I laid next to him and we were fine.
We were in love again.
He loved me again.
I loved him again.
We were fine.
The next day he walked around the kitchen, pouring his coffee quietly, not speaking. I sat at the table making a grocery list quietly, not speaking. Neither of us wanting to be the first to talk after the battle we had last night. We’d ended it with a mutual solution, a short kiss, him asking me if I was “okay”, and me saying “I’m fine.”
Now here we were, obviously fine right? I mean to anyone outside of us they would look in and see a lovely couple getting ready for their day in happy solitude, but in this kitchen it felt stifling. I felt as if I were going to have an anxiety attack right then and there so I pushed out the words quickly “its okay you know, we’re fine.”
“Are you sure honey?” he asks nervously knowing deep inside it’s in fact, not okay and I am not fine but he doesn’t know what to do with this information. He doesn’t have the skill or the magic abilities to pull what I really want to say out of my head.
“Yes, I’m fine.” I assure him again, lying. My eyes give it away but he turns to look out the window so he doesn’t have to face me. He stares into the yard thinking about all the reasons I would tell him I’m fine and I sit at the pretty café’ table drinking juice with my brow furrowed. I sigh loudly. I wish I could tell him the secrets to all the reasons women say it.
I don’t know why but as a woman, as a strong member of a relationship I just can’t disappoint my lover. I can’t bring myself to blurt out that no it’s not fine, I’m not okay, don’t go on this trip, stay with me, fuck this job, fuck this company, fuck it all. I can’t do it.
I stick to “I’m fine” because I’m your girl and I’m here to support you in all things. I don’t want to fight with you. I say I’m fine when you need me to be behind you and not argue with you. I bite my tongue and say I’m fine when I have a raging storm of emotions be it sad or angry because I know it’s not worth hurting your feelings. I know that deep down I’m being unreasonable and that I could be and probably am wrong, and so I tell you “I’m fine”, belligerently in most cases, to settle us and try and make things smooth again.
I say I’m fine so we can get back to loving each other. I say I’m fine so you don’t leave me. I say I’m fine because some days you don’t need to know that I feel like a horrible human being, just a waste of space who doesn’t deserve you. I say I’m fine when I feel like crying inside because sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. I say I’m fine because I don’t want to bring you down. I say I’m fine when sometimes I am really just fine.
I stand behind him and put my hand on his shoulder, kiss the back of his neck and whisper “I love you and I really am fine” with a laugh. He laughs too knowing the word is demented, hugs me to him and I know we’re “fine.”