A lot can happen in four months. Lives can change; people can heal; people can grow; a heart that was shattered beyond repair can somehow be puzzled back together if you have the fortitude and desire to reset piece after piece with infinite care. But is it ever really whole? Or will you always worry that even a small gusting draft will be just enough to scatter it to the wind? Is this how heart transplant patients feel; they’re so grateful for the second chance at life that they’re too scared to grab ahold of it and live it to the fullest for fear of losing it? Is that how love is? Yes, I think that’s what love is like, at least when you’ve been broken, at least when you’re Bette Porter.
I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to have Tina…my life…my someday wife…sigh… The journey has been long, hard, and even treacherous, but we’ve come so very far. Seven years of highs and lows, we’ve braved the trials together; we lost a child together; we survived infidelity together; we hurt and comforted each other together; we lost ourselves and rediscovered ourselves together. We’ve truly seen it all, but we’re here…together. So why is here only the beginning? Why does everything feel tenuous at best? Will it always be like walking on eggshells, timid and fragile?
I’m tired, weary even. I spent too long without her to try and be patient now, but it’s what she needs; and if I’m honest, I’ll admit it’s what our relationship needs if we have any hope that it will endure. But slow implies progress in small measures. We’re at a dead stop. Don’t misunderstand, we’re committed, and we plan to rebuild a stronger foundation from the wreckage we painstakingly cleared, but as they say, ‘man plans and God laughs.’
I’m just so scared that if we continue to put things off, the waiting foundation will become swallowed up by untended landscape, the blueprints of our life withered and illegible from the destructive nature of time and doubt. I’m ready to take ahold of this life and live it with abandon; I’m ready to take ahold of Tina and love her with abandon, but she’s just not there yet. Actually, no, I know she’s there. She’s just so scared to take that last step over a cliff there’s no coming back from.
She knows I would never step outside of our relationship again, she’s said as much, but she still doesn’t fully trust me, or maybe she doesn’t fully trust herself. She’s grieved and forgiven, but it’s all still too much. Past is prelude. If that’s true then I defy it. I’ll defy anything that stands in the way of complete healing, even the very stars in the sky, and I will win or die trying. I’m Bette Porter, go big or go home.
She’s kept her apartment, saying that she needs her space. Space from what? From me? Can’t she see that space is what started all our problems before? No, what we need now is to cling to each other, embrace openness and share infinitely. I don’t want her to lose her identity to me. I want her to retain her autonomy and freedom. She’s strong and sure and capable, some of the very reasons I love her so completely. I only wish to become part of her, and she the best part of me.
So, I will tend the unused foundation alone, cutting away any and all things that might threaten its stability. I will continue to pour my heart and soul into the schematic of our life with the masterful hand of an architect truly devoted to her. And I plan to do this without her knowledge, which will be exceedingly difficult; but it’s a labor of love so pure in intent, that it will wash away any and all fears, insecurities or doubts, until there’s nothing left but the realization, one shining moment, when you know you can trust the steady, strong thump of your newly healed heart, reassuring you that it can handle anything.