It isn’t like he pleaded with me not to go to Italy. In his own little way, he worked his way under my skin, daily, persistently, until it became my own idea, from my own mind, not his insidious method to seduce me to stay put within his arm’s reach.
Even so, I was able to persuade myself away from the idea of staying. My independence and will were too strong, even for Nolan. He may have been my rock, for a while, but I needed to be free in order to test my own limits and take care of myself for a change. I needed to understand the reason I had spent three marvelous years with him and now must leave. I not only felt the urge to leave (the same urge I had felt with past loves), but I felt myself parting from him, the inevitable insidious boredom taking over. I wasn’t the same Sonya I had been on this day 3 years ago. I was different: yes, older, but more knowledgeable about human nature and the way the world worked. I knew that, in order to grow and become stronger, I needed to test my very own faith in myself. He would not allow me to do that on his watch.
As I watched the proverbial door close on his lovely, familiar face, I felt unfettered and finally content. It needed to be done, but to this day I feel guilty for leaving him. And I am sure he will always blame me and never, ever, forgive me.
“Sonya, how are you? You look better than ever. If that’s possible.” He expressed it as if we had never parted that day in June and with the same voice I find I have a hard time resisting.
“Fine, Nolan. And you?” I replied, trying to keep the same nonchalant familiarity in my own voice.
“Oh, just sold my boat. The same boat. Lots of memories below that deck. I am moving on to dryer land. I finally got that old Porsche I always wanted. A ’66. You want to come see it some time?”
“Sure. That would be cool. I do miss that boat, but don’t miss the storms.” (both literal and figurative, I thought)
“Yeah, the storms. Can’t live with ‘em. Can’t live without ‘em.” He laughed, that familiar crazed laugh of his. Funny, I seem to remember being the only one affected by or even noticing the storms.I then caught a faint look in his eye. Could it be nostalgia or longing for the past? I never could know with Nolan. He was always solid and cold as ice. If you would get too close for his comfort, you were stung by his freezer burn. I still felt unsettled and undone by the solid wall of stone he would put up when any sign of intimacy was forthcoming. Any closure I had hoped to gain by this inevitable, yet fateful meeting was nowhere in sight. But I was absolutely fine with that, and move on, I must and will.