“Give it a rest,” Catherine said.
“Every contact reactivates,” the therapist said.
“Step back,” Casey said.
So when she called Catherine, two days after Catherine told her she cared only 50-50%, Casey left a shaky voicemail message which at the time she desperately mistook for strength.
“I need a month, Cat. I am too hurt to think straight. I want you in my life but I need time. I hope you know I will be there for you.”
Almost instantly Casey regretted that last sentence. It sounded hollow; it did not play to her strengths. Even though she meant it—despite the circumstance she frequently worried about Catherine—she knew Catherine would snicker at that part.
Whatever strength Casey might have managed to store in reserve folded within hours. She left another message for Catherine the next day, but this time her words were muffled by breaths that were really sobs.
“I’ve moved out and I need support. Please call me, Cat.”
Catherine did not call that day or that week or that month.
“I won’t recover,” Casey told Priya, told her friends, told anyone who happened to know.
“Yes, you will.”
“No, I won’t.”
And two years later, in a perplexing twist of unfathomable one sided disdain, it turned out Casey may have been right.