Loss of a Jewel

BY: Traci Taylor

After we said our goodbyes at the bar, we didn’t talk for months. I couldn’t even tell you what made us drift apart, but something did. Such is fate.
Time and distance never affected our love though. I think the time we spent separated from one another proved to me that the love I felt for Jewel was real.
Busy schedules made it so that I didn’t see her again for another year. I had been away in New York after I graduated college and decided not to come back home to the small town in Jersey. Too many memories that I wanted and needed to get away from. Not that I ever associated her with the stigma. I did with the rest of the people I knew in my hometown though. Jewel was different. She was one of those girls you look at and know. Maybe not at first, but once you get to know a girl like Jewel, your entire world makes sense.
Had I known then what I know now, I would have never let her slip out of my life for even a second. There are only a few things I have been certain about in my life as it is now and one of things is this: If at any moment you can’t begin to fathom the greatness you feel in your heart for a person, don’t ever let them go. No matter what.
When I finally saw Jewel again it was different, but not in a bad way. It was a precious moment and I say that without trying to sound like a fucking sap.  This time when I laid eyes on her she had a sudden aura similar to a sunset. I blushed when she glanced my way and couldn’t help but awkwardly shuffle towards the bar to get a drink. I hadn’t talked to her in months, let alone seen her in a year. In this exact bar we always used to spend time together at, Hodges Pub.
It was fate (as the majority of our time together had been since the day we met). I saw her and the feelings I had in my heart came rushing back as if they ever left (in my mind and heart they never did, as I always had promised her they never would- no girl ever could or ever would compare to Jewel).
We caught up on our lives, she mentioned she was finally single and though I tried not to seem over anxious, I was. That was the only thing that ever kept us from being together. She talked of how great I was, but she always chose him.
I was delighted to hear the girl I had wanted for well over a year now was finally available. I don’t even mean it in a promiscuous way. We had been plenty intimate in the past. I had just always viewed her as my Catherine and I her hypothetical Heathcliff.
In the moment being so close to Jewel, I wanted to grab her hand and take her away- but I wasn’t quite sure she felt the same way anymore. I feared more than anything I was still the only one who felt the spark of pure love in the air.
Suddenly, she looked at me in the eye and nudged her head towards outside. I knew then that nothing had changed. I took her hand and we ran towards the side of the building of Hodges.
I’m sure an hour or two must have gone by but we didn’t notice. We were too busy looking into one anothers eyes like we had been doing it every single day since we had been apart.
I told Jewel I kicked myself for never contacting her, but I didn’t know what to do anymore. I had tried so many months before I left to be with her. She just refused to admit what I had known. I knew for once it wasn’t the tequila. Maybe one night of tequila can secure intimacy, but nearly two years is a different tale. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, but I knew it wasn’t that time yet and it killed me. So, I chose to let her live her life and I moved to New York.
Jewel once told me the reason her grandparents worked out was the will to fight for one another. We had that and I didn’t want to lose it, so I walked away- even though it killed me.
Never before had I considered myself a damn hopeless romantic till I met her. That kind of love was literally only like the stuff you see in the movies. Not even in Romeo and Juliet crap. I mean like Ted and Robin, but they actually end up together in the end.
Now that I had her in my arms I truly didn’t want to let go- I felt only blessed to have her in my life again. I gave it a few months after till I decided to ask her to seriously spend the rest of her life with me.  I walked her along where the sand meets the ocean. Then we casually strolled passed the old gazebo where we once spent the night under the moonlight sky. I got down on one knee and I looked at the curly haired, brightly blue eyed, gorgeous woman I had fallen in love with the moment I met her and asked her to marry me.
I knew before that day together she never believed I was serious about her being the only woman in my life. She swore I needed more life experience and sexual adventures.  To my surprise she ended up saying yes to my insane marriage proposal. We wouldn’t even be able to be legally married, but it was the thought of putting my ring on her finger that mattered most.
We packed our bags the very next day to spontaneously look for that apartment in the city with a rusty fire escape that we always talked about. We knew getting away was the only way our love would survive like it should and deserves.   We stayed in a crappy hotel in Brooklyn until we made our first payment on our apartment on the lower eastside.
Jewel got a job before I did waitressing at a fine dining restaurant on the corner of our apartment. It took me awhile to get a freelance job, but the minute I got it we went out to celebrate. Starting with a walk through our favorite path in Central Park., she told me then she was ready to take the next step.
I was too oblivious to realize Jewel meant she was ready to start our family together. We talked about children for awhile now, but she never looked at me with such passion before until this night. I knew she was ready and I was so happy. It’s a moment you wait for your whole life. Something you have been so sure of. I was only sure I was meant for Jewel. Nothing else seemed to be a sure plan for me.
All I ever wanted was to start a family with Jewel, probably since the first day I knew I loved her. I had known I never wanted to have children with any other woman. When I was younger I didn’t even want a family. The minute I met Jewel it was an instinct. It’s the feeling of true love that reassures the brain.
We met multiple different donors, but decided on our original decision of having my good friend Jeremy be the donor. I’ve never seen her look so happy in my life.  Her eyes lit up like diamonds in the sky.
I was an absolute train wreck over it. I knew with a family of our own on the way I would have to start writing like a maniac. No writer was successful in this day and age. I never lived up to my dream of being a comedy writer. I just didn’t have the connection or the talent. I was a hopeless cause in my opinion. I started to question my own career choice.
Our little apartment would no longer be suitable for the children we had on the way. I decided to get a side job as a waitress in order to support our family. I think the hardest part wasn’t even the crap hours, but the hours spent away from her. I was never good at spending time away from Jewel.
She was pregnant and our child was on the way, it was an unbelievable feeling- but nothing had ever felt so right in my entire life. There are time when a person is sure of the feeling of bliss. Loving her was my bliss.
When the day finally came, the birth of our son, I was never so happy to hold him in my arms and look at Jewel knowing what I knew all along. The minute I laid eyes on Jewel those years ago and she had called me a fool. I knew I wasn’t. I knew where I was in this moment was where I was meant to be since the moment I looked into her eyes.
In my heart I always knew I would end up with Jewel and start a family, but it was actually a reality- I was holding our child in my arms. I couldn’t even comprehend or control my excitement. I felt like it was too good to be true. I would find out sooner rather than later it was.
Everything was perfect,  all of the clichés of movies had come true for me. Nothing else in the world could compare to the joy I was feeling. When she came back from the hospital I made sure she felt nothing but completely comfortable.
I didn’t want her to feel lost, especially after she had been courageous enough to carry our child for nine months while I worked. Jewel was surprisingly blissful. From that day on for the next three years we took walks through Central Park with our son Chase every single morning.
Nothing had ever felt so routine than those walks we took. Being with her felt just as right as it did those nights we used to spend sleeping at my Dad’s house when we first met. Every day and night with Jewel had always felt like it was what I would and should be doing for the rest of my life. I knew that since I first really looked into your eyes I think.
Then a few years went by and Jewel made the decision to go back to work. She had gotten a job at a local diner close to our apartment.
It was a cold December afternoon when I got the call. I couldn’t fathom how my body seemed to melt to the floor. There had been a random shooting on the corner by our apartment, where Jewel was working her shift. To spare the details because to this day it breaks my heart to believe the love of my life was taken from me unjustifiably.
I will never regret a day I spent thinking about or being with Jewel. Even our days apart before we were married I knew there was no other woman for me. The toughest obstacle in my life was not losing my love from her death, but holding on at a time when no one else believed our love was that of eternity.


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