This time, you’re sober. But it’s three in the morning and from where you sit on the dusty linoleum floor, the room smells of dorm-party aftermath. Malibu Rum, cranberry juice, and spilt beer.
Between his shaking body bent over a metal wastebasket, and your own, twisted up and nervous, you look down at a prolonging pain. It is what has become of your hand, a knot of red skin and white knuckles that grip him furiously. It feels as though you share a single lumpy heart between your overlapping palms. The bloody muscle drums itself steadily between your fingers. You share a single hand, and a single focus. He needs you.
His big glassy eyes are begging for you to heal his pain. Make the spinning stop. But all you can do is think away his intoxication. You reassure him that you’re here for him, and that everything will be okay soon. “Shhh, I know. Just let it out. It’s okay. Breathe,” you whisper to him.
You think about how he calls you only when he needs you, because you’re always available. Like you were tonight, and the weekend before. And through each of his very lows, you have always been around. But he doesn’t respect your love or friendship. And you know this very well.
But you stay.
You ask yourself why you put up with being a second option to anyone, to him. Why you give up your time for him. Your sleep. Why you lend your shoulder for him to lean on. Your hand for him to hold. Your eyes for him to find comfort in. Why your emotions are under his control.
You beat yourself up about your self-worth because you know you’re an independent person. You are strong. You are intelligent. Yet, you let him define your relationship. Why?
It took me a while to answer this question. And maybe this is only part of the answer you’re searching for. But my newfound understanding of why I give myself over-abundantly may be the core of your reason too:
There is only so much time in this world that we can experience the full power of love in our youth— even if that love isn’t completely reciprocated.
The feeling that so amazingly and bewilderingly takes over you in lust, and in love, or infatuation, although a frustrating and often empty cause, can provide an emotional awareness and adrenaline pumping journey that nothing else provided by life can replicate.
And that’s why you do it. That’s why you stick around to be his somebody. His ‘nobody’.
Because in the end, it’s worthwhile to love.
It opens your heart and fills it with goodness. To take care of someone in need, to act out of kindness, and for pure unselfish reason for another human, I find, tends to nurse the cuts and injuries that we have resting in our own hearts.
To love for the sake of loving, and not for the sake of being loved, is to heal your own heart, and make way for a life full of love in everuthing that you do.