True love is the scariest shit that's ever existed and don't even try to deny it.
I know you're thinking. You think that I should be feeling lucky over my emotional constipation and put the poor boy out of his misery but I can't. I just can't.
I'm horrible. I know that. I'm breaking his fragile heart by keeping my silence but words fail me. I can't even string together coherent sentences that make sense. My brain has gone on abrupt permanent leave to grind with coconut trees in Hawaii.
I didn't want to hurt him. I don't still. I just do. I'm not afraid of myself or the idea of 'us' – me and him. I'm just terrified. And that logic for that remains unjustified.
He's perfect. And I broke him. Unintentionally, but the mess I created cannot be covered up with apologies and pretty words.
I should hate myself for all this trouble I'm causing. Lord knows I hate drama. I just can't stop it. Such a coward I am, ignoring reality as ignorance is bliss, but only at the expense of ripping someone else's heart into shreds and pouring salt into the open wound.
If I close my eyes for a split second, I can see the anguished helpless sorrow upon his handsome features. Yet guilt does not strike me and nor does nostalgia haunt my conscious. I am chaos. I am numb. I cannot cry or scream and I long to see his face. I'm selfish. I want his smile. I want the kisses that rain down my face. But to have what I have, I must confront him. Him and his confession. Him and his prison sentence. I cannot do that. Yet.
Can I ever?
Sitting here in the dark, staring endlessly at the empty street. Praying to the street lights with their artificial yellow rays instead of the stars blanked by thick grey clouds overhead.
I don't love him. I don't. I don't know if I will ever love him. Not like the way he loves me. But I like him. A lot. And for the past two and a half years, it's been like this. This endless flirting, not-quite-official relationship status we achieved together and the memories, oh fuck… the memories. I can't give that up. Not our history. Not him. Not his warmth. His sense of humor. His friendship. So why don't I love him? Why am I not helplessly, madly, utterly, unreasonably, without doubt, completely and obsessively in love with him?
Silence greets my question. Not that I'm expecting an answer.
Outside, a car whizzes by and another one slamming round the bend hits the horn two times, followed by angry baritone voices muffled the wind.
Unaware of my saturated salty cheeks and my blurred eyes, I drift off to an uneasy slumber. My guard is down.
He came to see me this morning. He bought me blueberry muffins and hot chocolate. Immediately, I felt awkward and rude, recalling our last encounter with me running psychotically out the car park in the pouring rain while he stood, soaking and dejected, almost leaning by his car after I slapped him.
I still don't know why I slapped him. I don't want to think about it. If I try, I'll just end up sobbing pathetically and confusing myself. And I don't cry easily. Not at my mother's funeral. Not when my beloved step-sister died from cancer. Not when the next-door neighbour's dog attacked my pet ferret. Nope. The fact that love was getting me down irked me. But the irritation was minuet compared to all the other overwhelming feelings I have yet to label.
"How are you babe?" His voice was so fucking tender.
I couldn't even summon the guts to look him in the eye. I didn't deserve to. Not this coward. Why was he still hanging around waiting for me like I was worth something? But like I said, I'm selfish and I'm glad he is hanging around. I'll go homicidal if I see him kissing another girl anywhere.
I shrugged. Yes. Fucking shrugged. What does that say about my compassion and sensitivity?
I know what you're thinking right now. That I don't deserve him. Not one bit. And I agree whole heartedly with you, providing my heart isn't a block of granite. I don't suffer low self-esteem or anything and usually I'm more 'annoyingly perky' than… whatever the hell I am right now.
"Are you okay?" He asks the question I dreaded. And a quick glance at me confirms I am anything but okay.
It was slightly sweeter than bitter but I still classify our encounter this morning as 'bittersweet'. He kissed my cheek after giving me my breakfast and told me he'd wait until I calmed down and adjusted to the 'bomb' he dropped the day before. I nodded and stared at him walking towards his car. Longingly so, my little sister told me before darting out the front door to play with her new puppy she got for her birthday. I paid no mind. I was too busy staring. Absorbing every little detail in case he didn't wait for me. In case someone convinced him to see the light – that I wasn't worth waiting for. In case he had a sudden epiphany and realized that he was wasting his time on this stupid little girl who can't make up her mind or even analyze what her own heart wants. In any case, I bolted upstairs towards my room as soon as I watched him pull down my street and searched frantically for my lime green cell phone.
My mind raced. The sun was a bit too glaring for my liking and the lighting was getting on my nerves. My room was stifling and the air was a bit stale but at that moment, I didn't care.
I never knew who came up with the saying," If you find love, let it go. If it comes back, it's meant to be." But I knew I had to free that boy from torment. Patience wasn't one of his virtues but he never lost his temper or raised his voice at me. He was Heaven sent my friends would yell at me continually.
I've always taken him for granted. And I don't know why but I realized that, clad in my fuzzy old night shirt I should've thrown out years ago, watching the boy who loved me walk away two minutes ago.
thnx 4 breakfast, can i see u 2nite? plz?
I texted him. The please at the end made me sound wimpy but I pressed send before I started a furious debate over what I should and should text. I chickened out and convinced myself calling him would distract his attention. I don't want him to get into a car crash, or even a minor accident. My original reason, and first, still stands. I chickened out. See how terrified love has made me? Well. The notion of love anyway. I still have the rest of the day to figure out my feelings and come up with a good enough speech (read: excuse) to explain why I've been behaving like I have lately (like turtle on crack at the disco).
