based on a true story,
“Alright, meat’s done.” Sean walked into the dimly lit living room with his plate in hand. Emma watched him sit on his new favorite spot on the couch, across the living room from her. Her face showed that she was now, upset. Sean began to cut through his pork, saying “Food is in there Emma,” and took a bite of the roasted red potatoes that were fresh from the oven.
She replied softly, and with hesitation; “Sean, I can’t eat that.”
“And why? What’s the excuse this time Emma? It’s not good enough for you?” Sean says snarily. He drops his fork on the white ceramic plate that she bought for him, years ago.
“No. Sean. If you would let me actually explain instead of snapping at me, maybe we could actually talk instead of you assuming everything and it always ending in argument.” Emma looks into the warm tones that lay in the wood planks on the floor, and feels like once again they were going to do nothing but argue.
“It’s not my responsibility that you get taken care of and eat. You made the decision to drive over here. To MY house. You should know I make pork. I always stick with my diet. You know very well I like to follow my meal plan and it’s not my responsibility to go out of my way to make sure that you are going to have something to eat too. Yeah I said you could come over but you know how it is. If you were hungry you should have thought about that before you came over here. Eat at your house or something. I get off work; Go to the gym; I cook; I shower, and then if you feel like coming over, that’s okay but Emma, you’re an adult.” Sean picked up his fork, and started eating.
Watery eye’d, Emma sat like a piece of stone and continued staring at the floor while she sat across from Sean. She had no appetite. She then questioned why she even made the seven minute drive over.
Five years worth of memories began filling her mind. Five years of walking in and out of his front door and this is what it had all summed up to.
Arguments and disagreements and tears.
He was seven years older than her, and at times she thought that maybe she wasn’t mature enough for the man that he was. But the bond they shared, while they had one, was unbreakable. The age difference between them meant nothing. Through the years she absorbed everything he was able to teach her about love and trust and boundaries and humility and respect, all from his life lessons and wisdom. Now she felt lost, and although they were beyond rocky, Emma kept hope in her heart that they would one day find their way back to lighting the fire between them again.
As he ate, she sat back motionless, remembering when their energy filled this room. She would prepare food as he walked in and out of the house to go to his grill. ‘His sous chef’, that’s what she liked to call herself when they would spend evenings cooking together. They would lay on the floor and play board games. Watch movies with dinner, they even set up their Christmas tree together, never forgetting the finishing touch of tinsel that reminded him of his childhood. Emma wiped away a tear that was forming in her right eye. “I already know you’re not going to eat anything.” Sean grabbed the remote control and turned on the TV to the sports channel.
Emma sat quietly under the glowing light from the television. Sean grabbed his cell phone, started thumbing on the touch screen device and begins speaking, “You know if you were going to just come over here and monitor my every move, I would have just told you to not come and to stay home. You sit there, and I cook an extra pork, which, I’ll eat it tomorrow at work, but I could’ve saved it and had it fresh, instead of reheated. If you wanna sit here and not talk Emma, you can go. I don’t need you here to accompany me in my own house.”
Confused, Emma replied, “Sean, why do you ever feel like you need to speak to me like that? Why do you think that it’s ok to talk to me like that?”
“You’re in MY house. Did I invite you over? No. You called me and said if you could come by and I’m okay with it. You aren’t even saying anything and you’re over there looking at the floor. What do you expect? For me to say is everything okay? I’m not the same guy anymore. We aren’t together anymore. You expect me to just treat you like I treated you in the past and make sure that you always were smiling but no. Not after what you did to me Emma- ”
“-No Emma. Don’t interrupt me, you KNOW how much I hate that. You know how much that aggravates me, yet you continue to do it. I don’t why you always do that. Are you gonna let speak? Are you? Answer me. Now. ”
“-Sean… let me. “ Emma pleads softly.
“-See. YOU can’t ever listen. I asked you if you were going to let me speak and not interrupt me. Again, Are you going to let me speak? ” Sean said loudly.
Emma looked up at Sean from the floor with her eyes and replied very quietly with a “yes.” She tucked her hands between her thighs and her body began to slouch over.
“Emma. You may be here but it doesn’t mean anything to me. I always told you from the beginning that you being here doesn’t mean that I want to work things out between us. I mean, the lies, the cheating. I put up with a lot of shit from you Emma. I put up with things when I probably should have walked away but I loved you through everything. I loved you when I knew I should have let you go. I don’t know how we lasted as long as we did, but hey we did. ”
“Look I know I wasn’t some great guy, I messed up too. But when have I ever made you feel like you were second best to another woman? When Emma? Never. You can never answer that question because it never happened. Emma I sat here fighting for our whole relationship to show you I loved you. Then when I almost lost you? Emma you ran away from me. How could you go and do that to me? To us? After all the years we had built together. You go and you run away. ”
“You tell me that you felt lost and that you were depressed? Bullshit. Emma I wiped away your tears that no one else saw on that hospital bed. I held your hand while you slept there hooked up to all these machines; I tucked you in so you could fall asleep at 4 A.M.; I focused on listening to your breathing, because I wanted to know that you were still with me. I saw you rolling over to look at me in your hospital bed after the doctors said you were ok to be seen after surgery. You looked at me like you were ready to burst. If I could have shown you what I had seen with my eyes, just, the look in your eyes. You were so tired. You didn’t even know it. I just wanted to hold you but you looked so weak and puffy and hurt from surgery. You were bruised. You wanted peace. So we gave you peace. Then you woke up the next morning and things weren’t ever the same. You fought through a lot your life. I get that. But you met me and for some reason, you stopped fighting, and started running. You started running from me, started running out my door, started running to anyone to any nice guy who would listen to your story, and Emma you know I give a damn about you, but I can’t go back to us because I don’t trust that you won’t run away from me again. I can’t take that Emma. I can’t watch you run away from me one last time.”
“Sean..please…” Emma says, sniffling and looking upward. Teary eyed and still slouching in her spot on the couch, “I am sorry for everything I’ve done that tore us apart.”
Emma begins to fight back her tears “Five years Sean. Five years of us waltzing in and out of each others eyesight. As if we pretend it isn’t a game. You talk about not wanting me to walk away from you and I remind you that I can’t take my heart being broken any longer- ”
“Emma Stop. I’m tired of the apologies; I’m not hearing it, I’m tired of hearing ‘I’m sorry.’ I don’t want to hear the word ‘Sorry’ ever again.”