Sometimes, I write some pretty dark material. Part of it is because, like many other writers, I’m working out my own persona issues through the words on the page. I get in touch with emotions, explore ones I don’t like to explore and do it from the safety of my keyboard. It’s great.

It’s not so great when you’re coming to terms with how abusive your own marriage was/is. And you find yourself pulling direct dialogue from a conversation you’ve had from your (now ex) spouse. And all of those emotions — that anxiety you felt when she accused you of x y or z and how all you knew was the need to make it better, but being unsure of how to do so. I am very rarely triggered; I don’t take the term very, very lightly. I tend not to warn for things. 

Writing something that put me back into James’s shoes felt awful. Which means I either did it right, or I did it wrong. I’m not sure. But if I felt like it was hinting towards more sinister things to come, it made me realize how dangerously close I was to a situation that many would have deemed abusive without a second thought. With all of the manipulation and passive-aggressive and outright aggressive and abusive things said, I have plenty of first hand experience to play with. Dialogue to manipulate and utilize. Things I never would have considered abusive before are feeling that way, now. 

My therapist once told me I say “I understand,” a lot. To the point where he lightly suggested I may be too understanding. I’m really starting to see why. Oh boy.

And here’s the part that made me have to stop writing, today. I finished the section and stopped. Good thing was I already wrote 2k by that point. 🙂

James gulped, loosely crossing his arms over his chest as Mark glared at him as if the very act would light James on fire. As if he wanted to light James on fire. “I told you he wasn’t okay with it,” Mark hissed, his own arms taut over his chest.

“I know,” James said, hastily wiping the tears leaking from his eyes. “I fucking know, okay? I just — I didn’t want to think that he’d be a bigot. I wanted to think that he’d continue to love me.”

James stared out over Mark’s apartment. A couch sat in the middle of the living room floor, a decorative blanket thrown over the back of it. The television set sat not far behind it, the screen thankfully blank as Mark stood just before it. “What do you expect me to do?” Mark spat, his arms unfurling. “Not like your dad’s gonna listen to me any. I’m the man who corrupted you, after all.”

James winced and he looked away from Mark. “I just — don’t want you to be mad at me,” he muttered, shaking his head. “I know I didn’t — that I didn’t defend you, but — I just didn’t know what to do. Dad’s never — never fucking done something like that before, and — I froze up. I’m sorry.”

“You fucking better be,” Mark said, stalking out from behind the couch and approaching James. He stood directly in front of the shorter man, grabbing James’s chin roughly and tilting James’s head back, forcing their eyes to meet. “I’m your boyfriend. You’re supposed to defend me, alright?”

James nodded and wished the tears would stop coming. “Alright,” he whispered, breathless as Mark’s eyes then softened. Mark brushed his thumb against James’s cheek. “I’m sorry,” he said again, his voice wavering.

“It’s okay,” Mark said, sincerity lacing his voice. “Just don’t talk to him anymore. If he can’t accept you — if he can’t accept us, then you don’t fucking need him in your life. Okay?”

James opened his mouth to respond, a stone sinking in his stomach before he looked away from Mark. “O-Okay,” he mumbled.

Mark brushed his lips against James’s, wiping away James’s tears with his thumb. “You have me now, alright? Everything’ll be okay, as long as we have each other.”

“Y-Yeah…” James moved away from Mark, sucking on his teeth for a moment before chewing on his lip. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said a little more strongly, lifting his chin. He then wrapped his arms around Mark and rested his head on Mark’s shoulder, closing his eyes and ignoring the way his stomach twisted and sank towards his shoes.

“Of course I am,” Mark murmured in his ear, his arms surrounding James and keeping him close. “I’m always right, aren’t I?”

James wanted to say Not always, but thought better of it and just accepted the warmth of Mark’s arms — and then accepted the softness of Mark’s lips as they began making their way down his neck, as if their argument had already been forgotten. He didn’t say no.

Mark would just convince him he really wanted it, anyway.

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