A/n: So here's the second to last chapter. It may not be paced correctly in structure so I suggest you read it slowly, especially the parts when Terry talks.
CHAPTER: The Incurable Condition.
The funny thing about living with your parents is that no matter how old you are they still treat you like you are a kid. I still couldn't lock the door even if I wanted. I still had to ask permission to go somewhere when I wanted; I still had to obey every rule I had when I was 16. The only freedom I got was sleeping in as late as wanted but even some days that freedom wasn't guaranteed.
That morning my dad woke up with a loud entry to my room. I opened my eyes and looked at him at in the doorway. "What is it?" I asked.
"It's midday, aren't you going to get up?"
I would have loved to tell him no, but like a teenager I wasn't allowed to rude either. I sat up in bed and looked at him. "I'm up," I announced.
He pointed to the bathroom. "Go take a shower, brush your teeth and shave."
"Why?" I asked.
"That fact that you're asking me why you need to upkeep your hygiene is a problem." He looked at me with worrying eyes and his mouth twisted to side. I didn't like people being worried about me. I was worried enough for everyone. I got out of the bed and droned to the bathroom.
When I came out of bathroom he had laid some clothes out for me as well. So it had gotten to the point where I couldn't even choose my own clothes. The worst part was that I actually didn't mind. I didn't feel like I had the energy for that. I put on the clothes he laid out, a pair of jeans and a light blue shirt and even underwear. He also left a comb on the as a hint that I should comb my hair. My hair had grown now, to a length that was neither short nor long. It was at that awkward stage where you either had to decide to cut it or tame it to make it look representable. I just passed the comb through it, not really caring how it looked.
I was half tempted to go back to bed but I knew he would come and find me anyway. I pulled on some shoes and I went downstairs.
I expected my father to be in the living room. Just like a child, I needed to be supervised so there were days when he would stay home to watch over me when mom had something else to do. He would usually park himself in front of the TV and watch matches he had recorded over the weekend.
"Dad," I called but he wasn't anywhere to be found.
The house was spotless, like they had left for day and I found myself feeling like a child who was left home alone. I walked over the kitchen to get myself some water and I paused at the door.
She looked at me with worried eyes but a small smile on her face. "Hey," she said.
All it takes is one shot and a heroin addict would be back to his old ways. I knew this would happen. I knew if I saw her I wouldn't want to stop being around her. It took only and second. "I told them not to let you in."
She nodded. "I know but they were never really listening to you. I've been here before several times. You were sleeping mostly." She explained.
I stayed in the doorway my foot halfway in and halfway out. I would turn and run if I didn't feel so rooted where I was. My body needed this, I wanted to see her. I wanted to touch her. But I couldn't stand to talk to her, to explain everything about myself then made no sense to me. Explain that I couldn't give her the dream we created all those years ago. I couldn't explain to her why I made her waste all those years on me.
She reached into a bag she had strapped over her shoulder and pulled out a notebook and laid it on the table. "I have something for you."
"I don't think I'm deserving of any presents," I said while looking down at the tiles on the floor, in an attempt at humour, trying to make light of the irreversibly tragic situation.
She bit her lips. "Come over here," she said and her eyes were beginning to well up with tears.
Maybe it was because I had been in living with my parents for a while but I had to listen. I walked over to her slowly and took a seat on one of the stools surrounding the island the kitchen. Her eyes followed me the entire way, looking at me closely. "You need a haircut," she observed.
There were so many things that were wrong with me. It seemed silly that she would point to that one out of my many flaws. "I'm sorry," I said. Not just for the hair but for everything, everything from that night and the nights and days before. There was so much to apologize for. I had turned out to be a monumental failure of the most epic proportions. If life was a test then I had failed it and I had dragged her along for my inevitable failure. "I can't begin to describe how sorry I am," I said.
She placed her index finger over her lips. "No talking from you this time. Let me talk."
She opened the book and handed it to be, showing me the first page. It was marked Tuesday 3rd (the following day) in her neat scroll, like every word was poured tirelessly over before committing it to paper so there was nothing to scratch out, or take back.
