[eng] Bethany Naylor - Unforgivable

    We still don't talk as often as I would like, these days we barely even touch. Physical intimacy is difficult and any feelings of mutual passion between us seem fleeting at best. I understand. It’s hard, but I understand. While some might say that time heals all wounds, I know that the agony I put you through for so many years was unforgivable. 

    When I think back to the harsh words, the unkind actions, the neglect... I feel nothing but shame and regret. Yes, perhaps it was not entirely my fault, I could say there were circumstances, situations, but then there always are. I could even try to plead momentary insanity, but what would be the point? I know in my heart that the things I did were unforgivable. 

    I hurt you, I abused you, in a sense, I even used you. For that, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the countless occasions when I didn't pay any heed to your desires. I apologise for the numerous times when I forced you into unpleasant situations, even when you told me you felt unsafe and I knew deep down how uncomfortable you were. I'm sorry for ignoring your gut, your inner wisdom was always so much greater than mine. The things I did were unforgivable. 

    Why don't we talk more? I’m so certain we both want to. Last night, I reached out as if to touch you, to hold you, to comfort you. I felt you flinch so I pulled back, we're not there yet. Yet as I pulled away you moved closer towards me and even in the darkness, I thought I could feel you smile. It gave me a glimmer of hope, perhaps it wasn't so unforgivable. 

    Today I bought us ice cream, we took it down to the rocks and ate it together, watching the waves roll past and listening to the sound of children's laughter. I asked you if you remembered being so young that nothing mattered, if you remembered how we used to play and dance and run and climb and sing and shout and giggle. A flicker in the corner of your mouth confirmed that you did and just for a moment, I almost started to allow myself to smile too. Until you began to ask me what went wrong, why had I begun to hate you so. A single tear came, I couldn’t hold it back. Your questions hit hard, they were the same as my own. Why did it change? Where did the hatred spring from? Was it, after all is said and done, unforgivable? 

    We both know that this has gone on for too long, such a waste of time and youth, so much misplaced anger and blame. But we are working on it, aren't we? I take care of you, I hear you and support you. I give you nourishment and love, but most of all patience. Your skin is revitalised and your muscles are stronger, the change is clear as day and I am so proud.  I treasure you now, there are no more cruel remarks or tearful rants. I protect you, I watch and I listen, I keep you safe from strange people and I have finally learnt your limits. It has been difficult but worth it, I’m seeing life through a new set of eyes now that I have learnt what it is to love you. 

    In turn, you support me. You let me dance, run, cycle, climb, and travel. You give me the power to create new life and the strength to appreciate the one I have. We have seen mountains and valleys, seas and cities, airports and borders. Then when you tell me you're tired I take you home and we rest, as we always will. We are beginning to trust each other again. I know it will be a long journey but at least I know that I am on the right path, because everything feels right and nothing feels wrong. 
The things that I did to my body, perhaps they were unforgivable. But I love us, I want to give this a second chance. I believe in forgiveness. I want to forgive myself. 

An apology to the vessel which carries me. 

* Bethany Naylor. I am a writer and translator, originally from Bath but living in beautiful Valencia. I believe in the power of words, the strength of the people and the beauty of art. Apart from my writing, I also paint and make sterling silver jewellery using stones collected on my travels. 

Original photography © Anaïs Rey-cadilhac.
Image postproduction: Andrea Balart-Perrier.

2 comentarios:

  1. I read this...then I cried...it is beautiful

  2. Hey! Thank you for your comment, that's really touching. I'm sorry for making you cry though ❤️