Be a man, they said. Take control, be testosterone, act like very little bothers you but when you are bothered, be upset. Punch things. Scream. Get drunk, act the fool, boys will be boys after all… right?
I did, I was, I no longer wanted to.
Be yourself, they said. Except don’t be overly emotional, we will tease about these characteristics endlessly. We will say things such as “you sugary gummy bear, acting all kinds of sweet” or “you don’t have to marry them, just have fun!”
I was, I did, I no longer knew what I wanted.
Do not be yourself, be what I can want you to be, they said. Be what you have been in the past. I was sure, certain that I had to either betray them or betray myself. They laid claim to a person when they already had.
I wanted to, I wasn’t, I couldn’t.
I know I ask out of gluttony, they said. But I was in the wrong, or at least that was the judgement set upon me. Do for me but I cannot do for you, they said. It was a battle for a pride that was not my own, because I was proud of my decision.
I made a decision.
Do not be afraid, I said. I understand, but cannot blindly agree this time. I will not compromise my purpose, even though I know I’m bound to lose, but don’t assume that my decision is a disregard for you. I agonized and continue to, because I will never feel that I had to choose even though that was the only option offered.
I remember all too well, and I see now that was the problem. Goodbye my friend.