I've Cried Enough...

I've Cried Enough...
for Maren

All of my tears have been frozen
After these years in this pain
My heart has finally chosen
To beat a bit faster again
Now I feel the awakening
I don't look back anymore
I am mysteriously standing on the good side of my soul

Boston, Massachusetts...

Marie looked into the mirror; a trope perhaps used once or seven times too often in her own stories; she found it ironic that it was a painful reminder of just how unfair a world without fairness can be. She sighed and ran a comb through her thinning hair, evoking a ‘Gee, thanks, Mom,’ as she tossed the comb aside.

“Why do I even bother?” She asked of no one and herself. No one responded, but she answered herself with a sigh.

“Because it’s all you have, Marie my dear!” She heard.

Her outfit was modest, but tasteful, and the colors complemented her in a way that said, ‘don’t worry, they’ll be looking at her, anyway,’ with her being Marie’s likely soon-to-be-ex wife. It would be a ‘no-fault’ divorce, which in their state meant no one would fault Denise for leaving her transsexual spouse.

“You can’t let this happen,” the voice came from behind her once again.

She looked in the mirror past her own reflection to the older woman hovering behind her in a way. She hadn’t thought to provide herself with an image until she read a series of stories by a very dear friend from Australia; a girl who found herself after living as a boy for years. The character had lost a sister; a sister who would appear from time to time from ‘beyond’ to encourage the girl. Marie’s own sister seemed to speak often to her from wherever precious innocence dwells after death. She imagined what Isabella might look like seventeen years past the date of her passing.

“What can I do, Bella? She hates me, and she wasn’t very keen on us even before I came out to her.”

“She’s frightened and she feels threatened. You took away so many things from her when you told her you were no longer only the man she married.” Bella’s head tilted a bit and she seemed to be running her fingers through Marie’s hair; an ethereal comb perhaps, but a visual if make-believe reminder of how playful and cozy Bella had been.

“I know…I didn’t want to hurt her. And now it’s too late, Bella. I don’t know what to do.” The woman put her hand over her face and began to sob; the longing for a physical touch was almost too much and certainly more than her own imagination or spiritual connection could handle since no touch was forthcoming.

“Call her.” Bella’s voice was almost soothing; almost but not as much as one might hope, and Marie lapsed into that state of self-pity in which we reside from time to time. She began to sob and the emotion was too much for her to handle. Bella was real, but Bella couldn’t provide the solace that Marie required desperately. Bella knew, however, someone who could.

I've cried enough
Over the priceless time I've lost
I've learn the going gets too tough
Now you regret love
I've cried enough
What you'll see on my face again
Is nothing but the rain
I've cried enough

“He’s really being so selfish, Niecy!” Carol sat at the kitchen table with her sister Denise. She didn’t really hate Marty; it was more that Carol had come to be her sister’s protector. Denise had been hurt in her first marriage; the man was as abusive and neglectful and selfish as they come. The family had recognized just how kind and caring Marty was, and they welcomed him into a family bereft of a responsible male; hoping for some sort of restoration and renewal.

Sadly for everyone, Marty proved to be a huge disappointment. Not because of anything he did; he was the perfect gentleman in every way but one; he really wasn’t much of what folks view as manly. Truth be told, he was more of a man than any one the family had ever met, even if he wasn’t strong or rugged, he was strong of character. Something that wasn’t lost on the girl’s mother, who struggled with trying to help both her girls see just what a great ‘guy’ Denise had married.

“I hate him for this!” Denise spat out; an expression that was more suited to her ex than her present spouse; to call him a husband at this point was almost infuriating, but the odd thing was that Denise still loved him. The trouble was that she reserved all of her love for the man she thought she married instead of the person inside that she had come to really love.

“I just don’t understand. How could he? He’s throwing away the best thing he’s ever had.” Carol shook her head and frowned. She was quite mistaken in so many ways. First, he wasn’t throwing away anything; her sister was. And if she was truthful with herself, she’d have realized that ‘he’ wasn’t doing anything, since it really was a she whom her sister had married in the first place, even if no one realized that was the arrangement at the time.

