BENEFIT OF DOUBT
Darkbard Fantasies June 4, 1997
The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the property of MCA/Universal. The story is all mine.
For a very special Knight/Bard. I will always be your mountain: to smaller hills to climb... the Griffin.
Disclaimer: this is not a happy story. I haven't written it yet but I doubt it will contain any sex. It is actually a true story that I simply added Xena and Gabrielle's name to so I can protect the innocent and get it off my chest. If you are a writer, you will understand: we vent on paper - or computer screens. What happens next - I dunno. We'll see. Life does take its funny lil turns...Z
"I am master and slave I am sunlight and shadow I am all roads to the river. I am
lost, I am saved I am beloved and betrayed... And the river runs wide And the river runs
deep And I spit in the eye of safe company, when I dive right down to the undertow the
deeper I drown, the higher I go. I am whispering dreams I am howling revolution I am
valentine sweet I am every mother's nightmare I am all roads to the river. I dream of
still water silent and clear, But I run for the thunder that'll drown my fear." *jon
vezner.janis ian ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am leaving the warrior/bard today.
I do not want to; I *have* too. I am in love with her, but I believe she has her heart set elsewhere. She tells me differently but her face betrays her. The other Amazon makes her face light up in ways I have failed. I am helpless and lost. I don't know what else to do. I don't know what *she* wants to do. We are lost in parallel universes - indecision/guilt/love/fear the dividing line.
I may even be too late. She may have left me and I don't know it yet. I may be unwilling to believe it happened. The angry, harsh words came spewing out of her mouth last night and I was helpless to stop them from penetrating my lovesick thoughts. I did not want to hear them. I was afraid of them - frightened to death that another rejection was just around the corner. So, I yelled in return, something I normally avoid at all costs. I tried to state my case, my feelings, my thoughts. They were ignored in her rage. So I did what I do - I ran. Before I could hear the final "goodbye," I turned and walked away. I blocked her out and prayed to my Gods that she was silent for that one moment. That maybe she didn't mean it. Hoping all the while that maybe she loved me, too, and was so very scared to admit it. Fear can mask itself, manifest itself into something completely unlike what you thought to begin with. I want to give her that benefit of doubt.
I want her to want me in return. But, how do I do that? Pure intentions, a willing heart, an outstretched hand are not enough. I have tried everything I can grasp - kindness, love, passion, caring, flowers, a smile. The effects are only momentary. I give and give and give with so very little in return: a small smile, a pat on my hand, a quick kiss - all so wonderful and desired that it appears enough to satiate me. Then she turns and leaves and that hollow, empty feeling returns to gnaw at me. It wasn't enough after all. 'Try harder next time', I tell myself. Next time is simply more of the same.
I am only happy when she is with me. She is all I think about: I dream of her at night, I wonder about her in the day. I want her with me forever and forever isn't realistic. 'It is too soon for that', she says. I agree completely, yet I just want to be near her; hear that sweet voice, gaze upon her beautiful smile. She makes me laugh. She stimulates my mind. She causes me to think and see things I missed or started ignoring years ago. She has helped me grow; made me aware of life and what it has to offer me. In return, I think I confused her - made *her* see things about herself she maybe wasn't ready to accept. I was only trying to reciprocate the magical things she gave me. I now presume what is good for one is not good for the other.
I do not seek advice to my unrequited love. She prefers we keep things quiet and I *must* respect that. My pride in knowing her, my joy in being in her presence silenced by unknown fears. Is she ashamed of me? Am I not good enough for her? Do I simply fill a temporary void? Am I being used and am I expendable until the "right one" comes along? I have no idea what I mean to her. Or where I stand in her life; that too, is kept silenced. So I trod along - happy one moment, discouraged the next.
I know how to love. I want to love. And, I have my own wants and desires that need fulfilled to complete my life. I want to walk with her on the beach at night. I want to share a joke or laugh until the wee hours of the morning. I want to make love to her in the middle of the day. I want to spend all the minutes in between sharing the sun and beauty around us. I want to write her poetry, send her flowers, and leave love notes in her bag. I want to travel with her, see the countryside, and explore new things. I want to play games from childhood, cook her dinner, take her window shopping and see what she dreams of owning. I want to talk and know everything there is to know about her. I want to share in her thoughts, encourage her dreams, and help her achieve her goals. I want her happy, safe and content. I want to be her friend, confidant and lover. I want a chance for a future. I want to be the last person she sees before she sleeps. I want her perfume on my sheets.
If I leave her today... See? Now I said "if." Just thinking of her has given me pause to reconsider my actions. Do I really want to do this? Maybe I should hang back, give her time to think this through. Maybe this is really her decision and not mine. Would it be wrong to make it for her? Would that be bravery or cowardice? I am so confused! For weeks now I have gone crazy and turned this whole idea of her in my head over and over. I've known her for much longer - nearly a year. I felt something even then. Or was it my imagination? Some say it is written in the stars. She does not believe in such nonsense. Or fate. I believe in Fate. I believe she is here in my life right now for a reason. I just don't know what the reason is. How else do I explain the connection I feel? How do I explain the rapid beating of my heart when I first see her? Or the shyness in my eyes when she looks at me? Or the fluttering in my chest when I hear her voice? Or the burning in my loins when she sits close? It appears I have more questions than answers.
I know one thing - ok, two things. (Rationalization time) 1- I love her. 2- I want her in my life because without her, I will be more miserable than I am today: the lesser of two evils. Maybe if she is around something will grow and happiness will follow. Damn, I wish someone would write a book of rules in regards to love. And then write the sequel or Cliffs notes version, so some of us could get it right without all that stumbling and fumbling that makes us look stupid and clueless. The whole thing is just awkward.
I do not give love lightly. The words are never easy for me to say. I never heard them growing up and I have made mistakes in my past. But I am real. I do not care to lie and will avoid it all cost. I am loyal. I am compassionate. I am generous. I am giving. I am also stubborn, opinionated, and relentless if pushed. I have eerily accurate intuition. I will fight for my beliefs. I don't always win but hope I at least take a valuable lesson home. What is missing that she needs from me? To choose me and not another? Send me searching. I am impatient.
So, today I will leave her. I hope and I pray that she will not want me to go. That she will ask me to stay. And, I would. For a smile, for a kiss, for the pleasure of knowing her.
The Bard's Corner