Impulsively, I snatched up my phone and cast all worries about phone bills out of my mind. This was an emergency. A teen one. One that concerned my happiness. My dad would understand later. And if he didn't, too bad. I dialed my best friend Gabby's phone number.
"Gabby?" My voice was shaky. I didn't know why. When it came out, it surprised me too. My body was rebelling against me.
"Tess? What's wrong? DID HE CHEAT ON YOUR? THAT FUCKING SON OF A BITCH! I'LL CASTRATE HIM WITH A PIANO WIRE!" She burst out angrily. God I love her. Jumping to conclusions and all.
"No… He came by to give me food. Um. How do you know if you love someone? I hate keeping him in suspense. I'm not cruel…"
Gabs is my honorary mother. She packed my lunches when I forgot during middle school, photocopied her assignments throughout high school because of my 'forgetfulness' on essay due dates and she gives the best advice in the world. No joke. She charges people a variety of junk food for her wisdom. And at only seventeen, she is damn good! Back to my convo.
"Sweetie," she cooed soothingly into the phone. I winced. I hated when people babied me. Okay, so I liked the attention sometimes but not when it comes to serious matters. I can handle the truth. I think.
"What would you do if I told you that he had one more week to live? And don't ask why!" She snarled before I could even 'but' in.
"I'd jump him," I blurted, before I could help myself. I didn't know where that came from. Like I said, first thing that popped into my mind.
I was met with gleeful laughter.
"Gabs!" I whined," Be serious here!"
"Tess, you've already fallen so hard for him you don't even need time to 'think about it'. You're just a bit slow on uptake of reality."
"Tess. I have to go. But think about this. If you don't give him a proper chance and officialize things, one day, a pretty girl will steal his heart and you'll just be a memory to him. A 'girl I could've married but didn't' person. Do you want that? It's up to you. No one can tell you what to feel, how you should feel and feeling is just that. Feeling. Don't question it. Go. Besides. You know I'll kill him if he hurts you. What are you waiting for? What are you scared of? You guys have been 'together', not officially, for 30 months! Jesus! Not even most adults can do that without sleeping together."
Her rationality and obvious stating of facts slapped me hard. I needed it. It was like telling a whimpering kid that peeling the band-aid off for once and for all will solve the matter but he just sits there stubborn and defiant 'til the end because fear trapped him. I refused to let fear get to me anymore. That and I'm starting to get hug deprived…
"Babe, I gotta go, I'm sorry but mom's coming and I'm supposed to be grounded."
Oh yeah. I forgot about that.
And that was that. So there you have it. My not-quite-an-epiphany epiphany. I hope I don't faint or puke when I see him tonight…
It wasn't dramatic. There was no anti-climatic tension. I disliked big events begging delayed or dragged out. Love is explosive and fireworks, butterflies in stomach and all that jazz. But my experience with love is falling off a cliff like trepidation, starving mad vultures attacking my stomach and other crazy symptoms too graphic to describe.
It was cloudy. Overcast. It was slightly chilly. We met up at Burger Kings because I always drank like a cow when it came to soft drinks and B.K gives free refills. Ha!
I don't know how long we sat there, okay, I do (46.2 seconds, I'm a loser, I timed) staring at each other across the booth seats, sipping out drinks but somewhere between me choking on a mouthful of over carbonated Pepsi and hacking out my entrails, true to my character, I blurted random things out that was at the top of my mind.
"After much consideration and prolonged deliberation, I've decided that if you ever cheat on me, I'll leave you at the mercy of Gabby with her maniac piano string wire and concentrated hydrofluoric acid."
His left eyebrow quirked upwards. A small tug pulled as his mouth and slowly, his dimples began to show. Ugh. Sexy dimples. It's one of the reasons why I even let him kiss me two years ago.
"Is that your way of saying 'I love you' or can you really not say those words?"
I'm so glad I mastered the art of controlling a blush. I avoided his eyes (I'm a sucker for grey eyes) and bit the inside of my right cheek, trying to find a distracting thing to say…
"Porcupines float in water!" Was the brilliant thing my brain came up with. He burst out laughing and I groaned.
Okay. So maybe things haven't changed and I've just been a complete idiot freaking out over a problem that shrinks as you move closer. But love is scary. And I warn you right now. One day you're going to be stalked by it and until you do, don't judge me for being a fool. Things haven't changed much, except that I now have an official boyfriend (and it's thrilling, who would've known).
Not every girl is a princess. Not every girl is Cinderella reincarnate or a ice queen waiting for someone to break down their walls. There aren't many damsels in distresses these days, check your facts, it is the twenty first century after all. But maybe, just maybe, if you just let fate to its thing, karma just might kiss you twice on both cheeks. And you'll land yourself a boy who loves you even if you completely spaz and give him the cold shoulder for saying three little words most other girls are dying to hear from their boyfriend. Especially if he means it. I mean think about it. Love isn't supposed to make sense... if it does, something's wrong.
The one-shot a summary of my life when I was 13 except I never got the guy, he moved after I ignored him for 3 months. It's a hind-sight reflection of life and I'm learning to let go. I really hated the fact that love freaked me out so much I wanted to cry, for no freakin' reason. The only thing that hurts me more than heartache is regret.