When a man loves, he feels some kind of pressure. And the pressure can either make the man or leave scars both parties would never forget. While some men accept the challenge that comes with pressure, others shy away from it. And Michael was about to find out the type of man he is. Love doesn’t just come with pressure, most times it comes also with lots of responsibilities. The responsibility of being there for a person mentally, physically, emotionally, and sometimes financially. And also the pressure of doing right by such a person and not leaving trails of broken hearts even when feelings change. Especially when the person has opened up so much of his or herself to you, their fears and shortcomings. The pressure of not becoming the person’s fears becomes real.
Ever since Veronica spoke to Michael about how skeptical she was about his relationship with her daughter Lisa because she does not want her to journey through life the same way she did, Michael has been fighting with his feelings and emotions for Lisa. Deep down, he really does care about Lisa and right now it seems he is in love with her but on the other hand, he is scared it could just be an infatuation or his feelings for Lisa may just be a flash in a pan. Besides, he was taught that everything changes with time.
Often when his dad would abuse his mother, while consoling his mother, he would ask her how she ended up with a man like his father. She would tell him their love story and how she thought their love was written in the stars or maybe inscribed in a rock somewhere. But along the way, things changed. People change when faced with new realities. Money change people, stress change some, while others just grow out of love. Michael was afraid that an apple does not fall far from the tree and he wouldn’t want his parents’ relationship for him and Lisa especially after how life has dealt with Lisa and her mother so far.
In school, Lisa observed that Michael was beginning to avoid her. She tried talking to him about it but Michael was used to masking his demons and fighting them on his own. In his defense, he could not open up to Lisa that he is having doubts about their relationship because it would break her fragile heart. Besides he doesn’t want to be the reason she believes all men are scum or give up on love like her mother.
Lisa was not a fool, she noticed the change in Michael. And she also noticed she couldn’t get across to him no matter how hard she tried. It hurt her more than she could have imagined not knowing what went wrong or how to help him. If only Michael could open up, maybe she might proffer a solution. After all, they say a problem shared is half solved.
It is hard going through something you don’t know what it is or how to handle. This affected Lisa in every possible way. Once a lively and optimistic young girl was not humbled by her love for a young boy she doesn’t know what demons he was fighting.
Veronica noticed the change in Lisa and tried reaching out but just like Michael she also couldn’t let her mother in. How does she begin to explain to her mother that she is feeling this way because Michael was fighting demons he couldn’t open up to her about? Besides her mother did warn her about falling in love and ending up the same way she did. But Veronica is not stupid. She was once Lisa’s age and she knows how it feels to be in love. She remembered how she felt when her boyfriend at the time left her. Her mood changed and so did her whole life. Then she had prayed for a loving and supporting mother. Maybe her life might have turned out differently if her mother was there for her. Not to make the same mistakes her mother made, she was determined to be there for her own daughter. Since Lisa wouldn’t open up to her, she would leave notes for her telling her how much she misses the old Lisa and assuring her that whatever she is going through, she doesn’t have to go through it alone. The notes gave Lisa the reassurance she needed that whenever she is ready to let it all out, there are at least two listening ears ready to hear her out.
At home, sulking became the order of the day for Michael. His mum blamed herself for questioning his relationship with Lisa and felt maybe she had a part to play in making Michael unhappy. In her own little way to make things right, she invited Lisa over to have a chat with her hoping to find out how to get through to her son.
She opened up to Lisa about the conversation she had with Michael prior to his changed behavior and suggested that although Michael professed undying love for her, he might be fighting the thoughts. She apologized for planting such thoughts in his mind and begged her to help get Michael back to being happy if she truly loves and cares about him.
Lisa was relieved to finally have an idea of what Michael may be going through. Maybe it wasn’t that much of a big deal after all. But the fear of not knowing what the problem was initially was what was eating her up and not the actual problem itself.
When Michael returned home and saw Lisa with his mother talking and laughing, he took it as a sign that maybe the universe really does want Lisa to be part of his life. He walked over smiled and exchanged pleasantries with the two ladies in his life he really cared about. His mum explained to him that she was worried about his recent sulking and blamed herself that maybe she might have contributed in breaking his heart and wanted to make things right in her own way.
Although this wasn’t Michael’s problem, he was still happy knowing that he at least has the support of his mother and it meant a lot to him. For Lisa, she was a bit disappointed that Michael would stay away from her because his mother asked him to for the reputation of his family without talking to her about it.
She was happy to see Michael smiling again but she now had doubts of her own about her relationship with Michael. To her, if Michael can stay away from her because of his mother’s advice, what would happen when she is facing serious issues the same way her mother faced when she was her age? She doesn’t deny her love and care for Michael but she was sad to admit that her mother was right after all. You cannot give yourself foolishly to a man in the name of love because when love cuts, it cuts deep and is sure to leave its own scars.
Perplexed, Lisa decided to open up to her mother about the whole situation with Michael and what she learned from Michael’s mother. She explained to the mother that although she cares and loves Michael a lot, she wants to cut ties with him and move on but she is skeptical because it now seems like his mother approves of their relationship and she was the one that opened up to her about the whole situation.
She was surprised when her mother asked her how she claims to love Michael and still wants to let go without a fight. She explained to her that if she claims to love somebody, the least she can do is try. She told her that love might leave one with a scar but it also leaves one with memories to cherish a lifetime and that she as the product of her young love life was not her scar but a memory she will forever cherish.
This might not have been what Lisa expected to hear from her mother, but it was what she needed to give love another chance.
Veronica apologized and explained to her daughter that she might have played a part in Michael’s troubles. She told her how she told Michael about the scars of her past love life and told him to cut off the relationship now rather than make her go through what she went through. She admitted that this pressure perhaps is not too good for a young man in love no matter how noble his intentions might be.
Lisa could not decide whether to be angry with Veronica for interfering in her relationship by scaring Michael with her past love life or she should be angry with Michael for bottling this up and allowing it to affect their relationship the way it did. But one thing was certain, she couldn’t stay angry with her mother; besides Veronica was all she has got in this world.
Lisa couldn’t bottle everything up inside her the same way Michael did. She had to confront Michael about the true reason he has been avoiding her. She asked him if it was because of her mother or his. He opened up about the conversation he had with her mother and he was really struggling to do what is right by her even if it meant letting her go. Besides, sometimes the only way to show you love a person is to “let her go”.
Lisa could understand where his mind was at the moment. She also saw that it tortured him as much as it tortured her. Although his actions were wrong, his intentions were good and his heart was in a good place. And to her, a man is where his heart is and she believed Michael’s heart was with her.