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Once I Believed in You
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[Ongoing story of two brothers, near the end. Merrill has relapsed and is meeting with this new girlfriend, Shea, who know nothing of his issues.]

Shea stands at the door to my apartment, like she’s afraid to come in. I open the door wider. “Please.”

I don’t want this conversation. We wouldn’t be having this if I hadn’t trashed her trust in me by using again. It’s mine to fix, but there’s no fixing this.

“You want tea?”

She shakes her head and takes the chair opposite the couch. “Merrill, talk to me.”

I slowly sit down on the couch but she beats me to the conversation.

“Merrill, I believed you, in you. I believed you loved me. I believed we were having a great time. Fun. Happy. All of it. I believed that.”

The sentence she didn’t say hangs in the air. But, but, but. Yes, she believed it and I ruined it.

“Shea, it was all true. All of it. I love you. Everything I said was true. It’s still true.”

“But.” She jumps right on it.

I nod and try to get her to look at me straight. “But I’m not who you thought I was because I didn’t want to tell you. I wanted you so badly, I wanted to be a guy who could be in love. I have never wanted anything so badly. I wanted it. I meant it. I really meant every word, every kiss. I still do.”


“I didn’t tell the truth. I should have told you that I was an addict that first time we had coffee. You can’t see that stuff, but it’s as fixed as my blue eys. Fixed. Nothing changing that. Of course we have ways to work with it. Like contact lens that make your eyes bluer or brown. But underneath, it’s me.”

She looks at me. Her soul is far away from me. Deep in those eyes, she’s backing up and leaving me. She’s smart to do this. My heart is broken, I can actually feel the pain in my chest. I want Shea. I want to be with her. Loving her and seeing her leave is ripping my insides.

I don’t look away, but I watch her go. She might not even know she’s going. I don’t blame her. It’s her choice, her life. I wouldn’t stay around either.

She’s stands up and I start to follow. But she slowly folds back down. She says my name and shakes her head. But she’s gone. I know it.

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