In any case, as it turned out, the lady - let's call her Rose - was in a relationship with another man. Now, this is usually a 'no-go' area to me, but I was so infatuated with her that I wouldn't let her go just like that.
Rose told me that she had expected a one night stand from our first encounter. I, on the other hand, had not expected anything at all, yet had sensed a new adventure.
We kept seeing each other for a couple of months, and then Rose vanished.
Looking back, there had been some early warning signs; she had seemed to be distracted; something had bothered her. She had not been willing to share this with me though.
Rose had vanished, and I was desperate. What had happened to her?
We lived in different cities, so it wasn't like I could drop by at any given moment; I contacted her friends but nobody could (or would) tell me where she was or what had happened to her; I went to her house several times, but nobody was there. I had run out of options. With a pain in my heart, there was nothing left for me to do than to move on.
Then, three months later, a letter dropped in my mailbox. The letter was from Rose.
She had fallen ill and had decided to stay with her parents for the time being. She also explained how 'the affair' with me had affected her, up to the point that it was practically ripping her apart.
The emotional roller coaster of conflicting loyalties and my relentless passion for her had proven to be too much for her to handle. She conveyed this to me in the most endearing terms; she practically begged me to let her go.
So I did.
I let her slip out of my hands, my life; in doing so, I learned an invaluable lesson. I learned that love also means letting go.
Rose was right. We had had more than just an affair. We had connected on a deep level that I would call spiritual, no ordinary love.
I loved her, and I learned to love her even more by letting her go.
Love can have many shapes and forms; they are all good if we love for the right reasons. Honest, sincere, in truth.
Love is more often than not confused with sex or lust. Love and lust both have four letters, but they are completely different words.
Rose asked me to let her go, and I did, but something was missing. She had taken the opportunity to express herself, yet I had not, bound as I was by my obligation to her; to let her go.
Years passed by; years in which every now and then Rose popped in my mind and left me with a somewhat empty feeling; there had been no closure on my side.
So finally, I decided to reach out to her once more. I looked for her profile on Facebook (ouch, yes that is painful confession), and found a profile of which I was pretty sure that it matched hers.
I messaged her with a question to that only she would know the answer, to verify her identity. She responded pretty quickly with the right answer. The ensuing chat between us was warm and welcome; it was like we had never lost sight of each other.
Rose had recovered from her illness and had eventually married another man - a man that would never see her in the light that I did. But that is really beside the point; it was not what I had come for, although I was happy to see her happy.
"I love you."
These three little words had been in the back of my mind for all this time. Since I now had found back Rose - albeit via a mundane and mediocre channel like Facebook - I was now able to express them, and in doing so setting myself free; I had found my closure with her.
"I love you."
These three little words scared Rose. She broke off the conversation and changed her profile status. I haven't talked to her ever since, but I know she is out there, and that is good.
Many loved ones have passed by and passed on since then. People are capable of love many times over during their lifetime. We are capable of (re-)connecting to a fellow human being in a variety of ways, which are all good if we are also allowed to disconnect. I form no exception to that rule.
Letting Rose go was a selfless act on my part. Reconnecting to her was selfish, I admit, but it served a purpose. It was the final piece to a puzzle that had been lingering in my mind for a long time. I had set her free, and now I had freed myself.
We live our lives, meet new people, and yet some remain with us indefinitely; Rose is such a person to me. Maybe I am such a person to her; I like to think that I am.
I have no regrets. I feel that for as long as we live our lives in spirit and truth, this is the right way forward.
You might ask yourself why I published this deeply personal story.
I feel there is an innate need for humans to express themselves and to connect to other people. The sharing of thoughts, feelings, information ultimately makes us human. Some people write books, poetry, create music; others read them or listen to them.
We are born as individuals. How we express ourselves makes us human; how we connect to others is what establishes humanity.
This is my perspective; your perspective may differ, depending on your mileage.
I have travelled a lot, and in doing so experienced a lot; and because of these experiences, learned a lot about life.
Are you experienced?