'That makes me your blind spot.'
They both knew the closer they got, the harder it was to see. This was true in any case, physically and mentally. Every instance was just common sense. Quite like when you bring something close to your eyes. You try to remain your focus on that something and your vision becomes extremely cross, deterred. Your head starts to hurt and you have to blink and back away. Creating that space allows the brain to think again…to function again. That space also gives fear and ignorance a chance to settle in between, blinding each other from the truth. With each step forward caused two steps back. In his mind, he told himself that by setting her apart and letting that space be between them, she would be saved from the hell that he was. In her mind, she told herself that they would never work out and the distance was for the best and would be in the end.
They were both wrong.
Cal breathed in deeply, his chest puffing out as his lungs fill with the oxygen he required. Settling back into his swivel office chair, he kept his eyes on the blank word document. Maybe deep down he thought that if he stared at the bright white screen, words would suddenly appear and inspiration would flood his veins and dance into his fingertips. If only things were that easy. But even the abysmal part of him knew he was a sod who couldn't do this.
The demand for another book was approaching and he didn't have squat. His mind was against himself; demands were what he did not what he got and he couldn't get things straight within his head. Thousands of thoughts swirled inside, creating a twister of everything Cal usually kept under wraps. The years and years of practice to keep emotions and expressions controlled proved to be a useless waste of time. Here he was, a slump of distaste for himself, wallowing in his own way with regret.
He had hurt her…again. He never physically hurt Gillian and hardly ever with words but with the forms of his actions. And he was always acting. Acting out and causing a stir was what he was accustomed to, he supposed. It was a shite excuse and he owned up to that but he still didn't know what else to do.
In the past when something to this nature happened, she would go her way and he would go his for a while, letting things cool down and soon they would be better. That space was a healer as well as a destroyer. What ironic fate they have. To heal and to destroy in a vicious never ending circle.
The space looked empty between them to an untrained eye. To Cal and Gillian though, the space was filled to the rim with unsaid words and hidden emotions. And yet despite their knowledge, they were still blind. Or could this just boil down to actually knowing but not doing anything about it? Were they strictly ignorant to the truth? Did Gillian choose to not act? Did Cal choose to act in the wrong sense?
Cal wracked his tired brain and every thought brought him back to the fact that no matter what the answers were to those questions, all he knew was that he loved her. He loved Gillian with everything possible within him. And now that he has come face to face with his own confession, Cal knows he should want to pursue these feelings. Bringing them out to thrive sounded a great deal better instead of letting each emotion stir around and around in his aching chest. Then that cruel fate nagged at him, telling him closing the distance would err all they both had built. Not only would the confessions fail but so would any attempt at fixing whichever scruples they might have. Their professional relationship and their friendship would forever be marred. This conclusion lies flat out in front of him and this very conclusion was what blocked his sight. Thus, Gillian was his blind spot. Therefore, he couldn't see the truth that was right in front of him.
She loved him too.
Gillian could feel her eyes water as another yawn forces itself out. Sighing deeply, she blinks the tears away and steals a look out between the blinds of her office window. The evening was gone and darkness greeted her. Her computer screen seemed to dim much like her sight. Since when was she following in Cals' footsteps? He was rubbing off on her more than she realized.
His office was still occupied too, she knew. Being the night owls they were, there was just never enough time to get things finished; much like the nonexistent rough draft sitting blank on his computer. Gillian knew he was slumping in his seat, feeling sorry for himself. She identified him all too well.
The distance from her office to his was much like the detachment they've kept all week. Nothing new, if she was being completely honest with herself but Gillian wanted something to change. They couldn't continue in this way. Not only was it unhealthy but Gillian admitted…she missed him.
She was wholly tired of this game. They were so much better when they were on equal ground. But every time he did something, to deliberately prove what an egotistical ass he really can be her cold reserve came out. She would be fed up, digging at him for answers and he would be oblivious, feigning innocence. Then he would walk one way and she would go the other.
That space was like a shield, protecting her. If they didn't walk away, words along with regrets were going to emit over everything. The heavy distance was like another friend, comforting her and telling her time was all they needed. Time to get their heads right and time to breathe was what they relied on. It also proved to her that no matter how far apart they were and no matter how mad she was at him, they would always come back. They would meet in the middle and things were ok. He would be Cal, coarse yet sweet and she would be Gillian, nerved yet warm and forgiving. It was depressing in a sense; neither could get out of the cycle and neither was trying.
