I was searching through my old documents for a novel I abandoned. The characters still talk to me, and I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to write the novel for them that I think they deserve. I'm trying to decide whether to commit to this YA Suspense title, or return to this little abandoned novel. So, that's what I was doing when I found an old file of stories and monologues I've written over the years and have never done anything with. Some are pretty bad, of course, but this one still makes me laugh. And there are some lines in it that I like. Mostly, I like this Julie character and I hope that she found a man to make her as happy as I am with Kealoha. Here, then is that old monologue, from my younger self:
When Your Heart Went Boom by Tanya Eby
My Dearest Victor,
As dates go, on a scale of one to five, you were definitely a three and well on your way to a four. I was telling some joke, something about a fireman and a priest and a hose, not a great joke, not hysterical, but you were laughing and while I was telling it and feeling charming…I thought…just for a moment…how life might be with you if we happened. If it happened. If love happened between you and I.
And then, suddenly, you clutched your heart and stopped laughing and I looked in your eyes that were remarkably blue and I thought you sensed it too. This kismet. This cosmic connection, and that’s when, very clearly, the date was turning from a three to a four, on a scale of one to five. I smiled and you looked like you were smiling, or maybe that was just the muscles in your face tensing because then you passed out and then, you know, you passed on.
There was a bit of commotion at first, but don’t be embarrassed. I helped them sit you up and I wiped the chive butter from your forehead and then loosened your tie. It would have been one of those sweet, tender moments that happen when two people just start dating and realize there’s something more going on beneath the surface. It would have been one of those moments, us staring into each other’s eyes, if it hadn’t been for your dying and all. I thought, for a moment, that there was still a chance. I thought about it especially when our waiter (his name was Pedro and did you know he was pre-med? How lucky!) ripped open your shirt and started pumping on your chest and breathing in your mouth. I thought there still might be a chance for us and how terrific a story it would make at our wedding.
Your best man, Bob, would raise his glass to us and tell our friends that when we met on our blind date, you fell instantly in love with me and it happened so fast and so hard that your heart exploded. And everyone would laugh then and tink their glasses with their forks so that we would kiss. And we would kiss. Long and slow and with real love, so much love I would feel it in my belly, in my toes, this love of wanting you. Then I would wipe the chive butter from your forehead because all good things in life come round full circle.
But that didn’t happen because somewhere in the middle of my joke, you stopped. You just, stopped. And sometimes, mostly at night, right before I fall asleep, I see Pedro shaking his head and I see you on that burgundy carpet with your shirt open, and I see the open napkin on the floor next to you, and the roll you dropped when your heart went boom. It’s the roll I think about mostly, though you did have a magnificent chest, with just the right amount of hair, but it’s the roll I think about. There was a bite out of it. The last thing to touch your lips was a hard sourdough roll and to tell you the truth, no life should have to end like that.
I was sad to see you go, and, well, a little embarrassed. I didn’t even know your last name. All those emails and photos we sent each other, the phone calls we made, all the planning of finally meeting and when and where and how soon, and I never did catch your last name.
I thought about writing a note to your parents, but how would I find them? You said they were in their seventies and lived in Florida and I thought of going to Florida with your picture but, to tell you the truth, most of the people in Florida are in their seventies so how could I ever find them? I wouldn’t really know what to tell your parents anyway. I could say it was quick and painless (though I think there was some pain), but what’s it matter? I would like to tell them that the last thing you did (besides eat that roll) was laugh, and when I think about life and fate and how everything happens for a reason…I think maybe the whole reason I met you was to tell you that dumb joke about the fireman and the priest and the hose.
I was there with you in your final moment and you were laughing at something I told you and you clutched your heart and we looked at each other and when we looked at each other, my soul reached out to yours and wrapped around your heart too so that you were also, by extension, holding onto the tender part of me.
The more I think about that date, before your dying and all, the more I think it was a four on its way to a five. I’m sure it would have ended as a five. Maybe that night was on its way to being the best night of my life because maybe, just maybe, you were the one and destiny finally brought us together.
Destiny was late, true, and it was the shortest relationship I’ve ever had (we didn’t even make it through the first course), but I want you to know that I’ll never forget that night. We shared something most couples never do. We shared a moment so deep your eyes sparked blue with life.
Thank you for that, at the very least.
All my love,