Friday night, I went out for a few drinks with a friend from work. It had been a stressful week and it’s only going to get worse over the next while, so in order to let off some steam, we went out on the town. Meanwhile, another friend of mine was messaging me, bugging me to come out and meet her for drinks.
Once I wrapped up with the work folk, I taxi’d over to my local establishment to meet my friend. She was pretty loaded by the time I got there. A couple people were sitting one table over; my friend had met them at the first pub she visited; they came and sat down at our table and we all started talking.
At one point, I went to the bathroom; the lady came with me. Once I was finished peeing, I attempted to vacate the bathroom. I didn’t think we were “there” yet (as far as needing to wait for the other to finish), so I started walking towards the door, calling “I’ll see you out there!” over my shoulder as I went.
She called me back in; I didn’t know what she needed me for, or what she needed to say. I also didn’t realize that what she was going to say would break my heart into a million little pieces.
She told me that she’s “with the wrong man”. Knowing absolutely nothing about her situation, I replied with something generic, along the lines of “You should be with someone that makes you happy”. But she told me that she was afraid of being alone. Since I’m chronically single I told her that I know being alone sucks, but I think it’s better than being unhappy. She said that she was confused and didn’t know what she wanted.
TWG: You know what? I just met you and you’re telling me (while crying in the bathroom of a bar, I might add) that you’re with the wrong man. That tells me you know you’re not happy.
C: But I’m afraid of being alone!
TWG: But does your fear of being alone outweigh the fact that you’re unhappy?
She said it so adamantly. And since I don’t know her, I figured I couldn’t really give advice, or tell her what I think without knowing the situation. I politely asked what was wrong with the guy that makes him the wrong guy.
She got a thoughtful look on her face. She really seemed to be weighing her answer; like what was the main problem with her man. Maybe he works too much. Maybe he’s emotionally unavailable. There are all sorts of reasons why someone could be the wrong person.
I wasn’t prepared for her answer. Her eyes welled up with tears again and she looked at me with the saddest look I think I’ve ever seen on a person’s face.
C: Probably the beatings. (she said it so matter-of-factly)
TWG: He hits you??!
C: Yeah, but I can be a real B-I-T-C-H. (yes, she spelled it out) If I was him, I’d hit me too.
TWG: That isn’t good… That’s not right…
C: But I don’t have anywhere to go. I don’t have any friends. I’m from Edmonton and I’m alone with him here.
I didn’t know what else to say. I just hugged her. Someone else came in the bathroom so we left and went back to the table. She kept looking at me and mouthing “Thank-you”. She was so grateful for having someone to listen to her. So grateful for having someone that cared. She kept saying that she was so glad to have met me; that she needs good people in her life.
I told her I would be her friend. I got her number and told her I would call her. I don’t know what she needs. I don’t know if I can give it to her. All I know is that she needs a friend and someone to talk to. I have ears and a shoulder to cry on; they’re hers if she wants them.