She’ll never speak on her behalf, but it’s about time that I do – because the other day, I finally asked her how she was with one of her good friends, and all I got was a shrug.  Nonchalance. Indifference.  That’s when I knew that something was wrong.  She didn’t elaborate, so I felt the need to do some searching on my own on her precious tumblr, to find nothing out of sorts until I clicked on her friend.  What I saw made me see red across my vision.

I have never known Jamie without her pride – what makes me angry is that I’m tired of people talking about her as if all she understood was the surface; that people can talk about her and say what she deserves when they don’t even know the half of it; that the word “selfish” has been thrown around casually this past year as if that actually described her.

I may not like Wren as much as I used to, for fear of hurting Jamie on that visceral level again, but I never failed to notice the way that Wren saw more than Jamie’s arrogant nature; she saw to the heart of Jamie.  The way that Jamie spent her payroll to buy Wren random fast food that really, in all honesty, means nothing but it’s still an act that doesn’t go unappreciated by a friend that makes it so superficially clear it didn’t matter (I know, I’m even confusing myself).

I went on her Amazon account to find a canceled order of an HP laptop for seven hundred dollars and I sat there for half an hour trying to understand why she would buy herself a new laptop when she already had her MacBook.  Until I went and looked at the name of person who was going to be receiving it – she even had the “this is a gift” option checked and then I really got mad.  While she was fast asleep after an uneventful day at Water Country, I looked through her phone to read conversations about being selfish and selfless and giving back and all this other bullshit.  I never comprehended how dense and little other people see about her, but now I do – because even though she’s been called selfish and her friend continues to remind her how much she has, I have never ever in my lifetime met anyone “selfless” enough to buy a laptop for her best friend.  And yet my selfish girlfriend had.  Just to cancel it in the nick of time because someone she trusted walked into her life, and only saw what she showed – what was on the surface.

I’ve been around the two of them – there’s really not much of a difference as when she’s with Wren.  Except, she is always so fucking cheery around Dawn, always willing to listen to boy problems and drama and always giving advice or insight into things that she sees that her friend doesn’t.  And then she doesn’t share her own personal dramas with Dawn.  I see the way it drains her after her friend leaves, especially since my female has such a melancholy personality.  She expends vast amounts of energy to be happy for someone who doesn’t even realize it.

I had asked her once, why she doesn’t tell her about our problems.  She just plucked my nose and said, “some people just want to talk about their own boyfriends – it makes them happy.”  So then I asked her who she talked to about me, when she listened to what Wren said about Cody too.  She said, “I don’t need to talk to anyone about you.” Then she did that thing where she shrugged her shoulders in nonchalance once again and I heard the note of pain she had let slip in her statement.  I gathered her in my arms, wishing I could wound them around her heart any more than she would let me, and whispered, “you have me. I’ll listen.”

I reminded her this while I kissed her forehead, frantic to let her know that she might have been born in this world alone, but that didn’t mean she had to walk the lands the same way.  Hell, she doesn’t have to even walk – I would carry her on my back if that were what she wanted.

She’s got the world at her fingertips – certainly much more than those who are in poverty; but I have never known her to take anything for granted; she’s got the world at her fingertips but I’ve never seen her ask anyone to give her the world; I’ve never known her not to say please and thank you at the right times; she pays for our dinners without complaining. The words that come out of her mouth are completely different from the things that she’s actually done.  She’s much more giving than people are willing to see because it’s so easy for us to believe what comes out of someone’s mouth when it’s what we have already assumed.

It’s upsetting because she hasn’t asked anything of anyone except to maybe understand her; instead, she’s punished with hatred because she understood them far too well.

I never knew how much I had taken sex for granted until Jamie started working 11 hour shifts.

Selfish

She’s suicidal.  I think it’s the most selfish thing a person could ever be. I would never want her to take her life, because that would mean she were taking herself away from me.  I don’t think she knows how much I need her to survive.  But then I think about things like this and I realize that I’m selfish for wanting things that would make her unhappy.

She’s told me time and time again that in order for our love to work, we’ve got to love ourselves first because that’s the only way that we’ll know how to love each other.  And I guess in this respect, it has proven true again.  But I think that she doesn’t love herself very much – because why else would she want to escape?  I know that she’s not trying to escape the outside by committing suicide; I know that she’s trying to escape her own self and that can only be true if she doesn’t love herself.

I think in the beginning, we had loved ourselves very much: we had known what we had wanted and we had made it happen. But then as time rolled on and it was clear that it wasn’t just me and her, but us, it came to the point where our wants and needs changed to blend together to create something more.  I can’t tell where she ends and I begin. 

Extensions of each other, are what she calls us.

But one day I woke up and I realized that even though she doesn’t love herself, she’s still able to love me. And I told myself that if she couldn’t love herself enough to want to live for me, I would love her enough for the both of us; and if she wanted to fight us for her oblivion, I would fight her to have our fairy-tale ending.

