“Ugh I hate when you do that shit! We do this over and over it seems like every other damned day! Like I told you the situation is what it is so just fucking deal with it!”
She was at her breaking point with the roller coaster of emotions she was forced to deal with so many times, actually, too many times a day, a week, a month. Whenever it started it was always too much and too many. The scowl on her face was unmistakable. The rage was sitting on the cusp of her soul waiting to be unleashed. She hated that she had to be so angry but coping was something she wasn’t equipped to do, she only knew fight or flight and for some reason she didn’t think this time she would be able to walk away.
“You have the audacity to sit there and act like I don’t have a reason to be upset,” she said with venom dripping from her words, “this is all your fault!
They stood looking at one another face to face both seething with anger. The air was thick with resentment and apprehension as they both weighed their options ready to strike faster than the blink of an eye. This wasn’t the first time and there would never be a last. They were stuck. Stuck with one another, stuck in a fucked up situation, stuck in a whirlwind of destruction and uncertainty…just stuck.
“Bitch please. Do you think that shit fazes me anymore? Do you really think that line holds any power anymore?” Her partner’s sinister smirk made her blood run cold and she was visibly shaking. She could see it in her eyes; she felt it in the intensity of the breath that brushed her face when she spoke. This was it, it was going to happen at any moment so she lifted her chin and squared her shoulders and she waited. Out of the corners of her eyes she took in the room checking for a way out or, more importantly, the best way to fall. She really didn’t care one way or the other so she just wanted her to do it and be done already.
Like lightning it came and like lightning it went. It happened all in a flash. The only way she knew it’d happened really was the trickle of blood running into her mouth from her nose. She used the back of her hand and smeared the warm liquid away leaving a streak like lipstick after a passionate kiss. Ironic she thought maybe that was her partner’s way of showing affection anymore. Maybe it was intended to be a kiss…of sorts. Of death because surely this was going to kill her.
“Do you feel better now? Is that what you were waiting for, what you wanted from me? You’re a sick bitch. For real, sick”
She had no words for her now. They would come later.
As one solitary tear left her eye she turned to walk away robbing her partner of the victory. She would not be pitied nor did she want to play the part of the martyr. She knew she would get through this, but would they.
It seemed like a lifetime since they’d last fought. Life had gotten back to normal, whatever that was, and they’d resumed their relationship. There was no more talk of blame and the accusations had grown stale. Like she always said; it is what it is. That became her mantra and it made life easier to swallow. When the electricity that preceded her tears surfaced she immediately suppressed them with the anger that had come to fuel her existence. There were no more silver linings and definitely no weeping that led to sunrise joy, she had learned to shit when necessary and get off the pot when the battle wasn’t worth the effort. Over time they had started healing themselves the best they could.
“Why are you so quiet?” her partner asked with hesitation in her voice.
“I’m not being quiet, just thinking and getting in touch with myself is all. Sometimes it helps to just be still. That way you don’t get into trouble.”
They both knew that the statement was intentional and for the briefest moment it hung in the air like the brass ring on a carousel. Neither seemed interested in the prize and as quickly as the tension came it was gone. Internally for them both the war was still raging but the battles and instantaneous skirmishes had become fewer and fewer. There was almost an unspoken unanimity when the time was right to fight. Sick had taken on multiple meanings in their life.
“You feel like talking?” she asked her partner
“What’s there to talk about? Remember, it is what it is. You got something on your mind? I’m listening.”
“Why do you have to sound so angry all the time? It’s really not the end of the world you know. I understand how you feel and I know you’re scared but we’re in this together. I’m scared too but I don’t know what else to do.
“Well I don’t know what you want from me?”
Finally, finally she’d gotten it. This was the window she’d been waiting to have opened when the final door had closed on their relationship. Realization had finally set in and in that moment she knew that they were going to make it.
She got up from her chair and went and sat by her partner on the couch. She’d never seen her look so tired or defeated and she was able to forget everything in the past and open herself to the forgiveness and love she’d been waiting to give for months. She could let go of all her anger and move forward so they could start healing together. She’d prayed for this day and now that it had come she was filled with emotion. This time she would allow herself to cry”
“All I ever really wanted to hear you say was I’m sorry. That’s all I needed from you. If you’d just apologized then everything else would have fallen right into place.”
Her partner was sobbing openly now and for the first time in a long time she allowed herself to be hugged. As they rocked one another she heard her partner whisper, “I love you so much and I’m so, so sorry.”
At that moment she had no doubt they were going to be just fine and she no longer feared being HIV positive. All they had to do know was focus on life. Everything else was going to be okay.