“Kate — Kate, you’re not listening to me…”
The way you stood there, arms and ankles crossed, spitting my name from your lips — you may as well have slapped me or punched me in the stomach. My face grew warm from the embarrassment of your scolding, my hands began to shake, my entire being became unsteady. Your words might have been seen as concern if it weren’t for that look in your eyes, that cold hard stare, your brow cocked up as if to ask, what could you possibly have to say while you sipped your bourbon. To you I am inferior, I am less-than. I lack your past, your history, so how could I possibly compare?
“You do know you can’t play the experience card with me, right?” Another assault, another tally tick for “not enough”.
I understand your desire for predictability. For future reference, it would be safe to assume I will continue to be opinionated, stubborn and illogical from time to time; that I will continue to take risks for the matters I deem most important regardless of how trivial they seem to your or anyone else; that sometimes my argument is simply “Because”. Because I want to. Because it’s important. Because I can. Because it’s what is right for me.
I let your words get me stirred up because I wanted you to understand me. I wanted to hear the words, “I understand now,” but they never came. I let you hurt me. I had nothing productive left to say, I was empty save for tears, anger, and the desire to slap you so I stood up, gathered my bags, and left. I didn’t make it to the end of the driveway before my chest tried to curl in on itself, shoving the air from my chest in one ragged sob.
I welcome your insight, your opinions, your concerns, but going forward it must be presented differently. I will not be spoken to like that again. You must trust that I am listening to you, ingesting and considering your words, but ultimately the decision is mine. I agree/apologize/concede when appropriate, but I don’t do any of those things simply to appease. You may not always agree, but I need you to accept them as I continue to accept the points where you that differ from me.
Please meet me in the middle. Please tell me that you understand and that next time will be different. Please wrap your arms around my shaking shoulders and tell me I’m not a fool for hoping, for erring on the side of love, for believing we can come back from this, for still wanting you.