“Is it me or did it just get cold?” Denise looked over at the door, noting that it was closed against the weather outside. She felt no drafty breeze, yet still also felt the need of a sweater or shawl. Carol grabbed the small blanket from the couch and wrapped it around Denise along with an assuring hug.

“Why so angry, Carol?” The voice practically shouted but went unheard, since it wasn’t a voice at all, but a thought within her heart. She sighed and shook her head in an attempt to refocus.

“I’ll turn up the heat.” Carol walked over and went to adjust the thermostat and felt warmth on her wrist, as if someone was trying to hold her hand. She shuddered and pulled her hand away.

“It says it’s seventy-six…Maybe it’s a draft?” She walked to the door and pushed it, trying to close the already shut door. As she turned back to face Denise she felt a presence beside her and heard the words once again resound throughout her being.

“Why are you so angry, Carol? I know why, but do you?” The words seemed to echo in the silence. She grabbed the other blanket from the love seat and sat down next to Denise. She found herself looking around the living room.

“Carol? Are you okay?” Denise interrupted the interchange and put her hand on Carol’s shoulder. She flinched and looked around once again.

“I….I’m alright.” She said haltingly and shuddered once again. Denise pulled her in for a hug.

“I’m…..” She looked away, and while her arms felt almost ice cold, her face grew almost unbearably hot with shame.

“Am I angry?” She looked with pleading eyes at Denise, hoping her sister would tell her just how calm and accepting she was. Denise shook her head slightly, more at the question than any answer she could provide, since what she didn’t want to say could be hurtful. She took a deep breath and plunged into the potentially embarrassing moment.

Why would I try to deny it?
Most of my dreams are a mess
But what didn't kill me in fact has taught me
Life's a big game of test
Although in I believe in the future
I keep in mind all the past
Now that I live in the present
I don't care about the rest

“Honey…ever since Jeff…ever since he died, you…maybe we both have been upset.” An easier and nicer way of putting it. She smiled and patted Carol on the wrist and bit her lip.

“It isn’t fair, Niecy…why do all the good men….why do they go away?” She blew out a breath and looked away once again, searching for justification that wouldn’t come. She’d already played out the question in her head a thousand times, and the voice that seemed to break out from within merely repeated the question in an annoyingly rhetorical sense. Of course she was angry.

“I…hate him, Niecy….I hate him.” She said what was more on her mind than on her heart. Like Denise, Carol had the love of her life just go away. Two failed marriages and finally finding someone who actually cared like Marty seemed to have cared for her sister. And then Jeff was gone; and not at all suddenly or gently, but instead in a lingering painful departure that even now reminded her of how much her heart ached over his death.

“Shhh shhhh…..you don’t hate him, honey.” It was ironic, since in trying to comfort her sister, Denise felt an odd shame from her own situation. No matter, she thought; however Carol might really think and feel about Jeff, Denise was entitled to hate Marty for ‘going away.’ It might not be unfair for her sister, but it was entirely unfair for her, and she had a right; almost a duty to be angry at the loss of her husband in favor of some strange freak that now occupied their marital bed. She gritted her teeth and continued.

“He’s still in your heart, honey. You wouldn’t be so angry if you didn’t care about him. You wouldn’t miss him if you didn’t love him.” The irony of her words was completely lost; both by her and by Carol, who by then was sobbing into her sister’s sleeve. Carol still loved the one who abandoned her; even if it wasn’t his fault, he still was to blame. How dare he not rally and put forth a supreme effort to defy a fatal disease? How could he not fight hard enough to stay with her? How could he dare leave?

“I miss him so much, Niece…it hurts so much every single fucking day. Why did he have to die…? Why didn’t he live?” She was asking her own heart and God as much as her sister at that point and no answer would be found that day. But for the answer that her question gave Denise. And not just her question.

“Do you hate yourself so much to be so angry?” The voice that had swept through Carol’s soul now pierced Denise to the core. She shuddered, and it was Carol’s turn to hold her as she looked around, wondering where in heaven did the question come from. ‘Where in heaven’ probably was a very good way of putting it. She lowered her head and counted to ten; perhaps a way of regaining consciousness, since it was obvious to her that she must have been dreaming.

