Episode 83 - Just Be There

[Dial tone]


ROSLYN: You've reached the Love and Luck Podcast.





RICARDO: [Anxious] CJ, it's Ricardo. I... I can't come around tomorrow, I don't think. Or... today, I suppose, technically.

I just... it's a very bad day.

It's four thirty in the morning, and I can't stay asleep longer than half an hour or so at a time. I just keep having nightmares. I dream about being hurt and killed, and then I wake up in a sweat.

I came downstairs, but everyone's asleep. Which of course I understand, but... god, I feel like I am still in a nightmare, sometimes, when this happens. Like I am completely alone. Like no one else is real.

[Sigh] You're real, right? I know you'll be sleeping right now, and that's why you're not answering the phone. It is that, right? It's not that you're not real?

Sorry. Sorry. I just... it's a bad day. It's a bad day. I don't... I don't want to go anywhere today. I don't... feel safe anywhere.

[Sigh] I wish someone was up. I wish I had someone here so I know it's real and I'm not alone.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.



CJ: [Gentle] Hey, Ricardo, it's CJ. I'm glad you're not answering. Hopefully that means you're getting some more sleep.

It's totally okay that you're not up to coming around today. Would you like me to come by the Best of Luck Bar? We can hang out there instead.

And yes, I'm real, I promise.

And don't be sorry. You went through something horrible. It's normal to still be struggling with the aftermath of that.

[Very Gently] It's okay. I promise. It's okay.



RICARDO: [Weakly] I can't... I can't see you today. I don't want you to see me like this. I'm... I'm really struggling to hold myself together today.

[Upset] I don't know why you're with me. I don't want to hurt you with this. I'm so sorry.



CJ: [Frustrated] Shit, I'm so sorry I missed your call, I was in the middle of something at work.

[Gently, Lovingly] Ricardo... Ricardo, it's all right. You're not hurting me, I promise. I'm okay, I'm just worried about you.

You're not hurting me by being in pain. Even if you don't feel up to seeing me, that's okay, I get it, I can wait until you feel better.

You let me know when you're ready to see me, okay? I'll wait as long as you need. But you don't need to be feeling good to see me. I'm in a relationship with all of you, Ricardo, not just the fun bits. I don't mind being there for you when it's hard. I like being able to be there for you.

I love you, and I'm not afraid of being hurt by you. It's okay.



CJ: [Awkwardly] Okay, so, I just realized that that's the first time I've said "I love you", and that probably wasn't the best situation for it, or the best medium, but, uh, well... it slipped out, and now it's out there.

So I'm sorry for the shitty delivery, but... I still meant it. I do love you. I know I can't fix you, and I know sometimes you need space from me, but I'm not afraid of you and I don't mind being with you when it's hard.



RICARDO: [Emotional] I wish I could say I'm not afraid of you, but I am. I'm afraid of you getting tired of me, or getting annoyed at me, or thinking I'm pathetic, or just finding me too much to deal with.

I'm... afraid to tell you how much you mean to me. I'm afraid it will be too much. Just like I'm afraid that I'm too much.

I love you too. And that terrifies me. But... I love you too.


[Cassette Noise]

JULIE: [Sombre] It's been another rough week, baby. Priya's father passed away. His funeral is today.

That's where she is, actually. I'm home alone at the moment. [Struggling] I... was not able to go with her. Her family doesn't know she's queer, and... this is definitely not the time for that kind of revelation.

[Sigh] I'm doing my best to support her and be here for her. But, well... there's no fast track for grief. You can't zoom someone through healing. It takes time. You can't rush it.

So, I'm just... doing what I can. I hold her when she needs to cry. I cook dinner so she doesn't have to worry about it. I call her work and tell them that she won't be in today. I do the laundry and fluff the pillows on her favourite armchair, so she has somewhere to sit comfortably while she reads for the next few days.

It doesn't feel like much, from this side. But I know it's helping her, even if it's just a little bit.

It can be very hard to be there for someone when you can't give them what they need. But being there at all is the important thing.

She might not remember me doing the laundry in ten years' time, but... she will remember that I was here. And that's... that's what matters the most.


ROSLYN: Love and Luck is written by Erin Kyan, and produced by Passer Vulpes Productions.

Ricardo is voiced by Justin Jones Li. CJ is voiced by Jai Moore. Julie is voiced by Nic Rummery. Credits spoken by Roslyn Quin. Recorded by Kermie Breydon and Eris Barnes.

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