“I can’t do this Mark. I am not like you and you cannot expect me to turn a blind eye to all this, what I mean is that, a part of me will always be weary of your actions. I’ll be the kind of girlfriend who listens in on your conversations when I know it will do nothing but hurt me, and I am not for that, why hurt myself when I can ease myself of the pain?”
“What would you like me to do?”
“Get another job or something…anything but what you do.”
“I have worked on this for five years, created contacts, partnerships with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, it is not an investment I can walk away from just like that.”
“Well, I guess that’s that then.”
“It is I guess and as much as I try, I have always known that I cannot have it all. Christine, let’s get you home. Thank you for taking the time to think this through.”
He smiled at me, got me to my feet and we walked out of the restaurant hand in hand. Each step I took felt lighter, but when I got to the car, I could not bring myself to breathe.
My love had me and let me go like I was the wind.
What would he say for himself? Was he not going to ask me to re-evaluate my decision, or maybe at least beg? Six months of emotions and he was going to step back and watch me walk away, just like that? Why was I even at odds about it? I was the one who chose to step back from my love, why was I perplexed that he was not fighting for me? How was he to fight for something that wanted to be free of him?
But, it was not just something, it was me.
This was my love.
This was him and I…two people, two souls, one who lived in an alternate reality, who wanted the gifts, love, caresses and protection but not funded them. Oh my…my love was nothing like the riot act I knew about…my love wanted Mark under my terms and conditions and if they did not apply, then my love wanted out.
Had he made any ultimatums on his love?
As the driver made his way to my apartment, all I remembered were the times when we’d be at a party, at an event, anywhere in public and I’d catch him staring at me. His eyes, his body shifting ever so slightly to acknowledge my presence.
“You are quiet Christine, what is going on in that head of yours?”
“Nothing, I am just tired.”
“Don’t worry, we are almost there. I’m sorry I kept you up so late.”
“It’s okay, I am off tomorrow so I am not worried about getting sleep.”
He did not utter a word until the driver pulled up right outside the flat where I stayed. Mark had been here thrice. He stepped out of the car and held the door for me and walked me to the stairs.
“So, you’d better go in and get some rest Christine, okay?”
“Mark, are you not angry or disappointed?”
“You made your decision Christine and I promised that I would respect it, I guess I’ll think about it when it finally sinks in, but for tonight I am more concerned about your well being.”
“Forget it Mark, what well being? How can you be so calm? Why won’t you fight for me or for us? Are you just going to let me go like that? Like I never meant anything…”
“Christine…sit down, just sit for a second and breathe.”
“Why should I breathe?”
“You’ll die if you don’t.”
“This is not funny Mark.”
“No, it’s not, but I change my mind. You are not a single rose in the dark, you are more the thorns that serve to protect the bud but often get in the way and hurt the petals while they’re in bloom. You put yourself down when you are conflicted Christine, now, let’s get you inside your apartment and you’ll sleep on this and wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow.”
“You are crazy.”
“You love me for it Christine and for the record, I never said I gave up.”
“Good, because here’s the deal, you do what you have to do, just don’t tell me about it, because I know from time to time my mind will come up with all these negative outcomes. But, I want you Mark and I want us to work.”
“We’ve been working Christine, haven’t you been around?”
“Shut up and stop being so charming!”
“Hey, at least I am charming. Goodnight love.”
I locked the door once he’d stepped back and walked to my bedroom, the radio was still one just like I’d left it and with a slow hum, it hit me. I had this love and I chose to keep it after knowing what it felt like to want to throw it away. My love had never left, it had only been undergoing an evaluation, but I was too invested, too optimistic to want out and Mark…he had his love.
Tell your love to stay where it is, I have mine.