Backhand of Justice
Lying on the floor he looked so weak. It was a simple thing I asked for each evening, dinner on the table after work at seven, and a relaxing and clean home to walk into. My expectations were always clear and upfront, and hadn’t changed in years. Why now would he think I’d tolerate a complete lack of respect of the rules at this juncture in our relationship?
It was obvious David wanted to cry loudly. I always hated to see a man cry, feeling it was one of the perks of being in a gay relationship: no crying, no children, and no bull. To allow him his moment, I grabbed my jacket and fetched my keys from my briefcase. We both needed a moment alone and I needed a beer to take the edge off. I wasn’t but steps from the elevator when I heard him let lose his emotions. I was disguised.
I walked over to the corner bar to gather my thoughts. Happy hour was coming to an end, causing the bar to empty out except for the experienced drinkers who stayed till closing and just made it in late to work the next day. I grabbed a stool on the far end of the bar, to lessen the chance of interaction with any other bar patron, some of which have seen me in before with the same look on my face, drinking the same beer looking at the bar counter as I drank.
David shouldn’t have been so foolish. Dinner had been at seven every night since he moved in. Sure in the beginning I understood his forgetfulness, and carefree attitude to the structure I tried to lay down; but at this stage there was no tolerance for the confusion. At that moment, I just saw a blatant disregard for the rules, causing me to re-educate him. He only had himself to blame, and sympathy would only create an illusion that disorder was tolerated from time to time with the right amount of tears. Neither one of us could afford that in our lives. We were still trying to create a foundation for our relationship that would carry us on for years. I wanted to be with David for years.
It wasn’t long before I’d finished my beer, and was sitting deep in thought staring at the bottom of the class. I had no interest in another, realizing I still hadn’t eaten, and needed to get home to prepare for yet another tough day at work. But instead of walking the few blocks back to my apartment, I continued on in the opposite direction, still wanting to cool down tempers, and put distance between what I had to do to David.
David is the most important person in my life. I’ve never had this strong of feeling of love for another person like I did with David. In almost all of my past relationships, the lack of direction, and commitment to each other was our single downfall. After being with David, I knew he was different. I knew we were meant to be, and with a little order and guiding, we would be together forever. I took all that on myself, to make sure he stayed in line in order to make our relationship last. I know it’s what he wanted, why else would we have lasted all this time. We had a partnership of ideas, lead by me that made our union work. Every now and then I had to remind him of what’s best for us. What relationship can survive without some structure?
The decision to allow David in my home and life so fully wasn’t an easy one for me. I’ve always been a loner, strong and independent. No one even knew I’d had male lovers over the years until I fell in love with David. He showed me I shouldn’t be ashamed of loving men, but a man is what I needed to have. David sometimes brought out this feminine side of him I have to get rid of to save our love.
After a few blocks, I happened over to the neighborhood florist right before they closed. The owner was putting up the last of the outdoor flowers when I grabbed a dozen roses out of the pot he was carrying. He looked at me, not expecting this late of business, and then sighed as he recognized me from before.
“The usual?” He asked, more like a statement than a question. I just nodded and walked with him to the counter. He rang me up in silence, glancing at me a few times as if he wanted to say something further. I just wanted the roses so I could get them to David before he was fast asleep in bed. Like all the time before, bed was his next destination after his re-education.
I paid the man and walked out with my flowers. His thoughts about me didn’t matter. I knew who I was and the reasons behind my actions. It was love. It had to be love. I truly loved David. I was doing everything in my power to make sure the relationship worked, even if that meant using force. I recognized the good thing I had in him, and I had no interest in letting this fail between us.
I hadn’t gone too far from home. In a matter of moments, I was through the door, hearing nothing but silence in the air. As I moved into the apartment, I saw the light go out in the bedroom. I hated that David was trying to escape from me. I hated he couldn’t see what I was doing for us. All he knew was the man he loved was beating him, but he didn’t look deeper at the driving force behind it, love.
I tried to walk softly, giving him the impression that I believed he was really asleep. I through my jacket onto the chair in front of the mirror and sat on the end up the bed. David looked so peaceful. I loved his body shape underneath the blankets. He always kept in shape, which was one of the things I loved about him.