“?”

Question — what’s really in a question mark? Where does it derive from?, and who decided that it could be personalized any-way ? Those were all the questions that had been plaguing my mind, once I had been deemed one. I was driving home one night from work, blaring music from my sound system on a streaming application that I purchased for “him” — late birthday gift. It wasn’t at all what I was capable of in terms of grande gestures, but I had not gone out of my way like that for someone else in a very long time. Coming from the place that I was in previously, such a small gesture was beyond me. Where did the delay come from? Was it my traditionalist views? My feminist views? My personal views with people often contradicted each other. At the end of my decision making process, it all came boiling down to one thing — how I felt. I was ruled by my emotions, often placing sentiment on dead relationships that no longer required my attention. In the past, I had fallen victim to “sentiment” many times before. I had somehow convinced myself that if I held on to one of the things that brought us in each other’s midst, we would find each other again. For the past couple of months I was in a self-imposed, emotional thrill ride — call it personal preference. With romance, I often found that the journey was never worth taking, if there wasn’t a little good ole’ fashioned complication. I had gotten to this point because months prior, I completely rejected the idea of “something new”. I suffered internally with bouts of confusion as to whether or not I was capable of trusting another person as intensely as I had done before. The truth of the matter was, as I began to come in to my own, I started to really get to know my heart. I began to build an understanding of how much was too much, what kind of love I wanted for myself, and my love language. While I battled with the idea of taking the plunge into blind faith and giving this man a chance, I also dabbled with other un-impressive facts that he presented to me without even realizing. The chances of me pursuing something new, leveled up with the chances of me taking the time to heal, and that was when I realized that I knew “our” journey with each other would not be easy. I quickly decided that if I was worth it, he would stick around. Perhaps he was justified in his assertion of me? I did go nearly a year without speaking to him. I did give him absolutely no warning as to whether there was an issue. Maybe I was in fact a “?” as he so blatantly declared me. After months of complication, I decided that there was indeed a difference between attachment and sentiment. I couldn’t explain to him truly what internal struggle I was facing. As I continued on to my long journey home, my musical streaming session was interrupted by a phone call. It was “him”. As quickly as I struggled with my anger and confusion, was as quickly as I made the decision to pick up the call. “Hello…” he said. I immediately became overwhelmed with darkness, leaving him to search for my voice through the uncomfortable silence. “Hello…” he said again, this time with a cracked voice. “Hi…” I reluctantly responded. Within that brief period, I wondered if I should abandon the call, the way I had felt abandoned for months in his retaliation towards me. I couldn’t help the way he found me — lost from years of pain. Pain was all that I knew, and even in my healing, it was all that I could offer. I listened to him struggle to formulate a sentence for about three minutes before I decided to contribute. We began to update each other about life. He let me know about the status of an upcoming job opportunity that he was presented with and vice versa. Even with our now complex relationship, he still ached for my approval. What I thought actually mattered to him. We dived back into our casual light hearted banter. For that short moment, we were back to our old selves -rekindling on old moments and wishing the best for each other. The air was still polluted with resentment on both ends, but the necessary closure that came of it put us both at peace with one another. The mounting tension was really a result of mutual frustration. The clarity that we both wanted to provide each other was inevitable, but unable to truly happen the way that we wanted. I’ll still never understand my role as a “?” In his life, but I’m glad that for every “?”, I can always be the answer.

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