It was a daily planner, divided by hours and every hour of the day was accounted for. From the 6:30 in the morning: wake up, to breakfast, to what was for breakfast, taking David to school. To what snacks was to be eaten, lunch, leisure activity, exercise TV time and bedtime which was laughably early. I turned the page and it was almost the same thing, every minute of every day accounted for. "I guess you're busy," I said simply, closing the book. I didn't know what to say to it. She had planned dozens of perfect days, perfect weeks and months and years and there was no room for me in it. It was what I wanted. I wanted her to move on but there was still an undeniable sting that made me feel like a knife had pierced my heart.
She sighed. "As usual you're coming to the wrong conclusion."
I looked at her. "I'm not angry. I understand this." I said.
"This is not for me. I told you, it's for you."
"You made me schedule?" I asked feeling a sort of mixture of shame and relief; shame at my inability to be selfless and relief at her ability to be what I could never be.
She nodded. "I was doing some research on your condition," she explained and she reached in her bag pulling out another notebook that was overflowing with paper and post it notes. But my mind was drifting away. She had said it. She had made it known. I officially had condition, a condition like a sick person, like someone dying on a hospital bed.
I was officially someone with a condition. And she knew it.
My heart began to race again and that feeling like I couldn't catch my breath was coming back. "I don't feel well, I think I should…" I began to get off the chair but she stopped me.
"Wait," she said she fished in her purse, taking out a bottle of pills that looked like the ones I left behind in the apartment, the ones I thought I was too strong for. She took my hand and placed one in the centre of my palm and got a glass of water for me. "Take it," she urged.
I did as she said, looking at her face, calm and collected.
She looked at me satisfied and then went back to her book. "I did some research and there all these options for treatment." She opened the book to a page and pointed out to me. "Like did you know that eating healthy and exercising helps with it? This guy, he said it helped him. So I thought we could try that," she smiled and turned the page. "I printed out of testimonies of people who have tried different things and a lot of their doctors agree with. So we're not walking blindly here."
I bit my lip and stared into space, thinking about all the things my condition meant, the "it" as she called it. "I can't do this," I said.
She sighed and looked to ceiling. "Okay," she said and she nodded more to herself. "Obviously I'm not getting through to you and there is something I am missing. So I want you to tell me. I want you tell me everything. Everything about you that I need to know, everything that happened from the moment we met to now that makes what I'm offering such a horrible idea."
She was asking me something impossible. She wanted me to reveal things to her that I had purposely hid from her, things that would make anyone with any real sense run from me. These are things my nightmares were made of. I didn't want her to know these things. I wanted to her to trust in my judgement on the situation. "You don't need to know everything."
"But I do," she argued. "I need to be convinced."
I shook my head.
She sighed with frustration and grabbed her bag, taking it over her shoulder. I thought she was about to leave but instead she headed further into the house. I got off of the chair, following her up the stairs.
"Where are you going?" I shouted at her.
"I am going to get your things,' she said.
I dashed to the front of her on the stairs. "Why can't you get that this is for the best?" I asked her.
"She closed her eyes and shook her head. "You can't even tell me why."
I grunted in frustration. "Because my people are messed up…"
Her eyes narrowed. "Your people?"
I passed my hand through my hair and took a deep breath. "You want to know everything. I'll tell you everything. I'll let you in on a secret. I think, no. I know I am actually very sick and not in the way that I can get better. I'm sick up here." I said and I pointed to my head. I sat in the stairs, and buried my head in my hands. "I told you once before that my parents thought I was crazy. Well, it turns out that I am. I've been since I hit puberty." I could barely stand the thought of looking at her, so I looked at the carpeting on the stairs. "All these years I have been pretending that I'm fine but I'm not." I raised my shoulders. "I'm not."
I felt her hand on my chin, raising it slowly, forcing me to look at her. I closed my eyes, tilting it away from her gaze. "I never am. When I'm happy something always happens. I always happen. My brain begins to do shit that I don't want it to and I don't know how turn off. If I could I would but I don't know how to. I don't how to stop going from missing you to cutting myself. I don't how to prevent myself from thinking it's a good idea to take some pills that I know I'm allergic to so you could feel sorry for me. I don't know how to stop being paranoid, I don't even see it coming when I'm going into one my moods. So it really sucks for you that I fell in love with you and I'm such a good liar I managed to convince you that I was normal for long enough that you accidently fell in love me. I'm sorry." I said. "And now we're in this mess and you must feel like you owe me something but you don't. You don't have to take care of me; you don't have to try to make me better. I'm not going to get better. I spent a week a mental hospital this time. How long will it be the next time?"
