR A GENUINE LOVER
© Teresa Deely
New York, 2014
I have always believed that genuinity is a virtue.
All I wanted was someone who would share a relationship with me that was like an intimate secret: only we had the ability to pull back each other’s layers and facades to reveal the raw truth of each others’ being. I planned to love my partner right down to the last layer that covered the entry to their heart and peel it back with light tugs until I held their heart in my hands and they held mine. When I got married, I thought I had finally made it happen.
We met at a coffee shop that I had been going to habitually since I was ten years old. I came in at 11:30 every morning, ordered a large black coffee with milk, and sat at a table wedged in the smallest crook of the shop while I buried my face in a newspaper until I started to get light-headed from the ink fumes. He came in every Tuesday at 11:47, give or take a few minutes, and ordered a large black coffee, no milk. His name was Greg- not that he told me himself but I heard the barista call him that on numerous occasions.
Every time I saw him, I scribbled aspects about him on a coffee stained napkin I kept crammed in my purse. Tall and fit. Voluminous short black hair. Endearing green eyes. Freckles all the way down the bridge of his nose. Wrinkles forehead when confused. Smiles brightly. Burberry suit but red Converse. All these things made it extremely difficult for me to refrain from spontaneously proposing to him without speaking any words to him prior. I’m a laconic person, really.
One day I was so lost in writing about him that I lost track of time and was on the verge of being late for work, so I quickly rushed out. I was extremely confused when Greg came running after me with something in his hand, especially because it looked like one of the twenty proposal scenarios I had imagined in my head. He stopped me before I crossed the street and said, “I wouldn’t normally run after someone like this but I saw you drop this napkin and it says, ‘Like a Greek god in a charcoal leather jacket’ and quite frankly, I couldn’t help but notice that I’m wearing a charcoal leather jacket. I mean, I’m Italian and Irish so the Greek part kind of threw me off, but I took a chance anyway.” I knew then that I wanted to peel back his layers, and could only hope he wanted the same for me.
Things moved pretty fast. We talked about our mutual love for Nutella and our dreams to travel the world, but soon we progressed into more serious, intimate conversations. I told him about my father’s drug addiction and my family’s financial instabilities that left us in the street several times throughout my childhood. He told me about growing up with an abusive father and witnessing his own sister go through the same thing with her husband. Our conversations consumed hours at a time no matter where we were or where we had to go or what time it was. I vividly remember speaking to him about our childhood dreams of happiness at 2 AM in a 24 hour laundromat on what would have been a normal Thursday in April. That day was when I first thought I saw Greg’s heart.
After we got married, I started feeling different. It wasn’t post-wedding jitters or excited anxiety for what was to come in our marriage. Instantaneously as we said our vows, Greg became more distant and covered back layers of himself while my heart still hung in the open. Greg was never a capricious man; I would know because that was never something I wrote on my napkin. Normally we would just talk about our feelings and get rid of a negative energy like this but our conversations had been curtailed from two hours to barely two minutes long. He would disappear for hours at time and I would call him occasionally so as not to be an annoyance but to still show my concern. It always went straight to voicemail.
We both had stopped going to that coffee shop where we met because the house we moved into was much farther away than where we had lived previously. I told Greg that I was going to be in the city all day with some girls from work to take photographs for a new project we were working on. I went to the coffee shop instead to get Greg a large black coffee without milk in the hope that bringing back an old memory would bring back the old Greg. Before I left, I looked to the corner where I used to sit all those mornings at 11:30. They got rid of the table that used to be wedged in the corner.
When I got home, I quietly looked for Greg because I wanted to witness his reaction to the coffee naturally, in his most genuine state. I tiptoed upstairs, hopping over creaks on the way, and eased the door of our bedroom open. I found it likely that he was sleeping, but didn’t expect someone to be next to him with their fingers intertwined in his like a chokehold to my heart. I threw the coffee in his face maliciously, knowing that it would probably be corrosive to his skin, and they both abruptly woke up in a panic.
She grabbed the napkin with all my notes about Greg from my bedside and tried to wipe the coffee off him, smudging the ink in the process. I could have mauled her, ripped her hair out, scratched her with the fingers that were so close to holding Greg’s heart, but I didn’t. I looked into Greg’s green eyes as they swelled up with tears of remorse and said, “Out of all those things that I wrote on that napkin, all I wanted was for you to be genuine.” I took a fresh napkin that I got from the coffee shop that day and wrote “Disingenuous” and placed it on his bedside before I left.
SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE “COMMENTS” SECTION TO SHARE YOUR OPINION
Your comment will post even without your email address if you wish to remain anonymous