Sunday, May. 10, 2020 @ 11:02 pm
One year has passed since we first met.
He writes me a poem:
The sun rises but I’m already up.
You lie there, in the bed that you made.
The sheets are bright white
Against your tanned skin.
Your breath coming soft and
Slow, like waves on the ocean.
I stop and watch, unable to
Never able to disturb you, only
Able to leave a faint kiss on your
Now I know what happiness
Late in the evening, a demon rises in me. It pulls me down, drowning me in shame and self-pity. I struggle against it. The demon reminds me of what it was like in the time before on anniversaries. The hope for a grandiose gesture of love. And then as the day progressed with no acknowledgement, the hope for any gesture of love. I’m used to being disappointed.
He can tell that something is wrong. He pulls me to his chest and strokes my hair as I cry. I’m ashamed of myself for doing this to him. He doesn’t deserve this. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
“You can tell me,” he says. “What is the matter?”
It hurts too much to say. I am bewildered that this is surfacing on this day.
“I’m sorry. It’s nothing about you or about us. It’s just the passing of an anniversary. I spent so many years feeling not good enough, and the anniversary was always a reminder that yet another year of my life had passed. Another year of being a disappointment to him.”
“I’m sorry,” he says. “I’d hoped to do more for you this year.”
“No, no. You don’t need to do anything differently. I loved the poem you wrote for me. This is my trauma, and it is loosening its grip on me over time, but it's slow to heal. And it surfaces at unexpected times.”
“You are good enough, you know. Probably too good, to be honest. And I understand the shadows that lurk beneath. We all have these parts, I have them too. I try to stay positive, to look more towards the future. There is so much sadness in the past. I fill my life with family and friends so that I have positive things to look forward to. It’s too easy to slip down into the shadows. All that exists is the present; I try to stay here, in the now.”
“You can tell me about your shadows. You can tell me about the sad things. I want to comfort you.”
“One of my shadows is loneliness. Being alone. I’ve never had a real partner, not in the way that you are becoming for me.”
We hold onto each other in the dark. There is a long silence as we drift towards sleep.
This glimpse into his deeper workings is a gift. The demon loses its grasp on me and falls away, down into the abyss of the past.
“I realized that I have been lonely for most of my life because I failed to let anyone inside of me,” I speak into the dark room. Partly to him, partly to myself.
He breathes in and out.
Did he whisper something, or was that just the sheets rustling?
I swear that I heard him shape his breath into the words:
I love you.