Blue Eyes has a problem with anger. At first I thought it was just a difference of opinion: she goes left and I go right until we’re having whispered arguments in bars or curled up on opposite sides of the bed, steaming. But it keeps happening, these little storms, and no matter how calm or reasonable I am, the anger, the swell beneath the surface, just keeps on coming.
My friends can’t understand why I’m still with her.
“You haven’t been going out for that long sweetie, this is meant to be the good bit” they say. And I nod and agree that it shouldn’t be this hard, but I can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t who she really is; that there’s something deeper going on here.
I watch for the trigger; the tides; and eventually I realise her fury has nothing to do with me or what we’re talking about, it’s simply a vessel into which she can pour her frustration.
We’ll be having a conversation about politics or life or whatever, and all the while she’s hunting for a loose thread that she can paw at and tease out and yank until my whole point unravels in a bloody mess: tears and sniping and biting and snarling ensue until our lovely evening shatters like a pane of glass and I’m zipping up my boots whilst she looks on with sad eyes.
“Baby, I think you need to see a counsellor,” I say.
“We can’t carry on like this. We won’t last.”
And so she does. She talks to her counsellor and she talks to me and together we pluck the fears from her heart that have grown, unchecked, like weeds. I give her endless reassurances; I love you I love you I love you I tell her; you’re safe.
It’s not easy, of course it isn’t. We’ll have a good week and then suddenly there’ll be a downpour and I’m left soaked, shocked and shivering in its wake. But slowly, her guard comes down and she lets me in, inch by loving inch, until days go by, then weeks, then months with nothing but blue skies on the horizon.
“I’m so happy” she murmurs in my bed.
“Me too. You have no idea how much I love you.”
“No, I do. I really do, because I feel exactly the same way.”
In life, some people are worth getting your hands dirty for; and sometimes it’ll get better and sometimes it won’t. We can’t always help the people we love, because the hard work, grit and determination to change needs to come from them.
But once in a blue-eyed moon, change comes.