I'm The Man Who Loves You
By Alex Thiesen
It's amazing how we subconsciously manipulate our memories into molds of how things should have been. How things could have been.
A juvenile bukkake joke with an old friend turned to serious conversation about his former love, a woman he tried to save from herself. He wondered, momentarily, if perhaps she'd changed, that maybe she found the stability and security he thought she wanted. She was, after all, a victim of abuse, of rape.
Those horrific events planted wicked seeds that grew and grew and choked her heart until nothing was left but some shriveled and withered thing that he so desperately tried to revive.
I don't know that this can ever be undone. The pain and the damage is simply too great. In more ways than I have time to explain, she would visit upon him her closest imitation of her own sad past. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, he relented and he left.
"She is what she is," I offered. He'd seen her recently and thought she looked happy. "She hasn't changed, trust me. She's just like Helena." That would be my old flame. The woman who at one point in my life, I believed was destined to be mine, forever, to love, to nurture. We were going to grow old together. It should have worked out.
"She is what she is, but at least we're friends," I said, "because there aren't any romantic expectations whatsoever." And we are friends.
"Do you expect anything from her at all?" he asked.
"Sure. I expect her to be someone I can run to."
"Run to for what?"
"Run to as a friend."
"Especially since she wanted you to fuck her in the ass since she thought her pussy was too stretched out?"
Those words rang out like I'd never heard them before. But I knew I had, long ago, from Helena. Years after we'd already gone our separate ways.
"That was one of the saddest things I've ever heard," my friend added.
I just smiled quietly, staring into the distance, at nothing in particular.