I got five marriage proposals in four years. I did try to love them; I’m not completely heartless. But I couldn’t feel anywhere near the depth of feelings I had had for Lauren, for Livie. Communication was not as deep. Fun was black and white. I felt more intensity eating black olives on the stoop with Lauren than I had had with any guy. Ever.
I just kept trying. I wanted to be the happily married young mother like my parents kept demanding. My marriage wasn’t going to be about deep love. Maybe I would get some kids. There was this one guy who constantly proposed. But god, he was pretty dangerous when drunk. I have no idea why I married him; it wasn’t for love. Bad things happened.
I wonder why those guys fell in love with me. I had my suspicions about why I couldn’t fall in love with them. I couldn’t even use the L word in my head. I was a …. NO. A small white cloud came over the word in my mind. In college it would have meant having my stuff packed up, parents called, and sent home in disgrace. Now it meant a canyon in the family. But not telling was hiding and shame, which had its own burdens.
I didn’t date men again. I kept my distance from women like Lauren and Livie. My mind, oh my mind, and the sadness of never having love again.