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and who they become. If they please, they give them food. If
not, they don't. If they want, they give them medical care. If not,
they die.
"Think of it, Destiny, it's frightening. They control whether we live
or die. And if they are kind enough to let us live, they control our
quality of life. Worse, they set the standards. Until we're well into
our adult years, we don't even realize that not everyone's family
was like ours. That maybe we were deprived. That maybe they
were depraved.
"And all the while, as children, we are like some kind of live
receptacles for guilt and shame. We store it in our little bodies,
we guard it with our lives, as if we were waiting for someone to
retrieve it, but they never do. And then, when we become adults,
we have so much trouble emptying it because we've learned to
guard it so well."
We were both quiet for a moment, then Destiny spoke.
"Let's make a pact. Let's keep working together to empty it. I'll
support you and you can support me, okay?"
"Sounds like friendship to me," I joked because I was taken
aback by the intimacy of her proposal.
"It is. Does that scare you?"
"Yes," was all I could say. I didn't want to start crying again.
"But you could easily support me, right? You've been doing a
great job of supporting me since we met."
"Oh, yeah, no problem. I don't mind supporting you at all."
"But it's hard for you to let me support you, right?"
"A little," I understated the obvious.
"It's hard for you to receive, isn't it? You know how to give, but
you can't receive."
"Yes," I whispered "Funny you should say that. Gallagher said
almost that exact same thing to me, right before she left." I
cleared my throat. "One night we were making love and I started
to make love to her, but she stopped me. She said, 'Let me
make love to you, Kris. Just this once, please receive. It's been
so long.' And it had been. I never was very good at receiving." I
started to cry softly.
"You must miss Gallagher a lot."
"I do," I wailed.
"Michelle told me you two were quite a couple."
"We were." I cried even harder.
"She also told me you never talked about the break-up, that you
acted like it was no big deal."
"It was a huge deal," I said defensively. "But Michelle never
would have understood. What was the point in talking to her?"
"Did you talk to anyone?"
"Ann. A little. Not much."
"What happened? Can you talk about it now?"
"She loved me too much, Destiny, and it scared me. I couldn't
take it anymore. I could never let her see how much I loved her.
Late at night, so many nights, after she'd fallen asleep, I'd light a
candle and watch her sleep. I'd touch her hair softly and I'd tell
her how much I loved her. Only then could I really love her with
her how much I loved her. Only then could I really love her with
all my heart. That was the only time I felt completely safe
expressing my love  when no one else could see it, not even
"You were afraid to love her," Destiny said, her voice barely
above a whisper.
"I was afraid of everything. I still am."
"No wonder you had trouble making love."
"No kidding! Most of the time when we made love, my body
was there, but I couldn't quiet my brain. These horrible,
incomplete thoughts would race in and out as I struggled to
concentrate on the sex. And then, on the rare occasions when
we made love and I wasn't scared, by the time we really
connected, the closeness terrified me. Invariably, the day after
we made love, we'd get into this huge fight. I never could be
close to her for very long. I tried and tried, but I couldn't do it."
Destiny didn't say anything.
"I miss her the most in the middle of the night. She adored me.
No one had ever adored me before. She'd laugh at all my jokes,
even if they were dumb, and I'd laugh at hers. Sometimes, we'd
stay awake for hours, laughing at the silliest things. It was like the
slumber parties I used to go to when I was a kid, except better,
because we were both naked, and it was just the two of us. My
God, she was my best friend." I couldn't seem to stop talking.
"She sounds wonderful."
"Not a day goes by that I don't wonder what happened to us. I
really thought she was my life partner. Do you believe in life
partners, Destiny?"
partners, Destiny?"
"I'm not sure. I don't think I've met mine yet. Well, maybe I did.
Maybe Janine, my first love, was a candidate, but you'd know
more about that than I would," she kidded.
"Very funny. You told me you couldn't even remember her."
"I can't, but I'll bet I trusted her, don't you think?"
"I'm sure you did."
"It's too bad I had to lose Janine, too. And my grandma."
"It is," I agreed. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]