“Why do you miss what you still have,” the voice called once again; this time almost a physical sensation. Denise looked over at the door and saw no one. She looked over Carol’s shoulder through the pass-through into the kitchen and saw no one. And she looked over at the sideboard in the dining area and saw the picture of her and Marty; a photo from their honeymoon. The two sat at an outdoor café in Manhattan, enjoying morning coffee. The picture seemed different somehow.

“There you are,” the voice said. Denise realized it was ‘you’ in the plural sense; the two of them together on the nicest weekend either of them had ever had. And she peered at the man she had married. Even sitting down, he seemed smaller than her, and for the first time perhaps he seemed ‘soft.’ Not in a bad way; not weak or puny. But soft as in comforting and safe and welcome.

“Call her!” The voice seemed to laugh; it was from her innermost being, which made it odd, since the pronoun was entirely strange yet seemed to fit more than any other word she had ever uttered.

“Niecy? Are you okay?” Carol spoke the question in an echo of their exchange only moments before.

“No, sis. I’m not okay. I don’t think I have been, and…” Her eyes widened and it seemed to Carol that she was angry with her until she continued.

“I’ve only myself to blame. I’m sorry…I’ve been so selfish. I haven’t been here for you, and I’m so sorry for that. But I plan on changing that, but first I have to take care of me…and that means I have to take care of someone else first.” She looked over at the picture once again. Carol went to say something in argument and stopped as that same voice spoke once again to her heart as well.

“She’s right, Carol. Let her go.”

Simple enough to hear, but so difficult for Carol to allow her sister to lead her own life; God knows it had been hard enough for Carol to lead her own life as well as her sister’s, but now it was clear. Denise had her own life to lead, and so did Carol. This time another, more familiar voice spoke.

“She’ll be okay, honey.” The soft tenor voice brought Carol to tears. And she felt a warmth on her shoulder as she wept.

“It will be alright, Carol.” Two voices in unison; one dear one whom she had loved and lost and would regain someday. And a voice of a kind woman she had never known who had passed away fifteen years before her brother married Carol’s sister.

How could I ever feel sorry for being stronger than I am?
I've cried enough
Over the priceless time I've lost
I've learned the going gets too tough
Now you regret love
I've cried enough
What you'll see on my face again
Is nothing but the rain
I've cried enough

Marie sat at her kitchen table; kitchen as in kitchenette/living room/bedroom suite. She had removed her outfit and makeup and was wearing jeans and an over-sized sweatshirt. The cup of coffee in front of her had grown cold hours ago, and she barely had begun the crossword puzzle from the Sunday Times. Her cell phone seemed to standout; black and shiny against the faux pine Formica of the table. A knock came at the door. She rose slowly, fearing and hoping at the same time as to who might be standing on the other side of the door.

“I thought about calling, but I had to….” Denise looked at Marty and shook her head.

“Why…you’re not…”

“I can’t….you mean too much to me. I can’t even care about me if I don’t have you!” Marty shook his head; the tears had long since dried from that morning, and he was determined to be the man she married. But tears can go both ways.

“I’m so sorry, honey.” The first endearment they had exchanged in months, Denise began to cry even as she pulled her spouse into her in a warm if shameful hug. There was enough regret for both to assume even if both were also wrong.

“I don’t know what to do. I just know I’ve cried enough.” Marty began to say. He looked away, feeling frightened and ashamed and fearful over misplaced hope, but Denise spoke.

“Me too. But I love you. We don’t have to do anything. For now, just holding me is okay? I can’t stop crying, but you know it’s all good.” She sobbed.

Marty put his head on her shoulder and wept harder than he had ever in his life; in Marie’s life for that matter. Too much pain and sorrow for either of them to bear alone; they found in that single moment that it was the two of them together that mattered; not one or the other, but the unity of their love. What would happen from that moment on would be something they would discover together. They hugged and kissed each other like teens finding true love for the first time and in the same moment as if they had been married forever.

I've cried enough
Over the priceless time I've lost
I've learn the going gets too tough
Now you regret love
I've cried enough
What you'll see on my face again
Is nothing but the rain
I've cried enough


I've Cried Enough
Words and music by
Rick Allison and
Lara Fabian
Sung by Lara Fabian

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