I'd Wait Forever For You - Poem by Cherie Mort
I sit alone in a booth at a café, music playing softly in the background
I tap my fingers impatiently on the table, waiting for my date to arrive
The only other people here are a barista behind the counter, a college student on his laptop, and a couple conversing quietly in the corner
I feel anxious and awkward, my stomach full of butterflies
I'd told my parents I'd be at a friend's house working on a project, and promised to be back by eight
It's nearly seven thirty when he walks in the door, hair perfectly coiffured, stylish, elegant
He looks around the café until he sees me
I blush and try to steady my heartbeat, the beast in its cage running rampant, pounding and screaming on my chest so loud I swear all of the patrons can hear it
He seems surprised to see me, as though he didn't expect me to be here
I give him a nervous smile and wave at him
I stand on shaky knees as he walks over to me, and I suddenly feel tiny, so inadequate next to him
He asks, ''What are you doing here? ''
I try not to stutter, saying ''I'm waiting for my date''
He seems surprised, and asks, ''Who is it? ''
I smile at him, my eyes full of mischief
''Well, I would say he's tall, dark, and handsome, but that would be a bit cliché''
His eyes suddenly seem sad, and he says, ''Who is it really? ''
I pause, feeling as though I already know how he is going to react
He sighs, and gestures for me to sit down
Uneasily I do, and we silently hold hands for a minute. He doesn't look at me
When he does look up, his eyes are full of deep sorrow, which takes me aback
Instinctively, I squeeze his hand tighter
''I knew what I was getting into, '' I blurted out, trying to fill the empty space between us
He looks at me, saying, ''No, I don't think you do''
He sighs again, so sorrowfully and painfully that it causes my chest to feel tight
''I'm your teacher. This isn't allowed to happen between us.''
''But things like this do happen, '' I interject
He shakes his head, saying, ''That's only in the movies.''
''Well, even things in the movies can happen in real life''
He stands up to go, and I hold on to his hand, trying to keep some semblance of control
But in this fight, his age trumps my emotions
He says then, ''Besides, you're too young for me'', and my breath catches in my throat
''How old are you? Sixteen? Seventeen? ''
''What does it matter how old I am, or how far apart our ages are? That has never stopped love before.'' I stand up, looking at him
''Do you love me? ''
He turns around to leave, but as he reaches the door I speak in a voice louder than I've ever used in his presence,
''I love you, and you can't stop me from loving you! ''
He pauses before walking out the door, not even looking back
Twenty eight and alone again, I wait in the café for my date
He comes in, his age betrayed by nothing save a few silvery gray hairs
encircling his head
He smiles and sits down at my booth, saying, ''You know, you're still too young for me''
''I know'', I reply nonchalantly, ''but that has never stopped me from loving you''
He seems momentarily surprised, probably remembering my outburst from so many years ago:
I love you, and you can't stop me from loving you
He looks at me closer, scrutinizing me
I look back at him with warm brown eyes, and a small smile
I'm still as mischievous as ever
His hand on his chin, he muses, ''Well, I suppose you're no longer sixteen, and you understand now why we couldn't be together then.'' I nodded
''But I have to know, why me? '', he asked, leaning in closer
''Because I have always loved you best, and always will.'' He smiles, holding my hands in his
''Twelve years is a long time to wait''
I smile, saying, ''I'd wait forever for you if I had to, '' happy tears welling up in my eyes
He puts his hand on my cheek and runs his thumb over my lips
''I love you'', he says, kissing me
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