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The Other

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

It was one of those things where you just knew. You knew in the buried abyss of your gut that something was exactly how you thought it was despite the denials of its existence. You knew that irrefutable awareness, the one that came rising like ocean water over your head, then back down again, just to wipe your eyes for clearer vision, to see for yourself what you already knew you knew.

It’s within that rooted knowing of the truth where the line between understanding and suspicion grows very thin. I understood it in the way they looked at each other, their eyes meeting just long enough to say what their mouths weren’t able to. A slight flicker of her eyelid; a glance backwards at the curls of her hair; and a tension that occupied the room so heavily that it was pregnant with desire.

I suspected that I was the only person to see their rituals of latent exchanges; the ever-mysterious nature of the relationship I was watching begin to define the very one I was in. I witnessed in those times the departure of the elements that had once secured us together and the absence of the girl who I had wanted to be.

Who had I wanted to be? I wanted to be someone calm and sanguine; wholly unwavering and unconcerned. Beckon a tidal wave my way; pull out all of your sharpest weapons; tell me the harrowing truth of it all. I am like stone; I can stand it.

Oh, so there is something there between the two of you? Oh, so I should simply just get over it then?

All that I had wanted to be was merely the result of what I needed to become to stay afloat the drowning ship we were sailing. We were sinking so slowly for so long that we barely realized how far under we’d gone. How much deeper was I willing to let myself go? How many deafening signs advising me to flee was I going to ignore in my own descent into senselessness?

The truth is that you always know the truth. We can tiptoe around it, we can play with it a game of hide and seek, and we can blatantly stare it down, right in the face, and ignore it. It will always resurface though and plant itself into the tiny moments of our lives until we recognize it.

Because the truth is I could have kept dancing in the entanglement of the web I found the three of us in. I could have played out the role as bystander, watching the weekly performance continue on act after act. I could have kept feeling detached.

But I thought of this: What’s really worse - being alone and feeling lonely or feeling utterly alone with someone else?


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