"Here we are again. So have you had enough time to consider what pushed her to the breakup? Have you been able to process and accept the truth of what I told you?"
"Well, I've had enough time to think about what you said, and I disagree with you just as much now as I did then, although now I'm thinking a little clearer -- I guess I was just tired from all of the talking and thinking."
"And so you cannot -- or will not -- accept the truth of what I suggested to you, that she simply needed a physical aspect to a romantic relationship, and that she had to let you go so that she could pursue that?"
"I won't accept that she is driven by base desires like that, because I know her well enough to know that such things aren't what make her tick. She has a much more mature attitude, and a deeper sense of devotion than you give her credit for having. She once told someone: 'I adore that man.' And those kinds of feelings don't get pushed aside so that you can grab a few cheap thrills with some grabass in the back of a restaurant on a cheap date. I won't have her painted like that, because that is not her. She was committed to me."
"My guess is that she was committed to you, but only up to a point. My guess is that your age, and your distance, probably raised red flags for her when she first learned of them, but they probably didn't scare her off because she probably thought that they would never become an issue. You said yourself that neither one of you had any idea that you would fall in love. So maybe falling in love, and then having the age and distance issues rise to the surface, well then, those issues moved her to the breakup. They were no longer just abstracts, they were present tense, and very real for her."
"I don't know about that. You'd have to ask her. If that was the case, I never had any idea of it. And if it was the case, then I guess maybe I was a little wrong in my understanding of her. I always thought that she made her own way, and lived her life by being true to herself, and didn't really care what the rest of the world had to say; she didn't live by popular opinion, she lived by what felt right to her: instinctually. And while she is a great believer in societal norms, I don't think that she believes that they necessarily have to apply to everyone, much less to her. I think she dances to the beat of her own drum, and seeks happiness inside, not reflected from outside in."
"I think that you have put her up on a pedestal so high that even you cannot see her clearly now. I think that the altar you have built for her obscures the light of truth and reason."
"Well, I don't know about pedestals or altars, but she was the best woman that I have ever been involved with, and she loved me, and she laughed with me, and she cried with me, and she and I helped each other through some very dark hours. And if I am loyal to her as a result of that, I don't see what is so damned surprising; that seems pretty natural to me. My late Daddy always used to say 'dance with the one that brung ya.' And I still think that she and I could have had a future together, even if it was only for a short . . . . Oh, forget that, never mind."
"Wait a minute. 'Even if it was only for a short' what? What were you going to say there?"
"It's nothing. Let's talk about something else."
"We've hit a nerve here, and I am not going to move until you tell me what you were going to say. So take as much time as you want, but you are going to finish that sentence, and neither of us is leaving until you do."
"You are awfully pushy sometimes. Do you know that?"
"Yes. It is one of my better qualities. It gets me what I want. And what I want right now is to know the end of that sentence that you stopped in the middle."
"It's too personal. I can't talk about it. Let's talk about something else."
"No. I am prepared to stay here until hell freezes over. And yes, I am glaring at you. I will continue to glare at you until you tell me."
"You don't realize what you are asking me. You really don't want to know. Trust me on this. There are some things that you just really don't want to know. Some things that are better left unsaid."
"Fine. In September, over a year and a half ago, a couple of months after I lost my health insurance, and when I was nearly destitute, almost completely out of cash, and couldn't find any work, I . . . . I'm sorry, I can't talk about this."
"It's okay. Cry if you need to, but I need for you to tell me."
"Okay. So one day, I discovered a little bump on my stomach, and I wondered what it was, but didn't think much about it, and I had plenty of other things to think about, plenty of things on my mind. So I ignored it. But as the weeks and months went by, it got bigger, and by Thanksgiving that year it was the size of a golfball, and then by the next spring it was the size of a baseball. And if I pulled up my shirt now, you could see that it is the size of a softball. And so I am uninsured and uninsurable, and I have a tumor growing inside me. And I'll bet that now you really wish that you had listened to me, and that you wish that you didn't know."
"I think we both need a break right about now, because I can't think of what to say."
"It may have to be a long break, if you are going to think of what to say."
[to be continued]
January 19, 2009.
Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.