By Harley Spade
“You belong to a whole other category of women,” he laughed as he jabbed his pointer finger onto my chest. “I can’t even begin to imagine the harm you would cause me. You must be the most evil, conniving woman I have ever met.” My eyes bulged out of my head. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Dave had never said anything like that to me before. Until today it was all roses and compliments, sparkling rings and beach vacations. Sure, I couldn’t stomach the idea of being intimate with him. He was quite immature and irritating most of the time. But I put up with all of it for the gifts and trips and wine and dining. He made me feel like a princess on a daily basis. He was my prince charming but quite the frog unfortunately. I think he finally caught on to my scheming.
“What on earth are you talking about?” I defended.
“You don’t love me, do you?” He huffed with a convinced tone, “I know now, you never truly have. I feel so used. So abused. So broken!” He threw his bags down on the bed, did a one-eighty turn towards the door but hesitated to leave. He glanced over his shoulder and whispered, “What now am I supposed to do?”
I hopped up beside him grabbed his hand and said “None of this is true, babe.” I was trying to convince myself as I rubbed my hand up his wrist. “I don’t know where you got the idea that I don’t love you. We’ve been through so much over the last year. I never left your side once”
He pulled his hand away from mine and responded, “True, but I can hardly believe you are saving yourself for marriage anymore. You’re not even a Christian. And I know you aren’t a virgin. Why won’t you sleep with me? We sleep in the same bed for Christ’s sake!”
I began to feel a tingling fear rise inside my stomach all the way up to my throat. I felt as though I was being choked by the truth. It lodged itself inside my neck and started to kick its way out of my mouth. I took a deep breath and gulped honesty back down into my chest and said “I think I just wanted to keep something special between us.”
“You think?” he gasped. “You think. Shouldn’t this be something you know?” He looked me dead in the eye, digging with his baby blues for my confession. He looked down and shook his head. “I don’t know if I can continue to be with someone who refuses to be intimate with me.”
“Refuse?” I replied. “I, I, wouldn’t call it refusal, babe. You know me, ya? You, you know my heart.” I couldn’t help but stutter over my words.
“Oh, come on. I spend and spend and spend for you. I drive and fly and stand for you. I cook and clean and launder for you. You rack up my credit cards, you drink all my wine, you eat all my food and crawl into my silk sheets with dirty feet!” He stopped and finally took a wheezing breath. I stood speechless. “And you can’t even consider holding me at night. What is wrong with me?” Shuttering, he fell onto the bed and dropped his face into his hands. I stood in the darkness unable to move my lips.
What could I have said to change his mind? I was terrible a midst a conflict. My normal response would be to shut down or cry uncontrollably and play the victim. That is easy. But I felt tense and anxious as I knew the truth was about to spew from my mouth. I sat down beside him and could feel his sadness brew deeper into his heart and boil his fear.
“I, I guess, um” I stuttered. “I should be honest with you.” His eyes rolled open and slowly turned to gaze at me.
“Go on.” He whispered.
“Well, you know I do care deeply about our relationship. You are my best friend. We have been through so much and I can only thank you for all the times you bailed me out gave me a shoulder to cry on. For that I am so grateful.” I testified as he took a deep breath and peered back down at his folded hands. “Hey, it’s the truth. But there’s more.”
“I know, you can’t fool me any longer Hariette. This game needs to end before we both lose.” He looked back at me with those baby blues knowing he was pulling the truth from the hole in my heart he dug out moments before. I knew it was time. He was right. It’s not fair to him that I continue to use and abuse his love for me. And it’s not fair to me to be with someone I cannot love.
Without any further hesitation, the reality came barrelling out of me, “I am not saving myself for marriage, in fact I love sex. I love you, but as a friend. So much that I wouldn’t want to have you leave my life. But just as my friend. I have been using your love, taking your gifts, racking your credit cards on wild shopping sprees without thought knowing that you love me so much that it didn’t matter to you. I thought by making the excuse of saving myself, I could easily turn a blind eye away from the lack of intimacy. Hoping it would never reveal its deprived head into our relationship. But alas, I knew I couldn’t avoid it forever.”
“No, and I just kept on praying for the day that you would push me against the wall, rip off all my clothes, toss me on the bed and wail in satisfaction. I was about to propose Har, have the ring and everything. I’m not mad. I just wish I wasn’t so sightless and stupid.” He replied with candour “I will set you free.”
I wanted to tell him he wasn’t blind or stupid. I wanted to reassure him of his pride. But I knew I tore out every ounce of dignity he ever had. I knew he was blind; blind in love.
“Just go.” He said, “I will walk you out.”