The barrage

I can sense the tension. It seems to crackle with each movement. Things that would have been nothing previously suddenly hold infinite meaning. And you, you can’t handle this. It must be fixed, reworked into something that doesn’t infringe on you.

So you speak. And more than I want or need, your words seem to overflow. They are a barrage of things I’ve heard before, the shadows of failed past loves. All I want is silence, peace. I need no explanation, no attempt at reconciliation. But you must give one. It is a compulsion you can’t resist. So I sigh deep within my soul, lean back and let your words wash over me.

Amid the flow is an apology, a phrase of kindness, and concerns for both you and me. I see it all as if I were an observer who knows the backstory of both characters so well that she understands all that lies beneath. The observer takes me over, and I retreat to wait for her orders, her insight. His words slow. And in that pause, I return.

My eyes still drink him in, whether or not they should. And though his actions have hardened my heart, I find it is still well within his reach. Amid the quiet, before I respond, I sense his fear–fear that I will accuse him, grow angry, push him away. Fear that I will become someone I am not, nor ever could be, because he has wronged me.

And he has wronged me quite well. Though the wound be slight and easily will heal, he sees it, knows its presence. In the wake of it, he works to repair what he has broken in me–an impossible task. My observer sees it all: the motives, the fear, the compulsions.

Yet while I know the next step will weary me, I know even more deeply its importance. The whisper of One higher calls to me as I examine my wound and the scars it so closely resembles. “Forgive. Grace,” is the call issued that echoes within.

So I close the doors to anger and bitterness, and walk toward the light. In its rays I find the strength to say what I need to say–not for my sake, but for his: “It’s okay.”

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