She's finally saying it. She's saying the words out loud to the one person she really wants to hear them.
She's been saying these words to herself for two months, changing them, rolling them over in her mind, perfecting them. Learning them as lines. Saying them in the mirror until they didn't sound like real words anymore.
Then she would drop them altogether for a time, always a short time because every weekday morning the loop tape would begin again in my mind as she got in the car.
She censored them. She censured them. She cinched them up tight in a corner of her mind and vowed to be done with them. She wrote them, and deleted them. She prayed them and cursed them and tried to forget them.
And here they are on her lips. Here is an audience to hear.
And she's not particularly angry. She is resigned. She is what she is supposed to be at this moment. She is herself, and yet something just a bit more herself than usual.
Sitting in this little room, too close, knees almost touching as the three of us try to wrestle with these words. One of us knowing they are coming but obviously not really knowing. One of us not even knowing these words have an origin. And one of us, the speaker, unwaveringly speaking those words.
And my mind, the way it works, all caught up in hooks and memory and song, thinks of the word unwavering, sitting there in that little room, and for a moment Lyle Lovett is there with us and he sings his song of unwavering woman decisions.
She just speaks the truth. She speaks it in my voice. She doesn't hide behind politics or double-speak and it is true.
It rings true, like nothing but the truth can. The words are known but they are not recited. They are spoken.
The one thing that was always appreciated about the speaker was the way she could cut through all that nonsense and say what she meant when she meant it. This is already understood subtext for two of them.
He knows they are not idle threats or wishes. He shakes his head at the other listener trying to bargain, trying to find common ground. He knows. And he finally knows that it is true.
I walk out of the office and shed her. Not for good. I collect her up in the witch's bottle of my mind for when I need that avatar of unwavering words to reappear. I've been diminished for two months, working this incantation to bring her forth for when I would finally need her, when I could strike with calm, well-practiced statements. I've grown smaller and smaller while I forced this side of myself forward and now, perhaps, I can expand back to the person I'm supposed to be. Before I lose something important.