How could saying three words be so difficult. While I write this, the syllables roll off my tongue easily. I love you. I’m not saying it to anyone in particular. Not to my mother, my lover or to you whose reading this currently. They are just sounds that dawdle about in the air for a bit before disappearing into the aether. But when confronted by the person of affection it becomes difficult. The words get lost in our throats and get knotted in the folds of our minds and refuse to get out.
But confessions can’t be reduced to a single moment. They are a string of interconnected events that happen in and out of our minds, before and after the actual instant. Rokka’s confession to Hazuki wasn’t a staggering catharsis. There was a seed initially planted by Hazuki, which was nurtured by her warm thoughts till it finally blossomed with full bodied and vibrant petals. Gardens don’t grow in minutes.
When dealing with a confession we go through three loosely defined phases:
- The realization that a confession must be made
- Mentally preparing for the confession itself
- Dealing with the consequences of that confession.
For Rokka, the realization comes in small doses: from her urge to hold Hazuki hand, to wrapping her slender arms around his neck in the fugue of her fever, to her request to wash his back. Bit by bit she begins to come to terms that she might actually like him. Like a vine he slowly enwraps her concious, becoming more than just another hand in her shop.
While this is an important step for her, it isn’t the most difficult. Preparing to confess, for her, is accepting that she is leaving her husband behind, sketch book and all. Shimao was her first and only love. Even though the feelings might be familiar, charting similar territory with a new unfamiliar person is scary, if not more. Could they guide you to the places you long to see again? If they fail, where would you end up? You might just be worse off than before.
These questions all fundamentally deal with the consequences of a confession. Where the branches of our decisions eventually go must ultimately be thrown in the air to the whims of fate. Most of the ‘prepatory’ phase becomes hairsplitting analysis of the future. But our feelings can’t be summed into a formula. If we say X to Person Y, then we will get result Z. Each of the variables are filled in when we play the scene through our heads. We have to realize there is no exact algebra to emotions, only guidelines and trends to help shed some light.
To get any closure there only one way to do it. Look her dead in the eyes and tell her. An answer will present itself I promise.
Next week we’ll discuss the third and final step: how to deal with the fallout.