Because you follow this series, and because it is your birthday today, I dedicate this post to you. Happy birthday Everybees. Have a good one!
Mauerbauertraurigkeit. You have found a name for your ailment; the desire to push people away even when you really like them. You have not talked to family in more than a week, you have refused to look at emails, and you have barely been talking to Sam. You just want to be left alone. You have been working hard on bonding with your environment and working on yourself. You have started a new blog, Adrift, but this time, it is anonymous.
Your first post was a note to yourself: “Untangle yourself from the shackles of the past that failed, forgive yourself for wanting things that never came or being impatient for the ones that are yet to come, nurture your space with words of encouragement and faith every day. Make time for God, make time for knowledge, make time for yourself. Importantly, be happy for others. Light finds those who find happiness where their neighbors find joy. Darling, believe this, light will find you.” It didn’t receive any likes, but there had been an anonymous contributor saying: “Amen”. It gave you hope. Ten more posts have followed; each post unclogging the dumping ground that is your mind.
Sam and Gbemi used to be an item but you are still unsure of how to feel about it. You had found out on your first date two nights ago when you teased him about how you thought she liked him. You do not know why you got mad, but you did. And that was the single thing that had ruined the rest of an almost perfect Wednesday night, and your chances at being more than friends. A lot of jumbled thoughts had popped into your head upon hearing the news: one is the fact that you think maybe it is a sign that Sam finds every new girl attractive… just until the next new girl pops in; second, is that you feel sorry for Gbemi, and you do not want to imagine the humiliation she will be put through if she finds out her ex is going after the new skirt; third, is the fact that he finds it easy to pick and drop girls as he chooses in the same work environment suggests that dating is perhaps a game for him; fourth, is that you feel threatened that they are still such good friends. How?; and fifth, is you were mad that you were mad—because, he did nothing wrong by being honest about a fact you cannot change, but you were human about his attempt at honesty, you hated him for it.
“I have never understood the politics of staying friends after a break-up.” You write in your eleventh post, Questions “Because how, how do you mute your feelings for someone that once meant the world to you? How do you start to see a person as just friends, after sharing naked truths and naked desires? How do you look at the person’s lips the same when they talk? How do you not want to grab them in the hallway or the elevator, when you are both alone and the atmosphere is charged with unburied history, to revisit the taste of their kiss or feel the swell of their longing for you in your bare hands? Where do you stow the memories? What do you do with them? Do you trade them during a friendly dinner and laugh about how good your bodies once fit together but not anymore? I think that just friends is a term ex-es use for “hanging there, waiting for a miracle, a second chance”, and that to me, is a terrible waste of time. And a silly attempt at fumbling with the truth. We love who we love, regardless of break-ups; and acting as just friends does not make everything okay. In fact, it makes absolutely nothing okay. And in the end, you still love who you love!”
Sam has been wanting to talk but you have been avoiding him. You have refused to let him drive you home, and you have refused to pick his calls. It has been two days, but you are yet to come around. He is worried about you, worried you are going down the dark-mood lane again, but he doesn’t understand and your honest thoughts are too un-made to be shared with him. But when he knocks on your door on Friday evening and refuses to leave until you let him in to have a talk about “What’s been happening”, you oblige him.
“So what’s up?” he asks, a sullen attempt at playing cool.
“Truth or truth?” you are terrified of what he will think of you once he knows what you think of him.
He smiles. “The whole truth.”
“I like you, a lot–” You start, as you perch yourself in a corner of the room as far from him as practicable. “And it will be nice to know you better, but I have been somewhat unsettled since you told me about Gbemi. I appreciate that you told me about what you had before, but it is clear that she is still into you. And this whole friendship gig you guys have got going on will not help matters with her. Sam, I cannot start a relationship with you under this kind of circumstance.”
He pauses for a while before responding. “Don’t get me wrong Grace, Gbemi and I never dated, I only said ‘we were an item’. What we had started pretty randomly a year ago; flirting, chatting and it graduated to sex. There were no commitments, just two adults having fun and she knew it… until I noticed she started to develop feelings. I never liked Gbemi, not like that and while I am aware that she likes me, I am not encouraging her to have any ideas about us being together. I guess all I am saying is we have never been more than friends; yes, friends with benefits at some point now turned friends without… but not friends turned lovers turned exes turned besties. We are just friends and you have absolutely nothing to be worried about.”
You stare at him, incredulously. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
He frowns, shakes his head, attempts to touch you but then he does not. “It isn’t supposed to make you feel… You know what? I will let you rest now. Maybe we will talk later.”
“Good idea.” You respond curtly, not looking at him as you move from your standing position beside the bathroom to the door, holding it open to show how quickly you want him gone.
He is half way out the door when he stops to look at you one last time. “You know I cannot tell you what to believe or what to think of me, and I can barely amend my past to fit the present. But I care about you. I will not tell you lies so that you feel comfortable with who you think I am, no. This is me baby. I have been a boy before, reckless and careless; but now, I choose my mistakes carefully. And I am choosing to have faith that you will come around and give this a chance to be what it can be. But if I am making a mistake, so be it.”
“Good night Samuel.”
He nods. “Good night. Baby.”
You slam the door against his shadow. Then you find a corner and cry. You don’t know why.
Mauerbauertraurigkeit- the inexplicable urge to push people away; even the friends whom you really like.
Source: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
© The Short Black Girl, 2017.