This song came out years ago when we were together. My youthful bikini body resting on the beach, sharing the earphones with him sprawled next to me on the blanket while Whitney sang. Poignant memories.
Fast forward, decades later and we are driving together in his car, all grown up. His music selection still reflects that era or maybe he’s just put it on because those were the songs we were listening to back then.
Suddenly, I hear those familiar strains of Whitney’s song – the one which pangs the strings of my heart for I know I will be leaving soon and leaving him behind again. And it hurts, just like it did the first time. Time doesn’t decrease the pain, but we have weathered this scenario before and we are older now. We are not young and foolish. We have lived separate lives and know that this is a gift, to be reunited, if only for a little while, without strings. Even though in another lifetime, our bonds are strong.
It’s our song – whether it came on by accident or not, it is playing in the car as he drives through the mountains. Quietly I sing the words to him and I look out the window at the verdant grassy hills and I am reminded of just how precious this exact moment is and how I recall all those days in the sunshine so long ago with him.
I can hear him singing too, his voice sounding strange in my mother tongue and not his own. I know he knows what he is singing and what the words mean. I am touched by our voices intermingling. Does he realize how much it means to me? Probably, as he is that way. I am an easy read as every emotion shows on my face which is why I keep looking out the passenger window at the sunset. I can’t bear to have him see the tears that are sliding down my cheeks. I won’t make this more difficult for either of us, nor dampen the time we still have left together.
I want to reach out, to have him stop the car and to listen to the song with him. There’s so much I want to say to him and yet I stay quiet. For what does it matter because the result is still that I am leaving in a few days. I will not be the one to make us sad when perhaps he’s just enjoying the visit and it is I who is not staying in the moment of joy. Instead I am sliding down into the ending before it is here. Wasting time with tears when there is still time to enjoy.
And so I continue to sing along with Whitney.