Room 1025

17 November 2015

December, Ottawa, oh ... so many years ago. I remember. I never forgot. I even remember the room number: 1025. You did not want me to meet you there. I didn't listen. I cut my visit with my best friend short to travel across the country, to follow you, a married man who never had any intentions of leaving his family. I, a naively hopeful 21-year old, insisted. You acquiesced. How could you refuse me? You never could refuse me. I knew your weakness: me. Looking back, perhaps your lustful desire for me, rather than me myself, made you weak. When I arrived at the door of 1025, you answered, wearing all black. You had the Monday night football on the TV. Desire oozed from your pores. 

I felt wow, exhilarated. Was this really happening? I had waited so long to spend the night with you, and at times believed it would never happen. Then suddenly, it happened. It felt good. Like a dream. We enjoyed each other. I forgot about the reality, the unchanged reality, that waited at home. We ate together, walked together, talked together, slept together. I got so hot under the covers I had to go out onto the snowy balcony -- melting snow you called it. It became our inside joke after that. I believed I loved you -- I secretly always wonder if you ever loved me. I told myself you did. I had to believe you loved me, I felt as though my very existence, my heartbeat and breath, depended on it. 

I still carry in my heart your leaving on that Friday morning. You had to go to Hull, you said. And so, at 7 am you arose and got ready in silence. You showered, shaved, dressed, and gathered your things like some kind of mute automaton. You had already started to shut me out. You behaved as though I wasn't there, with you. I  felt invisible. I laid there, under the covers, paralyzed by the despair swelling inside me. It sat like a stone inside my throat, rendered me unable to speak. Would it have made a difference if I did speak? I believed it did not. Did you know that this crushed my soul? Did you care? I now think you did not. I now feel as though that's why you told me not to follow you there, to Ottawa. And then, you left the room. Just left. You took a cursory glance around the room, smiled that phoney smile and closed the door behind you. 

Do you know how cheap and used I felt? I cannot even tell you. I was so young and vulnerable. You left me. Though, really, what did I expect? Still. Approximately 25 years later I can still recall the desperate, inconsolable heart crushing pangs the surged through me as though they fresh. I feel a certain darkness in my heart when I think of you leaving me that Friday morning in Ottawa. To me, room ten twenty five will always be the leaving room.



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