Death of a Moth

i realized that we were not meant to be married, when she started dreaming about college. for some reason, i already knew i wasn't going.

she disliked that. and she never hid that fact.
to her, you could never be complete until you had a college degree. i would always tell her that no one was ever complete.

i had this whole argument worked out that i would use in these situations.
i would tell her that people are not complete

never can be

because there is always something missing. we spend our entire lives looking for it, until we realize that it will never be found.

and then we die.

she called me a fatalist and a pessimist.
all i would say in return would be, "it's the truth."
and in a way, i sincerely regret it now. i still think it speaks the truth, but for her sake, i wished it hadn't. she found out too quickly that there would be no finding that special piece of herself.
and so,
just the day before my nineteenth birthday, she killed herself.

it had taken only one year of her "college" to realize that nothing would save her. history proved too grim a reminder to her, and all of her other classes just reinforced this point of view.

i couldn't go to her funeral, my parents refused to let me even mention her name. her suicide was a sin to them...

something so damning
that she would have to remain
in hell forever.

and at times, i wished my parents would join her there.

but that rebellion died within me:
she died within me.

despite the fact that we knew that we would never marry, we were in love.

love had always been a broad term.
for us, it never covered the full spectrum,
but it was all that we had.

we would kiss,
and sometimes we'd go further than that.

but she died a virgin, telling me until the end, that it wasn't because she was holding some sacred gift, but that she was saving the world the headache.

her view of sex was that it was good just not for her.

sleeping with me, she would tell me, couldn't solve the world's problems. neither could it solve her own. making love to me would just be a joke.

"i already love you"
was the way she put it,
"making love to you seems like some assignment from woodshop."

i was disappointed by her refusals. i always wished i could have slept with her. but i know that it wouldn't have made her love me more. it just made me so curious thinking about what she looked like undressed. despite the little bit of fooling around that we did, i had never really seen what she looked like. that part of her was still a mystery.

if i had told her of this, she probably would have stripped naked just to show me.

but i never asked her.

i often wonder whether she held the "missing part" of me under all of those clothes.

but i catch myself, before i damn her for insuring that i will die. i all too completely realize my stupidity. and i honestly realize that if she did have that missing piece, she wouldn't have hesitated in giving it to me.

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Matte Elsbernd
copyright © 1995