Always Around...Never There by Bougie Girl Apparel
He trots out the old photo album from our teens and early 20's. In the background "our song" is playing on the stereo. He is hoping that these actions will cause me to forget the many years of pain that we have both caused one another.
These nostalgic flourishes are designed to mask the toxicity which comprises our relationship.
A part of me wants to give into the nostalgia and take him back one last time. We've been together in a dysfunctional dance of break up to make up for so long that we don't really know anything else.
After each break up we swear that it is the last time that we will reunite. Yet, here I am sitting on his couch listening to his sales pitch for why we belong together.
We have spent far too many years, paging through this tattered photo album and listening to our old song.
Yet, tonight is different. I am listening to the song with fresh ears. The bittersweet lyrics which used to make me long for this den of dysfunction...now seem kind of juvenile. I don't want to spend the rest of my life suspended between love and hate. I just want the love part of the equation.
He senses that I am not at all swayed by his presentation.
He pulls out the trump card.
"Sweetheart, we've been together for almost 20 years. We've been around for just about everything in each other's lives and vice versa."
He is right of course. We have always been around each other and truth be told it hasn't really been for the best. He showed up drunk to my father's funeral and I caused a fistfight at his cousin's wedding.
Our families love us but, they can't stand what we bring out in one another. It's childish and hurtful. Each time, I try to move on. He finds a way to sabotage it. Admittedly, I ruined his marriage to a perfectly nice lady.
He has a teenage daughter from that marriage whom barely speaks to him because our BS dysfunctional relationship. The screwed up thing is that we don't really even like each other. And as far as respect, well, we don't harbor a lot of that towards one another.
So why have I wasted the past 20 years in this situation?
Because, I foolishly believed that the fact that he was always around meant that he somehow loved me too much to let go. Now, I am older and a lot wiser. I know that he is not hanging onto me out of love. His fear of the unknown causes him to backslide towards me.
He used to say to that cheating on his girlfriends with me didn't count since we were never really a couple in the first place.
Even after that blatant statement of disrespect, I stupidly allowed him come back to use me for sex, money, and whatever he needed. Cuz, I was so sure that deep down he really loved me but, was just too scared to show it. I was wrong and it has cost me 20 years of my life.
He reaches for my hand and I pull back from him.
"You are right. We have always been around one another but, we were not truly there for each other. We are too scared to completely move on from this BS situation yet, we both realize that it's too toxic to stay in long-term. So, we play a whole bunch of mind games with one another, use innocent 3rd parties to make each other jealous, and sabotage any potential relationships that come our way. I don't want to do it anymore. I want to be loved and cherished. I know deep down inside that you want the same thing. But, we both have to realize that neither one of us has the capacity to offer it to each other. It wasn't in the cards for us. We should have cut our losses years ago. But, we were too immature and lacked the true love for one another to do so. Time marched on and we both got used to the default situation that we created. We equated "always being around" to "being there" for one another. I am so sorry for sabotaging your marriage. I was so hurt and angry that you didn't want to marry me. I never stop to think that my actions were hurting more than just you.
You were trying to start over and I wouldn't let you. I thought of all of the past relationships which you sabotaged of mine and it pissed me off. I was going to have to start from scratch while you got to enjoy domestic bliss. It never occurred to me to view your new beginning as a sign to make changes in my own life. "
His eyes are brimming with tears. He loved his ex-wife so much. He called me the day she filed for divorce and we talked. Of course, one thing led to another and I ended up comforting him...yet again. Six months later, he was back on her doorstep begging for another chance. She declined his offer of a reconciliation. But, that didn't stop him from longing for her. I believe that he will spend the rest of his chiding himself and blaming me for the failure of his marriage.
Without another word, he shuts the photo album and escorts me to the door.
And just like that...20 years of BS has finally come to an end.
(This is a work of fiction as are all of the Honesty Monologues.)