getting a tad introspective here, sorry bout that chief lol
Brad and Amy had started spending time together outside the dojo. Just walking and talking sometimes sitting on a park bench, sometimes on the swings, sometimes in the grass. They talked about the weather and the dojo and their project and learned about each other. Some times they didn’t talk at all, they were just together. Amy was getting more relaxed with him every day and he was super excited to see the light shining in her eyes. When she had first come into his dojo those eyes had been as close to dead as he had ever seen. She had been wounded so badly by the trauma that it was a wonder that she had survived. Mentally or physically. She was a fighter, a survivor, and she was proving it to him now. Only someone with a very tough inner fiber could go thru what she had gone thru and even remotely contemplate any kind of relationship let alone a close one with a man. He did not know exactly what she had gone thru, she never talked about that, but if his worst imaginings were even close she was one of the strongest people he had ever met. And yet, he discovered, she never saw her self that way. When she looked into the mirror she saw a young, painfully thin woman who was broken inside with no hope of ever being fixed. He didn’t like that at all. He wanted her to see what he saw, a young, slender, vibrant woman with a heart as big as all outdoors and a will to match. A woman on a mission now, a mission to ensure that no other woman ever had to endure what she had endured. She knew that was an unrealistic goal, but she was going to try. What he saw and what she saw were so different and yet they were looking at the same person. Brad was hoping that with a little time and a lot of work and patience he could help her to see herself thru his eyes. And as he was moving in that direction he had to admit, if only to himself, that he had fallen in love with her. He also knew that he could not tell her. That she was not ready for that kind of pressure. If he rushed her he was apt to undo all the work she had put into healing her hurts and that was the last thing that he wanted to do. So he walked with her and talked and sat silent and listened and fell deeper and deeper under her spell. She was a witch and he was her willing victim.
In the days that followed Amys first trip to Brads dojo, she had been so scared. She knew that she was not up to this kind of commitment. ANY commitment was too much for her, she didn’t have the strength to handle this. But there was something about Brad that made her want to keep trying. She did not want to disappoint him, and she didn’t know why. At first. Little by little she realized that this man deserved her respect. He had an integrity about him. He was an honorable man, he showed this day after day in the way he treated her and his students. He never placed himself above anyone else, he was just as willing to get down and dirty as he was asking anyone else to do. He was a natural teacher, with a patience that was hard to come by. He had a serious way about him, but when he smiled he lit up the room. She really liked him and had begun to trust him, just about the time he had told her he was falling for her. At which point she had completely freaked out. She was not proud of how she had reacted to his declaration, but she was glad that he had made it. By doing so he had let her know where they stood. When she had spoken with him the next day she had tried to be as honest as possible, to let him know that she was unsure of her future, of their future, but that she was willing to be a bit uncomfortable in order to keep him as a friend. Now she thought that she could indeed see herself with a boyfriend, maybe even a husband, someday, maybe. But right now all she was ready for was a friend, and the fact that this friend was a male was a huge step in the right direction.
Little by little they learned more about each other and shared more with the other then they had ever done before. Event their best friends didn’t know all of the details they shared with each other. It was a good time for them both. They grew in their friendship and they grew in themselves.
