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A Love Forbidden
By Bryan Gold
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
All love is not meant to be.
A Love Forbidden
Yesterday morning was no different than any other morning for me. I was late. I am always late. It is my nature to be late. I sprinted the last five blocks to the El station. I uttered my daily curse as I began to race up the stairs. When I could, I took two steps at a time. When I heard the train – my train - rumble into the station; I became even more frustrated and angry. Rivers of sweat were pouring from my forehead. My heavily starched white shirt was being reduced to nothing more than a wet rag and I still had at least two more full flights of stairs to conquer. I stopped for a moment to catch my breath. I began sucking badly needed oxygen through an open mouth like a snorkel on a submarine ingests badly needed air into its hungry ventilation system. I leaned over in agony.
Out of desperation, I looked up hoping to see God or someone who would help me up the stairs but all that I saw was an endless, steep, vertical shaft of one concrete plateau after another. My face began to fill with a certain resignation. I knew then that making the 7:00am train was going to be impossible. I knew then that my attempt to present myself as the loyal and obedient employee who showed up for work on time was nothing more than wishful thinking. But at that exact moment, I confess, I really didn’t care. I was more concerned about having a heart attack then worrying about trivial things such as a time clock and making a good impression at the office.
I could hear the doors of the train open. I began to cry as I grabbed a firm hold of the wooden railing and began pulling myself up the stairs - one steep stair step at a time. One slow stair step at a time. I could hear the stampeding mass of commuters making their across the wooden platform fifteen or so feet above me. I took a deep breath and cursed the McDonald’s Bacon, Egg and Cheese bagel that sat like a ten-ton anchor in the pit of my stomach.
I continued what was then turning into a quixotic adventure and after a few minutes of an intense, Herculean struggle, I finally made it up to what felt to be the summit of Mt. Everest. I began to smile as I raced directly to the train that was about fifteen feet in front of me. But before I could transfer my weight to my back foot and make an Olympian leap into the train car’s open door, the damned thing slammed shut and I was left standing there, face to face with the aluminum and glass barricade that had, once again, condemned me to being late for work.
I stood motionless as the train slowly began to move past me. I shook my head at it all. Every car seemed to be over-packed with tired-eye zombies. Here they were, the heartbeat of endless operational bureaucracies. God, it is all so Orwellian. We have sold our soul to the God of Conformity for pieces of silver and the right to force ourselves, day after day, to pack ourselves into sardine cans on wheels to be transported to the slave pits to feed the earnings of corporate giants.
Then I saw her. And she saw me. She smiled and casually waved. I was too shocked to respond. All I could do was to reach out and touch the heavily scratched window. Was I seeing her or was this just an asphyxia-induced apparition? In a scene right out of a black and white, World War Two movie, I began running down the platform parallel to the train as it picked up speed.
Before I lost contact with her and the train, I could see her turn away from the window and give the hand she was holding in her own an extra squeeze. I saw the man sitting next to her, eyes glued to the Wall Street Journal, respond with a very small, benign smile. He never once looked at her.
It is amazing how much pain and consternation a few minutes can cause those empowered with the license of corporate leadership. If I would have made the first train, I would have walked into my office two or three minutes before eight. But as it was, well, you have read the story, so I eventually I rumbled into my office fifteen minutes past the hour. Less than five minutes later, my boss predictably peaked into my office, smiled and reminded me that my career would be greatly enhanced if I, in the future, was able to make the earlier train on a more consistent basis. I closed my eyes and offered an intense prayer to both the God that controls lottery ticket distribution and the God that controls what numbered ping-pong ball makes its way through the lottery’s vacuum controlled selection process. A few million dollars in lottery prize money would also have a positive effect on my career.
As much as I tried not to, I succumbed to an inner passion and spent the rest of that morning thinking about her. Our relationship lasted only three months but each day was special to say the least. Although it has been almost five years since we shared the warmth of each other’s arms, I must confess that not a week goes by when I am not seized by an unseen hand which gently caresses the sensuality of my soul. In the darkness of my room, a room that is dominated by a half empty bed, the smell of her beauty continues to linger. At times I cry because I still want to hear her voice and see her smile. I want to sit across a table and listen to her laugh. I want to lay there with her next to me and trace the contours of her quintessence. I want to feel the tenderness of her lips and the warmth of her inner sanctum.
