Total and complete exhaustion took over while we drove and absorbed the fact that we had just escaped from Genevieve plus or minus some pretty lingerie that I bet Marty would have loved. I’m pretty sure we’re about the same size.
We drove for a few hours and then for the sake of not crashing into a semi truck, then walking away with just a few scratches, then having to explain how we were so uninjured, I asked my beautiful husband to take us to my nearest apartment. Watching Ryan drive was like finally getting to really just look at him, stare at him, restudy all of the curves of his silhouette and soft dimples of his cheeks, his bright eyes. I think I drooled a little bit.
I hadn’t realized how much I had missed him.
Once we were at my safe house in Arizona just outside of Phoenix. I discovered that I had mail. Two sets of letters. One from my dead friend Grace and the other from the man who tortured her soul endlessly in her last days of this life. I couldn’t bear to read it, and yet felt I would have done her an injustice by not doing so.
They both seemed to be talking about the same dispute. How I hated to be in the middle. If they could have understood each other as well as I understood the two of them… they may have had a chance.
* * *
I feel so disconnectedly hurt right now. I have been replaced. We have blatantly attacked each other and said it was not an attack. I said everything on my heart and he didn’t have a cow. I don’t know how to take this. He’s even willing to try talking everyday somehow. Why am I hanging on? Why am I still aching every day because you are not there? Why should I be bothered because I am all alone in the world again, or at least that is how it feels because you are gone? I feel displaced and trying to keep myself busy so I don’t notice how much this hurts. I just want to stay numb and know that the pain is underneath. Until it’s gone and I never had to really deal with it anymore. I’m trying to stay out of that dark hole I was in because I felt like I was dying. I just don’t want him to have the power to make me cry anymore. I want to be ready for the next person and not be so damaged that I cannot function or love someone else.
* * *
I know her, and she hates it. She acts like she wants absolutely nothing to do with me when I already know that she’s only truly okay when she is with me. She fights it because she’s angry. She fights it because she resents that she needs to be with me order to be okay again, and that I’m the one who hurt her so badly. She hates that the one person she is so desperately trying to cleave from is also the only person that makes her feel like she can breathe again. She fights me, every step of the way.
I thought she would get over being hurt or that since she didn’t she turned being angry at me into a full time career. So, today I made her thoroughly explain it.
“You left.” She explained.
“But, you need me here in order for you to be okay and I’m here, so what’s the problem?” I angrily snapped at her.
“You don’t get it do you?” she said sighing and ready to scream I think.
“Obviously! That’s why I’m asking.” I retorted.
“If you know. If you already knew that I wasn’t going to be okay without you and you left anyway… What do you think that says to me?” she continued.
I had nothing to say as her point slowly started to sink in.
“Don’t you think that says that you don’t care and that you are perfectly alright with me being miserable and not being okay? Why should I let being able to breathe depend on someone who would leave me to suffer anyway? Why can’t I separate myself from you enough to where I can breathe without you?” she continued.
I still had nothing to say.
“Don’t you understand why it’s so important for me to be able to breathe without you now? Because even if you do show up you just leave! Like it was a trick. Like ‘Here, take a few deep breaths before I disappear and make your ability to function useless and I only came back for you to regress to depending on me for me to leave you standing there gasping again. I want to see you suffer, so I keep coming back to make you feel better only to rip your heart out and watch, and laugh, and revile in how pathetic you are because you still need me after all of this time.’ That’s why I don’t want you here right now. I can’t heal this way.” She said crying and angry she let her tears escape.
“But, you know I can’t stay.” I pleaded.
“No. What’s important is that you know that you can’t stay. You know what leaving does to me and you do it anyway.” She snarled at me pointing her finger.
“What if I’m the one that can’t be okay without you, but I can’t stay?” I asked finally absorbing why she was so angry.
“Then you need to stop being selfish and pretending to put me first and actually put me first. Deny your own needs and do what’s best for me. Which is either making the decision to stay and really stay, or leave and stay gone. I cannot… I will not continue to go through this with you anymore.” She said.
I was stunned and still reeling from what the words she was saying really meant. Before I could truly think about it I had walked out and was on the freeway in my car. I wanted to go back, but I knew she had taken that as my answer. And as much as I wanted to go back I knew that it would be a lie and that I would just end up leaving again thus destroying her even more.
