Saturday, 26 May 2012

The hardest gift to give

I see Virgil today. We spend several hours working together on a project to help out a friend. It is a prior commitment neither of us feel comfortable about breaking so we turn up and get on with the job. We meet on the train there. I sob behind my sunglasses and tell him about the weeks' emotions and revelations. I know it's hard for him to see me like this but I just have to. All this stuff feels so important and urgent: I need to share it with him in all its exoriating excruciatingness, both positive and oh so painful. I'm not going to say 'bad' because change is good. That's the way I have to see this. How is it possible to feel so hopeful and determined and so bad at the same time?

'Honey, you should try to stop crying,' he remonstrates finally. 'I'm a fountain this week, Virgil,' I sniff. 'You're like one of those things that go off,' he says. 'A geyser,' I reply.

While I think of little else, Virgil has too much work to think properly about what's going on. It's terrible timing but there it is. He needs space. He really needs it. He's distracted and worried about how much work he has to get done over the next week. It's difficult for him seeing me sad: it's actually the last thing he needs. He's sympathetic but it feels like more of the same rather than moving on, he says. Really he's worn out with me needing support. I think, but don't say: 'Well, you broke up with me, not me with you, and you're not currently homeless and almost out of a job.'

Instead I say: 'Look, I totally had to tell you about my discoveries. They're so important! I can't regret finding out this stuff although I'm terribly sad it took a crisis for it to happen. But I'm going to stop now. Right now the only thing that matters is that we love and support each other through this. The last thing I want is arguments. No more arguments. Just being very gentle with each other and working this out together like it's a good thing, a positive step.'

When we say goodbye I say: 'Good luck with your work, Virgil. I love you.' He smiles tiredly and hugs me.

Afterward I miss him so badly. I yearn to cuddle him quietly for hours, stroke his hair and gaze into his eyes, but I'd only start crying and then it wouldn't be support anymore but more of the same. Virgil agreed that I could come back to the flat during the week if I want to, stay for a few days if it feels right while I find out about new housing options, but I probably shouldn't. He wasn't enthusiastic, saying only: 'Well, until the next rent day it's your right to be there,' by which it was clear that he'd prefer me not to.

The best thing I can give Virgil now, the biggest, bravest and hardest gift, is to let go of him and leave him alone this week. My fear is that when he has had time to think he'll decide that he doesn't want to try again with me. I've never fought for a relationship before but I intend to fight for this one.

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