"Hard to trust in what?," he replied.
"Hard to trust in love," she whispered as though it were some sort of a sin to feel that way, to doubt, to fear.
"You don't have to whisper it," he replied. "It's no sin to feel that way. Everyone goes through these feelings once in a while."
"But I thought he was the one," she answered. "I really felt he was the one. I'd had enough romances in my life to believe that when I felt he was the one, I wasn't being naïve. I really felt he was the one."
"So what happened?," he asked. "Why have you lost faith in love?"
"Because he wasn't the one," she sighed.
"I guess I don't understand what you mean by 'the one'," he replied. "I mean, maybe he was the one. Maybe it's in how you look at it."
"Well, I just figured that he was my soul mate," she said. "You know, the one I was going to spend eternity with. My one true love, the one I was waiting for, the one the other loves were a preparation for. I loved him as I had never loved another. We had plans. I had never dreamed with anyone before him. Alone, yes, but never with anyone."
"Do you love him still?," he asked, gently taking her hand.
"Yes," she quietly replied.
"Do you believe he still loves you?," he asked.
"Yes," she quietly replied.
"So then what is over?," he asked.
"The love is over," she said forcefully. "We're not together any more. No matter how much love we shared, we're not together. That's what's over!"
"So because you are not together you assume that you were wrong?," he asked.
"Well, wasn't I?," she replied. "We're not together. How much more wrong can you get?" She hid her tears but not from him.
"Look," he said. "You've created some myth around what was supposed to happen. If you didn't expect what we, as humans, always expect…you know, some fixed-in-our-mind end result, then you wouldn't feel you were wrong. Besides, when something doesn't work out the way we wanted, it doesn't mean it doesn't work out the way God wants. We just don't always have enough distance to see the full dimensions of everything that happens in our lives. If we did, then maybe we could see that it did work out."
"I know all that shit, damn it!" she said. "Being empty and all. But I trusted in this relationship. I trusted him, I trusted me. I let myself become really open and vulnerable. That's what we're supposed to do, right? And now it's over. How can I be that vulnerable again? I did everything I was supposed to do and it ended anyway. Shit!"
"What ended was simply this latest 'detail' of your life," he replied. "What has not ended is your journey. This 'detail' fits into that journey even if we can't always see where or how at the moment. And believing in that idea seems to make losing trust a little easier to deal with."
"But you know, it still hurts," she whispered again. "I want something to believe in, to trust again."
"How about you?," he said. "Can't you trust in you? Does it have to be someone else?"
She paused. He waited. She added, in a whisper:
"But I loved him."
© 1996 Ivan Hoffman