*Written by a friend of mine guest-author who chooses to remain anonymous to protect the innocent.
One day, you might find that you’ve stumbled into a relationship with a future that looks like this:
Everything is sunny and you’re happily married raising kids in the burbs where they have parks like this one. At least that’s the future everyone else sees. And no matter how much you want to believe in that future with all of it’s kid laughter and sappy sweetness, down to your core you know that the future actually looks like this:
Maybe you’ve even tried to tell people, people you’re supposed to be able to trust that should support you.
But they don’t believe you. They tell you you’re “overthinking it,” you’re crazy, everything is going to be ok. Every couple has ups and downs. You guys are totally normal. Your problems are the same as every other couples’ problems, “you just have to work at it.” If you don’t quit, if you try harder, there will be kids laughing in the sunshine on the swing set and no catastrophic robo apocalypse and fiery death. And so you look at them like this:
Because you’re frustrated with their alternate and ultimately inaccurate view of reality. But then you’re kind of trapped in this relationship and no clear way to get out so you decide to just work as hard as you can and prepare for the apocalypse in the meantime.
And then you start to find allies. The people you talk to that say, “Um, I’m not sure it’s normal to dread getting married” and, “Actually, yeah, I’ve seen that future too, if you go through with it you both will go down in flames.” And of course, “You’re so right! We’re all going to die and we need to do something about it!”
Then you start to feel a little bit stronger. Like, “Maybe I can do something to prevent the incineration of the human race.” And then you make those nay sayers shut up:
And get out of the prison you’ve been living in so that you can walk around outside with your bad self (except no smoking cuz it’s not the 90’s):
And then with your new found strength and belief in your ability to change the future, you decide to do something bold…like crazy bold. You’re going to end your partner (metaphorically speaking of course). You’re going to kick them to the curb no matter how much it’ll destroy them.
Because you know that that future, that fire and brimstone cannot happen … but then you remember you’re not a robot. You really don’t want to hurt anyone. In fact you’re not sure if you can live with yourself if you do. So you have a moment of weakness and doubt (or several, this may actually play on a nearly endless loop like Friends re-runs).
But your allies are there for you (and tired of your waffling) and they remind you of your mission and help you to see that you can protect your future without necessarily ruining someone else’s. You just have to destroy the link that connects you two. But that is a motherfucking big link, years in the making, with top notch security, so you’re going to need all the help you can get, including the inside man (your partner). Then together you blow that motherfucker to kingdom come. And everybody’s there to see. Some people even try to stop you because they don’t know better, but you can’t blame them since they don’t see the future like you do. Still you succeed. It’s done. They moved out, “and no mom, they won’t be coming to Christmas this year.”
And then you look like this for a little while.
Especially after you realize that just when you thought it was finally over, you were wrong. To destroy that link and prevent that future…
…you have to suffer, I mean really suffer, because you gave a piece of yourself to that person, and now that piece has to die too. And all you want to do is say, “No! Don’t go! Stay. It’ll be ok,” but you know you can’t.
And it is heartbreaking, like “I think something was just ripped out of my chest and now I’m being dragged around by it” heartbreaking.
And you kind of just live with that for a while.
BUT, later, you realize that instead of knowing that this was in store for you (that life in the burbs where you would bury your dead dreams with prozac and xanax and angry outbursts on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer game)…
…now the unknown future rolls toward you and you face it for the first time with a sense of hope…and that was worth fighting for.