"Brian"

It was October 21st, 1989. A few days after the big Earthquake in San Francisco. The phone lines were down in that area, and I had paced for days, worried if Brian was okay. I had never met him, but he had been my boyfriend for four months, and he was coming to visit me. He was coming from Fremont CA all the way to Melrose MA to visit. At least I hoped, since the Earthquake, I hadn't been able to reach him.

I had prepared so long for this day, and dreamed about it. He had never seen a picture of me, so I was hoping to look as nice as I possibly could for him. I had bought a long, black skirt, a long white Renaissance blouse, a black silk vest, and black fishnet stockings. On the off chance he might see them, I also invested in lingerie for the first time in my life. My hair was very short then, no longer than shoulder length, and kinky curly. My gothic days were over, ever since I found out that Brian wasn't into that look. He appreciated beauty, and I just hoped that he would think I was worth appreciating.

I had run home that day, as fast as I could in my raggy gym clothes. I didn't know when Brian was planning to arrive, so I got ready as quickly as I could. I think that was the only day in my life I can safely say I everything seemed to fall into place perfectly. After I dressed, I sat on the couch and waited. My heart was beating so fast and loud. Friends and family kept calling me asking, "Is he there yet?!?!", getting me even more nervous. By the fifth call I yelled "What do you want?!?!". I heard gentle laughter. It was Brian. "Where are you", I asked excitedly. He said, "We're renting a car at the airport." After telling me he would be just a little while getting to me, he asked for directions from the airport. My apartment was about twenty minutes away from Logan, yet I couldn't give directions to save my life. However, I found myself relaying the directions to his mother as if I had known the way as clear as a bell. Brian got back on the phone. "Honey, if we ever get married, you're moving to California. Its too dang cold out here!". I smiled, and we hung up.

Since I felt I had given poor directions, I thought it would take him forever to arrive. Friends and family began to call again, and after a little while, I ripped the cord out of the wall. I somehow managed to nod off for a few minutes, until the sound of the buzzer broke my reverie. I jumped up, ran into my room for a quick spray of Vanderbilt, the perfume I had always sprayed on his letters, and slowly opened the door to my apartment. Just around the corner and up the stairs, Brian was waiting for me. I had made sure to wear the Libra bracelets and the gold heart necklace he had given me. I touched each one to make sure they were there. Head bowed, I headed up the stairs. I didn't want to see him until I reached the glass door. Hands shaking I pulled the handle, opened the door and turned around. At eye level, I was looking at his chest, he was very tall. I slowly moved my eyes upward, until they met his. I held his glance for at least a minute. It seemed like eternity. Suddenly, he smiled a warm, beautiful smile. I was hoping my smile was just as beautiful. I was completely lost in him, when suddenly I heard a click. The door had locked. I looked at my hands. No keys. I opened the next door which led outside. I started pacing up and down the side walk, mumbling that I couldn't believe I forgot my keys. Out of the blue, rain started coming down hard. I stopped, and looked up at the sky as if to curse it for making a bad incident worse. I looked at Brian. "I ruined everything", I said. Tears slowly came down my cheeks. He put his arms around me. He felt very strong and warm. "You made everything perfect", he said very softly. He kissed me very gently, my first real kiss.

The next three days were the most wonderful days of my life. I only met Brian's mother briefly, as she had the courtesy to drop him off every morning at 8am and we spent the whole day together. We visited Boston, Salem, and spent time alone in my apartment. I had never been in love before, and had never been loved as completely as he loved me. We spent a lot of time kissing, and holding on to each other urgently - making up for lost time, and time we both knew we would not have together again. We did the best we could to cram a whole relationship into three days.

Saying goodbye to Brian was very painful. I felt like a part of my heart was being surgically removed without Anesthesia. For days after he left, I was lonely and fatigued. I couldn't eat or sleep, and every time I dreamed, I dreamed of him. I cried for him as if he had died, and I guess in a sense, he did. I knew I would never see him again. We missed each other so much, that we couldn't bear to communicate from afar. We eventually lost contact.

I'll never forget Brian. He was a wonderful teacher. He taught me how to kiss, and how to love another person. I learned about heartbreak, and how to appreciate the time I have with people who are important to me.

A picture of Brian, taken outside my apartment in Melrose in 1989.

A picture of Brian as he looks TODAY. Brian is an accomplished fashion designer living in Singapore. His clothing line is called BWF Sportswear. He is also a design instructor at the Raffles Design Institute.

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