March 16

And it just keeps going. Today at work I bumped into B___ in a hallway, I couldn’t keep it in, I had to talk to her, and as soon we found an empty meeting room I told her how hurt I was she was acting so distant all of a sudden. “Oh, Werther,” she said, so heartfelt, “how can you think that’s what this is, I just didn’t know what to do, but I mean, you know me! It’s been killing me, ever since I walked in and saw you there. I saw the whole thing coming, I was this close like a thousand times to telling you. I knew S__ and T___ would rather quit the board than stay in a room with you; I knew the CIO couldn’t afford to burn bridges with them — and now all this drama!” “Wh— what do you mean?” I said, fighting down the panic rising inside me; because everything Aiden had told me the day before went shooting through my veins like boiling water. “I’ve been through so much already…”, she said, starting to cry. I almost totally lost control, I practically collapsed in front of her. “Please, what are you talking about?!” I screamed. The tears started running down her cheeks. I was freaking out. She wiped them away, not even trying to hide them. “You met my aunt…she was there, she’s on the board, and…oh my god, when she saw all that…Werther, last night I got a whole lecture on my relationship with you, and again this morning, and I just had to sit there and listen to you being put down and insulted and I… not even being able to stand up for you…”

Every word she said was like a bullet through my heart. She couldn’t see how much kinder it would have been to keep that all from me… and then she went on about all the other gossip flying around and everyone lapping it up: how people are saying this is karma for my being so stuck up and looking down on everyone, and passing around this Condescending Werther meme… God, Will, hearing all this from her, all in this saaaad sympathetic tone — it broke me, and I’m still raging inside. I wish one of them had the balls to tell it to my face so I could put a knife in him; seeing some blood would help a lot right now. Eugh, the number of times I’ve grabbed a knife, to give this heart a little breathing room… I read an article about this special breed of horses, that when they’re badly overheating and they’re being ridden too hard, instinctually bite open a vein to let in more oxygen. That’s how I feel a lot, like if I just opened a vein I could be free forever…