Because love is not beautiful – it’s an onward battle between two people who are just trying to, in the end, become one.  It’s chaotic and messed up and it’s full of double standards.  I guess the reasons why so many people don’t work out is not because they haven’t found “the one.” It’s because they’re not willing to turn their world upside and down and say fuck you to all the philosophical theories they have adapted and been content with in their lifetime just so that they can enter into a completely new world where there is no such thing as a way of living, but a way of accepting. Love is a double standard. It’s chaotic and messy and so horrendously ugly that I am able to cherish all of the moments when it’s normal.  Which is beauty enough, for me.

Love is selfish but selfless. And because of this, I’m willing to give her everything she wants to be happy, except the one thing that will guarantee that I’m not happy.

Speaking, for the first time.

What I have been struggling to grasp for the past three years plus was how we are so different and yet so similar at the same time that when we are in harmony, we are a force not to be reckoned with.  Well, she’s not a force to be reckoned with; apparently, I’m her gentle giant and I seek peace.  She’s, of course, right, as always.

Sometimes when I allow myself to be cradled in her tiny arms, I realize how blessed I am by the way that our hearts sync up and how her heat pours into me like it were trying to tell me something more.  And what’s even more is when I think back to our beginnings and I acknowledge with a painful twist in my heart that she is not the girl that I had fallen in love with – but she has grown until the woman that I love.  She had explained to me once, her concept of love; I couldn’t help but nod in agreement because she has been the only one I have ever loved.  My only girlfriend, really, and she has also accumulated all this knowledge of heartbreaks so that it’s difficult for me to fault her credibility. 

When I had stupidly, ignorantly told her that wasn’t in love with her anymore, she had given me a small smile with tears in her eyes and said, “I know.”  I had experienced my first true heartbreak right in that moment when I realized my proud, aggressive girlfriend wouldn’t be fighting for us.

But she had surprised me by grasping my fallen head in her arms.  “I haven’t been in love with you for a while, either,” she said and I couldn’t help my sharp intake of breath.  She took my head, putting it on her chest and stared off into the blank ceiling.  I stared with her, imagining a time when her smiles had lit me up on the inside and when I had actively made everything about her – happier times when I had been so in love with her that it stole my breath some days.  “For me,” she started, “being in love has always been a process – a step to take until the destination. The final hurdle of a trip.” She sighed.  “The destination has always been loving someone.  Not being in love with someone.  I love you, Nick.  It means I don’t always think about you and I don’t make my day about you and I don’t strive to make you happy by sacrificing myself. I don’t think that we’ve gone backwards – I think that we’ve met our final destination and the only place to go is forward.”

I kissed her then.  I kissed her because she understood the inner turmoil I had been facing and she laid it out for me instead of making a decision for me; for giving me this tiny measure of independence when I had never asked for it before; for loving me and not being in love with me.

I love her, this astounding woman who has given me words when all I used to have were numbers.  And the funny thing is, although she has given me her ability with words, she’s the only way I’ll ever speak.

yesterday, i was riding my bike in my ROTC uniform and my girlfriend pulls up behind me in her car.  the next thing you know, she starts yelling things out of her car window about riding something and hitting on me and the next thing i know, i’m so embarrassed because all the SUVs next to us are just gawking at her, thinking we don’t know each other at all.

she notices, and doesn’t stop.

Sometimes I wonder why people always ask us if we’re brother and sister. We look nothing alike, and no one ever asked that in the beginning. But today I started to think about it while we took a trip to DC and watched a documentary on soil. It wasn’t a really a trip to DC. We just went there. And it didn’t feel like a special occasion, or a date, or anything. We just went there. It didn’t matter if she went or not. We would still be the same. And then I pictured us as living in soil as the documentary couldn’t stress enough. We are a part of the earth… the soil… We are rooted into the soil. We were two plants who had planted roots into the soil of our relationship. And over the past three years, the roots had become so intertwined and tangled and so deep that there was no trying to figure out where it began and where it would ever end. That’s why it would still be the same. Our lives were so intertwined that a little trip seemed so trivial in the entire scope of things. That’s why people think we’re brother and sister. Our roots are planted deep enough that people our age with roots this deep are only thought to be brother and sister, not boyfriend and girlfriend. Our soil is so healthy it almost seems too healthy to be an intimate relationship, it has become family.

That’s what our relationship is. Soil. Not dirt, but soil. Rich, fruitful, healthy. Nothing survives without the soil. And the metaphor can get even more intricate. The documentary also mentioned organic soil and how it is more productive and causes less erosion and is more beneficial to the environment. That’s how our relationship is. Things must be real, organic, truthful and not modified (or genetically modified). Once pesticides and weed killer and all that junk is added in, there are problems, the soil dies, the deep roots can quickly lose life due to the tainted soil. We have to avoid creating tainted soil.

But this is how we differ. Us as humans have to take care of the soil so that the plants can thrive. But we are the plants. And we as plants have to keep the soil (relationship) healthy. And the only way to due that is through love and care for the other plant. We have to be the bacteria and fungi that protect the plant from disease. We all find that other plant. We may find multiple plants and create a plant family. But I only have one other plant that I plan to keep healthy and keep the soil well for the rest of my life. And even when we have plant babies and create a relationship with them, my other plant will still have the strongest roots and strongest soil. I can’t see any other plant in my future ever being so deeply rooted as this one. This is my other plant. And my other plant is Jamie Tran. I love you plant.