This entry was originally posted on the modernpoly.com blog. It is reposted here for reference only.
My partner’s first love is dead.
Robin lost Marta in 2001, nearly nine years ago, yet the loss is still quite fresh in her mind. Not a week goes by without Marta coming up in conversation in some way; and I am quite certain that not a day goes by without Robin thinking of Marta.
I never met Marta, but through Robin’s thoughts and words, I cannot help but to feel as though I know Marta intimately. I know so much of what they did together; their ups and downs, their successes and their failings. There is no event that Robin and Marta shared that I do not also know by heart. I have been with Robin for many years, and I have already memorized every story she has of Marta.
Twice a year, and sometimes more, an entire day is dedicated to Marta. On her birthday, and on her deathday, Robin celebrates Marta’s life with stories and memories and a whole lot of crying. I join in the celebration, and also in the despair. Robin is the love of my life, and I am hers; but also Robin loves Marta. Robin will always love Marta. True love does not falter after only a scant nine years apart.
Sometimes, when Robin isn’t around, I look through her old scrapbooks of Marta. Marta is beautiful — more beautiful, perhaps, than Robin’s words of her. There are pictures of Marta from the week of her birth all the way to the month of her death. In some, she is smiling, while in others she seems bored. Sometimes she is running; in others, she simply naps. Looking at them makes me cry, for I feel Robin’s loss as cleanly as though it were my own.
Every night, as Robin and I tell each other how deeply we are in love, I know that she is also saying good night to Marta, her other lover. And it makes me happy. For I am in love with two women, one of whom I’ve never met. And I never will.