He Loved Me First
He liked to brag that he loved me first. And he did. His great love
evoked my own love
. No woman could resist his great proclamations of love
was permanent, he said--forever
and ever amen. He couldn't bear to "run out" on me, so he wanted me to
die first--in his arms--so as to spare me the pain of separation. But
he would camp out at my grave until he died. He would be praying for
death, and it would come soon because no man can live once his heart is
ripped out of him
. He suggested "The man who
loved Tina Rae Collins" as his epitaph. He hoped for the mansion next to mine
in heaven if they wouldn't let us share.
I had the power of life or death over him
. I had restarted his heart and I could stop it cold--just by failing to love him
I was his engine, and without me he could not move and was fit only for
the junk yard. The most profound relationship or experience he had ever
had was with me.
If he didn't love
me, no man ever loved a
woman. He called God as his witness and swore that he loved me. He felt
that any man who knew me and even looked at another woman was not
worthy of me. He loved me like no man ever had and no man ever would
I was his "pearl of great price." He promised to make me the envy of all women. He intended to keep expressing his love
for me as long as he lived. His great brilliance, he said, was shown in
the fact that he loved me. He wanted to tattoo my name on his private
Now how could I resist such love
? I couldn't. What woman could? So I loved him
in return. I loved him
truly, deeply, madly--just as he said he loved me.
forever and ever amen is not as long as one might think. In fact, less
than two years after the wedding, he was not only looking at other
women but seeking their company.
He loved me first. But I loved him
better. And I loved him last
He was wrong about loving me forever and ever amen. He was wrong about
a lot of things. But one thing I hope he was right about. I hope no man
ever loves me again like he loved me.
Tina Rae Collins
November 26, 2009