The song now playing is "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Lighting Strikes Twice

The first time I saw your chat name in the list of people in the room, I felt an almost overwhelming sadness. It seemed to suggest someone who was really down in the dumps and I have to admit that I kind of avoided getting to know you better because I had enough problems of my own to deal with. I was feeling emotionally drained and some part of me knew that if I started talking to you, I'd soon be "sucked in" over and beyond what I was prepared to deal with at that point in my life. But I soon noticed you were always the one laughing and giggling, dancing and singing, bopping around the room bopping people on the head. Other people commented on it too...and you'd just giggle some more. Even then, part of me knew that it was an act, and that should have alerted me to the depth of the connection that I felt with you. But I was not ready to face that yet. Nor was I able shake the feeling that getting to know you better would have a huge impact on my life and I knew I wasn't ready for any more huge impacts right then.

Given my beliefs, you'd think I should have known you can't hide from fate. One day I received a private message from another friend asking for some help. She said someone was having some trouble at work and needed some advice on where to turn. I left the room I was in and went to the room she was in...and saw your name there. Then I found out you were the one having the problems. That warning light flashed again and I offered what little advice I could, then tried to distance myself once more. No such luck...(or all the luck in the world, actually....)

I added you to my icq contact list that night, telling you I'd send more information if I got any. It seemed that every time I got online, you were there and within a few seconds, there was a message from you, just saying hi and giggling. Still trying to keep my distance, I asked how your work situation was going and pretty much kept the conversation impersonal and somewhat superficial. That's when the powers that be slapped me upside the head with a two by four to get my attention.

Once again I received a private message while in chat, asking for help from a mutual friend, who told me you were in a crisis situation and she didn't know what to do to help you. I jumped on my white horse and rode into the room. LOL...There were just the three of us in there and I asked you what was going on. You insisted you were ok, but the private messages I was receiving from our mutual friend said otherwise. I sent you my phone number and informed you that you had five minutes to call me. You laughed and said you were ok and tried to convince me to believe that too. I told you you had four minutes left. You spent the next three minutes telling me you weren't going to call me and why it wasn't necessary. I would jump in every minute, announcing how much more time you had until I sent for reinforcements. Finally, you agreed to call me.

I remember the first time I heard your voice...I felt like I was hearing the voice of an old and beloved companion and friend. Given the situation in my life at the time, I think my automatic defenses kicked in and put my mouth into high gear so as not to hear that voice-- so I wouldn't have to acknowledge that there was some connection there. A connection I was not yet ready to face. I talked more than listened even though I knew that the best thing I could do for you that night was exactly the opposite. We talked for probably 45 minutes and some part of me knew when I hung up that I would be talking to you again very soon. And very often.

Within a matter of days, I found myself breaking out into a big grin when I got an ICQ online alert for you-- a grin that seemed plastered to my face and just would not go away. I knew what was happening and I fought it every inch of the way because there were so many reasons that loving you was...unwise. So many reasons that could mean what I was feeling was more of a reaction to the situation in my life-- a rebound relationship. I did not want to make you a "replacement", although I know that could never have been the case for reasons you understand-- or are at least aware of. I didn't want to use you to fill some emptiness in my life. Our spiritual beliefs are so very different, and my spirituality is such a very big part of my life. Attempting to share a life together with such a wide gap in beliefs is not an easy task. Then there's the fact that you're closer in age to both my kids than to me. And the fact that you live 1500 miles from me. There were other personal and emotional reasons that made getting involved with you a "bad idea", but those we have discussed and are not for others to know.

I've never been one to fall in love slowly. The idea just doesn't make sense to me. When does one suddenly wake up and say "Gee, I'm in love"? Meeting a soulmate has always involved an instant recognition within me. Acknowledging that recognition for what it is has not always happened as quickly, but due to past experiences, I knew what signs to look for. When I finally opened my eyes and saw them, I was scared to death because I knew I was risking so much, yet I also felt the exhilaration of new love. I had waited to express my love once before and almost lost that chance. This time, I was determined not to make that same mistake.

Once I admitted my love for you, it felt like a dam bursting. There were times when I could actually feel the physical pain you were experiencing. When we chatted on icq, your words said one thing, but the feelings I could feel said another. There were many times when I'd ask you to tell me how your day really went after you'd given me the "no worries" version. My ability to "read" your emotions from a distance often freaked you out. I knew it was just another indication of the depth and sincerity of my love for you.

This is not going to be an easy relationship-- as if any are. There are many times I feel so selfish for asking you to even try to make it work. I know there are no guarantees that it will. But your willingness to do what it takes to make it work make me love you all the more. I hope you know that I too am going to do everything I can to make this work. I only hope you'll think I'm still worth all the hassles when we're old and grey. Although I'll be old and grey a lot sooner than you will. ;-)

I love you, Tre. My love is all I have to offer you. I hope that is enough for you.

The Rainbow's End Library

The Next Chapter