I see you.
I've been watching you. The woman at the fun group gathering with her man. You sit by his side under the night sky gears grinding in wonder. Smiling and laughing along with the crowd. Planning. Yeah, I've been watching you since your energy bumped into mine.
I see everyone kicked back with drinks in hand, discussing music, politics, and family like friends and acquaintances often do on a weekend night. Only your attention and laughter is off kilter with the rest of the group. Your smile is crooked as well. The struggle to keep both corners upright is often draining with so many around, isn't it?
Oh, I see you even if no one else does. Maybe they do and just choose to ignore you. But they all love you.
I see your eyes. Those big lost glass passages to your soul lost in your man by your side. Your foot swaying ever so slightly up and down hanging off your crossed thigh. Your other half sitting at ease sipping away at his day off in the cool breeze of a warm summer night.
Yup. I see.
I see him too. Relaxed, feeling safe in a zone among his friends and peers. The reflection of a lifetime of hard work is written all over his face and hands. I saw his wall come down when everyone burst into laughter after he said something funny. He feels great and everyone loves it. They love him, too. Vulnerability.
I see you. Eyes fixed on him with a gaze so locked you could imprison someone for life in it. It looks so loving with your slight smile. "She really loves him," it says. "He's so lucky to have her it seems." It does seem.
Yeah. I see it. Less than two minutes later I saw you lean in ever so slightly entering his space because you're the only shining star within his galaxy. How sweet.
I watched. I watched you whisper in his entertained and occupied ear. I didn't quite catch it the first time and neither did he.
I looked away, as did he, but only with my eyes. Guilty.
I heard you. I heard you the second time leaning in closer as you pretend to adjust your shoe, "Are you okay?" you whisper to him.
"Yes, Babe. I'm good." He answers as he goes back into conversation placing his arm on the back of your chair letting you know he knows you're there. Reassurance.
You sit for a minute as you flow back into your off balanced laughter as if you were paying attention the whole time. Moments pass.
I hear you again. "Are you mad at me??" and I notice his face. Head and eyes stuck in position as his eyes dart to you for a split second and back into conversation. I notice he doesn't answer. A slight confusion washes beneath his gleeful expressions.
Everyone hears you as you jump abruptly into the group conversation "I'M gonna go get another drink. Anyone want anything?" The offering of alcohol excuses your rudeness as you kindly gather cups and glasses. Profusely.
I hear him sigh softly.
I saw you. I watched you as you poured that extra drink. The one for him with the extra rum that he never even asked for as he sips patiently halfway through the one he's been babysitting a while.
"Here. Just in case you finish that one up." You say with a smile for all to bare witness as you hand it to him with extra gentle care, coaster, gentle shoulder rub and all. Yeah girl, you got it goin' on as you take your seat with a hair flip. Such a good woman. Such a lucky fella.
Half his drink later another whisper hidden within the clatter of laughing "I can go home if you like," you say to him just as the group clown across the circle is doing his best awfully loud random celebrity impressions. Slithering.
His silence is as deafening as your smile is lackluster. You wait. Placing your hand on his leg piercing his bubble he is now obligated to place his hand on yours for sure because appearances and image are extremely important to you and he knows it. Sitting in place now only speaking when spoken to like an obedient lab.
You don't know but I see you. I see his chest now slowly rising higher as he's trying to remain within calm laughter and good vibes. You've now slathered him in your fakeness forcing him to play your game of "I'll keep pushing your buttons while you be a good man and take it." The game only you and he know.
"Are you mad at me???" You whisper again during another precise opportunity burying your prods under the jollies of the gathering. Well placed. Undetected.
"No." He answers back.
No one else hears you as you ask him "Why don't you love me?" with absolutely no reasoning for such a question especially during such a time and place. His louder sigh and lowered head means he's in even bigger trouble now. Points drop on his losing end of your game. As planned. How dare he show annoyance with asinine questions as he relaxes on his day off so sacred, so rare. Scared. Not knowing what to do in a panic he kisses your forehead and loud enough but not overbearing he says "I love you" and gently squeezes your hand tighter. Hoping for security and peace. Internally pleading.
I see him. Trying his best to hold his composure. Trying his best to mentally send you off into another room where for sure you'll watch his every move down to the details of the wrinkling of his clothing but at least he'll be out of your cold childish insecure grasp even if just for five minutes so he can count his blessings in life and simply breath. Locked in battle he keeps his butt still. You remain. Still.
I see you. You take that well-placed hand and grab your drink with it. You sip and for a second we lock eyes and mine dart away. I sit. I sip. Detected.
I know you. I know you don't care. We both know that no one would say a word. Not until of course he loses his cool. "The drunken fool."
I see it happening. He's brewing inside. He's been here before. He knows the game. He knows your ways. He knows it better than this witness of his spiral into gloom and regrets. One more whisper just for good measure "I shoulda stayed home in bed." Eyebrows now lurching over his lids he sinks into his chair as you scoot slowly away. Accomplished.
I know. I know what you're doing. You're inner witch* is coaching your next move. Do you continue and go for the touch down here and now maneuvering your way through teammates or do you wait until you have him tired, slightly intoxicated as he's fearful alone at home?
Eye wonder. I observe through the corner of my eyes now faking my laughter and smiles. You're contagious.
I know you. I know you're gonna play your cards wisely. Set him up for a foul now. But... how?
I see you. I see you whisper into this boiling pot of your very own concoction, "Next time I'll just stay home so you can have fun without me." Serpentine.
I saw the steam rise and a little bit of spill over "Well then stay home next time!" He sternly says finally. A few eyes now glancing as you enter the scene with your Oscar Award winning expression of "Oh my! I don't know what's wrong with him. He's probably drunk and he's going to abuse me later. I don't know what just happened! Help me. I'm just a girl."
I feel. I feel his instant guilt as he knows he just fumbled the ball. The victim play was a success. TOUCH DOWN!
Positions change a few times. No more plays are made for a while. But this certainly is not the end of the game.
Constantly interrupting him. "Accidentally" nudging him. Throwing false eyeballs filled with artificial sadness.
I know you. I know you're gonna finish him off at home. New game.
No holds barred.
I can only imagine. I see you gripping him around his throat with every word he speaks in defense turned back on him bound tight. Push him to the ropes. Make him choke. He tries his best to stay silent. Play dead. Dead asleep so maybe you'll let go.
No. Knowing that's not possible all hope is lost as he's startled by a loud not so distant cry...
"WHY!!??? Why are you like this!??? Why are you doing this to ME!!???" You'll scream in false pain of his "silent abuse" as you simply abuse his silence. No solitude.
Self-inflicted wounds bleed from your sick mind into his tired heart. Faith is dead, hope is lost. All that remains is fear and instinct.
I know as well as you know. He'll try to forfeit by leaving. Yeah, we both know he may as well forget it. You're already in position to tackle with tears, slaps, and hysterical madness as you thrust your body and let it ooze into the front door pouring yourself onto the floor. God absent. Dog barking. Child waking. Perfect set up. Perfect timing. The perfect victim.