To Gillian, if this was a case or a therapy session, she would be telling the poor souls to run the other way. But this was Cal. And she was in love with him.
Damned by love…Cal had said this once, ironically so.
If only they could work past this expanse of do or don't and will or won't. If only she could get him to realize that what he was doing to himself he was also doing to her. The hurt was dull and aching most of the times, making Gillian feel like she's experienced this pain over quite an amount of intervals.
And indeed she had.
It was pitiful and suddenly she needed to let him know. She knew he needed to be shown. Cal is smart but that mind of his can make certain things oblivious. Quickly she grasped what needed to happen. She was going to act. They had to fight for this instead of walking the other way. The idea that they wouldn't work be damned. They both needed to set their feet down and let it out, eye to eye. They couldn't run away from their feelings anymore. She was going to put an end to this wall that separated them. And he was going to listen. He was going to see.
Gillian was proven wrong and now was the time to act. No more holding back.
Thus, came the stage to shake up the present loop.
Upon entering Cal's office, Gillian automatically knew he was gone. She could always feel his presence and the absence of that energy was clear. He must have sprung up, tired of the scenery and in need of a new view. Or the stash of scotch was in necessity of restock. In his rush he had left one lamp on and his laptop, still open, with the bright white screen glowing along his desk.
Knowing their bills weren't getting any lower, she decided to turn off his light. At least that's what she told herself she was doing. He would probably be back. Then again, Emily was home for the week and maybe in his haste to see her he forgot the lights. He was in an odd state of mind as usual, so anything was possible. She supposed she ought to just lock up for him. It was late, she reminded herself again. As her fingers wrap around the nob to turn off the lamp on his desk, she notices the white document open on his computer screen was not so blank after all.
There was a paragraph of about two hundred words. She takes a step closer to his side of the desk. Thinking better of it, she moves to close the laptop. But with her sharp eyes, now wide awake, she catches sight of her name. Gillian pauses, weighing the options, telling herself that he probably wouldn't want her looking at whatever he wrote. She should just close the lid, lock his door and leave. A glass of wine and a novel was waiting for her at home. It was late.
Then again, they never really respected each other's privacy. She didn't think Cal even knew what privacy was. Line or no line, nothing was off limits anymore. He had definitely gotten her thinking more like him. And to be honest, she wouldn't feel guilty if she reads his words; like she had told herself, the endless circle needed to be smeared. She was done being the gentle one who stood back and let things happen in front of her. She had to see too. There was a link somewhere amidst the accumulated space between them. Maybe his writing is a way of communication; typing out the words sometimes helps express what you can't say. It was a tactic used in certain therapy sessions when talking wasn't enough.
And yes, she was certainly admitting that their situation was much like therapy.
Swallowing back the dryness in her throat, she leans forward narrowing her eyes at the screen. The fear of getting caught wasn't exactly a fear. What harm would there be? Despite the distance, they were still close. They would always be close. And she could never fear Cal.
She begins to read.
I can discern the smallest twitch of muscle upon any man's face and yet I am blind to the one woman whom I've come to appreciate and care for immensely. She looks at me and everything is so utterly real. I've become some sort of mush. I can't even write a chapter in a book; I can't get my mind to hold still long enough to even try. I beat myself up royally because I know I've hurt her. I don't deserve her. Gillian, well, she's a solace to my mind and I'm afraid I am not worthy of her grace. With that knowledge and that anger inside of me, I lash out, creating tension and that god awful space between us. What I would give to pull her close and never let her go. To completely demolish the distance in the middle of us, that is what I want. Because the farther away she is from me, the more I notice how much I need her. That's me, always wanting something I can't have. Well, maybe time can change that. I love her and being separate from her is tearing me apart…
Gillian lets out an uneven, shuddering breath as she leans back from the desk, feeling her heart beat quick. A creak from the door has her lifting her head to see Cal, leaning against the frame, eyes deep and piercing right into every inch of her. She blinks, highly aware of herself and of him. He licks his lips, taking a step forward.
Thank you for reading!