I’ve never had any difficulties saying “no” to people I don’t care about. It takes a lot for me to stop caring about a person. In my heart, every soul starts with 100% of awesomeness. Like a baby, you know? Babes are fresh canvases ready to be painted with life. They are perfect…
When I meet someone for the first time, I approach the possibility of a relationship with them like I approach my first encounter with a baby—open-armed. I might keep an eye on them, if someone I trust says that I should be careful… but I still give everyone a fair chance. It’s proper. It’s the witchy thing to do.
Yesterday, someone who I love with everything I am, asked me to consider giving a umpteenth-time Traitor another chance.
“Why should I do that?” I said, with more disappointment than anger in my voice. I’ve walked that path so many times, my Wicked Luvs. The bottoms of my feet still bleed… “What’s the point? We know what’s going to happen. I’ll give it a go, you’ll give it three goes, and [the Traitor] will shit all over our efforts, again and again.”
“Just try,” he said.
“No,” I told him.
“For me,” he insisted.
I stayed quiet for a very long while, wondering when exactly I had lost the battle. “That’s not a fair thing to ask of me.” I have no issues walking away from someone who means nothing to me, but I haven’t mastered the art of turning my back on the ones I love (even when I know they are wrong). “Don’t ask me to do that,” I said again.
“I already did. I wouldn’t ask you, if I thought you couldn’t do it.” He explained that the Traitor might have one more chance to turncoat before joining its maker. “Everybody deserves another chance, Maggie.”
I wanted to scream at him. I think I did… But the shouts would have carried no conviction. “I’m done talking to you,” I said.
“If I could affect [the Traitor], I would,” he said, in a voice too small for his person. “I’m not good with my words. I think them, but they don’t sound like I feel them when I speak them.” He said nothing for some time. I thought he might be crying, but I couldn’t tell. Then he continued, “Remember what you said, what you did, when I told you that you were too short and too skinny and too impossible to join the Marine Corps?”
“No,” I lied.
“You said, ‘Watch me!’ and dropped to the kitchen floor to do pushups.” He laughed. “I think you managed to do three.”
“Thirteen,” I said. They weren’t good ones, with my body straight and my hands close to each other, but I did thirteen pushups my first time. My biceps ached for a week.
“Please, Maggie, do it for me.”
“I will think about it. No promises.”
“That’s fair,” he said.
“No, it isn’t,” I whispered before saying goodbye.
The conversation hovered over my sleep all night, filling my dreams with filthy crying babies begging to be picked up. Their mud-covered cherubic bodies had the Traitor’s face. I cringed away from the little freaks… for a heartbeat… Then I realized I was dreaming and just watched them… annoyed. It’s irritating when my own psyche roots for the other team.
I awoke to a gloomy day: Rain beating on my windows, Sun refusing to warm the Sky, a chill thickening Spring’s breath… I lit a candle and asked Nature for clarity of thought; for the ability to understand why I should give an umpteenth second chance to a person who doesn’t deserve my time or the focus of my nightmares…
bring on the light… and the wisdom… and the objectivity