Our fearless leader really needs to shave his legs next time he dons his cheerleading skirt.
Don't get me wrong, his words are effective - he advocates lots of group hugs and positive reinforcement. But my eyes keep shifting to his legs that are bouncing up and down with excitement as he wields his pom poms and cheers: "E-G-A! E-G-A!"
I catch the 'Lock across the table from me rolling his eyes, and turning to face the corner of the room where our resident pally tank is trying to finagle an extra round from the bartender. She's attempting sneakiness with his back turned - I can see her reaching for the bottle of vodka. She's leaning over the bar, and I hear the same 'lock mumble something about "Buns of Saronite!"
Locks. Yeesh. I roll my eyes and turn to face my death knight.
He is currently participating in a very heated "discussion" with the slightly less leery 'lock across the table from him about who originally "invented" D&D.
So far this meeting has not been very productive.
I sigh and rest my forehead in my hands before I direct my gaze towards the corner of the room we've all been avoiding all night. There sits an empty chair. Its original inhabitant seems even more noticeable due to her absence, and my heart gives a lurch.
I miss her.
I know it's ridiculous. It's not as though I don't see her all the time outside of this room. I can still talk to her. I know she was no longer enjoying the conversations held in here, and it was all weighing her down. I cannot and do not begrudge her one iota for her decision to depart. But I cannot deny that her presence always comforted me somehow.
I close my eyes and think of her parting words.
"It has become apparent that I have outlived my usefulness and I've been disenchanted for some time now, so it is time for me to say goodbye."
My eyes begin to sting as I start to finally understand what she meant.
The leery 'lock has summoned his Succubus for personal entertainment, and our Pally tank is glaring at the whip-wielding wench while knocking back a few swallows from her bottle. The death knight and the other 'lock are now standing, gesticulating wildly at each other and yelling, even though it's quite obvious they are having fun with the debate. Our rogue leader is showing off his cartwheels.
And I have no idea what use I serve anymore. With my fellow healer, and her gentle, unselfish nature, gone from the room, I feel as though I'm constantly fighting a losing battle. She is the reason I am the way I am. She taught me to heal for the sake of healing, for love of others, stranger or not. She taught me to extend that healing nature to every aspect of my life. But how can I heal the rift in this room that isn't even visible to the naked eye? How can I do it without her? In her absence, I have taken her place as the matronly figure in the room. I'm the short momma dwarf that constantly wants to smooth things over between everyone. Unfortunately, I begin to realize that I seem to be the one causing all the problems. I am outvoted and parried at every decision. I cannot suppress just how much I care. I think of the non-leery lock's words, that my friend takes on too much, that she brings it on herself because she cares too much, and I recognize that my death knight has said the same exact thing to me at regular intervals. But how can I stop caring? A half-hearted attempt from me is still a hell of a lot of heart.
It shouldn't matter so much, but it does. Every little detail matters a great deal to me. And because I let it get to me, it is tearing me apart. It shouldn't hurt me so much when my fellows knock down one of my ideas, telling me how it's all wrong. Even if I put so much effort and thought into each idea I throw out there. And as each block piles against me, I understand even more why she may have left. Not due to resentment at not getting things our way, but because it hurts. It is a lot of worry and caring and stress and hurting that eventually weighs you down, and you snap.
It's not the fault of those around me - it's my own issue. I cannot seem to detach myself, because I always worry that if I do, others will be disappointed in me, or I will hurt them in return. I have a constant desire to run away and hide back at the Abbey in Elwynn Forest. What have I gotten myself into?
But my death knight has informed me that I need to learn to detach, if I am to retain my emotional well-being. I cannot allow myself to get so caught up in this all the time.
I lift my head and decide that I'm not going to try to make this meeting productive. I'm not going to try and advocate for anyone this time, or throw out any new ideas that will, in all likelihood, be shot down. When I leave this room, I will go spend some private time with my healing mentor, and enjoy her company in a non-official capacity. I have to learn to let things go; I have to learn to detach. But I don't have to give up. And I refuse to run away.
I stand and drag my stool over to sit next to my wobbly Tank friend, who is now sneering at a very mischevoius succubus, whose master is giggling fiendishly, and throwing "That's what she said!" remarks into the slowly dying argument between his fellow lock and my death knight. I grab a mug of ale and tap her vodka bottle with it. She smiles down at me.