12 September 2010
Promises; Another blast from the past...
Biting her lower lip, she stared into the mirror…
She could see her slightly large nose, her chipped front tooth, the dark circles under green eyes… She was staring so hard she squinted. The reflection squinted back. It was like she saw someone scrutinizing her, telling her she was damaged. She wished the person in the mirror wasn’t so familiar. She closed her eyes to make the assailant fade away.
She was such a drama queen… That’s what her dad said to her everyday over the phone… She couldn’t disagree with him. There was no one in the mirror. It was herself she was so afraid of. It hurt to close her eyes to the truth, but she squeezed them just a little tighter to drown out her conscience.
There was a soft knock at the door, and she opened one eye. She knew he would come to try and take her away… he always tried to save her. The only question was did that make her crazy? Did him rescuing her from absolutely nothing make her one of those crazy people in the padded cells?
“Honey? Is everything okay? Can I come in?”
She cleared her throat and tried to choke back the hot tears of embarrassment. “Come on in, babe. Everything’s fine.” She had become such a liar…
“So, um, whatcha been doing in here?” He tried so hard to sound normal, but his face gave away his concern that she was doing it again. Sadly enough, she was.
“Just trying to clear out some of the clutter… did you know we have like ten bottles of shampoo? I never knew that we had so much space in this bathroom!” She smiled her chipped smile, catching it in the mirror.
She didn’t know that when she smiled, she melted him to the core. She was his goddess. He loved her with passion and fire fit for worship. He had never noticed her chipped tooth, her circles, or the fact that her nose was a little too big for her delicate face. He thought she was an angel. He would die to make her happy.
“I guess we need to stop making a rats nest out of our apartment… It really is small enough already. Hey, sweetheart, want some help in here? It is half my mess, too, you know.”
“Oh honey, it really isn’t your job to clean. If you want, though, you can scrub the toilet. It needs it around the rim.” Her loud laughter made his knees weak. She was smiling a real smile. It warmed his heart to see it. It had been so long…
“For that, gorgeous, I will gladly scrub the toilets of hell…”
“For what?” She giggled and leaned into his broad chest, stroking his neck with a tiny hand.
“That amazing smile, the laughter, the love I feel when I’m near you…”
She looked up at the man she loved more than anyone in the world, and smiled. She couldn’t help but be happy when he was near her. He was her everything. He made her feel like a princess. She was giddy for him. She reached up with her mouth, and kissed his chin. He was so much taller than her…
He kissed her back. A long, drawn out, lazy kiss. One full of the love and heat he felt for her. He had saved her again, and she was responding much better than she ever had. Could this mean she was starting to get better?
“Hand me the brush, and I’m off to slay the scum dragons!” He winked at her and made a low bow.
“Yes, my knight in shining boxers, save me from the evil king scumbag, and his germmenites!” Again, her gorgeous laughter filled his heart.
She went on about the underside of the sink. Thoughts of how happy they were crept into her head. She only wished she could overcome her obstacles for him… it was all so hard, and she was well aware of the fact that he laid awake almost every night and tried to come up with new ways to help her.
She tried every day to stop feeling the way she felt. Like she should give up. She saw all the flaws in her life before the perfections. She thought about her mother a lot, too. She was just like her in her own eyes.
She thought she’d do what she had done…
It scared her. It made her very aware of the resemblance between her, and the woman on the other side of the glass. The woman who had hurt so many…
On the other side of the partition, her knight in shining armor was elbow deep in cleaning their tiny toilet, and even deeper in thought. A tiny bit of water splashed into his face. He paid no attention to the Clorox scented water.
What had brought on the sudden happiness in his lover? He knew she was staring at her mother’s reflection again. Something he couldn’t help but question. She was nothing like her, and he couldn’t make her see.
He had met her while he visited his brother. Locked away for grand theft auto over three years ago. She had been visiting a woman he had originally thought to be her twin. She was so beautiful; he couldn’t help but almost accost her for her number.
