He held up a hand to stall her, to stop the words prepared to fall from her lips and pepper him like little bullets. “I know that I’ve been having kind of a pity party for myself these past few weeks, and I’m sorry, I really am. I’m just so tired of feeling like a piece of shit all the time.”
“Then don’t let yourself act like one,” thought the cold and unemotional side of her brain. She always listened to this side of her brain, because it was honest and never wrong. Her compassionate brain weighed the words and determined a palatable way to get the same point across. These are the things that she has trained herself to do for the few people that she cares about.
Now that he had called her out on her mood, demanded to be told what was wrong, everything that had crossed her mind and every what if that had made her sad over the past few days turned into fat tears that swam into her eyes and blurred her vision. She didn’t swipe them away or blink them back. Her tears were always honest; she didn’t cry to manipulate or dodge responsibility, she cried when she felt and for that she would never be ashamed.
“Baby, don’t cry,” he said quietly. He leaned forward until his head nestled under her chin, cheek over her heartbeat, and she held him. So much love there, it was like drowning in syrup, slow and thick and golden. She let herself breathe, feel it, slow breaths to draw it in and savor it.
“I’m worried that you lost your way,” she whispered into the hair that tickled under her chin. “I’m worried that you’ve lost your way to finding joy in life and you’re not even trying to get it back. I want to be excited about things again, I want to wake up in the morning and feel something. I can’t take these days of spinning in a hamster wheel anymore, I feel like I have no fucking idea where the past three years have gone.”
She felt his head nod against her chest. “I know,” he mumbled, “I know.” He heaved in his own deep breath. “I still feel happiness. I’m happy about you and us, about the kid. I love you guys, more than I could ever figure out how to say. I just, being laid off and being in pain all the time, lying in bed on a heating pad all day just to be able to get up for a few hours, it’s killing me. I don’t ever want to be a burden to you and right now it feels like that’s all I am.”
She knows how much these words cost him, this lovely sad man wrapped in her arms. He speaks from the heart, always, but to admit out loud his weaknesses, to point them out for her to examine as he does, this is hard for anyone.
“There will never come a time when life will slow down and allow you that one perfect moment to springboard into change. You keep waiting for this to happen or that to happen, like there will be a magic day where every problem will be held at bay so you can make a conscious decision to not be defined by your troubles anymore. Sometimes, you just have to stop right in the middle of the chaos and make your choice, grab onto one tiny thread and start from there to remember who you really are.”
She framed his face with her hands and lifted it for a kiss. “Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
The rules for Master Class this week got another change up (wheeeee!) where we had to use the line of a published work to end our story with instead of beginning it. It was interesting, as you kind of had to have your whole story line in mind already before you even began instead of just starting somewhere and running with it.
Voters choice had the winner last week as Carrie from The Muse Unleashed (http://museunleashed.com/2013/01/30/all-she-knew-master-class-inmon/) who decided to go with Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume – Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be
Master Class is the brainchild of Eric Storch at www.sinistralscribblings.com – go read him, the man knows his way around words…