***Hi everyone! This is not my post, but one by the author of ‘Of Poets and Heartbreakers’. As a thank you to her never-ending support, continuously commenting on my blog, and always an eager reader, one of the sweetest candy heartists, I dedicate her post and blog to my amazing readers and twitter followers. I encourage you all to check out her blog! Please enjoy one of her posts! I’ll be uploading mine straight after! Soul xo***
“What the Hell is wrong with you?”, well that’s not what I actually said. I had a feeling that rage over wrath wasn’t going to appease David.
“You know that he’s just a friend from work, right?”, I made an effort to say it as if I was commenting on the weather, not a trace of annoyance in my voice. “I just met him and we work together.”
“Sure?”, he seemed to loosen up a little.
“Yeah, of course!”, finally a hint of humanity from him. I sighed from relief inside.
“So, what did you want to talk about?”, he made a motion for me to sit next to him.
“Well,” I started happily, “I was just thinking we could talk about these little fights we’ve been having.”
“I’m not dumb Michelle! I know. What about it?”, he had laid his hand on left thigh. For a second, I forgot why I had even wanted to have the conversation.
“I just want you to know that I want to be with you and only you, that you have nothing to worry about”, I smiled and reciprocated by putting my hand on his leg too. There, that will do it. Easy as Hell, now we only go up from here, I thought.
“Uh huh, and that’s what my ex told me when she was sleeping with her boss,” I felt a tinge of distance in his voice again.
“I…am…not…your…ex”, I said it slowly, but strongly, for him to realize he was hurting me by pushing me away when I tried to resolve our issues. “Will you ever be able to realize that I’m not the same person as she is?”
“Maybe,” his voice softened a little, and I felt like perhaps there was light at the end of this tunnel.
“Well, I hope you can,” I said in a low, but positive tone. “That would be amazing for me.”
He smiled slightly.
“I genuinely hope you see that I only want to be with you,” I continued, looking up again smiling, hoping this would be the last time we had to speak about this.
“Does that mean you won’t be talking to your ex again?” he inquired, perhaps trying to test me.
Just then, I realized that over the last couple of days, I’d completely forgotten my upcoming trip to Brazil for Mara’s wedding. If Danny was invited, he’d go too.
Big deal, you might think. The conversation was going well, I could just lie to David about it. But he was smarter than that. For one, he already knew that Danny and Mara were friends. I’d made the mistake of talking too much, telling him about my friends, my research trip to the Amazon, and how Danny had been such an important part of my past.
And, on the other hand, I actually didn’t want to lie to him. Actually, I didn’t want to have to lie to him, or to anybody else. I wanted him to recognize that I had good intentions, and to appreciate them instead of give me a hard time on a daily basis.
“Well, I don’t think I have to promise not talking to anyone in particular to be with you. I don’t have any intentions of fishing for other people, but I just don’t think it’s necessary” I said it lightly, like I’d done the first time he’d asked this of me. I still wanted him to know that there were limitations to what he could request.
Without knowing how it was going to pass, I continued “Also, Mara invited me to her wedding in ten days, I thought you should know that I’ll be going.”
He looked at me, a hint of indignation in his voice, “What is this? Some kind of ultimatum? Did you come here to fight with me or to figure things out?”
“Not at all, I just thought that if we were going to talk about things and set things straight, I’d go ahead and lay it out in the open so we can get a good new fresh start,” I insisted on keeping a smile plastered to my face.
“Well, then, I suppose both you and Danny will be there, right?”
“He might,” I admitted, “but I’m not even sure, I haven’t asked anyone about it. It doesn’t matter if he’s there. I just want to be with you. I’m finally happy I like someone and I’m dating them, why would I want to ruin that?”
“You know, I’ve talked about this with other people. You are really one weird girl”. He had a hint of annoyance in his voice. “You know what bothers me?”
“What?”, I responded shocked, feeling I didn’t want to hear his answer.
“You try to act innocent and nice, and pretend you’re helpless all the time, and you’re not at all.”
“That’s not true,” I started.
“You’re the most manipulative person I know,” there was definitely a trace of anger in his tone now.
“Yeah, you tease other men and you expect me to be there, to hold your hand through all your shit. Well, listen, I’m not about to start a relationship like that, I’ve been through that, I’m not playing that way,” he had gotten so cold and blasé that it hurt me just to look into his eyes.
“Seriously David, how can you even say that?”