"Terry," she said and I could tell an argument was on her lips. But I continued. "I told you I met my people. My mother spent most of her adult life and in mental hospital. I used to hate Robert for leaving her but in the end she killed herself. How could I expect someone to spend their life waiting on another person who just didn't know how to live? It's not fair. It's not fair to you either. So this is me trying to be a good person by telling you. I am done for. It only goes downhill from here. So forget about me." I felt her hand slip away from my face and immediate coldness of her withdrawal. I looked at her, her body trembled with tears, tears, for me and the pathetic man that I was.
"I did- something- bad," she said between hiccups that accompanied her tears. "She wiped the tears away. " I went through your stuff. All of your stuff and I found some medication. "She dug in her bag and produced a bottle of one of the drugs I had been prescribed. " I went through your files on your computer and I found and email from your psychiatrist in England." She dug in her bag and pulled out a printed copy of an email and handed it to. I didn't even want to open it. I knew what I emailed her about. I was beginning to get a sickening feeling about this. She took out a folder next and handed to me. "I pretended to be you and I convinced her to send an electronic copy of the file for you so you could take to a new doctor. " She passed the file over to me and I opened it, getting a peak of notes that even I didn't know about.
"So you know everything about me. You know what I am."
She nodded. "I know and…" she stopped to wipe a tear from her eyes. " You're not crazy Terry. I hate to hear you say it, not because the word offends me but because it offends you." She passed her hand through my hair, touching my scalp forcing me to close my eyes at the sensation. "Your principal problem has never been that you don't see the world as others do. It has always been that you suffer from crippling vanity. You want perfect. You want to be perfect. You don't want to appear weak. You don't see that there is strength in admitting that you need help. The reason why it has never worked out for you is because you've always tried to hide it. Even now you're hiding out here because you don't want anyone to see you. You don't want to see the world now that the façade you created is shattered. You always want everyone to believe you have a perfect life, but you don't. It turns out you're human. There is nothing wrong with being human Terry."
"This isn't just about me. It's about you and David. What would you do with me? How would you explain when I go into one of my moods to David?"
"I'll tell him the truth. I have." I groaned. Every man wanted to be their son's hero, not some weakling. "I told him that his father gets sad sometimes and he needs to spend a little time in hospital for doctors to make him better."
"It's a little more than sad." It was so much more than sad
"It is what he can understand for now. But I know he wants you back. I know that he makes you 'I love you' cards, every day. And although you refuse to see him, he hasn't forgotten you and he never will."
I felt my throat become heavy and impossible to close.
"So you have a little case BPD. You're not the first and you won't be the last. In fact there is limitless resource and testimonials online that you can use to help make this easier for yourself but you don't even want to admit that you have it.
I felt a tear rolled down my cheek and exhaled deeply. She was right. I knew she was right.
"I don't want to be this person," I admitted.
"Well you can be whatever you want to be. You just need some help. I want to help you, you're parents want to help you. David wants to help you."
I shook my head. "I can't just be this person who needs help all the time. I can't do anything for you in return."
She cupped my cheeks in her hand and brought my face up to look at her. "We have lows and they are depressing and difficult but our highs… well our highs remind me why I love you so much."
I didn't know how to argue with her. I didn't want to argue with her. I loved her and I wanted that life I used to dream about but it had been distorted to the point where our love for each other was the only thing recognizable from the original plan. "I don't know what to do," I confessed. "This isn't the life I imagined for us."
"Terry," she said catching my eyes. "Life is never going to be that perfect picture you wanted. It's never going to be the scene in a painting of perfect Sunday afternoon. Life is messy, imperfect, ill-timed, tragic and unfair but life can have moments of perfection, of stars aligning perfectly to create a destiny that greater than anything we imagined for ourselves, Life can mend even the most broken hearts and it can be rewarding if you give it chance."
I bit my lower lip. "You have a plan?" I asked her.
"I always have a plan." She said and she kissed my forehead.
A/N: So, there it is.
One more chapter to go and it's an epilogue.
We'll get to see what's going on with them a few years into the future.
Let me know what you want to know.