"Be a good girl"
To love and to be good are a choice.
Like it or not, it isn't in our nature to be either. If it were, it would come easy. Living things are made to survive. Plants strangle one another in the pursuit of light. Animals become dispensable to each other depending on necessity. Humans, although we try, can never look outside the world we see through our own eyes. But we think. We calculate. We create excuses and reasons, theories and meanings. We defy our instincts of survival in order to understand something more.
Anyone who's played with fire can tell you how much the burn hurts. But put a man or woman's family in the middle of a burning building and you'll see how quickly they jump into the flames. Can you imagine your pine tree doing that for you? How about your cat? Change the scenario. Imagine if that family wasn't theirs. The chances of them jumping in to rescue them would be diminished to less than half. I'll admit, I'd be more inclined to pick up the phone and dial 911 first.
As a kid, I thought the lines of good and bad were clear. Cleaning your room was good. Stealing from the candy drawer, bad. The older I got the fuzzier the lines were. Now I see they're nonexistent. I stop myself at least twenty times each day and wonder "I feel this is OK. But is it GOOD?" It's a horrible goal, one you'll never know if you've reached. I feel I'm a "good" person. But some days I flick off cars in traffic. I cuss. I drink. I pleasure my partner in a way that is still illegal in some states. Does that overrule everything else?
Each day is a struggle. We build our walls up and then we break them down. And if we aren't the masonries, someone else is. What happens if you live your life as "good" as you can, loving as much as you will, and then someone else doesn't play fair? What if you get punished instead? All of this, this winding introduction, has absolutely nothing to do with any of you personally. Believe that. It has everything to do with my own personal battles. I woke up this morning, after having a hole blasted through my defenses last night, and I thought, "I have to try harder."
Nash has a son, born to a woman who has little regard for anyone but herself. This woman, previously his wife, is friends with another woman who was previously Hoop's wife. The plot was pretty thick before I came around. When Nash's son was barely one years old, his wife dropped the kid off and never came home. He left the military to find her. What unraveled after that is complicated. In the end, Nash divorced with primary custody, and Hoop divorced soon after. The Mother was rarely heard from again. Enter Tink. From the beginning, Hoop and my relationship has been plagued with reminders of his past.
There were calls from his ex, emails, and rumors. It didn't help that his ex became pregnant soon after. It wasn't his, but the doubt was enough to wound. I tried to be good. I tried to love and trust. We changed phone numbers. We avoided places we knew she'd be. I stopped myself from playing her game. It was tough. I constantly felt like I was living in her shadow, giving up, stepping down. But eventually it stopped and life carried on without a single thought of her. Then Nash reenlisted in the Army. A month later his ex called the base and demanded he hand over their son.
There was only one thought. How did she know? How, from three states away, did she know what he'd done and where he was at? We found out last night. Hoop and Nash's cousin, Adam, has been in constant communication with Hoop's ex since they parted. I would have been less offended if he'd slapped me in the face. Not only had he divulged to her Nash's address and information, but details about Hoop and my relationship. He let the wolf in. He chose her allegiance instead of mine. He broke a blood bond and jeopardized the safety of a little boy.
It's so hard to be good. My mind is screaming in protest.
I don't want to love my enemy. I don't want to do the right thing.
I want to retaliate.