There is this couple that I envy.
It might sound horrible to envy someone, but believe me if you saw them, you would probably envy them too.
I first saw them the first time I walked into the clinic where I receive Chemotherapy. They sat next to each other in one of the many couches in the waiting room. They sat so close together they looked like Siamese twins. Their hands intertwined intricately like a massive puzzle hard to figure out. They watched me closely as I made my way towards them and sat on the couch near them. I gave them a faint smile unsure if a smile was allowed in a place where everyone’s circumstances seemed dull and blue.
I watched them until one was called into a room where people came out with band-aids on their arms or with little cups that they took to the bathroom. I wanted to ask them that first day what was wrong with them, though the assumption was there and it was no secret. I wanted to ask away and fill my head with their story but was too scared to ask anything.
I watched them discreetly as the one guy came out with his jacket off and holding his arm as the other one followed behind and they made their way out the door. I envied them then, as the guy who had patiently been waiting on the couch put his arm around the other and pulled him close to his body and they became a whole. How wonderful it must be to have that kind of support. No, not the kind that comes with family or friends, but the kind of support that is drenched in a kind of honey that is too sweet for the heart and yet so healthy for the soul.
I’ve never been to my Chemotherapy sessions alone. In fact since my diagnosis I haven’t for one second been alone. I have the kind of support most people wish they could find in a world so scares of such a feeling. I’ve always had a family member or a friend next to me as the sharp IV is introduced into my vein. I am one of the lucky few that gets to brag about the fact that someone is always there to hold my hand when things seem difficult. Yet the feeling of wanting someone besides a relative near me, comforting that part of my soul that seems broken, arises every time I think of that couple. I guess it comes to the surface each time I imagine myself being them and having EJ be that patient boyfriend waiting for me on one of those couches as I come back to him punctured and tired.
I saw them again on my next visit as they checked in and made their way into the waiting room where I greeted them with a distinct smile this time. They sat down on their usual spot and held each other until it was time for the IV to do what it does best. Again the urge to ask took over me and I found myself opening my mouth almost sure that I could speak the words but unable to make a sound. There he was in my head, EJ, sitting next to me one arm wrapped around me like an envious snake warmly keeping me captive from the cruel cold world. His sweet voice assuring me that everything will soon be alright and that he would be sitting there when I came out ready to offer a tight grip around my heart. But it wasn’t EJ. Instead it was the other guy waiting for his boyfriend. Reality check.
The more I imagined EJ the angrier I became. Why did he have to leave? Why did he have to leave at the precise moment that I needed him the most? Why was I not that couple, that guy, who had not only a second chance at life but the chance to love someone who genuinely loved him back with no restrictions? I read my thoughts and I can’t help but sound ungrateful. I hate myself for wanting more and not being able to shake such jealousy off when in fact I should savor the fact that I have so many people to turn to.
But can you blame me? Can you truly blame me for wanting who I thought was the love of my life right there next to me through the good and the bad?
I keep telling myself that the important thing is survival. Fuck everything else. Fuck having an EJ or Max or a Peter in the waiting room. What matters is that I am here trying to repair the damage done. Maybe my heart will take longer to heal. Longer to repair and be coated in honey, but what matters is that I put my heart into everything I do, everything else will fall into place soon after that.