This piece originally appeared on Robot Butt here: My Valentine’s Day Memory of a Forbidden Love
It was Valentine’s Day of my nineteenth year. I had admired her from afar for most of my life. I had fantasized long enough. Now was the time to act. Having taken a year off from school to clear my head, I knew that next Valentine’s Day I would be away at college—away from her. This was my one opportunity to show her how I truly felt.
Her husband was away at work. His job took him a couple of towns over, and he never got home before 7:00 even on special days like anniversaries or birthdays or Valentine’s Day. As I approached the door, my heart raced. I began to sweat. This was the biggest moment of my life. I knocked. She answered. She could tell by my face why I was there. I could tell by her face she was glad.
“Do you know why I came here today?”
“I do. Please come in.”
I sat in the living room, and she disappeared to the back. When she returned, she was wearing a dress that I could tell she’d been saving for a special occasion that had never come. Her lips as red as I’d ever seen. Blush on her cheeks for what seemed like the first time. She approached me, and I could swear I felt the beating of her heart vibrating the floorboards underneath. She took my hand.
“I’m glad you’re here.”
Now she was much more experienced than I was. She did have some years on me. Nevertheless, I trusted her, and she gently guided me. Her touch affected me in ways I can’t describe—ways I’d never imagined possible. There was love in her touch—caring. We spent the afternoon with each other. She taught me what it was to be a man. I taught her what it was to be appreciated as a woman.
As we lie on the floor, I began to speak, but she stopped me. I’d felt the need to say it. We could never speak of that moment, and it could never happen again. But we both already knew.
“Shhh…not now. Just a little longer.”
We both knew that was the first and last time we would ever be together, and we just wanted to enjoy what little time we had left, but the burden was heavy. We tried to pretend it wasn’t there, but it was.
And while we both knew it was wrong, in that moment, all we needed in the world was each other. I was all she needed. And, yes, in that moment, your mom was all that I needed.