He told me, “You’re gonna love me.” Was there anything he didn’t see? And what of his audacity to say such a thing? “I don’t need you,” I hissed. But what I really meant was I was angry that I did need something. It made me feel dependent, inferior, vulnerable, and I detested it. I equated dependency with weakness. I was self-sufficient, or so I tried to convince myself.
“I know you don’t believe me, at least not right now, but you will.” He paused as though he had so much more to say and reveal, but in restraint he concealed. “What do you know?” I spit my words at him, throwing them like swords.
“I know you.” I was boiling with emotion, bottled up and spilling out any time I was slightly jostled–and in this moment I was jostled. I sat there, walls up as high as possible. They were doing a fine job of protecting my interior from the good and the bad. “I know how you feel, even when you can’t quite decipher it yourself. You don’t have to try and find words for the unspeakable right now. Just as you are, it’s enough for me.”
I realized in that moment I couldn’t run away from myself.
“Why are you here? Why are you still here?” Nothing I was doing was pushing this one away. My vigor and defenses were wearing down by the minute. My hostility didn’t frighten him. That bothered me and caused me to wonder at the same time. I questioned my tactics and my sanity in light of the discovery of my duplicity.
He gave no reply to my question, at least not that day. Instead he asked, “Want to grab some lunch?”
I realized in that moment I couldn’t run away from him either.
You’ve just read the first of a series of stories to be published on this blog. Be on the look out for more.