Sparkling Cider and Cheese

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

To the love of my life,

When I first met you, you were wearing slacks- hair pushed back and a heavy, expensive watch dangling on your wrist. Now you’re wearing dresses, with thigh-high boots and long golden tresses. It doesn’t really matter, for it was your soul I fell in love with. I sensed that you were trapped when we first spoke over sparkling cider and cheese at the garden party of an acquaintance whose name I forget. The man who had everything was missing the one and most important piece that would make him whole- himself. I wanted to be the one that brought you peace, the one that completed you, and the one that set you free. Never did I think that setting you free would mean having to let go of the man of my dreams.

You were an agonized spirit, scorching in the fire of a truth you were struggling to embrace- your truth. It was a truth you’d known your entire life and one that you’d been running away from because if you did accept it, accept yourself, you would be compelled to put to trial all your relationships and ask the one hard question that none of us has the courage to seek the answer to- are you enough?

And I identified with that- I was looking for a love to fix, an external validation so that I could look at myself in the mirror and feel worthwhile because I was too afraid to introspect and bring to life all the demons I had been hiding away since I was 5. So, I tried to fix you, but you, my love, never needed any fixing. You’ve always been perfect- wild, earnest, and beautiful. All you needed was belief, and so I believed in you, hoping that you would transform into the man that deep down I always knew you were. You transformed, alright, but into something so much more than I could fathom.

I will never forget the day you revealed yourself to me. It was a sunny afternoon in your airy penthouse, the day that would change both our lives forever. I was perplexed at first, questioning every moment we had shared, every kiss that had come to pass between us. Was none of it real? After perplexion came rage, I felt alone and abandoned. Your self-discovery had thrown into jeopardy the only real relationship in my life. At that moment, it did not occur to me that the degree of loneliness and misunderstanding you have dealt with your entire life eclipsed my momentary crisis a thousand times over.

But when you came out in your pearl white dress, with a coat of red lipstick rolled over your lush lips with a natural finesse that would lead one to think that you had been doing this for all your years, all my confusion and rage melted; and when the sun lit your golden locks ablaze, I knew that the person I had fallen in love with was finally complete. I looked into your brown eyes, from under your thick lashes and I realized that my vision of your essence had always been right- all that needed amendment was my vocabulary.

During our time together, I believed that I was giving you the strength you needed to resolve your truth and be yourself. I didn’t realize, my love, that all the while you were the one empowering me to confront my insecurities and believe that I am worthy of my own acceptance. I thought that you were dependent on me for love, but your transition showed me that you’ve always loved your true self (in fact, you loved her so much that you hid her away so that she could never be rejected). And therefore, what I saw in your eyes was merely a reflection of my own dependence on you. What I responded to as a call for help from you, was in reality, a call for help from myself. I’ve learnt a lot from you, my sweet- to be unapologetic and unabashed in my reality and to hold my head high in the face of hate; but I am most grateful to you for encouraging me to seek no one’s approval but my own, not even yours.

We’ve come a long way, you and I, from being she and him, to they and them, and regardless of your prefix, I will always love you- not for the kisses we shared, but for the intimacy and not for the roles we played, but for the commitment. We are far from flawless, but we continue to grow from imperfection to imperfection and for the first time in my life, I am okay with that.

As long as we have conversations, love, and of course, sparkling cider and cheese.

Forever, Your love

  • Pretentious epiphanies from an existential mind ➹

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