"The saddest thing I ever heard,” Maggie answered.
But, no, she hadn’t said that. That’s just what Jess had thought she’d say and hearing what she'd wanted to, she now couldn’t educe what words Maggie had really delivered. Too much was clanging around now. Had she suggested even the word sad? A word close to sad? It was awful, tragic, sickening, heart-wrenching. It was. It was when Jess had witnessed it, and still when she remembered it for it wasn’t gone. It had made a home within her and sometimes she was successful at locking the door to that abode, travelling elsewhere, but when she came back to her heart which sometimes and unfortunately beat on solid ground, that was what she had to return to. So whatever Maggie had remarked, it should have been what Jess had wanted to hear. Something, anything to mitigate the fact that here, her heart was a shack and that only in her dreams was there a safe place to dwell.
“You’re angry today, Jess and that’s okay.” Maggie voice softened as she continued, “But I wonder if really you’re just sad?”
Could she be angry and sad at the same time or was the anger holding fort, keeping the tears at bay, avoiding any healing or reconciliation between one world and another?
Jess protected her face with her hands to hide its contortion when she squeezed it tight, willing anguish of some form to alleviate.
Maggie stood from the chair by the bed and approached the bed where she then perched, placing her left hand on Jess’ thigh by her knee. Jess felt something in her heart burst and she began to now cry hard.
Maggie didn’t speak but nor did she act as though she were uncomfortable with Jess’ show of emotion.
How would she ever be able to do this? Retain that peace and joy she felt with him, and bring it over? She wasn’t strong enough. In this state, even with Maggie’s presence she was fighting hard against the voices and the smudges of what she thought she’d polished in strong veneer. Now the tears exposed her own truth, perhaps, that she was weak and weary and bone scared and sad but actually furious too. Furious about the situation. This was a no-man’s land for her. It was built for others- not for her. Her diagnosis only proved that. She’d barely been able to walk through it before, and now how would she ever?
“You aren’t alone here,” Maggie said finally as Jess’ tears ran dry as the land she felt she lived in.