The angst I felt as I watched him approach was indescribable. On the one hand, I prayed for resolution, yet on the other, I wondered if it was better to let go completely. I had fought my demons recently, but he seemed to be circumventing his. I could feel the tension rise from my toes to my shoulders. My heart pulsated quickly, and my head wasn’t sure whether to give in to emotion or err on the side of logic. I had cried my last tears months ago and decided that anger got me nowhere.
It seemed like lies were at the center of our universe anymore. I wanted to help him, but I didn’t know how. After all, how do you aid someone who can’t admit that they need help? I struggled to reconcile with how I truly felt when he finally returned. But, of course, the answers were never at the bottom of the bottle; deep down, I believe he knew it. But I guess sometimes the demon weighs too heavily, and finding your way out of an addictive hell isn’t easy.
As I waited for what would be our first introduction since that day, I couldn’t escape the feeling that nothing had changed. And then I wondered, is it possible that, in some way, we all have an addiction? Of course, I found it crazy to think this way, but I was so apprehensive about what would come next that I couldn’t stop it.
The knock on the door jolted me back to reality and out of the web of my thoughts.
I stopped and glanced in the mirror as I walked to the door. Did it matter what I looked like? Or was I trying to stall the inevitable action of opening the door and confronting what was on the other side? He was my metaphor and simile – the other half of me. It was only later that I would learn that it was me that needed to complete me.
Was that why I was apprehensive about opening the door? Did I not want to admit that through all the pain and despair, I found out who I was – who he was? I quickly shut down those thoughts as he knocked again. But I froze. I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I started to sweat, and my heart raced. My legs felt weak. Was this it? Was I going to pass out right here before I had a chance to reconcile the lost chapters? The pain shot across me, and I think I blacked out for a moment.
The knocking had stopped because the door was suddenly open. I hadn’t remembered opening it; oddly, no one was standing on the other side. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t fathom that my mind would play that much of a trick on me. Or had it? I turned to look around and caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. I looked different, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. My hair was still dark as night, and my eyes were still green. My face flushed. But something seemed off.
I felt my knees buckle, and suddenly I crashed to the floor. I tried to comprehend what had happened. How, in an instant, it all changed.
I managed to get up and quickly moved over to the bench by the front door. I sat there trying to recall the events of the last few minutes. It was like that day that he spiraled out of control. Or was it? Had I merged two worlds to try and make sense of one?
I couldn’t connect the dots, and that made me feel frustrated. I felt alone. How could I have imagined this happening? I rested my head against the wall and closed my eyes. I desperately wanted to understand what was going on here.
Suddenly, I remembered something Garnet shared about the value of taking a few deep breaths. My lungs screamed as I inhaled. Is that what it felt like, I wondered? After my fourth exhale, I decided that Garnet was full of shit. Deep breathing wasn’t helping, and I felt like the room was spinning again.
Wanting to confront what’s on the other side and needing to do it were two different things. The latter had indeed brought me here. And now it was time to figure out why the door was open, and the knocking had stopped.
I willed my eyes to open and squinted at the brightness of the day from the living room windows. I glanced at the door, now closed. And that’s when I heard the knocking again. Only this time, I wasn’t afraid to answer it. I edged closer to the door and gently turned the handle to see what was on the other side.