The first is paved with good intentions. To say that it leads to hell, however, is only…slightly inaccurate. Maybe it’s more accurate to say it doesn’t end there? Seeing through hell is difficult, but pushing through and understanding the possibilities on the other side is… freeing in a way, right? That’s what we want, freedom? The only thing is, our naïveté allowed us to believe that we could attain that together, with each other. We popped on our hard hats and got to work swiftly, brick after brick and humming along the way.
Happy to build our little road through hell because we didn’t understand what we were doing. We didn’t realize that each brick we added only served the purpose of providing us with the wisdom to realize we were building in the wrong direction. Only, we couldn’t realize until each brick was beautiful planted, cemented, painted… We could only realize when we looked ahead and had seen how far we’d gotten, while simultaneously looking back to see how far we’d come.
We realized too late that to get to the freedom we thought we’d have together, we’d have to go through hell. We’d have to fight. Cry. Go to bed wondering when the other will finally understand. Only to come to the conclusion that they never really will. We’d have to ride in the car to work silently, only thinking about how good things used to be. Then, as we moved closer and closer to hell that we’d have to go through, the fighting stopped. The quiet before the hell.
The second has been uprooted in patches. A chip here, a crack there. We continue along this road happily, neglecting the cracks we’ve created because… why rock the boat? The road has been good thus far. The patches have never slowed us down. When we kissed, we skipped over them. When we had open conversations, we leaped. Until someone tripped. We tripped and fell in a patch that rendered bruises, scrapes, cuts…damage. One person got too bruised to move, and we had to stop. How could this patch have appeared?
The road has been smooth, right? So, we take our eyes off of each other and the road ahead to look back at the road we’ve paved. It hasn’t been perfect, rather our perception has been. We’ve been negligent, and now it’s time to pay the tolls we’ve been ignoring for so long. As we stare at each other we silently ask, “should we get off the road?” After moments of longing stares, sweaty palms clingy tightly to each other and the life that we’ve built, small smiles spread across our face. In the midst of that pain – those cuts and bruises – we stand defiantly. We douse our cuts with rubbing alcohol, and we repave. We address the cracks, the patches and the potholes with cement and a determination to preserve the road we’ve built together. And it’s hard. We fight. But even still, we love.