There are a few regrets you carry your entire life. Letting a loved one go, one of them.
On our last date, 18 years ago, I broke up with Amir. Not a nasty breakup but a quick and on-the-surface easy one. He was devastated and clueless but did not argue much. He took it as he took everything, with grace and patience.
Prior to our breakup, everything was going more or less fine. We were young and hopeful romantics. We were interested in similar interests and were raised in similar educated families. We were both about to graduate from engineering college. I was 21 he was 22 both studying electronic engineering. He was a proud fellow and never insisted on convincing me to stay after the breakup. He asked why and I explained that I was tired and needed time off. We talked for a couple of hours trying to figure out alternatives. We did not. With sorrow in his eyes he left. He did not finish his coffee and faded away.
He wanted to stay an idealist as long as possible. He loved Jean-Paul Sartre. His favorite quote “We are condemned to be free. He had lost a close friend in the Iran-Iraq war and another one to the execution squads.
He had a warm voice and used to sing during our hiking hours. I believed he had wonderful voice. He never took himself serious. His favorite song, “man namazam to ro har rooz didane…” On a memorable Thursday morning we hiked all the way to the Tochal summit. We lost track of time and when he dropped my by home late evening, I found my family checking local hospitals over phone.
On his rainy days, he stayed quite, very quite. He used to say “Life sometimes feels like a joke shared with the wrong crowd. You should just let the moment pass and believe this shall pass too.”
On our sunny days, we often met by the Asre-Jadid theater and walked all the way to Vanak Square. Long walks full of joyful discussions. We talked about everything and anything. When “Aroosi-e Khooban” was on screen we watched it together 4 times. He told me I resembled the beautiful actress, Roya No-Nahali. He was complementing and I liked it.
He had a broad chest and big eyes. He was charming but had an occasionally offensive humor. A bit rough around the edges, but a pretty decent guy. Often thoughtful but sometimes selfish. He was warm, caring and carried a simple heart but a complicated mind. He loved biking and long walks and hated driving and the traffic.
The first time I saw him we were standing in the bus line on a cold winter day. I noticed him as he stepped behind me. He was reading a book, I looked at the cover, “Takapooye Jahani” (World Struggle). He looked up and caught me staring, smiled and continued reading. Surviving the embarrassing moment I turned my head hoping that the bus would arrive soon. It did. The day passed and it took a couple of weeks before we met again.
He found my face familiar and asked me if we've met in the past. I knew we had, but said no. He smiled and with his never lasting charm asked if we can meet again in the future. I fell in love with the line. We courted for three more years. A future seemingly long, a past too short.
Before leaving for the U.S. he sent me a post card through a mutual friend. A simple goodbye with the usual caveats. I did not reply but asked the friends to forward my regards.
In the States, he continued his studies, got a PhD from an Ivy League school. Married and today is a father of two. I got a Master's degree, married to a friend of my brother and am the mother of three. I often think of Amir and the three years he was around. It was the high light of my life. Maybe our lives.
Victor Hugo once said “What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love.” I might have lost the grand part but still carry the grandeur. God bless you and your big heart, wherever you sleep, Amir.