Episode 6 – Part 2: Grace’s Last Visitor
(A letter to Elle from Grace.)
I’m sitting in a cell fuming over my last visit with Troy. You’ll probably get this letter after the one from Paul that got sent a week ago.
He said, “Why can’t we be at that 100% friend closeness level when we do see each other? I mean I know we agreed to drop down to 10% but that 10% could be filled with 100% quality.”
I wanted to tell him…
We needed to switch sides.
You’re me and I just left you and said here’s 10% now. Giving up 90% of anything is hard and you have to actually give it up in order to be okay. I can’t just set it aside and pick it back up on the fly just because you’re standing in front of me right now. That’s one thing. Another thing is that if all you want is 10% then why am I trying so hard? Why try and give you 90% more when I’m with you when you clearly don’t want that other 90%? You only want 10%. Aren’t we saying that someone else is supplying the other 90% and so you not only don’t want it but don’t need it either?
So why should I be here trying any harder than I am?
You want 90% more for the three hours of your time it took you 3 weeks to give me because you’d rather spend the rest of your available time with someone else and I’m supposed to just bust out with 90% because you want it?
I wanted a phone call. How about that? I want to NOT feel like I’m unwelcome just because you replaced me. Can you do that? I want to not fear and dread that just because you don’t miss me or want more than 10% that the other people around you that I spent time with haven’t replaced me and they miss me too. And that just because you left and don’t want any more contact than this and you are happy with the replacement that I didn’t stop mattering as much to those other people.
And the sad thing is, it was always going to wind up like this. I can’t even say you didn’t tell me. We were never going to wind up some place different just because I kicked and screamed and gave ultimatums and guilt trips. We talked about this once. How 10% was better than nothing but would feel like nothing.
I said that the risk of being together and it not work out would feel about the same as declining to 10% anyway. But, no matter how much you swore you wouldn’t disappear and turn me into a pen pal once you met someone obviously better than me and would not ditch your best friend, no matter how I feel, you kept your end of the deal.
We are here now living within the realm of losing 90% of each other. But, don’t tell me to cough up more than the 10% you’re asking for. Why do you think I couldn’t let it go? Why do you thing I tortured us both about it for so long? Why do you think I fought you on it so hard? Why do you think I resorted to writing Elle and crying on her shoulder about it all?
And you told me that you needed to know I was over it once and for all or I would lose what 10% I had left. So, I let it all go. But, I let a significant amount of you go in the process and put up a wall so that when I was having a bad day you wouldn’t see it.
And you want it all? Every last drop of it. You’re telling me that the quality of our time spent isn’t good enough for you because I had to deal with your decisions and timing and let you go?
I had no choice here. I never voted to live without you and lose you. I did not choose this. Nobody lost 90% of their best friend and the person closest to them in the whole world but me. But still, you show up.
Now, you have the nerve to sit there confidently across from me, beaming from ear to ear about how happy you are because I’m 90% out of your life and tell me that even the 10% isn’t good enough?
Well guess what? You didn’t think 100% was good enough either.
So in the words of Rhett Butler, “I’m sorry my dear, but I don’t give a damn.”
But, did I say that? NO. And why not? Because I’m a spineless jellyfish and I saw the pain in his eyes finally realizing that it took everything he had in him to come and see his best friend be executed and know he would never see me again. He was destroyed inside. He had unspeakable guilt pouring out of every breath he took.
And I may be sitting here about to die and here you are visiting me before I’m executed, but that doesn’t change anything. I’m here by myself. Being angry doesn’t fix anything. Playing out the nightmare every night when I close my eyes only to wake up hyperventilating because he leaves me even in my dreams doesn’t fix anything. I want 5 minutes with my best friend the way that we were before I die.
It was all he could do to just stand there with me and know that no matter what had happened, I loved him and he loved me, and couldn’t we have one last day where we just left it all behind and could just be “us” for a little while.
So, what I actually said was, “Are you really here? I’ve been having these nice dreams where you’re here and you come to stay with me until the very end. Where we are still friends like we used to be and when I wake up you’re gone and I’m here waiting to die all by myself. If you could just hold my hand for a minute, dying would be okay because you really came for me one last time.”
Troy reached out and held my hand. It is the warmth of his hand holding mine and the feeling of being close to him again that I will think of until this all fades away into the darkness that awaits me.
Thanks for listening Elle.
P.S. Never mind the poetry below. He made up for that. He really does love me.
It’s not that he doesn’t love me. He doesn’t want me. Somehow that seems synonymous.
It’s not that he doesn’t care, or care a great deal. It’s that no matter how much he cares, my love will never be enough.
It’s not that he doesn’t want to see me, it’s just that he’d rather be somewhere else.
It’s not that he doesn’t think about me, it’s that I’m not on his mind.
It’s not that he doesn’t wish things were different, it’s that he doesn’t want to change anything.
It’s not that he knows what he wants, it’s just that it feels good right now.
It’s not that he doesn’t want to do right by me, he doesn’t want to lose the little bit of good that finally came his way.
It’s not that I’m not enough, it’s that I’m not what he wanted and he would never feel satisfied.
It’s not that I’m not good enough, it’s that not being loved back is not good enough for me.
It’s not that he purposely left me, it’s that he can’t stay with me and get what he really wants.
It’s not that he didn’t want to stay, it’s just that he doesn’t want me.
It’s not that he doesn’t love me. He just doesn’t want me. Somehow that feels the same.
He loves me.
He loves me not.
He’s not here.
And I died alone.
-Grace (3 days ago)