“Rebekah, sometimes you say weird things.”
We’re on the bed, on the mend, trudging through the aftermath of argument.
The children yet are sleeping.
Still my heart is aching.
“I know”, I say. “I know I say weird things.”
Anyone who’s ever loved me knows this.
Anyone to ever love me loves me for the things I say, and loves me in spite of things I say. It goes without saying–what I say is who I am.
But on the bed I’m being stoned to death by my own words ricoceting off the wall. The wall. I can’t break through the wall.
“I need you to see the pain in my heart. I need you to catch the ball.”
I need to talk to you. I want to play. I want a partner.
That age-old question–Does the falling tree make a sound if there is no one in the woods to hear it? Can a child play with no one to play with?
Can a woman be loved when there is no one to hear her?
“Okay. That makes sense,” he says.
I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say.
The man replies. He hears.
I weep for joy.
But still, my arms are held against my chest.
He is there, touching me, kissing me.
I’m not ready.
“I am naked and exposed.”
“That’s a good thing,” he says.
“But it doesn’t feel good.”
I am a stone. I can’t make love. I can’t have sex. Not like this.
“It’s like I’m a prostitute in my own bed. I give sex for love–but it never works. I can’t have sex without connection. I am more than a body. There is no part of me. There is only all of me.”
I need you to love all of me. I need you to receive my love.
He stops the touching, stops the kissing.
“I will prove it to you”, he says. “We don’t have to do this. I can walk away right now.”
I close my eyes.
“You don’t have to prove anything to me. You won’t prove anything by leaving. You’ll show me by staying.”
Even though I say weird things. Even though I said I felt like a prostitute in my own marriage bed. Even though I hurt you. Even though I expressed my pain, my humiliation, my desperate loneliness.
He holds me close. He says nothing.
His heat–I feel his heat, his arms, his mercy, his comfort, his safety–I feel his strength.
I release my arms and weep for joy again.