Thursday, April 01, 2010

Leaving And Staying

"I can't stop thinking about you" read a text message from MJ, five months after their last and what to Sheila had been their final meeting. Just one short, terse sentence yet it reverberated in her mind her all night long. That was the thing about MJ - a feral intensity that broke down all barriers and challenged her resistance to him. 
She decided it was best not to respond and allow her inner turmoil to subside. As much as she wanted to move on, she could not help thinking about him almost constantly. In a sense, she felt vindicated he suffered just like her. She chided herself for behaving like an infatuated teen-ager and forced herself to take interest in other men, more plausible relationships than what she had (or not) with MJ. 
She wanted for him to stay or leave with finality but he was much to flighty to make decisions set in stone. He thrived on whimsy and impermanence because they were to him synonymous with romance. While talking to Vibha one weekend, Sheila mentioned her dilemma with MJ. 
"What makes him so special to you ?" Vibha asked. 
"He is the only man I have ever known who can bring out the feminine in me completely. I don't feel like I have to spar, compete, prove or win. I can just enjoy being a woman and let him do the rest. There is something exquisitely peaceful about being that way - specially for someone who has never experienced it." Sheila explained. 
"You feel like you need to assert yourself with other guys ?" 
"Yes. It's like until I establish and enforce ground rules, they will walk all over me. I have this instinct to protect myself, be on my guard all the time. A simple discussion can degenerate to a point scoring exercise. It's me versus him and I hate that - it tires me out. With MJ, I can just relax and be myself. He will humor me even when I being bitchy and obnoxious - it just does not bother him. Instead of aggravating me he will say or do something that makes me forget what I was ranting about. I think we bring out the best in each other. He loves how he can make me feel - it is very satisfying to him as a man." 
"So, you don't want to be back with him ?"
"He has to choose to stay with me and I can't make him do that. I can choose to leave and logically I have - years ago" 
"Emotionally is harder ?" 
"Sometimes it feels impossible actually and I wish he would let go off me emotionally. Once the connection snaps - we'll both be free. It does not help for him to do what he does - reach out to me again and again"
"I guess he wants to be with you too but just does not know how to do it"
"I've stopped thinking about his motivations a long time ago. I just know that I like him a lot more than I should reasonably and suffer for it. I used to think that this would fade away - that in time, I would have no reaction to him"
"And ?"
"It hasn't quite worked out that way - at least up to now. Maybe it will fade yet - just have to wait for it to happen and pray for tranquility until then."
"I know you are a strong girl, Shell and will be fine in the end but I can't help feeling sorry for both of you. This would be so perfect if it worked out"
"I told MJ once like a bad habit that is impossible to kick and he said "I don't think of you that way. I think we have something very special and feel good about it. You should try feeling more positive about us too"
"I wish I had some wisdom to offer or know of a way to resolve this.."
"That's okay, Vibs. Thanks to being a patient listener and friend."

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