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Thursday, June 28

A Door is a Door is STILL a Door

Is it really happiness when sadness follows so quickly, so heavily on the heels?

Last night, I walked up the stairs.

They are the stairs of my house for the past seven years of my life. Stairs that have been noisily stomped upon, that have caused untimely slips and have broken falls. When sneaking up to my room at 3 AM, they are creaky, old wooden stairs my experienced toes have learned to make whisper.

Last night, I walked up the stairs. To the top.

I saw my bedroom door, and for the life of me, could not go any further. I was so very, very tired. Yet, I didn’t wish for my bed anymore. I just stood there, as close as I can (when is it ever close enough?). Resting my bowed head against the cool, hard surface that I call my bedroom door. I was offered support and took some comfort in knowing that I could take it. But it was all for the moment. I mean, it was a good moment, but that was all it could be. All that it would ever be.

And, it suddenly struck me. I knew this feeling!

I've lived this feeling before…

"It’s not fair.”

Oh, I know such words sound very immature, bordering on bitter resentment. So as I get ready to leave his room, I accompany them with a half-smile and a joking tone. Only I know my smile is due to helplessness. And, that I do mean every accusing , stupidly passive-aggressive word said.

It happens often that when one of us smiles, the other does as well. Therefore, his lips catch my smile. It seems a little unsure, and I cowardly pretend not to notice. I escape. I flee. And I turn away, reaching for the doorknob.

He stops me, “Wait. What’s not fair?”

“No, it’s nothing.” I shake my head at him, giving him another small smile in hopes to persuade him to just drop it. Like telling him is going to change anything. It'll make him feel bad, and me? Feel 1000x worse. And at the moment, I am not emotionally ready to talk about my sorry state of affairs. For it is a very sorry one indeed. I am more than just physically drained. I am too tired to maintain the shattered remnants of my self-dignity anymore.

I am afraid I’m letting my guard down.

But he doesn’t let me go. He lifts the straps of my tote bag off my right shoulder, letting me know he fully intends to get his answer before I can leave. I reach out beside us to grab the metal bars of his bunked beds so that he can’t put my bag down. So, that it hangs there on my wrist. Awkwardly. Defiantly. Foolishly.

He closes the distance between us. He knows he is the cause of my pain. Ever so gently, he pulls me close to him in a hug. He is sorry he can’t return my feelings. He wants to protect me.

But he does not want me to be his.

Because I know all of this and more, I lower my arm. My bag drops to the floor. Along with it goes my resistance. I cannot refuse his tenderness. I cannot refuse him.

It’s not fair.

I close my eyes, not wanting to give in to his offer of comfort when it is so bittersweet and so fleeting. But I lean into him anyways. Can humans be wired for self-destruction? Or is this another one of those just me-things.

My hands fall away from his waist. His catches my fingers. To keep me standing there, in his embrace but not in his heart.

To give me time… And for what? To get over my feelings for him? In this moment of resting my weary forehead against his chest, with his hand around the back of my neck, I feel…safe. I feel that I am cherished by the one whom I cherish.

Right, so I was supposed to ignore my feelings how?

That night, tears would not fall because my heart was already crying.

Last night, tears fell because my heart was beginning to say its final farewell.

4 Musing(s):

Anonymous said...

I know that helpless feeling of not being able to refuse another. That feeling of cherishing another for all that she is.
For me it is her never having to say she is sorry, cause while I may not know her for all that she is, I know her heart. It is always in the right place. Who she is as a person is exactly the reason I know I will never be able to refuse her. Once I realized this fact, it was all I could do to run away. For a while there I seriously tried to move to a different state.
The feeling of unconditional love is one thing. To be in love unconditionally can feel utterly hopeless. Thank God she is the unique person she is. For this reason only do I forgive myself for being so weak.

Ryan Randolph said...

Incredible post! It's like stepping out of myself for a moment and seeing things from the other side, all the thoughts and feelings that come into play. Most men aren't aware of any of these elements and when women try to talk about this with them, they draw a blank.

Mimi Lenox said...

What a wonderful post. You captured my attention with your "whispering stairs" line - beautiful. I had no idea the journey up the stairs would be so bittersweet. Keep writing, my dear.

You are very talented.

Charles Gramlich said...

very strong. Definitely bittersweet.

Winston Churchill