It was finally time for The Boy to open up about his past. After struggling with the painful memories that had circled around his head for years, he found someone that, for reasons he did not yet understand, he could tell his whole story.
It began one night where he and Sawyer, one of his closet friends, were watching Twilight. (Yea, a bad movie but they were just interested in getting through it so they could see the sequel. Werewolves and all. Sadly, not as cool as they had hoped it would be.) The Boy had been wanting to talk to someone for the longest time. There were others he trusted and and who would have listened, but it was never right. But this night, things just seemed to fall into place. He was with someone he trusted. Someone who had promised to always be there. Someone who loved him.
So he opened up. And soon closed up. He quickly realized Sawyer was not handling what he was saying very well, so he decided it best to stop. While he was upset, he understood. The Boy simply accepted that it was not yet his time to share his story though he did hold onto the hope that that the day would come.
Days later, Sawyer brought up The Boy’s past and again it was discussed. And again, The Boy knew he had to stop. Hurting again at another lost opportunity, The Boy swallowed the pain and moved on. He again told himself that Sawyer was trying. And there was nothing more he could ask.
This cycle continued for months. Sawyer would push. The Boy would talk. Sawyer would show his discomfort. The Boy would go silent. It began to take its toll on The Boy. Sawyer would go from tell me, I want to help to I can’t handle this and yell at The Boy for opening up. One night, The Boy confronted him, wanting to know why Sawyer would push and prod just to turn The Boy away.
That was his response. The Boy was angry. And crushed. There he was, talking when pushed and backing off when needed. While he was suppose to being helped, The Boy was more concerned with the other person in the equation. And Sawyer was concerned only with himself.
The Boy was shocked. There had never been a day (up until the day they would cease being friends) the he had ever turned Sawyer away. He was there no matter what, where, when… Sawyer, since the day he and The Boy first met, had never stood alone. And being there for Sawyer was no easy feat. Be it dating, family, friend or work problems, The Boy always stood strong, no matter how much it would take out of him. And here he was, opening up at Sawyer’s behest and all Sawyer could think about was himself.
Oh, and Sawyer also argued with him and declared shit happens.
Ready for my thoughts on this?
You know my thoughts on that last part. As for everything else…
One of my rules I live by is this: Just be there. It does not matter what it is; when someone reaches out to you, get over yourself and do what a true friend does. Listen. Simple enough. Especially when the person in pain is talking because you encouraged them to. We all have things inside that need to come out; we are all just feeling around in the dark, searching for the right person to talk to. One person who, for reasons we may not understand, that is one person in a crowd that we feel is who we need.
Don’t wonder why are you telling me? when someone says help. Don’t see it as a burden. Take it for what it is: an honor. Being chosen to be someone’s light in the dark is one of the most important roles one could be asked to fill. It’s hard to open up and tell another person their deepest, darkest secrets. When you love someone, why not make it just a little bit easier.
I say this because I have done this. I have been told more heart-wrenching, stomach turning stories than I can keep track of. It’s hard, I know. But it’s harder for those like The Boy who need to get the words out but can barely admit that anything bad even happened. It had always been my belief that it is our responsibility to be there for our loved ones, even (or perhaps especially) when it is hell they are fighting to free themselves from. Why not be a friend?
And if you can’t be there, don’t fucking offer.
And yes, Sawyer and I had a rather lengthy conversation about just this topic. And he explained he could not listen to the horrible details. And when I asked why he would push The Boy to speak knowing he could not listen, he said he felt guilty. It was not that he couldn’t hear; he just didn’t want to. In all honesty, it wasn’t about Sawyer; Sawyer saw it as a waste of time. And because The Boy was such a good friend to him, guilt ate away at him whenever he didn’t listen.
Yea. When you’re that selfish to those you love, guilt does tend to creep in and fuck up your day.
In time, The Boy and Sawyer stopped talking altogether. What was once an iron-clad friendship was destroyed by one person’s insistence that the world revolve around himself. After going their separate ways, The Boy pulled it all back inside. Only recently has he decided he is ready to talk again.
When someone reaches for your hand, there is no easy road to travel from there. All any of us can do is take it and do whatever is in our power to help exercise the demons that haunt their dreams. A handhold, a warm embrace, a gentle I (still) love you or even just a willing ear can go farther than you could possibly imagine.
And for anyone searching for the person who can make it better, do not give up. There will come the day when someone walks into your life and is willing to take you by the hand and help you fight the pain.
And in case your wondering, The Boy did finally realize why it was Sawyer he felt that uncontrollable compulsion to open up so intimately to. Sawyer not only reminded him of that long ago neighbor… he looked like him, too. If only he had done what he had offered to do, Sawyer would have made such a difference in The Boy’s life.
Instead, he let him down. And it was not the first time, or the last. Even for someone as strong as The Boy, there came the day when he had to give up on Sawyer ever being the friend even Sawyer said he deserved.