Story: Coming Home*
They always tell you what it feels like to fall in love. Those little moments when the roots of love grow deeper, and you and that person become increasingly entangled. Your bank accounts and cell phone plans are entangled. Your laughs start to sound more alike. You find yourself making hand gestures that you never made before you two met. When you are listening to a good story on NPR, you're already storing it away in the mental list of things to share with him later. Sleeping is easier with his smell, sound, warmth, love next to you, even when he steals the blankets, snores, coughs through the night. Your roots are entangled. You share the same life-giving soil, nutrients, water. Taking care of your garden means taking care of his. Ignoring, poisoning, depleting yours hurts his. You are still separate, but intimately interconnected.
What they don't tell you is about the moments when you fall out of love. It feels like a hardening of the softness you developed with him--the flow, the dresses, the dreamy thoughts, the sigh while you rest your should on him when he comes to stand near you. It feels like coldness settling over a heart that just recently burned. It feels like the space between the two of you growing wider. It feels like the cells that before were frantically moving, as cells do, but with a slight pull towards him, now move with a slight pull away from him. The distance can’t be seen or measured, but it can be felt. In the energetic pull away from. In the coldness. In the hardness. In the darkening loneliness.
Enter Pady, the ever-present, hyper-vigilant, pain-body self whose only job it is is to protect me from abandonment. I haven’t the words to tell you how excited she is. "Yes! Prepare now for total abandonment. Turn to me. I will hold you, protect you, comfort you through the inevitable heartache." And while she holds you on her lap, smoothing your hair in that way that makes you feel like a protected and cherished child, she begins building the wall. Brick by brick. The wall around your heart. The wall between you and him. The wall that will sever the withering entanglements and prevent those roots from ever finding each other again. The wall that makes it easier for you to imagine a different life, the life where you are alone and safe from the threat of anyone ever leaving you again.
* This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.