Regrets of The Past: Part II
Monday, December 24, 2012
Hey everyone! Merry Christmas. Last week I posted Regrets of The Past: Part I. It was well received and I was so excited to hear it. This is my first ever short story believe it or not. I've always been afraid to write in the short form for a long time. Now that I'm growing as a writer, I thought it'd be only natural to try as many formats as I can. So here is Part II. I hope you enjoy it. I think the Protagonist and Sheila will make a good start at figuring out what went wrong in the past. Leave a comment if you'd like to know more about the work or about me. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for reading
"Well it's hard to figure out exactly when things went wrong. When we met things were so harmonious, no real real problems ever arouse. We were at our best back then, I think. At least in the way all couples are starting out.
"He was super sweet, gentle, and the best guy I'd ever been with. Things were great all the time back then. Sure we had some disagreements and bickered. What couples don't? We made always made up quickly."
I felt a smile come across my face. I think I was surprised by it, actually. Making up had always been the best part of the fight. No guesses why that was, I suppose. We had discovered this new ability to overcome any struggle and to appreciate our different convictions and beliefs. He never flip-flopped on matters that were most important. There was nothing more important to me.
Sheila scribbled something. "So you're not sure when things went... askew? I can see by the tone of your voice that you still care deeply for him. Was there a moment of doubt, a moment when you felt apathy towards him?"
I was silent for a while, I think. It seems like when pressed, when challenged, words escape me. I would attempt to run and hide in the nearest closet, rock myself to sleep. That's what I wanted to do now. It seemed that I could not bear the thought of pouring out my own list of grievances and insecurities. When I grew brave enough to share my deepest emotions, I would always get the response "you're not making any sense." Anyone would be confused at about this moment. My reasons were unclear. It didn't make sense why I would end a relationship of several years with the man I love and the man I was about to marry.
"I never felt that way," I finally said. "Though sometimes I denied myself other feelings."
"The feeling like I belonged. I never let myself feel belonged. I don't know why." I like that last little bit sink in. I honestly don't know why.
Sheila scribbled something on her pad again. She didn't say anything, though I could tell she had an inkling to. I continued to talk, hoping to disparage her from making a comment. Well more so I wanted to end the awkward silence, to end the anxiety causing me to feel like an idiot. I felt very intimidated now, a feeling I can't control all the time. Right now I felt intimidated, challenged.
"It's funny," I said. Not funny funny, but awkward or ironic. "I just didn't want to feel like I belonged with anyone but myself. I think maybe I wanted to be independent, to be completely alone. I always wanted to have that independent feeling, not being tied down."
"So you didn't want to feel tied down?" she asked. "Are you certain of that?"
"Well yeah. I wanted to feel... ya know... free." This doesn't sound right.
"Yes. I understand the need for freedom, however, it's never great to be alone. Companionship is a human necessity. It is one that cannot be replaced or filled with something else. This is a must. It keeps us healthy and makes us live longer."
"Says Maslow," I said. I love being able to know little things like the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. Sheila nodded. She wasn't surprised that I knew this tiny bit of information. I had always read articles, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I did, however, find myself trying to self diagnose those conditions whose symptoms were so broad that anyone could have it if they looked deep enough. I stopped doing that. It was slowly become a hypochondriac.
"Yep, Maslow. However, I want to understand more about your relationship with him. What kind of boyfriend was he. You said he was sweet and caring. What does this mean to you?"
"I don't know. I guess he did nice things for me all the time, really took the time to appreciate me. I did find him to be a bit too aggressive at times, as far as being confrontational. I abhor conflict and I don't want any part of it. He would egg it on sometimes, just because he felt he was right. Of course there were times when he was right and I was right. He was a good lover, gentle and generous. I was the same way. He was late sometimes, a bit messy, over emotional. Sometimes that was too much me."
"Everything I did seemed to have an effect on him. He thought I didn't love him or appreciate him. He took my words too seriously, even when I was joking or being facetious. Everything I said was at face value. That was an issue for some time. I felt like I had to constantly validate things for him. That really got to me."
"How did you express your love for him?"
"I did all those boyfriend things: gifts, back massages, kissing, sex, you name it."
"Did you vocalize it?"
"Well, on occasion. I didn't feel like I had to. I though my actions were enough."
I started to feel weird. It was one of those feelings when I realized what I had done wrong way too late. I think I left the room for a moment, seeing myself as the idiot who never verbalized love for a wonderful and loving boyfriend. He had given me everything. I felt anxiety rising and Sheila must have noticed because she starting writing on her pad again. I looked at the clock. Only twenty minutes had passed.
A few more seconds went by. I didn't realize that Sheila was staring at me. I felt this intense heat strike the surface of my face. Sheila the friend was making an appearance here. I think it might have been a bad idea to have a friend for a psychologist. She knew all my little idiosyncrasies. I felt imperfect, but then I realized the look was of concern. I continued on, stammering on the first word.
"I guess I should have time him, maybe been more appreciative. It was hard for me, I guess."
"What made it so hard?" asked Sheila. She was very careful with her wording. I could tell she saw the emerging emotions building up inside of me. Maybe she felt that I had the answer to my own problem. That I might have been incapable of giving and receiving genuine love.. At least in the most natural sense. But I didn't know why. I cleared my throat, guilt clogging my esophagus.
"I guess it's always been hard for me to express it. That explains why things went downhill. He grew very emotional and insecure. I couldn't understand why. Being questioned constantly just makes me feel not trusted and that somehow he wasn't receiving my love. Eventually we started arguing. It was a mess."
"Other than your love for him, what other things did you two argue about?"
"Well there were little things, mostly about chores, never about money or anything like that. We'd always been harmonious. But somewhere it would go bad. He would sit me down and ask me 'Do you love me?' I'd answer 'yes' and tell him I never had a doubt, not even a dot of a doubt.
"I guess back then I just didn't believe in the whole 'I love you' thing. I thought it was just a special occasion thing. I thought I was just doing enough. I thought I couldn't change my ways. Eventually when he asked I just got angry and felt terrible about myself. He wasn't validating how I felt in the process. I gave up trying to convince him. We couldn't solve the issue. It was perpetual. We loved each other but something was holding us back."
Sheila wrote something else down. I started feeling bad again. I took a sip of water that was sitting on the table for me. It was tepid by this time, but I had an intense thirst to quench. I set the glass back down. I knew by the look on her face what she was about to say.
"It was you," she said.
To Be Continued...