So I kept driving.
* * *
I feel really bad now. Like I’m the one that ruined it. We had a nice conversation and in the efforts to keep the revived friendship going he invited me to lunch and it was just sad and awkward. I felt it. I felt like maybe he felt stupid and like he wasted his time trying because being around each other is just depressing now. We talked and laughed but I made it pretty clear that I wasn’t sharing anything of any consequence. I don’t know how to make this better except to fake it and be more engaged, but I felt that he needed to know that it’s not all okay. The awkward silences were mine to make it apparent.
I’m sure he felt like this was a big fat failure and I kind of wish I could take it all back and do it again and be more there with him. But, in a way I don’t want to. This is a separation issue.
She’s skipping along because she’s got him. I’m skipping along because he’s gone. He told me once that he had been happy with me. And my thoughts were never like, pat myself on the back, or vivid recounts of how great something was. All I could think of was, when?
No matter what I did he found something to complain about and when he couldn’t complain it was the most toned down thank you he could possibly muster. Now he face books over a piece of pie and shared deserts. I made him every dish I could think of and you know why he never posted anything, not even the amazing birthday spread I made him with cudos to the cook (although he was happy to post what he’d made me for my birthday)?
He was advertizing. The lonely bachelor who can cook amazing things in order to lure in my replacement because he’d rather have a girlfriend than a best friend. I’m not being mean. He actually told me that once.
So of course nothing was good enough. Because then he’d have to actually admit that it was wrong to push me away like he does even though he was happy to be held at night. Rejection was to put me in my place and remind me that no matter what I did it would never be enough because he had every intention of replacing me and nothing save for God putting his thumb on him and forcing him to do better by me (and not abandon ship) would change that.
It just makes me feel stupid and wasted. Like why would God send me to someone to befriend and love them and build them up only to be torn down and left? As long as he’s happy he’s okay with whatever pain he causes me because he chose what side he was on a long time ago and as long as it’s not in his face then you’d better believe that none of what I go through daily even registers for him.
But, I’m supposed to drop everything and pause my whole world when he feels sad like I do.
He knows what he’s done and that this is not the innocent little, your friend got a girlfriend and isn’t spending as much time with you as he’d like to portray. He’s barely aware of the ever present pain he has caused me because he’d rather forget anyway. Not like I wouldn’t just love a lobotomy myself. But, the perpetrator is usually the one who wants the cleaner conscious more. The victim just lives in it struggling to recover until the wounds heal.
SO since he’s not the one who was butchered, abandoned, then turned into a pen pal with a smile, why should he think of me at all? As desperate as he was to get away from me? It all makes sense why I was kicked out of his life. It’s the only way for him to not feel guilty.
That is until he sees his own bad behavior forever in print, someone who people will think of as unworthy of a good woman because all he did was destroy the first person who really tried for him.
If I can’t escape then neither can he. And when I do finally recover (or die)… Troy your words will live on, and on, and on, and on… May you never forget as I will never fully recover.
How dare you claim that it is okay to love someone, then treat them badly, then abandon them. You have to learn that is not okay. I’m going to be put to death and no one else will care enough about you to tell you to your face and call you on your wrongs.
And I tell you because I still love you. I say this to my shame. What woman still tries to save your soul by pointing out bad behavior so you can still have a chance to learn and grow into a better man after all of that anyway?
I hate that I feel stupid because of him Elle. I really do. On top of everything else I feel like I’m the stupid one for sticking around and sticking it out.
And wouldn’t you know it? That was a stupid thing for me to do. But who ever said love was smart right?
I will get one more letter out to you before I die. If I have to write it in blood I will.
Just make sure it all gets to Greece. Attention Leighton. Thanks.
* * *
Well, I guess that was the point in her asking me to bind all of her letters and send them to the Historian in Greece. She knew she would be killed and wanted to make sure that if she had to die then his words for why she died inside long before execution would be on record.
No one had done that before.
It just makes me sad to think that this is how they felt during her remaining days prior to execution.
Postmarks: Previously posted. See Postmarks on the Road to Episode 8 Part 2.
(Photo courtesy of: www.mouserunner.com)
Music for this episode – Radioactive by Imagine Dragons