Those 30 Minutes

It’s not always easy to admit that we’ve made a huge mistake. Sometimes we need to be called out on it, even when being called out can hurt and sometimes adversely affect our self-esteem. To say this week has been a whirlwind would be a drastic understatement.  Earlier in the week, Serena and I seemed to have come to a proverbial crossroads, one where I finally came to realize that she and I had taken two opposite paths. Maybe we felt differently about each other, but had it not been for her, her wisdom, and her willingness to open her heart, she and I would no longer be and truly, that would have been catastrophic, especially given everything that we finally shared with each other this past Thursday. 

I was genuinely unhappy with Serena and all the new guidelines and rules that she felt she needed to implement within our “relationship”.  I didn’t want things to change as drastically as I had anticipated they would have, so in some form of self-defense, I decided to take steps to gradually distance myself from her and it was my hope that she would get tired of my antics and the new person that I would become and just walk away on her own.  That would have been so much easier for me to stomach, easily convincing myself that I wasn’t the one who ended things and that it was Serena who made that final decision. I was scheming and thinking of ways to treat her so poorly that she would have no other choice but to leave. Yes, I will now openly admit that I was being a complete asshole, motivated to be as destructive as possible, without caring about how my actions and behaviors were going to affect her. I didn’t care about Serena at the time and just the thoughts I was experiencing made that abundantly clear. 

Serena and I reconvened on Thursday morning and things were rough at first because I did my best to ignore her and act like she wasn’t even there.  I was not engaging in the slightest.  I barely spoke. I didn’t look at her. I didn’t smile. At most, I was just a physical presence. I wanted little to do with her. I didn’t care how she felt, much less why she felt whatever way she felt. I didn’t care. 

Then came the 30 minutes that would change everything. 

I think that Serena was finally fed up with me and she wanted to clear the air.  She might have wanted to talk, but I know that I sure as hell didn’t.  I also think that she was nearing making a decision, one that she was afraid to make, but yet one that needed to be made. Serena, as I’ve come to know her, is the type of person who hates when people are down or not quite themselves, especially if she thinks that she has something to do with that discomfort.  At least as it comes to me, she hates when I even look upset and she has always been very quick to want to address whatever those issues might be and return everything to some state of normalcy and positivity. That morning, she could clearly see I wasn’t happy and she could hear it in my tone and my persistent, one word, nonchalant responses to everything she asked me. Just as she had done many times in the past, she chose to meet me head on and address my issues directly.  I’ve never liked that, not because it was her, but because I had never been used to that sort of thing.   

I was resistant. Why did I have to appease her? What did I need to care about her emotional comfort?  Why did I need to say anything?  Why does she care? Who the hell is Serena anyway?  As we spoke for those nearly 30 minutes, these answers and so much more would come to the surface and make me realize that I almost destroyed something that Serena never wanted to see end.  She made me realize that everything we had never needed to end and that she wanted to see things through.    

Maybe more than any point in the six-plus months that Serena and I have been “together”, I have come to realize and accept exactly who Serena is? Remember when I asked, “Who in the hell is Serena anyway?”

That answer hit me so hard, because it’s so true. Serena is a woman who loves me dearly, even when I treated her so poorly. As we spoke, she made it clear that she was never going to walk away from this. I didn’t know how to take that. My first thought was, “This woman planned to be with me no matter how badly I treated her? Damn, that’s love. To hope that I would change and risk that change never coming and she’s still here. Hope can only take you so far, but Serena didn’t care. She wants to be with you and she’s still telling you this even though you were intent on treating her so poorly”.  I paraphrase, of course, but that’s the gist of it. 

Socially, I burn bridges, especially when it comes to ending relationships that I no longer see any purpose or value in maintaining. Had that Thursday morning talk never happened, I would have taken gas and match to something that Serena still held so valuable to her, something that I too should have harbored that exact same sentiment. Serena believed in me when I lacked complete faith in her and even in retrospect, that’s very hard to write and even admit. It’s as though she believed all along when I had given up on us. 

Now, she and I are again on excellent terms and this is where we ought to be.  She said that she will be there for me and I, in turn, need to be there for her. We are a team.  We are a duo. We are seemingly everything to each other. I know that for a brief moment, I failed her and I failed her big time. I know that I need to make amends and she knows that I’m working on it.  I can’t set a time limit for when all these amends will be made, but I know that I messed up and correcting things could take some time.    

I owe her a lot. It is because of Serena that “we” are still a “we”.  It is because of her resilience that I still have a place in her heart and her life. She could have written me off, just I like I did her, and I could have lost her completely. 

I am thankful for a woman like Serena, because she still wants me around after the way I treated her. As corny as this might sound, I don’t know what I would do without her and I’m glad, proud, and ecstatic to say that I don’t have to worry about that being our reality.

I would have never said this earlier in the week, but now more than I ever, I know without a doubt that Serena is my heart, my world, and someone I cannot continue to disappoint.

She truly is a great woman and she needs to know this.  Serena already knows that I love her, but what I do know now is this.  My work is cut out for me.  Not only do I have to say it, but I have to start showing it to her…again.  

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