Everyone has that one song on their iPod that they listen to and turn all the way up.
You almost wish that everyone in your immediate area could not only hear the song, but experience the feeling that it brings to you. You wish that at the height of the song, that one part that makes you go crazy in your head, they too, could feel. You wish they knew the hidden beauty of the beat, and the one line that you’ve repeatedly considered getting tattooed on your body. But sadly,it doesn’t happen like that. Sadder, however, is that even if they did hear the song, they might not react the way that you do. Not to that song.
All my life, I’ve been that song. That amazing sound; so worthy of a broken earpiece. And all my life, I’ve wished that people would react to me the way I react to myself.
I got a call last night at 2:00 a.m. from an on-and-off lover of 4 years. The affair began when I was a tender 17. I would stop by his house everyday to see him, because he didn’t get out much. Despite being polar opposites of each other, I thoroughly enjoyed the only quiet area of my life-him.
His life was a mess. I felt that the universe hired me to be his maid,and chase after him with a broom and dustpan for all the things he left scattered about in his life. I was the professional organizer that assisted in filing away everything from his thoughts to important documents. But I also felt that I had been chosen to be his night nurse. The one who would bandage his wounds with my love.
He has made great progress over the years. He went from being a dropout to working full-time and being in school simultaneously.
While this is all great, there are a ton of void emotional cheques that need to be deposited into the bank account that has survived on overdraft for four years. Me.
When my birthday came around this year he asked me what I wanted. And I looked at him and said, “Just take me to dinner.” He asked me if that was all and I said yes. Then he asked me why. And I said, “Because we’ve never been out to dinner together.”
The night before we scheduled our dinner, he held me close and apologized to me for absolutely everything he had ever done wrong. He had the same itemized list that I had written in my head, and scarred in my heart.
“I’m sorry for all the times I said I would call you and didn’t,” he said. “I’m sorry for leaving you when you needed me the most,” he said. “I’m sorry for not knowing how to return the love you gave me,” he said.
Then he made me a promise. “I never want to hurt you, disappoint you, or let you down again. I promise I’ll be better.”
The next day, he didn’t call, he didn’t text, and when I called to ask if we were still going out, he said no.
Despite his reason being valid, and more importantly, being true, I could not help but feel my heart break inside my chest. I felt the pain that I knew too well in the first few years of our…love. But this time, there was a greater pain within me; letting myself endure that after coming so far.
Last night when he called me, I awoke from my sleep and listened to everything he had to say. I waited patiently for the tears to come, I was ready to swallow the lump in my throat, and I had the First Aid kit ready for my heart, in case it ripped into two yet again.
But when he spoke, I felt nothing.
When he choked up, I felt nothing.
And when he apologized, I had already forgiven him.
The reason we are so afraid to walk away is because we always think we’ve come too far, when in most cases, we have come just far enough.
I felt nothing because I knew in my heart that my job here was done. I was not his maid, nor his organizer, or his night nurse. I was there to support him in his pursuit, there to cheer him on. That is why I never received his love, not the way I wanted to anyway, in return.
Because I didn’t need his love as much as he needed mine.
Now that he is where he’s supposed to be, doing what he’s supposed to be doing, one might think that this is where I take my passenger seat and enjoy the rest of the ride. But I want off, because I did my part in teaching him what I could through aiding in his elevation, and carrying him through the transition of boy to man.
But he’s still got so much to go that the universe has contracted other people, like me, to help him with each lesson. There will be someone there to teach him how to keep promises. There will be someone else to teach him how to love himself. There will be someone else to teach him how to love someone else. Then, there will be time. And time will teach him, show him, how much he should appreciate me and all of his other teachers.
We play our song over and over, anxious for someone else to hear it, when really, they don’t have the ears for it yet. We play our song so much that we doubt whether it’s a good song anymore. We think of changing the components to it. But we have to realize, we have to believe, that the song is fine; some members of the audience are just deaf.
If someone isn’t dancing to your song; it’s because they haven’t heard the music yet.
They haven’t heard the guitar in your rhythm. They can’t hear the bass in your beat. They don’t know your words, and they surely don’t know your chorus.
But you know it. You know the introduction; you know the hook, the chorus, and the bridge.
So cross over it.
In life, you can get people to hear the music by doing one of two things. You can either sing your heart out and hope they hear it. Or...
You can turn off the music.