They had gone out on a beautiful date. He had fallen in love with her when he kissed her goodnight. She was everything he had ever wanted. His soul mate. It was only months later, when he found her almost dead in her kitchen, that he realized if he was ever going to get to spend eternity with her, he would have to save her from herself first.
He had moved her into a tiny apartment off fifth and sixth. He had let her quit her jobs. He had given her a ring. Given her his hand. His heart. They went to see her mother every week. The therapist he had also given her thought that if he could go with her, listen to what went on, and tell her all the differences he found, it would help.
Nothing was helping. All he could do was watch. Wait.
The woman who haunted his wife’s mind had killed a family of four. Her lover’s family. Her lover. She had hurt her father by cheating on him. Then when things didn’t go as planned, she hurt her lover.
How very CSI…
What he couldn’t understand was how his beautiful and loving wife could ever think she was predestined to do the same.
He could only assume that since she saw her mother in the mirror, she was afraid eventually, she would become her mother. It was so absurd to him, but he could understand her fears.
She had told the therapist, and eventually him, about why she felt this way. She had fallen in love.
She told them both that she was so afraid that history would repeat itself. That their fairytale romance would go cold, she would look for passion, and find it in the arms of another man. That man would hurt her, and she would hurt him back. That she would not only hurt that random man, but in the process, hurt the man she loved beyond reason.
He knew she could, nor would, never do that, but it was so hard to make her understand he saw into her soul, and knew it could never happen. If she would only listen…
“Am I safe for another week, my love?” He reveled in the sound of her happy voice.
“Yes. You are safe now, and forever more, for you have me. And I will never let anything hurt you!” he tried to make it sound light, but the heaviness of his thoughts clouded his voice.
“Methinks someone wants to talk…”
“Methinks you think right. Will you take a walk with me? This apartment makes me claustrophobic.”
“I would follow you anywhere, and you know that. Let me grab some shoes, and I’ll meet you at the door.”
She had known this day would come. The day he could no longer keep his thoughts private. She was ready to listen now, after so many years… she only hoped he could understand if it didn’t help. A wave washed over her. A wave of hope.
At the door, she was greeted with his dazzling smile and rumpled jeans. No matter how much ironing she did, he wouldn’t let her iron those jeans. They fit him to a tee… he was so handsome. She couldn’t help but grin at him.
“You look handsome in those ratty things, and I can’t figure out why.”
“Well, then it must be one of life’s little mysteries, or the fact that I am just so sexy…”
“It’s definitely the latter, hon. You’re always dead on…” her laugh was melodic to him. He was almost in a state of hypnotism just standing where he could see and smell her. Taste the scent of the one he loved.
“Let’s go, angel. We have a lot of walking to do.”
“Lead the way.”
Four blocks later, Starbucks in hand, he finally began to tell her what was on his mind.
Fifty blocks in, she was sitting on a bench beside him, hand in hand. They were both crying. Passersby thought it might have been a death in the family, or even a tiny lovers’ quarrel. It was neither.
It was the two of them realizing that she wasn’t hopeless, and he was the cure to her disease. She couldn’t believe the things he told her.
“You just don’t realize how much I love you. I can see your soul, Nick. You’re not her. Don’t make yourself become her. She’s so fucked up, baby. You’re not. Please… just, I don’t know, just love me. I love you… can you just be happy with me?”
She could just be happy with him. She knew it. Therapists could not help her overcome her fears, but the love of the one she loved could. She was finally starting to believe the words he had told her for so long. It had taken so long for him to open up and be real, instead of real weird, about all of it.
Gone were the days of trying to say something constructive… at block 37, she had told him to let it all out. Get angry if he wanted. Scream and rant, hit her even. Just be real…
At block forty, he let it all out. And it was all the thoughts he had had what seemed like an eternity ago, scrubbing away the germminites in their apartment. She had been such a good listener. She hadn’t gotten mad, she hadn’t walked away… she just listened.
When he had said his peace, they sat on a bench. They didn’t say anything.
They cried together.
She had taken his hand… hers was so small, and his so big…
They were going to be alright.
She was going to be alright…
He had promised her eternity.
He had promised her sanity. He had fulfilled all his promises, and now it was her turn.