DISCLAIMER: X-files and its characters are the property of Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This hasn't been beta-read, so all mistakes contained herein are my own. (Feel free to point out any that you find, though.) Feedback would be most welcome.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Angst on a Shoestring
By Susan P


You know, I resent the power you have to make me miserable with just one word--one well-meant sentiment. I don't care that it's meant well. Don't even care that you want what's best for me. That you care for me. That you want me to be happy. Right now, I'm just so angry with you. For not seeing that I don't care about finding a 'new love.' That I've found the only 'love' I want. I'm angry with you for not seeing that you're the one I want. I can't help but think that, on some level, you *do* see it. Do you see it? Is your comment constructed to give me some subtle hint that I *should* be looking for a new love--or at least be interested in finding one? Is your seeming-ignorance of my feelings calculated? Or do you really not know? Can you be that blind?

One sentence--not even a whole sentence really--and I'm reduced to tears. So much of the time I hate the distance between us. But I have reason to be glad of the separation now. How would I explain my tears? My anger? I am not even sure I can explain it to myself. I am clearly angry with you. Whether it's because you can't seem to read me the way I need you to, or because you don't feel for me what I feel for you, or because you do and you can't take the necessary leap of faith any more than I can. As much as I would like to blame you for my own torment, I know I share responsibility for it. I do *want* to tell you. I think I need to at this point--if only for the sake of my self-respect. To know that I can look you in the eye and say it--out loud--if only just once. But the need to face you when I say it is part of the problem, given that I see you so infrequently. Every time I've seen you the last year and a half, I've come close to doing it. But there always seems to be something in the way; our respective problems and obligations always seem to be hanging in the air between us, and something always seems to cut-short the time we spend alone together. And when we are together it never seems to be the right time. Not that there ever *will* be a right time.

But this hangs in the air between us, too. Even if I'm the only one aware of it. Maybe I should just say it and get it over with. It doesn't seem right to do this by phone, however, and I'm not sure I want to do it in writing. That this record of my foolishness might survive me is daunting enough. To think of giving you such concrete evidence...

If you saw these words, would you realize they were about you? What would my mother--or Mulder--think? Would they assume I was talking about him, despite my references to our being apart? Not that it would be an impossibility. I do have feelings for Mulder. But it would complicate the work, and we both need the work right now--maybe more than we need each other.

And whatever Mulder is, whatever he means to me...ultimately, he's not you. He doesn't have the power over me that you do. Power I've given you. Power you may not even know you have.

It's pointless to resent you for that, I suppose. You've had my heart all these years. If you somehow remain unaware of that, I have only myself to blame. I'm the coward. Odd that I risk my life on an almost daily basis, but I can't find the courage to risk my heart.

What will it take for me to find my nerve, I wonder?

Well, my tears have dried, and my anger cooled now. But I still haven't resolved anything where you're concerned. As usual.

The woman dropped the pen in frustration and closed the
book in which she had been writing. She turned the desk
lamp off, leaving only the glare from the computer screen
for illumination. She rubbed her eyes--briefly--and
looked at the screen. After a few moments, she reached
out to trace a finger across the e-mail address:

Ginger Daniels <gdaniels@comnet.net>

Her finger rested on the monitor briefly, before logging
off, quitting the program, and turning the computer off.

The End

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