My Annabel Lee

I remember the first time I read this poem. The emotion, the relevance, the silent understanding of true love that resonated from the words to my soul, it was all too real. It had such a power over me that I even had it tattooed on my inner arm.

tattoo

Let’s rewind.
A little over three years ago, I accidentally met my very own Annabel Lee in the form of a misunderstood country boy, by the name of Chase, through Omegle. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s just like chat roulette, with less private parts. I was a 20 year old lost soul, trying to not only find herself, but find her footing in the world. I was single for the first time in four years. My heart wasn’t broken, my ex and I stayed together for years even though I had fully accepted our relationship was over within the first year, I had stayed with him because I figured it was easier than starting over.

Anyway, we exchanged facebooks, then numbers, then skype, and after two months of falling asleep together on video chats, or talking on the phone for twelve hours at a time, I took the plunge and bought a plane ticket to see him.

I’ll never forget that day. I had never flown by myself. Not to mention, I had a layover, and while at 20 you are considered an adult, I was terrified of getting stranded at the Houston airport. Somehow, probably by the grace of god, I made my connecting flight. As I fixed my makeup on the tiny jumper plane, I was overflowing with anxiety. Sweaty palms, uneasy breath, racing heart, along with a rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings accompanied by the realization that I had flown across the country to meet a stranger.

I must be crazy

As the plane landed, my anxiety transformed into fear faster than the strike of lightening. My knees felt weak as I gathered my carryon bag. As soon as I was in the extremely tiny airport, I ducked into the bathroom in hopes of steadying myself. Panic began to overcome me as I realize I couldn’t do this. I had made a horrible mistake. He wouldn’t like me. He couldn’t like me. I couldn’t face him. The fear of rejection was too overwhelming. The buzzing of my cell phone sent reality crashing over me. With shaking hands, I answered.

“I can’t do this.” I told him, uneasily. He seemed confused by the thought. I was already here, what was I to do? Stay in the airport for 2 weeks and return home? He stayed on the phone with me patiently, soothing my every worry and fear. I was in love with him, something I could never allow myself to accept, but as he talked me down off the ledge, in that tiny airport bathroom, I could no longer deny it. I was desperately in love with him. He told me he was down stairs waiting for me, and when I felt like I was ready, I hung up the phone, gathered my stuff, gave myself once last look in the mirror, and exited the bathroom.
I made it about halfway down the steps before I spotted him. He jumped up from his seat as our eyes met for the first time. My pace quickened. I ran down the rest of the steps and threw myself into his arms. Before my brain had time to process the last 30 seconds, I found his lips on mine. Our first kiss, our first meeting, it was more than I ever could hope it would be.

I spent two weeks with him. Two amazingly romantic and beautiful weeks where we confessed our love for each other, and made our relationship official, knowing full well I’d be leaving sooner than either of us were willing to admit. We laughed, and played, and danced, and kissed, among other things, we napped, and went on walks. It was the best two weeks of my life, and my love for him grew immensely. When it was time for me to catch my flight, I cried in his arms for hours. I was terrified that we would never see each other again. He tried his best to soothe my fears, desperately wiping tears away and kissing my forehead, while whispering promises of a reunion into my ear. We gave each other our most prized possessions, as if a last ditch effort to ensure this would not be the end.

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1300 miles kept us apart, but not for long. Two months to be exact. I drove down to Louisiana all the way from Philadelphia and picked him up and brought him home with me. Three years later we are still madly in love. He proposed to me in February.

ring

Before I met Chase, I had no idea who I was, or what I wanted out of life. I was a lost soul, roaming the world trying to find my place. He opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart. He has helped me answer questions I thought were too stupid to ask. He entertains my thirst for the unknown. He is the other half of my soul, and the very reason I am who I am. I have fallen in love with his small home town, I have fallen in love with his family, his best friend became my best friend almost instantly. I have found my place in the world. I have found my other person in the world.

A few months back, we were in a bookstore; I came across a bookmark that caught my attention.
We loved with a love that was more than love.

I ran my fingers over the words. I had heard it before, but for some reason it never resonated with me, until now. Chase, who is far more intelligent than I will ever be, recognized it immediately, and told me what it was from. On the way home I looked up the poem.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.


I can’t explain how much that poem affected me. It is beautiful, it is tragic, it is real. It is what we should all strive to find in life. It is what I was lucky enough to find.

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And so, to my own personal Annabel Lee: I love you. You are my muse, you are my passion, and you are every part of me. You have taken a frightened girl and turned her into a confident woman. You are my belief in a high power, you are the magic in my life, you are what makes me special. You are every answer to every question I never thought to ask. You are my purpose, my heart, my laughter, and my smile. You are my reason to get up in the morning, my reason to better myself, and the only reason for my open-mindedness. You are my soul mate. I love you more than the stars above, more than the number of grains of sand on a deserted beach. For all of these reasons and more I thank you for loving me, for making me realize I am deserving of love, that I am deserving of so much more, deserving of you. I will always love you.

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2 Comments on “My Annabel Lee

  1. You wrote your love story so beautifully. It is a very bold thing to fly to a strange place and meet a stranger that you might love. I think you must always have been braver than you thought, lucky you met the right person to bring it out of you. Love is amazing. ❤

    Like

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