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  • Andre Lamartin


The unopened doors in life invite our imagination. They entice us to consider a life that never was, but could have been. Had we opened different doors, had we used different keys. I once had a friend who could have been so much more, had we made different choices, had we shared the same dreams. She remains an unopened door, a memory of a day that ceased to be, a longing for a tomorrow that lived only inside of me. To this day, I never understood what drew us apart. She never cared to explain, and just as silent was my heart. But what brought us together I still can remember. She was like me: broken and tender.

I was reeling from a decade that had forever changed the course of my life. A breakup that made me reconsider decisions and beliefs that were intrinsic to my very being. This feeling of betrayal dispenses greater explanation. It is universal in scope for all those who ever felt abandoned. To place your unyielding trust in someone and undertake onerous personal obligations, only one day to discover that reality was simply your imagination, takes away your sense of direction. Like a blind man at sea, forcibly turned around in circles and then asked to work the deck, while his ship was rammed by mountainous waves amid a raging sea.

This is how I felt until I met she. The unbearable pain was suppressed in hopes that true companionship could finally set my mind and heart at ease. She was also in pain. Her fragility gave me the will to regain my strength and help a soul in need. Our first meeting was set by chance, an encounter so memorably sweet. She spoke the truth when could have lied, unmasked herself before my eyes, she brought the best there was in me. When I sensed she needed help, that solitude transformed daily life into daily hell, I did my best to set her mind and heart at ease. I brought her books when she needed to study; I helped her prepare for the most trying exams. I showed her compassion when she was lonely, remaining by her side while others left. My gifts reflected only her beauty, never being a sign of greed. But regardless of my actions, our spirits did not agree.

There was a constant tension - a distance I could not bridge. I could not afford to be hurt again and neither could she. I had my own doubts if I could trust her. She had her own concerns about me. The tragedy was never openly discussing our differences, though diplomacy was in urgent need. I had become a prisoner of my past, and apparently so had she.

As communication lines broke down, her best friend became the messenger in between. But all the messenger ever did was to criticize her friend, displaying a side I had never seen. She was described as a spoiled brat, one who was constantly sick, suffering from a long list of ailments ranging from head to feet. But not only this. She was as insensitive as conniving, believing that the ends justified the means. No action was beneath her, so long as she could win. Though I appreciated the messenger´s candor, all of this was news to me. After several attempts to contact her, she was out of reach. This was not the woman I had come to know, but then again did I ever know she?

Her supposed ailments were of no concern, but insensitivity and duplicity had nearly been the death of me. The same pain I could not endure again, for it was well alive inside of me. My heart could not restrain itself, but my mind declared a freeze. We both grew cold, each one consumed by a gelid summer breeze. Fear masked as indifference, concealing all human empathy. I who was once the dearest of friends, now was treated as her oldest enemy. She had become my beacon of hope in a trying time of enormous need. Though I could see myself in her eyes and she could see herself in me, our lips never touched, our souls never set free. A few moments of joy and laughter, and the brightest smile I have ever seen. This was the only legacy she left me, cherished memories fit for dreams. For love I had finally fallen on my sword, and I do believe so did she. The gates of hell then opened wide, and I spent years fighting battles only angels fought before. All for the sake of she.

If these words all seem vague and abstract, all in great emotional need, this is just as well. This is how it should be. It is hard to recall the past, when my longing is for dreams, a future that forever lasts, though condemned not to be seen. As I imagine a life that never was, but perhaps could have been. Had I opened different doors, had I used different keys. Had we made different choices, had we shared the same dreams. She remains a door unopened, deep inside of me. She remains the only woman, I refer as she.

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