If I fell and rolled down a hill, and landed in a hole…I would want to look up and see Brandon there. I would want to look up to the sky just in time to see him get down on his hands and knees, and extend his arm toward me. If the hole were too deep for me to reach him, I would hope that he would lay down on his stomach, press his weight into the mud, and stretch out his arm as far as it would go away from his body. I would watch his fingers shake as they elongated themselves, and look at his palm as it curved upward. I would see one hand gripping the side of the ledge, and I would know that he cared.
Only a couple of people know this, but I ended my relationship two weeks ago. My first reaction was not to do anything at all. Perhaps it was out of exhaustion from screaming that I just sat on the end of my bed and looked at a wall that I have been meaning to decorate with something for the past four years, but never did. Perhaps I could have decorated it if I had had the $6,000 I needed to invest in a Roy Nachum painting. But I don’t have a Roy Nachum painting, and I wondered if Brandon had ever considered that.
Certainly he knew there was a huge white space on that wall, and on most of the walls in the apartment I live in. But did he know that I don’t own a $6,000 Roy Nachum painting because there were many things before now that I needed much more than I needed that beautiful art? I needed to support myself, and I needed to do things for Brandon along the way. What would it look like if I had saved my money for a painting, for something that only benefited me, when he was suffering? You would call a person like that selfish. As would I. And I did. I yelled words like Selfish and Immature until the very end.
I want to make it clear that our fight had nothing to do with this painting, and simultaneously point out that we are back together. I used the example of the painting because it’s something that I want, something that I dream about, and something that I will never purchase for myself until I can honestly say that I have everything else I need. And not just that I have. But that we have. I stopped thinking like a single person so long ago. I think like a ‘we’, and I make decisions like a ‘we’. And I want the same courtesy.
What I want, and what I am now getting, is what I described in the beginning. I’m in a hole today. I was in a hole two weeks ago. It’s not easy being in a hole, or admitting that you’re in one. And when I’m down here, which is rare since I usually just climb right out, I need a partner who will stretch to save me. Sacrifice to save me. Not just look down on me and yell out, “What can I do to help?”
A relationship should be a balancing act, a duo of circus performers who can bend and twist and curve their way around any obstacles that come at them. I sat on the bed and thought about calling Aymee or Jennifer, but in the end I decided to wash my hair and prepare for the week. It was an absolutely horrible first few days. I felt calm, but I could feel the Holy Spirit tapping on my shoulder. It’s hard to ignore the Holy Spirit. When I finally turned around to face Him, I opened my mouth to speak but choked on my own tears. God is so patient with me. So loving. So how can I reserve the right to be anything but that to the man who I have committed myself to? I thought running four miles on New Years Eve was hard. But hard is technically defined as working through relationship issues. Nothing requires as much endurance as that does.
I invited Brandon over to watch a movie after we talked on the phone. He sounded really enthusiastic about it. So enthusiastic that he let me order pizza even though he eats cheese on rare occasions. Hard to believe I’m dating someone who doesn’t like cheese, but it’s too late to go back now. I’m in love, and I knew I didn’t want to be with anyone else when he sat down next to me on the couch. We watched a comedy that caused me to laugh so hard I immediately wanted to go to bed when it ended. It was the perfect kind of tired, but I also planned to reconcile with Brandon before the night was over. I really wanted to tell him that I realize that when we get married I can’t break up in anger. I’ll have to stay right where I am and work through it.
I went into my room to rest my eyes, but slept through the night. The room was extremely bright when I woke up. I turned my head and Brandon was laying there on the far edge of the bed, sort of half on top of the blankets. He opened his eyes as soon as he heard me move. I slowly moved my hands up to my face to wipe whatever mascara was hanging out under my eyes from the night before. Turning his head to fully face me he said, “Be my girlfriend”. He said it again, and reached out for my hand. And pulled me in close to him. And I slept there for another hour or so.
When I’m in a hole, reach out for me. Pull me up, tell me I’m Jasmine Amii Harrison, and shake my shoulders if you have to. Tell me that tomorrow is a new day, and that things will get better. Make me read the Bible, and then buy me a burrito. That’s all I need. That don’t cost much. And I’ll probably refuse to let you buy the burrito, but do it anyway.
I started not to write about this at all, but I know that there is someone out there who needs a reminder that nothing comes easy. No funny lines. No moral. Just hard work. And love.