After a few weeks of this easy companionship, they were sitting at the park, leaning against a tree and Amy asked Brad if he would be willing to listen to her talk about what happened that night. He was stunned into silence. He just looked at her, he didn’t know what to say. Could he listen to her? Could he listen to the details of what those men had done with out causing even more damage? He would be angry, he knew that, he would want to find them and kill them, he knew that too. What he didn’t know is whether he could keep those feelings from spilling over onto her. The last thing she needed at this point was for him to project these feelings and force her back into her shell because she would think that they were directed at her and not her attackers. She may know it mentally, but inside, she would be hurt by all of it, no matter how hard he tried not to let that happen. But could he tell her no? That could do as much harm as listening might. He didn’t know what to do, so he did what his instincts told him to do, be honest with her. “Amy, I am so honored by this request. I am so unbelievably flattered that you trust me enough to feel safe in sharing some of the most difficult memories in anyone’s life.” He started out, she interrupted “Oh Brad, I’m sorry, I can not believe that I asked you “ “Amy, hush! It’s my turn to talk! You have not done anything wrong, please let me finish before you jump to any conclusions okay?” meekly she nodded, but she had withdrawn into herself and was pulling away even as she agreed. He reached out and took her hands in his, having to unwrap them from around her waist to do so, and continued “I know that you are sensing the giant BUT that is coming, and I know that I have to say it, so here goes…I am honored, but, I do not know if I am strong enough to live those moments with you. I do not know if I have what it takes to be able to listen to you talk about the horrors you that lived through. I am not as strong as you are and I don’t know if I will do something to hurt you either by my reactions or my distress at your pain. You are so strong and you are making such giant strides forward in your life, please don’t ask me to put my big foot right into the middle of your recovery and trip you up.” He was almost pleading with her to understand what he was meaning, knowing that he was not saying it well enough to convey his thoughts clearly. “Amy, I care for you, very much. I think you know that. I will do what ever you want me to do, whatever you need me to do, to help you heal. But I have to be honest with you as well. I do not think that this is a good idea. I think that you do need to tell your story. I think that you cannot finish healing with it bottled up inside you like this, but I am not the person for you to tell it to.” The more he talked the more relaxed Amy became. He was so happy to see this, as it meant that she was getting it, she wasn’t mad at him and she wasn’t going to run away from what they had. He was so proud of her he could have burst. “Brad, I think I understand what you are trying to tell me. Thank you for trying so hard. I know that you are not going to hurt me, but I know that I don’t want to hurt you either, so, no, I will not ask you to listen, at least not just you. I think that you might be right. I think I do need to talk about that night, to get it all out into the open so that it doesn’t fester inside me any more. I think YOU need to know what happened that night too, so that you can better understand some of my fears and anxieties. I cannot explain them to you but if you know some of the details then you can understand better.” She stopped for a breath and looked him in the eye. “So” she said “So” he replied and they smiled faintly. She squeezed his hands, a little surprised that she was still holding them and said “Now what do we do? We both agree that this is a good idea and a bad idea.” He thought about that for a little while and then asked her. “Do you think it would be easier for you to talk about this with someone you know or with someone you don’t know?” “I am not sure, but I think that I would rather know the person, so that they know that I am telling the truth right from the start and I don’t have to go into details about my real life or anything.” “Ok, then I might have a solution. Maybe we could talk to Jon? And maybe he will either be willing to listen or at least know someone he can recommend. He is, after all, a pretty good shrink in his own right” and they both laughed a tad uncomfortably. She nodded slowly. “Yes, I think that might just work, I like Jon and I think that he could help us.” He was pleased with her response and he started to relax again. “Right after the attack, while I was still in the hospital, they brought in a psychiatrist to help me. He had a way about him that made me feel like it was my fault. I did not connect with him and would not even talk to him after that first time. I think that might have been a mistake, now all of those feelings have had time to become an intrigal part of my life, and it may be a little bit more difficult to deal with them now.” She mused “Ok, I think we need to set a time to spend with Jon and see what he thinks of all of this. It can’t be too far in the future though or I will chicken out and hid again.” “I still don’t know if I will be able to handle this “ Brad said “but if you are willing to put yourself thru this in order to heal, then I will do whatever I can to help, and I’m sure I will learn a lot about myself in the process” then Brad stood up and pulled her to her feet, He carefully wrapped her in a comforting hug and just stood there holding her for a few minutes. He said “Amy, you impress me more and more every time we talk.” She blushed and pushed away from him and told him to stop lying to her, pretending to punch him as she danced out of his reach. He went along with her and acted like he was going to chase her down, but ended up just grabbing her hand and walking by her side.
“Life” he thought “just got a little more complicated”