He was my childhood sweetheart, from the age of 7 or 8. It
wasn’t love at first sight, rather a passion slowly brewed, simmered over a
low-burning flame. He hid in my diaries and my journals, but he was the secret
I never kept. No, no. My mother, who has since sprouted angel’s wings, found
him tucked covertly beneath the Sealy, waiting for our next encounter. She was
not deterred by his fastened clasp, and kept a close eye on our lurid thoughts
and frank discussions. Yes, we were exposed early and often by the loving
violation, the watchful eye. But little
did mom know, I would not be deterred either.
As we grew older and closer, we dove headfirst into our
teenaged years. Our bond strengthened, but I was still too young, to immature to
realize what he meant to me, to appreciate the gift he brought to my life. As
my time busied with high school drama and juvenile gibberish, I strayed from
him against his will. Oh, we’d steal away for adoring moments here and there,
in between pubescent distractions and extracurricular activities, but our
encounters were surface-deep and irritatingly self-involved. And we stopped meeting every day as we had in
times passed by. Maybe every other day, sometimes once a week was all the
effort I was willing to expend on him. And I can admit now that it was all my
fault. Sometimes, without knowing it, we sever away the only thing that makes
us whole, that gives us meaning, that brings light to our dark places.
I lost him for a while.
But he never lost me.
In college, we met again. Our relationship morphed, transformed.
The commonsensical affirmations of our
daily truths now spun wildly into new worlds of possibility, sometimes of what
could be and other times of what would never be—but we loved them all the same.
As I endured the bumps and bruises of rocky disloyal liaisons with beaus who
were too frequently dream stealers and prose killers, my first love brought me
solace and consolation. And before I realized his power, he had turned my tears
of pain into tears of laughter. He helped me chuckle through my pain rather
than buckle under the weight of it. And the joy and wisdom filtered
effortlessly through every word released from my soul to his. This shift in our
relationship did not go without notice. No, the professor to whom we
accidentally revealed the gift of our love proclaimed that our “voice”
resonated with him and that our relationship should be nourished so that it
Although I remained ever neglectful, even starved him at
times, he thrived.
He was a gift God-given, fed by the Spirit.
On-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, our passion grew
in ever more meaningful fits and starts. I’ll admit, it was my fault.Again. This time distracted by the toils of
adulthood. Career. Marriage. Infidelity. A beautiful baby boy. More infidelity.
Separation. Divorce. Another new life. The toils of dating…again. And everything
before, and after, and in between. I was swept up my life’s tornado, sadly one
of my own making, but by God’s grace I rode the wind on a sparrow’s wings and survived
the storm. Still learning. Still laughing. I’d grown wiser, my heart devoid of
sorrow. I was all joy and I sought him. Again. And I found him there. Still.
More in love with me than ever. He grabbed hold of me, consumed me, and refused
to release me from his tender grip. And this time, I refused to be freed.
When he carried me over the threshold of the Big 4-0, we
consummated our forever love and shared it with the world in a tome that would
make all who embraced it laugh through tears, think a lot, and learn a little
about us…about themselves…about the world—The Bum Magnet.
Now true love endures, my writing and I.
For richer, for poorer …
In sickness and in health…
Not even in death will we part, for the fruit
of our union will live on long after I’m gone…
What therefore God hath joined together, let NO MAN put asunder.
Karla “K.L.” Brady is the author of the hilarious
award-winning romantic comedies The Bum Magnet and its sequel, Got a Right to
Be Wrong, as well as two romantic comedies for young adults. She is hard at
work on the second installment of her new spy novels series and a new romantic
comedy, 12 HONEYMOONS (FALL 2013).