… And I moved on. If I stayed, what would have changed
between us? Nothing really, I'd imagine. You would still be
content to let your impending doom take its course, yet
desperate to perform in accordance with the version others
expect to see. I would still be too selfish and too controlling, so
focused was I on achievement and satisfaction that I
grew progressively less sympathetic to your self-imposed plight.
How could we have survived that for any longer than we did?
I used to call you "coward" for always looking backwards
(just like you used to call me "courageous" for wanting to
know what was ahead), but then I remembered when we
lay side-by-side in the dark, introducing each other to the
monsters we had created before we met, calling them by
name. Yours didn't look so scary compared to mine,
or perhaps I had faced them before. "I could take them." I
pantomimed a boxer gearing up for a fight, then and there
quickly disposing of one beast in two moves. You had
rolled over to face me with awe in your eyes and
said that if I promised to fight the battles, you promised
to clean up the carnage. I smirked. "Sure, give me the hard part."
Unsurprisingly, you didn't bother to correct me.
Very often did you take my misunderstandings in stride.
What you did instead is deflect and joke, kiss me, grant me
xenia. I only understood much later, once I had felled so many,
yearning still for that which I left you behind to find. At my
zenith, I looked around me and saw how hard your part really was…