“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” Elizabeth Gilbert

She sits in the sand with her knees drawn and her chin resting on her arms. She stares at the waves, wishing they could carry away her loneliness and feelings of despair. These feelings are not foreign to her and she’s not even sure who she would be without them. 

The only person who would understand her melancholy has been absent from her life for twenty years. Even with two decades between them, her bond to him remains. At times she wishes she could sever the ties that bind her heart to him, but most times she clings to that bond as if it is a life preserver in a stormy ocean. She is afraid that letting go will erase his existence in her memory although his presence in her heart is gut wrenchingly painful. If she sheds the guilt and connection, then she feels her disloyalty to him will be complete. 

She has yearned for years to have someone she can talk to about their friendship. But the few times she has attempted to explain his importance and role in her life, she has failed miserably.  Truth is she has never fully understood the dynamics between them. She knows that they loved each other unconditionally and accepted each other in their “as is” conditions. They had an extraordinary psychic connection that allowed them to communicate without words, even over a telephone. In a lot of ways, their conversations were most raw, honest and in-depth when they were silent. They had a mutual understanding that they would never be lovers, but there was always heat and passion simmering between them. 

A touch of his hand on her cheek was more calming than a bottle full of valium. He truly centered her and she relished the freedom he gave her to be herself. He was her anchor, her protector. He was the one person that did not expect her to be a caretaker or problem solver. She was not afraid to lay her vulnerability in his hands. Somehow she knew she was his greatest treasure and he would do anything to keep her heart safe. That is why he reigned in and denied his desire to possess her. His internal demons could shred her and extinguish the inner light that radiated from her unknowingly but constantly. She knew he could sense the fear she had of succumbing to their connection.

Neither of them could have predicted the end of their friendship.  The tragedy that tore them physically apart unfairly allowed her connection to him to remain, but in fragments.  For him, he no longer knew she existed.  And as the salt water tickled her toes, she conceded that he was better off for it.