Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taiwan girls: Josh and Maggie III

Six months after he started dating Maggie, Josh's thoroughly modern relationship was beginning not to look so anymore.

“Why don’t you ever want to get married?” asked Maggie ever so gently.

“Do you really want to discuss this?”said Josh knowing she did but afraid of the results.

“You foreigners like to discuss. I want to know your reason - Why you don’t want a nice girl like me.” He looked at her and frowned. It was a masterstroke: at once being an abstract discussion and highly personal.

“I am not saying I never want to get married - Just not yet!”

“So when is the right time?”

“I will know! You just can’t marry anyone. It takes time to find the right one.”

“I don’t think you will ever know. You have set yourself an impossible set of conditions to fulfill.”

He knew she had a point but that was between him and his psychologist. "It is better than being prepared to marry anyone. You Taiwanese girls will marry anyone who will have you.”

“Not true. I am just not afraid to marry," she said. "Are you anyone? Why are you so self-deprecating?” He couldn’t help softening when his ego was massaged in this way. It was something he just found so hard to handle: the continual compliments. He liked to give compliments rather than receive, because it meant he could walk away with his emotions intact.

“Yes, I am anyone. You don’t know me so well.”

“How long does it take to know a person? Again, for you, it is forever!”

“Maybe, you are right! But this is the way I choose to be....Please, you know if you are getting in too deep, then we must break up.”

“I said we are just discussing. I want to understand you.”

Josh knew this subject was coming up too often, but he enjoyed it because it was therapy for him - Back in Canada he had been able to openly discuss the impossibility of marriage and long-term commitment with the like-minded damaged female he was with at the time. Since he had been in Taiwan he had been made to feel like a Judas for having these feelings; a despicable and useless human being. He also understood to debate the rights and wrongs was pointless but he liked to communicate and have understanding with people; to not be misunderstood.

She continually leaned the discussion towards the personal, and, he knew it was no longer about understanding each other. Yet, he still believed as she was prepared to talk things would be resolved rationally. She, however, believed that by entering him in a discussion she was suddenly going to change his mind; that he would listen to reason because that is what westerners do.

Later that evening:“But I love you. Don’t stop me from saying it,” said Maggie. She had changed since they came back from holiday. After making love she now wanted to say she loved him. The first few times he, seeing it coming, put his fingers on her lips and she pretended to sulk, but now she pulled his fingers away, and became aggressive.

“I don’t want you to get hurt," replied Josh.

“Please don’t talk about when you are leaving. It is so hurtful!” At this point he knew everything had gone too far.

“I think we should finish things now. I am sorry. You are a great girl, but it is clear you are not keeping a distance.”

“I am sorry. Okay. I accept.”

For Josh, unfortunately, there was no turning back: the plasters that had precariously allowed him to justify the relationship had all popped off. "Sorry, no, it has time to break up."

“But, I love you.”

One hour later she left accepting it was for the best they broke up...

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