I stared dumbfounded, thinking, “Yo! Serena, I know you’re going to react! React!” But she didn’t, and I realized she’s calculating, plotting, and preparing her escape from The Wheelers who are … ironically just as she had been as 1/2 The Waterfords.
I am not a lover of revenge, I don’t think it’ll make things better. I do, however, acknowledge the need for human beings to free themselves from shackles.
And when Serena crept slowly through the door to make her brave exit, something sinister in me rejoiced, even though I once wanted her demise on a platter for a late Friday night snack.
I’m the person who makes her feel better. and it’s light and airy and innocent … there are days that pummel her into submission, and I sense them. I am ready with a “Hey, are you okay?” and the response is an honest one — one that lets me know, she’s holding on, too. “I am trying to be.”
I know that place. I live in that place more than I care to admit, that place is a place where we find ourselves lost and wandering aimlessly through time and actions, and if anyone is available to save us, we’ll run straight to them.
she doesn’t need saving, though. she needs a listener. I listen. I crack jokes. I talk about the things in life that make no sense and we agree as we work and she monitors my time on calls and I shift from one aspect of work to another.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” I say. how we can struggle together and open up long enough to let the other in? she agrees. we can chat for hours about things that crush us.
I know where she’s been. I know how I got through it, how I am getting through it, and we’re both walking different paths, but it feels like our destinations aren’t too far from one another. I offer her a ride.
“Since we’re headed in the same direction.”
there was a wall there — there was. I have always had a knack for chipping away at them and sliding through undetected, and before you know it, one’s bare before me — their past becoming one with mine.
it is an amazing thing to see someone walk away from themselves, pull up a seat next to another ailing heart, and release like there will be no tomorrow. she’s so beautiful when she’s fragile. she’s even more so when she’s strong.
the hard exterior comes through on days when patients have gotten their full fill of long hold times and the glitches of shoddy software can eat through the cores of our patience. I can see her falter — lose her sense of peace.
And I step in — “Are you going to make it?”
a simple question returns a simple answer. and we move on from that place that can turn into darkness if I do not send enough light, but I do. and she waits for it.
and even when my darkest days salsa right before me, I can remove my stilettos, slip my gown over my head, sling my jewelry across the room, and invite her to get naked with me.
and there in the most silent of silences, we stand — free of inhibitions, wary no more, aware that whatever else may come, we have the tools to conquer it.
But I was wrong. I am wrong. And every autumn pulls up memories — I have tried to forget, and I find myself burying those memories deeper into my mind for them to arise at the worst time.
It’s the children … The children push more pain into my heart than anything else. How are they doing? What activities do you have them in after school now? Your oldest should be going to college … College. It’s almost hard for me to say this out loud.
I have missed three years of seeing their faces, hearing their voices, and learning about their lives as new things occur.
I have resorted to denying who I am; who I was, but the pain in my heart about the children does not lie. It’s there. It is a constant reminder of what I have lost.
And as I weave through every year — no longer your toy; no longer wrapped up in my own head about what we could have been — what I wanted us to be, seasonal depression sneaks up on me with your face as its representative.
I am weak. I am. I will say this with no shame. I am weak, still, for you.
The dog hops up in my lap — reminds me it’s time for her to relieve herself, and I don’t feel like moving from a spot I’ve cozied onto in the chair.
She still has some energy even though she’s past what some say is too long for a dog to live — she can spit fire if I am not quick to meet her needs.
And isn’t that how you were? Isn’t that what made us cling to one another? Your need to order and my need to take orders.
Weren’t we too blind to see it could never work between two women who were writers so full of embellished stories?
I thought I’d forget all about you, yet three years later, you appear. And no amount of therapy is sweeping you away from my heart’s door.
I wanted more. I couldn’t have it. I never would have. At every turn, you would choose him. You chose him.
And really, he was the best decision. My mind knows this — how about telling it to my heart?