Sammy and the Whispering

Did Sammy ever tell you about the time he called begging me not to marry you? It was out of concern for me, our engagement, the call was a warning. 

“Yes, he’s my best friend.  Yes, you both appear awesome together – please don’t marry him. You are not like him in the ways you think you are. He’s not marriage material, end things, try to stay friends.”

I really did love you, just to be clear.  You were a wonderful human being, creative, funny, kind, a friend to so many.  Why would I doubt your love came in any form but sincere? Still, there was a whispering ever-present in my head, and then he called, pulling my head from the sand.

Sammy dropped the hammer on my dreams, but I needed his unsolicited sobering. The kind of message that can be delivered only out of friendship, nevermind the brutality. What sucked was knowing he wasn’t wrong. Listening to him explain his worries confirmed the suspicions I’d had all along.

I loved being with you, the time that we’d spend.  Driving to Orlando, hanging out with our group of friends. But you, my wayward artist, and misguided man were going to drain the life out of me honing your potential,  in a process that would never end.

You were going to turn me into that nagging bitch of a wife, and Sammy knew it from experience, he’d watched happen before. “He is going to ruin you.  You’re not a bitter, angry person, don’t let him change you into something that you aren’t.

He thanked me for the letters I wrote since he moved away, talked about his wedding that was coming, and ended our call with an apology. “I know that wasn’t easy to hear.  If I hadn’t called you, hadn’t said anything, I couldn’t live with myself, I’m truly sorry my dear.”

All those things that he told me, things that I didn’t want to admit to myself, I needed that phone call, that lifeline, but I wanted to hear you say them myself.

Your honesty was a curious thing, I found it liberating, heartbreaking, and infuriating. Our relationship had been a fool’s errand, one that I ended after asking all of the questions. “Why wouldn’t you just tell me?  Why did it take me feeling like something was wrong and asking a million questions, like some inquisition to find out being together isn’t where we belong?”

“Because I love you.  Because I need you.  Because you are the one that is strong. I don’t have what it takes to match you, it’s scary that you’re everything, what I’m lacking, I should have told you, it shouldn’t have taken this long.” You started babbling about making amends, working on us, what breaking up would do to the life we had planned. It was white noise, and there was no appetite to accept your ardent pleas.

“You really would have used me like that?  Put everything on me without attempting to give anything back?  That isn’t loving, that’s selfish and indolent, hearing your answers cause me pain.  You would have hated me for it, and I would have hated you.” At that moment, that intractable moment, our future vanished, even from the realm of friends.  The past two years vanished, my heart sank, then hardened, nothing you could say would soften or charge it to care.

“This doesn’t have to be where it ends. Couples bounce back from things like these, it’s not like I was cheating. I want you to marry me.  You’re the best thing that’s been in my life, and I can’t let anyone else have what you’re capable of offering.”

When you said those words, I could only think: “Thank god for Sammy calling me.  Thank god I had the good sense to listen to him and my inner whispering.”  I hung up the phone with a simple goodbye, paired with a long, exasperated soul recovering sigh, “Yeah? I know with one hundred percent certainty that is never happening.”