When I received the message from N, about a month ago, I knew in my heart that something serious was going on. N is someone I deeply loved some 16 years ago.
When I left Malta 20 years ago, I was running away from a part of me that took me years to only start accepting.
I was so in self-denial that I thought that by simply running away from my native land, stick to a heterosexual relationship and get married I would banish old ghosts and wounds.
N had to be my witness to that wedding that was going to take place in late April 2000. A wedding that never happened because I fell in love with my witness, that happened to be a woman.
It was an intense, deeply felt love that I simply got swept by….and for that love I left what was to me at that time, known, certain and secure, to face something utterly unconventional and despised by many and by both of our families.
I had no long term job and passed many nights worrying on how I was going to feed myself. I changed many houses at the time. Sometimes I even slept in N’s shop because I had nowhere to go. All because I loved her and wanted to be true to myself and to that love…even if I had no idea who that myself was.
We did many things together. We tried to snatch time from a world that did not acknowledge the us. In those brief moments of sincere love we did touch each others soul.
It could have been a match on earth and in heaven but we both had a problem. We were both in self-denial of who we really were….We were both fully carrying the stigma and judgement that our families and society has handed us and we fully had taken it on board.
We tried to hide it from all the world and probably we finished by hiding it from ourselves as well.
At a certain point N decided she couldn’t take it anymore and she decided to abide to her family laws. I still remember that very moment when I had put her in front of a choice “If you choose your family over me I will leave you”.
And so I did….
It took me another 4 years of therapy to arrive to a point of saying to myself “Yes I am a homosexual…and it is not going away”.
It took me another 2 years to eventually let myself fall in love again…this time I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it…perhaps….
Today I met N.
She is dying. Her organs are shutting down. One day or another she will probably leave this plane. Doctors haven’t given her much hope and time. She is selling her business that I was present when she started.
And she came to tell me so.
We talked about things done and memories shared. Many I had removed…
At a certain point I asked her to forgive me for the pain I caused her in leaving her. I said that although I loved her a lot I couldn’t stay in that situation anymore. It was a question of self-respect.
She said, “I know, I cared for you a lot and I got angry with you because you disappeared from my life. You didn’t even want my friendship”.
I said, “For years I did not want you as a friend. I wanted you as a lover. I didn’t care for you, I loved you and it took me time to get over it.”
She told me “ You will always remain for me my Maltese Goat. And next time we will meet again in another lifetime I shall remind you.”
That is the nearest she could arrive in this lifetime to tell me how much she cared for me. She never ever said I love you, yet I felt that love.
As I could feel her pain, a conflicting pain that she has always carried in her since I met her but could never do anything about it.
I could work on my pain and only the Universe knows how much I am still working on mine but I can’t work on hers.
We said goodbye fully knowing it might be our last in this lifetime…
So dearest N, in memory of that love, that made me grow into the woman I am now, this is my prayer for you:
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
The ring on the left is a reproduction of 13th century English ring carrying a garnet and a Chaucer's phrase saying " Go little ring to that same sweet heart that hath my hearth in her domain". The ring on the right is a beautiful Aquamarine. Both rings were given to me by N during our time together.