Wrote this last night. I needed to, for my own good. Kind of embarrassing since I promised myself I'd never write about a relationship that wasn't permanent. Sis. Morgan, if you like this better than my other essay I turned in, then please use this one. This one seems to actually have heart.
There I was, standing by the door, covered in yellow light from the street lamp. I looked down at my feet, then glanced up to watch her circle around and drive away. I was basking in the hurt, letting is fall upon me like a warm summer’s sun. Every time I would think about what she had done, the warm but almost comforting painful emotions would wash over me. She hadn’t done anything malicious, or intentionally tried to harm me, but it’s the entire situation itself. As she drove away, she yelled, “Love you!” and that painful doubt entered into my mind: did she mean it? Really, did she really mean what she just said right now?
This last weekend, for the first time in almost half a year, I had been emotionally hurt by someone else. That never happens to me. Never. I don’t allow it. The only one that ever has a real influence on how I feel about myself is me (and God, of course.) She was different, because I had let her in. For really the first time ever, I completely opened myself up to another human being. I put my trust in her arms. I actually cared what she thought about me and seriously wanted her to be happy with me. No, it had matured beyond want; it was now a need. I needed her to be happy and pleased with me. I was incomplete, unsatisfied if she wasn’t enjoying me.
That’s why this hurt. She was displeased with me, despite my best efforts. She had been mildly unsatisfied before, but it seems that in the last week she has been downright unhappy with me at times. We are at the point where we no longer see a glossy, perfect image of each other; we are beginning to see each other as we really are, good and bad. That’s hard. How could such a sweet voice be so shrill at times? Why was I hurting so much? I love her, and I want her own happiness above my own. I depended on her to feel I was worth something, to be valid.
But I had failed. I put too much dressing on the salad, which I had so proudly prepared to please her. I was too goofy around my friends she didn’t know and feel comfortable with. The movie I’ve really wanted to see was kind of weird to her. She told me to “shush” when I got in the car for our date; she was talking to her parents, but all I said was, “Say ‘hi’ to your dad for me.” It’s the shortness of patience that stings me and deflates me.
What makes those barbs sting so deep is that so often, they are only about small and unimportant things, like the salad. She got a pizza and salad from Papa Murphy’s tonight. The pizza was good. It was late, and we were hungry for some food. I remembered the salad, and had her go wait on the couch as I prepared it for her. There were two packets for dressing, and after deciding that only adding one was too little, I added the second. As I presented what I had so carefully tossed for her delight to her, I was met with a look of disdain. “Matt, there’s too much dressing on that salad, it’s gross. That salad was really expensive and I really wanted to eat it.” Oh, that hurt. It’s that feeling like someone is pulling your heart into itself. I didn’t know what to say. I sat down, and meekly apologized, and then just held my fork, not wanting to even raise it to the food we were supposed to share. She recognized what she had done, and began to apologize. She is good that, seeing when she’s accidentally let her patience slip and trying to sincerely correct the error. Despite her repairing words, I just wanted to leave. I just wanted to go home and go to bed or something, like a child would. I felt like a child. Childish, rather, so small and dependent. Then I wondered how she loved me—was is a real and deep love, as it had been for so long, or was it more of a “I have to tell you I love you even though I don’t feel it right now?” That hurt too.
Back in the yellow light, that last thought still circled my mind as she drove off. “Love you!” she shouted.
Do you? Do you really? I know she does, and realized that I love her, even when I’m down. Sometimes you just doubt.