She Taught Me Love is Absolute and Unconditional
Have you ever loved someone so much that you were willing to forgive anything?
In a life as dreadful and bleak as mine, she was a ray of sunshine that thawed my frozen heart. Until that day, I had only ever seen blurry pictures of her smile. I only knew of her what I’d gleaned from her profile. She was a young 25 and I an old 43. In a short email, I had asked her why she was interested in someone my age, and she said: “Why not? Is there something wrong with it?”
We were to do a video chat for the first time, and even though the video player window wasn’t much bigger than a postage stamp, I was nervous for her to see me. Even in 2011, before the advent of Instagram filers, there were things you could do with an image in Photoshop. You could take pounds off your face and smooth your complexion. You could make your teeth whiter and eyes a deeper shade of blue.
I was nervous for her to see the real me.
There was also my mental illness to introduce. I didn’t want to screw this up, and my ten levels of crazy were bound to be a conversation stopper. I hadn’t come up with a way to break the news to her as I sat on my unmade bed, preparing to talk to her. I was still confused when the tiny window lit up, and her face came to life.
Her webcam was low-res, but it still gave me a shiver when she looked in my eyes and smiled at me.
Imagine you are at the beach, playing in the surf, and you turn in time to catch a monster wave in the face full-force. It sweeps you off your feet and you lay panting in the sand, unable to move.
That is what her smile did to me. I spent the first thirty seconds stammering and stuttering her name until I regained my footing and was able to smile in return.
She was as delightful as she was stunning. She could sense I wasn’t used to having a conversation and did most of the talking for us. Every once in a while, I would catch a glimpse of my stupid, grinning face in the app and shudder. How could a woman like this be interested in someone like me?
It turns out she could, and we ended up talking for hours that night and many more in the coming weeks and months. But, in all the…