It Was Just A Fantasy Ch. 02byrpsuch©
"Not really," I said through the sniffles. "If I tell you, we'll never get back together."
"If you don't, we'll never get back together."
"I know. Some choice."
The gaps in the conversation were getting longer, almost as though if I put off saying it long enough, the need to say it would go away. "I meant to hurt you. I didn't realize it, but I meant to do it." This was difficult to explain. "You're so good, so perfect, that it made me angry. That's what I felt. But what it really was... it was that I didn't think I deserved you. If I did something really awful, that would prove I was right; that I didn't deserve you. It would also give you a chance to forgive me, so that would show that if you loved me that much, I must be worthy. But if you could be forgiving after what I did, that would make you even more special, and then I wouldn't be worthy."
"That's seriously fucked up."
"I'm so perfect I had to read painful stories so I could imagine myself causing the pain."
I had no idea how to respond to that.
"How do you think I got to this state of 'perfection'?"
"I made almost every mistake it was possible to make. When I was in college, I was a definitely not nice person. I cheated on girlfriends because all I thought about was me. One of them caught me. She walked into my room and found me screwing somebody else. I heard her gasp and start to cry. She left. And then later, she never said a word about it, like it never happened. I could see she was hurt, but that didn't stop me. She caught me again. Didn't say a word, even when I tried to talk about it. I realized that she was willing to put up with anything to hold on to me. And I knew that I couldn't be with someone who would let me act that way; who held me to no standard at all.
"I didn't make her that way. She probably went on to find other guys who would treat her that badly, or worse. But I realized that not only did I have the capacity to cause other people pain, I had no qualms about doing it. And it disgusted me. She may not have held me to any standard but, from then on, I did.
"That wasn't the end of my making mistakes. In fact, I'm still not done. I just try never to make the same one twice."
I hadn't noticed him making any mistakes. But then I was focused on other things. "I didn't just make a mistake. I intentionally did the worst thing imaginable to someone who only deserves my best."
"If you think that's the worst, it's just because you lack imagination."
"So you're okay with what I did?"
He laughed. "No. Now that you understand what you did and why, I understand. But I'm not okay with it. I just recognize that you're fallible. Welcome to the club."
"Are... so, are you going to throw me out? I wouldn't blame you."
"Back to my question. If you want other men, why would you want to come back to me and have to give that up forever?"
"I don't want anyone else. I just want you. I don't think I really wanted another man. I just needed him to prove I didn't deserve you. I mean I wanted to do it, but that was the reason."
Danny didn't say anything. I wouldn't have known what to say if I was in his place.
"I know I don't deserve it, but can you ever forgive me? Do we have a chance?"
"Let's see. You fucked up big. You're sorry. You don't plan to ever do it again. Do I have that right?"
"Aren't those pretty much the criteria for asking to be forgiven?"
"Is that it? Is it that easy?"
"No. Not at all. I don't have quite the same level of trust I had a few days ago. I hope you'll talk to me if you're ever thinking of doing anything remotely like this again."
"If you do."
"You know you're still a long way from being forgiven."
"I don't ... okay. I can see that."
"No. I don't think you can. You need to forgive yourself. And you're going to be a lot tougher on you than I've been."
I sighed. "You're right. What I did was inexcusable."
"My point exactly. I've forgiven. You haven't. There is nothing you can do to yourself, well, there's nothing you can do at all, to make it unhappen. You should forgive yourself and put your energy where it can be useful."
"It still seems like I'm getting off too easy. Don't you want to get revenge or something?"
"See. Now you're making new mistakes."
I guess if we could have a sense of humor about this, we had a good chance. "I'll never make that one again."
"Good. Because if you betray my trust again, you'll never get it, or me, back."
"You know, Cheryl is going to be very disappointed."
"That we're getting back together?"
"Yes. She warned me. She told me that if you dumped me she'd be all over you in a heartbeat."
"Good. Now I have a backup plan."
I couldn't help but laugh. "Are we okay?"
"No. But we will be."
"You know, you haven't told me you love me."
He gave me a look.
I understood. "You just show me." I stood and pulled him up with me. I ran my hands along his sides above the waist. "I love you so much I don't think I'll ever be able to adequately express it."
I moved my hands down to his belt and they met in the middle. I slowly unbuckled it. I undid the button and pulled down the zipper. He started to unbutton my blouse. "No. I want to learn to be the one who gets pleasure from giving their partner pleasure. It's a small first step on the way to forgiving myself. We can take care of me later." I pushed the pants down his legs. "Please, just let me do this." I sank to my knees, grasped the waistband of his boxers and pulled them down to join his pants. I smiled. There, throbbing before my eyes with each heartbeat, was the proof that it had not been only words. He did forgive me.