A Fiance' Not Forgotten
By Christopher Bradley
1/17/00 4:33 AM
Dedicated to Michelle Garvey

Photographs of the two of us
Lie in a box from an old stereo
Underneath my bed
With my other rememberances
Of times past.

When I sift through all of them
You are there in the forefront
In your purple dress
The one you wore to the prom.

I remember taking rides with you
Out to the hamburger stand

In the back woods of Lockport
And eating curly cue french fries
Without ketchup.

Those were the days when I was still afraid
To try certain new foods.

For Valentines Day
The year I came back from Chicago
We went to the Red Coach Inn
And drank flaming cofee
And you wore your blue gown
I could have sworn I would have loved you until I died.

You had received the ring before then
On your graduation day
After the ceremony
In my car.

It had been my secret graduation present to you.

Maybe when you came to visit in Chicago
I felt like I had changed.
I had seen the dark side of the male mind at 18.
I cannot re-count the events of that semester
to everyone.

I am fortunate that I had you to think of
And that some wit remained.

It came to me later
Long after I had demanded the ring back
That it had been my own doing
And that I left your house in turmoil.

I should have realized
That you were a person too
But that realization hadn't come to me
Until the recent past
When I discovered
That people hurt

That I hurt
When I think of what I did

To the girl who mattered most
In the fantasy of who we were supposed
To become
When I first imagined
That we would be married at 22.

Words cannot change a life already lived
But perhaps they can heal the wounds of the past
At least in a small way.
I hope that your heart mends with time
And that you find a man better than I.

If I could take back the images I showed you
And swallow the last drop of alcohol I told you was safe to taste
and fall off another bench
And break my fourteenth rib
I would do it again so that you wouldn't have

Had to be my Eve.

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