Two Sides

by Alena Harris

I couldnít believe that I had gotten to this point. I had always been the strong one in the relationship. I was always perceived as the ďmanĒ in the relationship. I had no problem walking away from a relationship if I felt the man wasnít giving me the respect I deserved as a woman. But now here I am on my knees crying and holding on to this man as if my life depends on it. Maybe because for some reason I believe that it does. I just canít let him leave me. I hear myself saying ďdonít leaveĒ over and over again through the tears.

Iím looking at him and wondering if any of this is having any effect on him. His eyes are looking off. He is not even paying attention. Heís not here. He is rubbing my head as if I was a dog. I am not a dog. I am not a dog, but thank you for the touch. It was the most I had gotten out of him lately. He had been acting so strange with me. All of sudden it seemed nothing I did was right. We actually had an argument about my job. I was a bartender when we met and he seemed fine with it then. But now saying that I should go to school and get a real career and not be content with just getting by. I like my life. I like my job. It was how I met him. I come in contact with such interesting people. Now all of that wasnít good enough for him. I just wanted to make him happy. I was happy with him. Why couldnít he be happy with me?

When he sat down at the bar all those months ago I didnít know that he would be the one that I would let my defenses down for. I thought he was just another college kid trying to drink away his so-called problems with dark beer. I remember the look on his face. He looked so sad and confused. And just like everyone else in the bar he was trying to wash away his problems. But unlike everyone else I actually cared about what was going on with him. So when I asked him how he was doing I really meant. H the rest of the night telling me about school and how he was having troubles in his classes. How he thought he had failed a major exam. And that if he had then he wouldnít be able to get into the Physician Assistant program. I listened to him and reassured him that everything wasnít as bad as he thought it was. By the time he left that night I felt that he believed what I told him. A week later he had come back to the bar and he looked so happy. The smile on his face just made my whole night. He came back to thank me and tell me that he did pass and would be applying for school soon. It was that night that he asked for my number and the next day we went out. And we had been together through all the small arguments and we could be called happy at least up until now.

Why is he grabbing my arms and pushing me away? He is bending down to look me in my face. Does he see the pain in my eyes? Are the tears making him want to stay? He is saying something to me but I canít understand it because I am crying too loud. And also because I donít want to listen unless he is saying that he will stay. I have to stop crying. I must stop crying. He is standing over me and I look up at him but I say nothing and he just looks at me and turns and walks away. Once he walks out t I fall forward onto the floor and cry until I canít cry anymore.

I finally pull myself up from the floor and walk to the bathroom to clean up my face. I then go and lay down on the bed in my dark bedroom and I begin to think about things. He is just a man. A man that I let have too much power. This is going to hurt for a while, but I know I can get pass this. I have other things in my life to occupy myself. Maybe I should go back to school? No. I would only be doing it to try and win him back. I can learn to live without him. I can live without him. I will be fine. I am fine. A knock on my door wakes me up. I look through the peephole and there he is looking anxious. I donít say a word. I sit on the floor by the door and listen to him knock and call my name until he gives up. Before walking away I hear him say, ďIím sorryĒ. I start to cry again. I cry because I knew that he really meant it but I also knew that if I took him back I would be back in this sorry state again. I can accept that, too bad he canít accept me.

I can remember standing there while she wrapped her arms around my waist burying her face into my stomach. I felt almost powerful at that moment. I had this woman begging for me not to leave her and saying that she would do almost anything for me. Anything? I wonder would that include all the things she said she wouldnít do? I placed my hand on her head contemplating pushing her away but I didnít, I just rubbed her head and thought. I thought about how I really did like her but she just wasnít the usual type of girl I went out with. I am an intelligent, good looking young man from a good middle class family. A family that always drilled into my head the importance of school and hard work. And because of these lessons I am currently in Physician Assistant School. I have always dated intelligent, goal driven women. And she was the opposite of that. Not that she wasnít intelligent, but she rarely could hold up her end of a conversation with my fellow classmates. She was just content with where he life was. It didnít bother her to just work at a bar all her life. As long as she had enough money to keep her out of the poor house. She didnít want to go to college. She felt she learned more from living life. She was happy and maybe I resented that.

Happy all the time. Except for when we argued. That would be when she told me how selfish and inconsiderate I was, and how I hurt her feelings all the time. Something I had heard before in past relationships. And just like in the past I told her she was young and would get over it. I know it is mean but it is how I feel. I refocused my attention to her and listened to her babble about how she would change. How many times had I heard that before? They say they will change but they never do. I feel like listening to her whine and cry anymore. There was no need for tears. Why did she have to be so weak? Why did she have to need me so much? Why did I feel I needed her? Why couldnít she be someone more acceptable? The whole time during our relationship all I ever heard was why was I with her? At first I tried not to listen and then it began to bother me. Which is why I am here with her crying in to my stomach.

I finally pryed her away from me and explained to her the best way I could that we had to end it. It can be so hard talking to women sometimes; they seem to take everything the wrong way. It is as if they have selective hearing. I hate trying to explain anything to them. Eventually she did stop crying and just sat and stared at me. I then told her goodbye and left her there on the floor of her apartment crying.

I went home and couldnít decide whether to watch t.v. or study. When in doubt get horizontal. A motto I feel that has gotten me through a lot of situations. I lay down and fall asleep. Sleep always felt so comforting. In sleep there are no problems, people crying, or people criticizing your decisions. I must have slept for what felt like forever. I dreamed about her. I dreamed that I was looking at a picture of her. In the dream I studied her face over and over. I couldnít put the picture down. No matter how I wanted to or who tried to take it from me. It was as if I was hypnotized by her eyes. Her eyes seemed to be saying so much to me at that moment. I saw her happiness and I could see my own happiness in her eyes also. I saw my reason for being with her. I was with her because I liked her. I liked who she was. I liked the fact that she knew who she was and didnít care what others thought. How can you throw away the one thing that makes you happy? I woke up still with the vision of her eyes in my mind. I grabbed my keys and ran out the door. Screw my friends. I canít let them run my life forever.

As I drive to her place I run through my head all the things I want to say when she opens the door and lets me in. Because of course she will open the door. She was just crying for me not to leave. How could she refuse me? I must have knocked and called her name until my hands hurt. But she didnít open the door. As I walked away I said I was sorry hoping that she heard it and knew that I meant every word.

Two Sides by Alena Harris

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