“Like the way you talk about your mom and everything that happened to you in Sicily and expect me to be drawn in to taking care of you or something.”
“What the Hell?”, this time I said it to him. I looked at him square in the eyes, making sure he understood that he had crossed a line. The week before, I had received a call from Elena, who was out of the clinic already, saying she wanted to commit suicide. I had called my father, but when he didn’t pick up, I had called David to talk, figure out who I should contact in Sicily and what I could do. For the whole week, he hadn’t even asked me what had happened and how she was doing.
“That’s just cruel. You’re using my family problems to say I manipulate you into caring for me, and then on top of that you accuse me of being a tease?”
He sat there, looking bored.
“I’m not lying when I tell you that I have only ever wanted to date you and I’ve never”, I raised my voice here- “everused my family problems to get you to care for me, that’s stupid. I just thought I could… count on you.” I felt my eyes swell up. I tried to stop talking but I couldn’t hold it in.
I felt like someone was prodding a knife into all the corners of my heart. “What’s wrong with you? Why are you so fucking mean?” I couldn’t help exploding, tears stream down my face for the second time that day.
As I spoke, I got angrier and angrier, but he didn’t budge. He had the same careless expression he’d been wearing for a while now.
I thought that perhaps him seeing me cry would make him understand how horrible he was acting and what he was saying, but he sat there, looking out somewhere in the distance.
“I wouldn’t be this way, if you weren’t so manipulative”. His eyes started flashing like a rabid dog’s, like what I’d seen in my dream.
“You know what I think?” My tone had suddenly gotten snappy, had gotten harsh and irate, but I also realized he was finally listening to me, as if he only responded to this sort of tone I’d never wanted to use on anyone before, “I think you have some sort of important personality disorder. You are literally vile.”
I had come into Starbucks hoping to get him straight on his nagging low self-esteem, to tell him to relax, to enjoy what we had, and to start having some faith in me – even if I’d never made any moves on anyone else. But, as the conversation rolled down towards the abyss, I felt more and more like I’d simply been led through a dark tunnel with the fantasy of something in my head that wasn’t real.
At the end of the tunnel, there was this rabid dog waiting to pounce on me and chew at my ankles until he got something more out of me, something juicy he could feast on until his anger spiked again.
I gathered my things. I got up, and I walked away. As I walked out, a little bit of me hoped he would call after me, tell me that he at least was sorry for being so cruel, that he wished me well, that I wasn’t as bad as he’d said, but there was nothing.
I don’t know how I got home that day. I know I took the subway; I know my eyes were bloodshot and blurry the whole way home.
When I got home, I went straight to be bedroom. I was alone. My father would be coming home soon but I didn’t make an effort to cover up my tears. I slumped on the bed and let the tears flow freely, I sobbed from anger and from grief at the same time. I couldn’t understand why anyone would be so mean to me or why this would happen when I had just started to have some hope.
Eventually, I heard the door open and my dad look for me. He found me on the bed in that sorry state and immediately came over.
“What’s wrong Michelle?”, his voice was worried. I didn’t respond.
“What happened to you?” he got frantic when I didn’t respond.
“Michelle, What happened to you?”
I kept my face on the pillow, “Nothing.” My dad hadn’t ever even heard of David’s name.
“Alright,” he did not sound convinced. “I’m going to make dinner. Just call my name if you need anything.”
A while later, he came back again with dinner on a tray. He left it next to me, but I didn’t touch it. Do you ever feel so hurt inside that it hurts everywhere? As if you’ve been hurt outside too? Well that’s how I felt, like I was doubling over in pain from my ankle to my stomach and then in my chest. I hadn’t said everything I had wanted to say. I was livid with anger and shame that I had even let him into what little he had gotten to know of my life.
Around midnight, my father came in again. I was more composed, still tearing and upset, but no longer sobbing.
“Michelle,” he started, serious.
I looked up from the pillow and saw him standing by the side of the bed, directly ahead of me. He was standing straight, his face stern and preoccupied.
“Whatever this is,” he pointed in a circular motion with his hand in front of him. He now looked more irate than I’d seen him in a long time. “I said whatever this is, it ends now. This ends tonight.”
It wasn’t that I needed him to tell me that it was over, but I have to say that that scene sticks in my head as one of the most impressive memories I have of him.
I got into bed slowly and closed my eyes. I had survived something I never thought I’d have to live.
It was a massacre.