What has happened twice, will happen once more. It's true. But hopefully it ends after the trifecta.
It's been three years since the last searing pain, and Princess' subsequent retreat to a castle far far away. How can more licked wounds seem so fresh, like she's never gone through it before? There were many things she missed. The warm curve of his back under her right arm as they slept. The feel of his perfect ears between her fingers. The heavy strength of his arms encircling her as they lay on the couch. The butterflies in her belly when they locked eyes while he played his guitar. The rhythm of his steps as he moved across wooden floors, the tingling of her skin when he watched her, the sounds he made when he slept. His chubby fingers. The empathy she felt when he crumpled his face up to cry. The way his skin felt under water. The safety of the honey he stirred into tea for her.
Too: her friends. The tangible way it felt to be surrounded by people who've known her a long while. Travel: cross-country road trips, and Europe, and the feeling of an airplane taking off. Greyhound buses. The sense of freedom gained when one no longer has to watch her proverbial back; when the eggshells she walked on have been swept aside. Being outside. Kayaking. Camping.
Someone taught her about boundaries, so she draws some up real fast in her mind. Today, all you have to do is not call. Right now, she rejects the “love conquers all” mentality. She refuses to tolerate and tolerate while things steadily regress and devolve.
One: you locked your heart away instead of enriching it; you excused instead of growing. You told yourself this is what it means to really be with someone; though you wondered why there were so many problems even when there weren't any problems.
Two: This is real love. Bombing around in the woods on the four-wheeler. Reassuring one another in times of insecurity. Sipping coffee on the deck overlooking the water and feeling like the mundane has absolutely been turned magical. Making love and feeling like the two of you are actually one complete being. Bicycle riding all over a beach island, smiling. The way he looks at you when your eyes lock. These things are real, and love can heal trauma, and you are going to be the one to pull him out of his prison.
She thinks about sailing and water parks and antiquing and the forest and mushrooms and wonders how all these parts fit together.
To think this love wasn't real is too haunting. Her fears and worries and what ifs manifested. Princess felt so very angry.
A boy-man set in his ways. A girl-child with the audacity to think love can transform absolutes into those beautiful question marks she loves so much.
He tells her to go. She goes. But by the time she's away, she regrets.
There aren't any answers. Her heart hurts even as writing feels so good and the piano beckons for the first time in months.