I know what they say about me. I always know. I know they crowd around, earnest expressions etched across their made-up faces, their mouths flapping as they spout their supposed wisdom to you.
“We will be here for you. You have always got us.”
“If you are unhappy there must be something wrong.”
“Is it right to be treated like this?”
“You are not the person you used to be.”
Who are they to claim what is right for you? Have they held you on that cliff-top with the foaming ocean churning beneath us, the cool Atlantic air brushing past us as a canopy of stars hung overhead? Have they looked into your eyes and seen the pain that I know was there long before I came along, a pain that I have shouldered for you? Where were they when you called at 3am and asked that I tell you a story because you had just had a horrible nightmare? I do not recall them soothing you and keeping those night demons at bay. Do they know you inside out? I think not. They do not know every each of you in the way that I do. Each delicate piece of you that I have kissed and caressed, so there is no place about your person that has not been embraced by me. They have not done that have they? Have they held your long tresses back and rubbed your back as you spewed those cocktails back up and groaned about what how much money you have just regurgitated? No. It was I who rode to your rescue as they wove their drunken way to another bar. They do not know your favourite ten songs and I will wager more than they earn that they have no inclination that you are frightened of geese.
Oh I know alright. I know about their messages which they send you. I have seen them and it is fortunate that I have so I can spare you from the green-eyed lies. They do not have what we have and nor will they ever. One cannot blame them for their wretched jealousy, they are just flesh and blood, but are they your true friends when they seek to pour such sedition in your ears when my back is turned? Ought they not to be happy for you, delighted that you want to spend so much time with me. Do they not see that your sadness on occasions is borne out of your deep and perfect love for me, that such is our connection that you justifiably feel upset when you irk me or irritate me. I know you do not mean to do it and that is why I have not pushed you aside like those other pretenders who came before you. You understand what it is to have found someone who fulfils all your hopes and your dreams and you understand my pain when you sleight me or let me down. Yet, since you are such a good person, my upset becomes your upset but they do not see it. I suppose if I was charitable I might ascribe their short-sightedness to the fact that they lack your special qualities. Only you understand me and only you have that deep-seated bond with me so that what I feel resonates with you. That is who you are and who they are not.
I heard them caution you about moving in together, their comments about “undue haste” and “it is too early” and “he wants you where he can see you.” Well, why should I not? Why should I not have my number one fan with me as often as I can? Why would you want to be anywhere else? Why would I not want to have someone so pretty and wonderful as you besides me? Does not every winner want to show off his trophy? Of course.
I know they have cautioned you about my temper and urged you to depart, claiming that it will only get worse and you will suffer. They mistake passion for temper, but then they would wouldn’t they, it suits their selfish purposes to try and bring down what you and I have. People usually do that when they do not understand something. It is a predictable and regrettable response. As for their remarks about me controlling you, how can that be so? I chose you for so many things and chief amongst those attributes was the attraction of your strong mind and keen intelligence. So what if I suggest what you might wear and how you should do your hair, I am taking an interest. Would you prefer it if I never commented on how you looked or made no suggestion as to what suited you? I know a couple of them think I stop you seeing them, but that is just more of their campaign of slander. Perhaps it is selfish of me, but the times I have asked you to cancel plans to see some of your friends were only because I wanted to be with you. Perhaps I sounded firmer than I intended, I suppose that might happen when you spend all day working hard to support a relationship, it does make one tired. Do not be concerned by their observations that I make all the decisions about what we do, where we go and how our money is spent. I am happy to bear such a burden for us both and you have admitted, have you not, that I do know more than you about certain things. I am only doing what is right for you, for me and most of all for us. Of course, they do not bother to gain possession of all the facts. They would much rather whisper untruths in your ear based on hearsay and ill-informed perspectives. I suppose that is a price I have to pay for loving you so totally, so completely and so perfectly.
Still, I know they urge you to leave me. I am no fool. I have overheard their comments, heard what they say when they telephone you and seen the messages. I know they want you to depart and escape me. Well, do it. Go. Leave everything that we have built up together. Leave my guiding hand and perhaps someone more grateful will come along. I do not want that but why should my largesse and love be abused in this way? Why should I pour my all into an empty hole? Go do it. Pack your bags and leave. I will not stop you. See. If I controlled you would I not be begging you to stay and pleading with you to ignore them? If I pulled your strings as they accuse me of doing so would I not be threatening you now with all manner of terrible consequences if you had the audacity to step through that door and away from me? But I have not and I do not, because you already know don’t you? That is why I chose you. But I shall not stand in your way. If it really is awful being with someone who only ever has your best interests at heart and who loves you perfectly, albeit sometimes clumsily and erratically, then leave me. Just leave.
I know you won’t though. I know.