DK is a bit shy of 6 feet and muscular, but not in that hardcore, angular sort of way. He has a layer of firm body fat, so his body was soft and yielding to my touch. Olive skin, warn hazel-brown eyes, full lips, strong and elegant hands, very little body hair. Everyone has a love map (I have never been attracted to blonde or very hairy men; I have no idea why) and physically, Deke is an almost perfect fit to mine.

Also mentally. We share many loves; books are near the top of the list. He is probably the only person I know who reads more than I do. DK reads a lot. His favorite author is Jane Austen;  he was impressed one day to find an A. S. Byatt book on my bedside table. He also has a collection of thousands of comic books. Like many prolific readers, he has a liberal vocabulary (although his favorite adjective is ‘awesome’ and he’s prone to superlatives, positive and negative, especially when talking about me). When we finally met in person, he said that what really sealed his determination to meet me was a casual comment I’d made: that I desired to read and be read to by my as-yet-unknown love.

He is a lover of movies, including period dramas and silver screen classics, and of visual art, highbrow and low. During the early days of our relationship, I made reference to Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe and was happily surprised that he knew it. Exploring an art museum together is one of the many things we talked about doing together but never did. I wish we had.

We both know the pleasure of food and believe eating together can be an intimate experience. DK loves to talk; we spent many hours conversing over meals. He always said that he could spend hours talking about anything with me; I felt the same.

Deke is funny, sharp, sometimes silly and always opened doors for me. His intelligence is equal to mine and we share the same political and social convictions. He is sexual, but more so sensual. He loved touching my hair, resting his head on my breasts, touching my thigh as we talked. It was very difficult for us to be anywhere near each other and not touch.

Although he might be hard-pressed to admit it aloud, he is a restrained romantic. One of my most romantic and erotic memories of DK is of him kneeling before me on my hardwood floor and, with slow and silent deliberation, untie and remove my Nikes, then my out-of-fashion crew socks while I stood in gardening-dirty shorts and t-shirt, face makeup-free and blushed from the spring wind, hair in a messy topknot. My heartbeat grew more rapid as the rest of the world receded into nothingness and it was just the two of us surrounded by the red walls of my dining room.

All of these things were more than enough to make him desirable (come on – a macho guy who loves Sense and Sensibility and Harry Potter? Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Star Trek? A man who can discuss the line work of Beardsley and recognizes Loreena McKennitt on my stereo? Likes dives, diners and garage sales? Sold.) But they only enhanced the intense chemistry between us. DK always maintained that it would never die; that regardless of what life brought, we would always be drawn to each other.

He is the father of two young daughters whom I know are the most precious people in his life. I believe he is a good and involved parent but I don’t know, as he always kept me behind a Berlin Wall, completely separated from the rest of his life, even after there were no longer any reasons to do so. (He did have reasons, but not the ones he gave me.) That is all I am going to say, for now, on those two subjects.

DK has a very tenuous relationship with honesty, which was our biggest problem. All of the others flowed from his dishonesty. He is only accountable for the fallout of his deceptions and actions based on them when forced to be. For months after I discovered and then confronted him with the lies he had told me before and after we first met (the first and certainly the ones with the most disastrous consequences, but not the last) I was consumed with the thought that he was a sociopath or narcissist, or both.

I no longer think he is either but he does suffer from a surfeit of hubris, oddly – or perhaps not – coupled with cowardice. He is afraid of the truth and thus lies out of fear. I once said to him that I very rarely lied and he laughed. When I asked what was so funny about that, he said, “That you added ‘rarely’, silly!” I gave him a perplexed smile and said, “If I said I never lie, then I’d be lying. Everyone lies to some degree, Deke.” In his heart he knows it true that I rarely lie. It is what he meant when he once said I was the most authentic person he’d ever known.

His modus operandi for dealing with any uncomfortable situation is to walk away from it, foolish enough to think that it won’t catch up with him, or to hide. Technology has given him the perfect tools to do so: online conversations, emails and texts are the preferred methods of communication for cowards; firewalls that insulate them from having to face anyone or anything.

Clichéd I know, but the truth always outs and it will set you free. Deke does not, in his innermost self, understand this very essential truth or that confronting problems bravely and head on will resolve them quicker, cleaner and usually with much less animosity. I hope one day he does, although it will be too late to make any difference to me.

I have only seen DK do something truly brave once, although he did not do it unassisted; it was prompted by an email from me. Still, it impressed me deeply; enough to allow him back into my life a second time.  Mea culpa.

DK is not a bad man, but he chose not to be a good one to me. It was a recurring refrain between us that it had been many, many years since either of us had met someone with whom we felt so in tune; we both knew it is a rare event in anyone’s life. I know what a precious gift it is and did all I could to preserve at least a part of it. DK did not. He was careless, dismissive and eventually cruel with something and someone he professed to be a rare and wondrous occurrence in his life.

DK is a deeply conflicted, selfish man who brought that conflict and the attendant heartache it was bound to cause intentionally into my life. I loved him anyway. A part of me still does; probably always will.

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