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Pep Talk

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“I don’t need anyone. I can do it myself.”

“How many times have you said those words?”

“Way too many to count.”

“When are you going to start letting go…depend on others? One man can’t do it alone.”

“I’ve survived so far…I’m 30 and think I’ve done a good job of it.”

“It isn’t working lately, is it?”

“N-n-no….”

“The burden is causing too much friction in your life.”

“I-I-I just…can’t depend on anyone. They always leave me…fall short of my….”

“Expectations? How you expect things to be? How people should act…”

“For once, I’d like to receive what I give. Friendship. Love. Support. It seems…when I give of myself…I’m drained to the point of…”

“Expecting those who receive your love, time, attention…to give it back.”

“Y-y-yes.”

“You realize your ‘I don’t need any one, I’ll do it all myself’ conditioning is a survival tactic.”

Silence.

“You’ve built this wall around your heart…to protect it from abuse, neglect, disappointment…keeping it at a distance from those who could or wouldn’t be there for you…and you’ve taken it into adulthood…”

“It’s…it’s…who I am!”

“No. It is a part of you, it doesn’t define you. You are a great friend, I just wish you could see you through my eyes.”

“I’m…right now…I’m…”

“You have built this wall around yourself…keeping out those who try to get close to you.
The lovers who came and went? They offered sexual intimacy but didn’t cherish your heart. Your parents worked themselves to the bone but ignored you. Those who always took more and more from you but never returned your love and time and presence. Has anyone ever been there for you unconditionally? Never expecting anything in return?”

“Yes.”

“Then why are you shutting me out?”

“I-I-I d-d-don’t mean to….”

“Have I done something to offend you?”

“No.”

“Have I said something to upset you?”

“No. Never.”

“You lately have been putting yourself in situations where you won’t rely on anyone…you struggle with trusting those around you to do their job and do it right…you fear they won’t complete it and you will have to step in like Superman and do it yourself to make sure all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. You don’t have to do that, you know. That is why lately those around you are making unhappy noises…”

“I…I…I’m tired of people walking away from me.”

“So…you don’t trust anyone. You don’t trust yourself: those you meet…especially your ladies…starts off wonderfully…but as the relationship deepens, you start to question yourself…your worth…then you start to question them. Why are they with me? Does she really like me for who I am? You have to start trusting those around you and trusting yourself…”

“I…I…always mess it up.”

“To trust is to hope. To trust is to be vulnerable. Like being naked in a room full of people. Okay…maybe not that….yes…that drastic on some level.”

“I’ve let you in…I’ve never questioned…”

“Yes, you’ve let me in. And yes, you question my love and my devotion to you every single day. You don’t verbalize it…but it is in your actions.”

“Huh?”

“Your wall still tries to rebuilt itself…even with me. It’s always been there to protect your heart from being wounded, scarred, broken.”

“Huh?”

“The way you sometimes treat me…how sometimes wrestling gets more than wrestling and I see a flicker of…anger…and then you back off. The way your words sometimes hurt me more than our playful wrestling turns into something else. The way you shut me down, the tone of voice you use, sharp-toned barbs that sting. I know it is your way of testing me to see how far you can push me…to see if I’ll walk away like the others.”

“I’m such a prick…”

“No, you’re not. You had to learn at a young age to protect yourself. My God, it is a wonder you survived…that you turned out to be a gentle, loving, caring human being.”

*snort*

“Don’t do that. Don’t make yourself unimportant. Remember when we first met? Remember? You did your best to keep me at a distance. I saw something really neat, special, something…I just had to get to know you better and have you for my friend. I’ve never met anyone like you before. I watched you give your last dollar to a homeless man. I’ve seen you order ‘too much’ at lunch or supper and box it up to give to a man living in an alley. C’mon. You don’t think…”

“You are an exception.”

“And why is that? Why am I an exception? What is so special about me that no one else has tried and succeeded in doing?”

“Y-y-you didn’t give up on me. You’ve never walked away from me…you always…support me…”

“Because you deserve and are worthy of having support. You deserve and are worthy of friendship, love, being cherished, adored, and this partnership. I love you. Deep down in my soul, I love and adore you. Yes, I walk away in anger to cool down…but you know why I walk and I always, always come back to you.”

“I know.”

“Then…as we sit here in this damn dark room…know that no matter what you do or say I will always, always be here by your side. I love you. I adore you. Your friendship and this partnership mean more to me than I can put into words. You believe me, right?”

“Yes. I believe you. And I feel the same way. You know that.”

“Then let’s get out of this dark, depressing room and go do something together.”

“I’m sorry to…be so…”

“Don’t be sorry. Everyone has moments of self-doubt and confusion. It’s just that you need to let it go…some people have no one to care or love them. You’re the lucky one.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, you goofball. You have me. And that ain’t ever gonna change as long as I am breathing and walking this earth.”

“Thanks, Starsk. Thanks for being there when I have my….insecure moments.”

“Everyone has ‘em. The trick is to think them through, talk them out, and move on. Never stay in the dark and dwell on the what if’s and why’s and how come’s.”

“When did you get to be so smart?”

“When I started hanging around you.”

Fini