Here’s a question: if you are the one who was wronged, is offering the olive branch a fatal sign of weakness or a symbol of your all enduring good as a person? Lets face it, in one way or another, in a variety of circumstances, we have all been hurt. Our pasts, our experience in matters of the heart decide on our course of action; whether its smile and carry on or lose your shit and take a flamethrower to their belongings. Personally, I’m a stone cold Ice Queen. If you wrong me, we are done. I won’t tell you, but I will stop calling, texting, speaking to you, referencing you in conversation among mutual friends. I make it so the source of my pain no longer exists. In private the hurt radiates through every cell, forcing that unconscious shudder when you watch that TV show they introduced you to or when you hear a song that reminds you of them. So for months and months you force them out of your mind, hoping that your actions hurt them, hoping they notice your absence, knowing that they don’t. Avoiding eye contact with them when you meet in the street, acting like you don’t hear their name mentioned among friends, until finally it doesn’t feel like an effort any more. The hole they blasted in your chest filled with distractions. Your stomach no longer unsettled by the sight of their car parked in the street. You are healed.
I thought I was. I spent fourteen months ignoring, icing out, distracting and finally, when it had worked, when I was numb and painless I spent five hours with him and his family and everything thawed out again. Months of work melted away in hours as I settled back into his company with ease. Everything I had forgotten, everything I had learnt, everything I had promised myself evaporated for a few hours in his presence and its looking like a temperate summer on the horizon. The day before, for the first time in over a year I had no choice but to walk by him on my way to the station. I felt good, I was dressed to go bar hopping and two months back at the gym was showing in the smile on my face. My palms weren’t sweaty, my heart wasn’t pounding and I didn’t feel like puking. Quick “Hi, how are you, what’s new”, and I made my excuses and breezed away to catch my train, and didn’t think much more of it. The following afternoon I was invited over, as I often am by my glorious neighbors who make me feel like one of the family, and there he was. Standing in the kitchen where we first met.
I wanted it to be tense. I wanted there to be an atmosphere and for one of us to leave. I wanted to hate every second of being in the same house as him. I didn’t. My heart didn’t lurch with each second of eye contact, my thighs didn’t froth when we hugged goodbye, but being settled somewhere between ice and fire was comfortable. Normal. Nice. Shit. My friends are wincing as they read this. I can virtually feel their hands on my head shaking it and shouting “NO BABE NO”. Relax. I have learnt my lesson, nothing that hurt that bad for that long can ever bring me any real joy. But here I sit in the olive tree, keeping the branches to myself, but leaving space for one more.