Friday, September 14, 2007

Brad was here

That's what was etched into the hard wood surface on the desk next to me in class. I thought, how appropriate, when I saw the faded blocked penciled words.

Brad was here.

I received an email from a woman this morning. I didn't know the name of the sender, but the message was entitled Brad. So, I opened it. I figured it was Brad's fiancee' wanting to know why I was emailing him; so I braced myself for the onslaught to come.
Instead I was greeted with a short message that started with: this email will seem weird...I am Brad's fiancee...I found your email address...have you heard what happened?....Do I know you?

I emailed her back to explain who I was and how I knew Brad.

Brad, ah the big lovable teddy bear whose heart I broke too many times to want to recall. I met him back in 1993 when I was an angsty teenage girl listening to all of the angsty angry punk and alternative music I could find. I had found my fellow grungers at the local cool-kids bar and I would spend every night there that I could. Big Brad was the door guy. My brother was also a door guy. I was just the lovable floral skirt, message T wearing girl who was happy to be there and enjoyed talking to everyone. Turns out, Brad enjoyed talking to me.
We flirted, we dated. I was not in any place emotionally at the time to be doing either of those things; thus I did the only thing an angsty mixed up girl would do; I broke-up with him, still went to the club, and ignored him.
But of course.
A few years later through a mutual friend I was telling him how I always felt bad about how I handled it and I thought "Brad was the one who got away."

He passed the news on and Brad and I were quickly dating again.
This time both of us had just gotten out of a really bad relationship. Neither one of us should probably have been dating, but we dated each other anyway. But, that wasn't the problem. No, I let a friend convince me that Brad wasn't good enough for me.
I was stupid enough to listen.

Fast-forward about seven years. Out of the blue I run into him at a local bar. Neither of us had been to this particular watering hole in years; even though we both used to frequent the joint. We spent all night laughing, joking, cuddling, kissing and catching up with one another. I could not have been more excited. I gave him my number, I didn't think to get his, and he promised to call and we had a date set for the next night.
He didn't call.
I did everything I could to try and find his number.
To no avail, but I tried.
I figured this was just Karma's (or Brad's) way of getting back at me for my past stupidity.
I don't know remember how many days or weeks passed or if we ran into each other before hand or not; but I happened to be turning the corner as he was driving up the street and we both quickly pulled into the closest parking lot. He told me he was moving to Seattle to try and work it out with his fiance. He was all packed and sold and would be moving in days. He felt bad about misleading me. He didn't love her, didn't think she was the right person for him anymore. He felt sure the right person for him was sitting across from him, looking at him. The person he wanted to be with was me; but didn't think it was fair to her. He thought it was right, fair, to both of them to try and make it work, to see.

I told him he and I were "When Harry Met Sally" and our timing just wasn't right, it was always off. But I had faith we would run into each other again.

I didn't hear from him for several months. I thought about him, but assumed he was happy. He later emailed me to say he loved it out there, he was just with the wrong person.

This is how it has gone for the past few years. Random emails. Short, sweet, direct, to the point.
He kept popping into my head. But again, I didn't want to interfere with him and his fiancee if things were working out.

He emailed me in mid-August. It was short, simply, to the point. ..."I didn't hear back from you after my last email...I think about you frequently."

I emailed him the same day. I hadn't received a response. Last night I thought about writing him again; I thought it odd that I hadn't heard back. I thought last night that I should send him another hello, make sure he received my last message.
Then this message from his fiancee this afternoon.

"....I am so sorry to have to tell you this in an email.....Brad was in a motorcycle accident...he last week.....did Brad ever mention me to you? sorry to tell you this in an email....write me back when you can....."

I was in class when I read that. Gasping shock. I thought she was going to tell me he was in an accident and in the hospital, not that he had passed away.

She has given me good details. But, simply based on a few sentences in her emails, I have a feeling she knew how Brad felt about me. I always respected their relationship and never mentioned nor made any advances towards him once I knew about their relationship.

It's just weird. He really is the one who got away and I'm pretty sure he felt the same about me. But....I don't know...he was just one of those guys who I was sure would pop up in my life again in some random way. That's just how we were. When I was in NY last spring, at the Yankee game, I thought about going out to Seattle to see him. He would just come into my thoughts out of nowhere, like last night when I thought I should email him again to make sure he got my last message...because he said I didn't write back before....which isn't true.

I don't know. But I guess maybe that's just it, we never do.


GirlGoyle said...

OMG...I'm so sorry for your loss. Often I find myself thinking how flighty life is. I'll be driving down the road and think 'what if something happens to me this very moment. Will THEY know how much I love them?' Things like these have to leave you breathless and it just sux not to have had the chance to say all you wanted to say. It just sux.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

The unforeseen death of a friend can always be a shock. Maybe that’s why Donne wrote, “Send not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

I am sorry for your loss and for all our losses, for, even if we did not know him, Brad was part of our island of humanity.

Bre said...

Oh, Sweetie! I can't imagine how hard it must be to cope with Brad's death right now! I am so very sorry for your loss!

limpy99 said...

I was sorry to read this, although you wrote about Brad very well.

ptg said...

I'm amazed at your ability to write so simply and yet convey every emotion there is to be said.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of Brad - in both the physical and not-so-physical sense.

There's really nothing to say except "it sucks."

It all sucks, in any way you look at it.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry to hear this. You're right, we never really do know, we can only live and take advantage of the opportunities life presents to us, and hope for the best. What touched me most about this post was the faith and the hope that you felt, that Brad would continue to be brought back to you again sometime later in life. And I'm sure he will :)

Tom Serafini, Actor to the Stars! said...

You know I think you're awesome, right? Well I do.

Keep your heart open and Brad will never be far. But you already knew that.

Guilty Secret said...

That is so sad. I am so sorry. Big hugs for you...

appletini said...

WOW, I am so sorry. That really sucks ;(
My heart goes out to you.