The production of tears and the emotion associated with such production has always been a source of fascination for me. I have shared with you my experiences and observations concerning pain, upset, pride and joy. The final part of this quartet concerns another occasion when the tears begin to flow. Just in the same way that I first witnessed and felt the power that I obtained from causing someone to shed tears of joy when I was at university, it was at this ancient seat of learning that I found another way of causing those tears to fall.
A later girlfriend who arose, after Trish (from Part Three) fell by the wayside, was Anita. A vivacious young lady, with long blonde hair, bright in outlook and intelligence and with an excellent sense of humour we had a rip-roaring time together for some seven months or so and then came the summer. We both returned to the places where we lived, about a hundred and fifty miles apart so not a huge journey even on this small island. Anita had taken a job and the hours varied considerably from week to week so that I did not hear from her as often as I wanted. This concerned me and coincided with an interest in a close friend who I had known from sixth form called Lucy who was also at university and had also returned to our home town for the summer. We began to spend quite a lot of time together and I found that her attention to me put into sharp focus the less attentive approach from Anita. I knew she was busy with the summer job that she had taken but despite this knowledge, I resented her failure to keep in touch with me as often as she had promised at the end of the academic year. When she did telephone I was monosyllabic with my answers and when I decided I did want to talk I began to tell her about all the things that Lucy and I were doing together. The walks through the countryside, the book we planned to write together, the discussions about our forthcoming careers, going swimming, going boating and so on. I knew that Anita was trying to hide any concerns about this sudden and seemingly intense friendship which had sprung up with Lucy, but she could not mask the disappointment that showed in her voice when I launched into a lengthy monologue about my day with Lucy. I found the sensation of power which arose when I talked about Lucy and when Anita tried to sound interested but the nervousness in her voice betrayed her and showed she was worried by this burgeoning friendship. Good. So she should be nervous. She should have been more attentive and been a good girlfriend. Nothing physical had happened between Lucy and I but that was just a question of time. In fact, I was pleased that nothing had happened in that regard because I could maintain that my relationship with Lucy was indeed one of friendship and it provided me with the moral high ground to cast aspersions and denigrate Anita if she tried to suggest there was anything untoward occurring.
This situation continued and each time we spoke I could tell Anita was concerned and was maintaining a brave front. In one telephone conversation she commented,
“I know you spend a lot of time with Lucy, HG, but that does not bother me at all.”
There was something new when she said this though. A defiance. I did not take kindly to that. I noticed that the usual powerful sensations that I felt during this telephone conversation were absent.
I decided that I would not take any calls from Anita after that. I would refuse to emerge from my room as my father shouted up to me that Anita was wanting to talk to me. I would hear him making excuses on my behalf, that I was asleep, or I had gone out and he had not realised. As this silent treatment extended into a second week, with Anita still telephoning on a daily basis, my father began to engage in conversations with her. I stood on the landing above listening to him in the hallway below trying to reassure her and assuage her concerns. I recall standing there, hands on the bannister, feeling the sensation of power washing over me as I thought of her anxious and worried, repeatedly calling and discussing this ongoing situation with my father. I know he liked Anita. He had met her in previous holidays. My father liked most people and saw the best in people. People liked him as well which often irritated my mother in the extreme, but this is not her tale. Not this time.
My father would argue Anita’s case for her, outlining that it was not very fair to not speak to her and that she was clearly worried that she had upset me in some way but did not know why. I thanked for father for his concerns and his attempt to broker a peace but this was between Anita and me. He pushed it no further with me, he knew by now better than to do so, but he continued to entertain Anita’s morning, afternoon or evening call (dependent on her shifts) in order to keep giving her hope that I would “snap out of it” or “come to my senses” as he put it.
We reached the third week of the silent treatment. I was enjoying myself. I was gaining daily attention from Lucy who called on me every day in order to ensure we did something together. I had no need to try to impress her any longer. She was hooked. I was also gaining the attention from Anita as her telephone calls and consultations with my father continued. Sometimes I was in and I listened, sometimes I was out and my father left me a note saying Anita had called. It was satisfying.
Into this third week, on a warm summer’s evening when I had returned from a day out in the countryside with Lucy, there came the chime of the old doorbell being activated. I was alone in the house and made my way to the partition door and stepped into the porch. The large wooden door had a diamond pane of glass set in it which enabled me to see who the visitor was. It was Anita. She had turned to look behind her, no doubt enjoying the wonderful view across the fields as they were lit up still by the sun. I ducked back so she could not see me. The power began to surge through me again. She had travelled to see me, without warning and knowing that I was not speaking to her. I noticed she had even appeared with a small suitcase as well in the hope of staying. She clearly did not want to let go. I was delighted by this. She had learned hadn’t she that she had been failing in her attentiveness to me? By administering this silence, something I had learned from dearest mother, I had caused her to realise her error and up her efforts in respect of me, resulting in her disrupting her working schedule and travelling to me.
To have her do this showed just how much I mattered to her and also how effective giving her the silent treatment was. I punched the air in delight with the powerful sensation still rushing over me, but there was more. I let her ring again and then I opened the door. I stood looking down at her as she stood on the second step. She looked at me, eyes wide in expectation but a nervousness about her too. She said nothing as I look at her.
“Hello Anita,” I smiled, “you have no idea how happy I am to see you on this doorstep again, my goodness I have missed you like you wouldn’t believe.”
I expected her to laugh, to smile but instead she burst into tears, her attractive face scrunching up as the tears flowed.
“What is it?” I asked completely foxed by this response.
She stepped forward and placed her arms about me. I reciprocated as she squeezed me tight, great wracking sobs coursing through her.
“Oh HG, I thought you had had enough of me, that you didn’t want to see me anymore.”
“Of course not, I er, just needed to do some thinking about things and it made me realise that er, it’s you that I want.”
She lifted her head and looked straight at me.
She started to cry again, a smile breaking through the continuing tears.
“HG, you have no idea what a relief it is to hear you say that to me.”
It was then that I understood. This tearful display was borne out of relief. Relief at having the silence broken. Relief at being held in my arms again. Relief that our relationship remained intact. The sensation was electrifying and I learned just how powerful the effect of seeing tears of relief was. I revelled in knowing that by my grace and decision I could grant her access to me once again and her relief poured from her, invigorating and edifying me. That moment, like so many other moments of realisation has stayed with me and I have used the power to cause those tears of relief to flow and the consequent fuel that arises to good effect on many occasions since.