But it will never happen again. She has become a nightly dream that is stored in the freezer next to a container of chicken soup that my mother made for me on the day before she died. I am a sentimentalist, a romantic and choose not to throw either away.
Why did she have to be on that train? Why did I have to see her again? Why was my dream made real? So real? Why can’t I get this pain to stop hurting?
All through its all-too brief tenure, our affair was wrapped in the sacraments of being a love that never should have happened. In the beginning, neither one of us wanted it to happen. But despite our misgivings, despite all that we did to stop it before it ever began, we crossed into a forbidden land and consummated a passion that would not allow itself to be controlled. We did what we did and could not turn back. We had no choice but to go on and keep our sacrosanct liaison secreted in the closet beneath all the other inequities that we, over time, have learned to hide from public scrutiny.
We were never sure what to call our love affair. We never knew whether we should praise it or condemn it. It would not have taken much of an argument one way or another to sway us in any one direction. But the issue was never so compelling that it demanded that we rush out to affix a decorous label to our clandestine meetings. Never did we believe that we had to wear a sticker that would pass the bar coding scanner of a Jerry Farwell-driven morality review. We were content to live our private relationship in the darkness of shadows of shame. More often than not, we acted like two convicts on the run as we rushed in and out of doorways to avoid being followed. As much as we enjoyed what we did, guilt covered us like a permanent staining dye. No matter what we did, we could not escape its presence.
Every time we showed ourselves in public, enjoying the innocence of a dinner or a movie, we could never escape the paranoia of believing that everyone knew what we were doing and they were staring in anger and contempt at us. It seemed that we never found the freedom that would grant us the license to sin in the privacy of our own collective conscience. Or lack of one.
Was it right? Did we really have the prerogative to put the needs of passion and lust above the laws of both God and man? Was it really right for us to betray her husband and deceive our friends all in the name of something that we were never able to fully understand? Was if worth the price that we ultimately paid exposing our soul to a battle between the heart of passion and the mind of logic? Even in retrospect, it is hard for me to answer these questions.
What we had was nothing more than a transitory encounter. We had moments, just moments, that were episodic and transitory. We had moments of physical satisfaction. We had moments of emotional fulfillment. We had moments of a wonderful contentment. But they were just moments; moments that were nothing more than an evanescent hiccup of time that vanished as quickly as it appeared.
There are no pictures that I can look at. There are no mementos that I can hold. There is only a deep scar slashed into the fiber of my soul to remind me that even the purest and sincerest of loves cannot overcome the cold, soul-piercing pain of moral-driven guilt.
A little before noon, my phone rang. I answered it with the standard monologue demanded by company leadership.
It was her!
“Hi,” I said. I was in shock and could say nothing more than ‘hi’.
“It was nice seeing you again,” she said firmly.
“No, never,” she said even more firmly as she hung up the phone.
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|Reviewed by Desi Shane
Well written. Enjoyed thoroughly.
|Reviewed by Tamara
|Good write,but I don't like the end.|
|Reviewed by Vesna Perkovic
|Ah... Bryan... you have connected to your Twin Flame..you know the ecstasy NOW...expand your Heart and send it forth to others...there's no going back your Heart is OPEN!!!|
|Reviewed by Peace Poet
Read your story A Love Forbidden
Very good indeed. We would like to publish this one or such type of story in our forthcoming print anthology Passion (An Anthology of World's Great Short Stories). I invite you to contribute your story for Passion so that it may be published. If you are interested in getting your short story published in it please send by logging on to
|Reviewed by Jim Howell
|This was very well written. Sorry you have to live with all the aftermath.|
|Reviewed by Helga Ross
|"All love is not meant to be."
Yes it is, Bryan.
Sometimes it's meant to be hard-coded in the heart, though not sustained in reality. Sometimes I think to have loved and not lost, is not to have fully lived.
PS In the same vein, you might appreciate my love story "Olivia Lost and Found".
With your permission I'd love to include this piece of yours on my Passions in Prose.com 'Romance' Page. Take a look and let me know.