Love Message -249-

From: George Rolph , 54, London, England

Remembering Gina

Many years ago I met a girl of such shocking beauty, my breath stopped every time I looked at her. My heart ached at such a sight as she presented.

She stood, slim and short at about five feet two. Her pixie like features and high cheekbones were framed by a shock of jet black, curly, long hair. Her dark eyes seemed to be tunnels that went deep within her for miles and which radiated joy and happiness. Her mouth was small, with perfectly formed lips. Not too thick and not too thin.

I first saw her in the half light of a disco at the Penventon Hotel in Redruth, Cornwall. When the lights went up in the interval her full and staggering loveliness was revealed in all of it’s glory. As I watched her and tried to summon up the courage to go and speak with her, I was enchanted by her smile and her bird like laugh. It was the realisation that someone of such beauty would soon be surrounded by men seeking her company, that gave me the prod I needed to approach her.

As I approached her on that dance floor, she was laughing with a friend. I watched her head throw itself up and back. As if in slow motion, her hair swirled and tossed like a restless, black sea, of tight curls Her shining eyes filled with the love of life, that I was soon to find, had filled her heart from a very young age.

My heart was hammering with anticipation and not a little fear as I drew up close to her. She did not notice me at first, engrossed as she was in the conversation of her friend. When she did see me beside her she turned and with a friendly smile cocked an inquisitive eye towards me. I took a deep breath.

“I have been watching you. You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen and I wondered, could I buy you a drink and get to know you better?”

Her face seemed to beam with pleasure at my clumsy words and she nodded. As I turned towards the bar she whispered something to her friend and then turned to follow me.

We drank our drinks and found a quiet spot in the lobby to sit and chat out of the clamour of the brash disco music and crowds.

She was a mine of questions and soon had my whole life story in her heart. I did not want to talk about myself. I wanted to know her; all about her; but her questions forced me to reveal myself in deeper and deeper ways.

As the evening sped by, I got to know as much about her as she was willing to reveal. I found a girl filled with hope who wanted to be a nurse. A girl filled with compassion and excitement. She came from a good and stable family and loved her parents deeply. She was smart, clever, delicate and yet deep in thought and emotion. Every revealing sentence she uttered made my heart fall deeper and deeper for this treasure.

At the end of the evening I took her home by taxi and kissed her on her doorstep. By the time I got home, I was in love, but also deeply troubled. Those fears that took root in my heart that day were to grow irresistible in the coming weeks.

To me, Gina was perfection. There was nothing about her that did not thrill me. I, on the other hand, was somewhat less than perfect and that realisation was the seed of the fears I carried. As those seeds germinated into serious thought within me, my path with Gina became ever more clear.

Gina and I met and talked and kissed and flirted and almost, became physical together. I forced myself not to make love to her, though my whole being screamed in protest. The opportunity was there, often. Gina wanted it to happen, but I could not — would not — allow it. I knew if we made love I would not be able to let her go from me, ever. She was just too lovely. Too much of a vision of perfection. Had we made love, I would have proposed within minutes. We would have married within months. I just could not let that happen. I loved her so deeply and in such an all encompassing way that at the slightest provocation I knew I would commit my whole life to her. I also knew, with a deep and crushing sadness, that it would be dangerous for her if I did so.

I was not stable enough and good enough to take someone like Gina and make her happy. I was young, foolish and a fighter. My character was weak and still unformed. My thinking almost entirely focussed on the day at hand and almost never beyond that day. Yet, when thinking of Gina, my thoughts of our future were detailed, deep and entirely pessimistic.

Sometimes I tried to talk myself into seeing a brighter side. I would try to convince myself that my fears were foolish and that I could grow up enough, quickly enough, to become the man Gina needed, but I always snapped out of it and faced reality again. I was just not right for her.

I had kept this thinking to myself. Just having time with Gina was very precious to me and I wanted to enjoy every moment of it. However, I also knew that Gina was falling in love with me and I could not delay telling her the truth of the way I felt much longer.

One damp summers evening we met in the bandstand of a local park. The sun was setting as we held hands and kissed. After a while Gina placed her head against my chest and spoke softly, almost in whispers of her happiness. I knew the time I had been dreading had arrived.

“Gina. I have something to tell you. Something I don’t want to say because I love you so very much, but it is something I must say because of that love.”

Gina did not reply but I felt her body stiffen slightly against me, as if she was preparing herself for a blow. I remember staring off into the distant trees searching for the right words to say. I was stoking her delicate face and running my fingers through her long hair and trying to hide the fact that underneath my calm voice a heart was breaking and filled with the fear that I might break her heart also.

As I gave voice to the fears in my heart a tear was stinging in my eyes but I forced myself to swallow my emotions and forge on. I explained to her that I knew I was not the man she should spend her life with. She needed someone more mature that I. More dedicated to the future. More grown up and responsible than I was capable of being at that time. I told her of the long hours of agonising I had gone through about this matter. How incredibly painful it was for me face these things and how, because she was so very perfect, I could not dare risk leading her into a life where my own foolishness might hurt her. I ended my sad little speech by telling her that she should walk away now and not look back and that I would do the same.

For a long time she said nothing. Her head remained against my chest and the gentle heaving of her body told me she was crying. I dared not look down at her. I knew if I did I would weaken and cast all I had just said to the wind. After a long time, maybe a little more than twenty minutes, she stood and slowly walked away. Her last words buried themselves deeply into my heart.

“Thank you George. I love you.”

I also stood and turned away. Two people, in love, but destined never to let that love grow, walking into the dusk in different directions.

About five years later I saw Gina again when I was hospitalised in Truro general hospital. Now a nurse and happily married with children of her own.

We met only briefly and both of us were shocked to see each other again. She was still wonderfully beautiful and motherhood had only increased the wonder of that beauty.

She asked me how I was and I asked her. Then as we parted again for the final time she took my hand, squeezed it gently and said, “Thank you George. Thank you so much.”

I kissed her hand and said nothing. Instead, I watched her walk down that long hospital corridor in her crisp uniform and wondered, briefly, if I was right to let her go. Then, with a kind of internal shudder, it finally settled into my heart that I had done the right thing and that it was good to have done it.

Strangely, I also realised that on that evening under the bandstand in the park I had grown up and become a man. Even though my life was a long way from being stable, it’s maturity seeds were planted on that day.

Wherever you are now Gina. I wish you now, as I ever have, every happiness and all the joy you deserve. For a short time, I shared in your beauty and you gave me memories I shall treasure forever.

Thank you.

George Rolph

“There is only one way to heal a broken love and that is by applying the medicine of forgiveness.”
Musings On Love
By George Rolph

Category: Love Messages

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