|Letters to You
Author: Roma Ray PM
An exchange of letters between two lovers unable to define what their relationship has come to.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,518 - Updated: 07-26-12 - Published: 07-18-12 - id: 3042876
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Is this seat taken?" you asked. I looked up at you from the Theodore Roosevelt autobiography I was reading and smiled.
"No, it isn't," I responded, beckoning you to take a seat. Instead, you proceeded to physically pick up the blue, plastic chair and take it to the table of girls you were sitting with. I presumed they were your friends.
That was the first thing you ever said to me.
I'm not trying to be sappy. I know you hate that stuff, even though I know you only pretend to hate it. I caught you watching Titanic after claiming you couldn't stand that damned movie. I don't know why you always cared so much about maintaining the "hardened" image you created for yourself. Anyways, that's besides the point now.
I never thought I'd see you again after that day. I wanted to talk to you then, ask you something. I couldn't. You walked away before I could fully formulate my thoughts. When you left, I thought you were only going to be another example of how I needed to seize the opportunity in the future. Remember the beautiful girl who took the chair and left, and you sat there like a dumbass, I would tell have to tell myself.
But then I saw you at that shady record store on Mill Avenue the next day. I had only walked in to get some change. That's all I needed. When I saw you, I stayed and pretended I needed something more. I stood behind the tall R&B rack while you continued scavenging in the vinyl section, picking out the most obscure artists' albums. I was impressed that you had such a vast knowledge in music. I was impressed that you even owned a turntable. And I was impressed that you could afford all the records you were holding. Then, I was intimidated.
I considered walking up to you. I considered talking to you right then and not making the same mistake I made the day before. I considered asking you about music. But I didn't know where to start.
When I saw you heading towards the cashier, I picked up the nearest CD and stood behind you in line. You started talking to the tan, burly man behind the cash register as if you two were old friends. Maybe you were. You told him about a gig you were having at this "rockin' cafe" called CoffeeBean on Friday night at 8 PM. Tickets were "super cheap" and would be sold at the door.
I'll admit, I felt a bit stalkerish, but there I was on Friday night. I stood in front of CoffeeBean and took a deep breath before entering, realizing that I had absolutely no plan.
The cafe that you had spoken so highly about hit the wrong chord with me. I found the place dingy and unenthused. It was dark and shabby with a few fairy lights strung around the stage, which was quite small itself. I remember a terrible band called Rainbow Jets were playing when I arrived, around 7. I sat in a circular table, right in front of the stage, hoping to catch a glimpse of you somewhere. Instead, I had to endure an hour of a bassist who thought he was the shit and a guitarist who had obviously played too much Guitar Hero.
Finally you came on stage a few minutes after 8. I had left my fantastic spot just a few minutes earlier to get my third cup of stale, processed coffee. I returned to find some idiot sitting in my seat. I sulked off to a corner and sipped my already-cold coffee as you introduced yourself and cracked some jokes. You were lovely, and I think you knew that. Your voice was mellifluous to say the least. You played your beloved ukulele and sang some beautiful covers of songs I had never heard before. I was enamored.
After your show was over, I went backstage, which really wasn't much of a backstage, so I felt less weird. It was simply the back parking lot. I herded up all the courage I could find in every bone in my body and walked up to you. You stood there with three other guys who were smoking around you and talking about their next gig. Although you later told me that you couldn't stand smoking, you seemed perfectly fine in their company. You were laughing.
As I approached you, I noticed the guys slowly retreated into their own circle and continued their conversation. As you saw me come closer, you smiled directly at me, and I was gone.
"Hi!" you said, first and cheerfully. I smiled at you.
"Hi," I said more shakily than I anticipated. I forgot why I was there at all. Why had I come to this show? What had drawn me to you?
We stood there quietly for a while, smiling at each other, taking each other in, trying to appreciate the silence between us.
"Did you watch the show?" you finally asked, and I'm glad you spoke first.
I nodded my head, trying to figure out what I should say next. "Yeah, I did!" I hesitated before continuing. I was afraid of what you would say or think or do. "You were...amazing!"
Another silence. This one didn't last nearly as long and probably went unnoticed by any third party observer (aka the three guys who I figured were only lingering around to see how I make an ass of myself).
"I'm Daisy, by the way!" you chirped and extended your right hand. Your fingers were all full of rings. They were big and plastic. Only one small, gold ring resided snugly on your ring finger.
"Tucker," I took your hand and shook it.
"You go to Mead University, right?" I was surprised you knew, but then I realized why you looked so familiar. I had seen you around campus.
"We had psychology together!"
We did? How had I forgotten such an integral part of our history? We shared an entire course together. How had I not noticed you then? Why were you so much more striking the day you asked me whether the seat in front of me was taken at the library?
"Oh yeah! I completely forgot!" I admitted to you. I'm sorry that I still don't remember you in my class.
"Yeah! That was one hell of a class. Anyways, I'd figured you'd be here. I saw you at the record store," you smiled slyly as if you knew all my secrets, and clearly, you knew this one. I was embarrassed and even slightly offended at having my plan foiled, but I tried my best not to reveal that secret. I returned your smile.
"Well, I'm glad I came. The show was wonderful. And the cafe is pretty rockin'," I joked. You laughed as if I were the funniest person you had ever encountered. I looked into your eyes for the first time that night. They were a blast of blue and green. The most insane combination I had ever seen. "If you're not busy, you want to go grab a bite to eat somewhere?" I blurted out. Now or never, right? Maybe, I shouldn't have asked.
"I..." you hesitated and looked over at the three other guys, who took it as their queue to slowly edge out and head back into the cafe. You turned back to me and furrowed your eyebrows before responding. "Yeah...sure! Why not?" It almost felt as though you were convincing yourself more than you were saying yes to me. Maybe, you shouldn't have said yes.
But we went. We went to a pizza place around the corner that sold pizza by the slices. I paid, so I guess you're right. It was our first date. You had a potato and bacon pizza while I simply got the cheese. You called me boring, jokingly.
We got ice cream afterward, and you insisted on paying, calling yourself "extremely progressive". You got vanilla, but I didn't dare call you boring.
I don't really remember what we talked about that night. I don't even remember talking at all. I do remember the way you kept twirling a strand of your black hair every now and then. I remember how you fiddled with the golden ring on your ring finger when you gave your hair a rest. I figured that ring meant more to you than the other ones. I remember how you would touch the heart-shaped earring on your right ear every time you answered a question intently. I remember the way you laughed, tilting your head all the way back and scrunching up your nose. I remember how one of your eyebrows always went up higher than the other when you were telling an intense story. I remember how frequently you dabbed your mouth with a paper napkin, practically after every bite of the greasy slice of pizza. I remember how you smiled at me every time we reached the end of a conversation. I don't remember how we became friends that night. I don't remember how we decided we were close enough to exchange numbers, but that's what we did. After we had exhausted all the words contained within us, we exchanged numbers and called it a night. You went up the boulevard and I went down.
I guess the point of this letter is to tell you that I am more sorry than my words can ever articulate for my thoughts are left broken when put into words. You have meant so much to me since that very first night. I'm sorry I ever met you. I'm sorry that I ever acted on my urges, and I'm sorry that that ever lead to something. The thing is, I never loved you. I never loved you for who you are. I only loved the infinite idea of you that I had conjured up in my mind. And I'm sorry for trapping you into that mold.