Ted was an architect who was not partciularly popular with the others in his firm, but neither was he unlikeable, just quietly studious and solemn.
We met at a cocktail party one rainy summer evening. I had slipped off my heels, and was padding around in my stockinged feet on my artist friend, June's kitchen floor when he approached me for a chat.
"June says you're quite a singer," he said rather quietly over the din coming from the adjacent dining area. I almost didn't catch everything he said, he 'd spoken so softly and in so low a tone. June's cocktail parties were always packed, especially on the nights of her gallery openings.
I found myself wavering inwardly. It's difficult to know what to say to someone you're only just meeting, when you're complimented in such a fashion, and are shy like I was then. So I merely skirted the issue. "She said that?"I asked, a little nervously.
"I'm Ted," he said, offering a strong, smooth hand to be shaken. In the rain-chilled kitchen, I could feel the warmth from his body like a furnace. Or perhaps it was merely the blush he'd conjured out of me due to his unassuming charm.
My heart felt like it had stopped in my chest. I swallowed hard. "How do you do?" I said. I found myself dumb struck by his unwavering gaze, which seemed to look right into my soul. His eyes were slate grey, as clear as water. His hair, the color of pale straw, rolled in golden waves above his unruffled brow. I was smitten.
Beginnings often are so charming because we cannot see around every bend in the road.
I didn't know at the time we were destined to be parted after a three year stint of frustrated attempts at compatibility. Nor that he would, in the end, try and duck and dodge the obvious, and handle things in a slipshod manner, our breakup included.
But what bothers me more now, and did last night, was how I came to understand that I had never fully forgiven Ted for having been as distant as he was. Seems it was I who came to be coldly forgiving, in that I simply was unable to accept our differences.
So, here's to Ted (name changed for anonymity's sake). Bless him, he wasn't a bad person. And we were equally to blame; I for rushing in and letting the old biological clock tick at him endlessly, he for having been reticent to the last to clue me in as to his real goals.
Forgiveness is the only gift worth having when mistakes are made. I hope I may be forgiven as well....