"You're the one who wanted to talk about this, and now you won't even look at me while we do," he said with a note of frustration in his voice.
Part of me felt triumph at finally causing him some form of emotion. I think that was the reason I pushed him so hard sometimes, was just to see what he would do. The reason I had gotten into this mess with him in the first place, because when he kissed me it had been the first real time I had seen him need something from me, the same way I seemed to need so much from him. And now here I was, curled up in the corner of his couch, facing away from him, while I tried to understand how this could mean one thing to me, and something so vastly different to him.
"I won't look at you because I am crying," I retorted back. "And you are not allowed to see me cry."
I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he had the power to make me cry, when I couldn't seem to touch his heart at all. So even though the tears in my voice were obvious, and the hair over my face a mask he could see through, I refused to look at him.
The night got worse from there, one I will never forget, but that line and that last crumb of pride I clung to will be one of the sharpest memories of it.
A year later
I started out laughing, "My room flooded this weekend. I got up Saturday morning and had the pleasure of my socks squishing into the carpet." It was a funny story, though not so funny at the time it had happened.
"Well that sucks." he said back at me.
"Yeah, and you know the lab manual you lent me?" I began. "It got wet too, along with the other books that were in my backpack on the floor."
And I was still laughing. He smiled over at me from the bed. But my laughter quietly became slightly desperate, and before I knew it, the weight of everything that had been taking place in my life hit at once. And the laughter suddenly changed to tears, in a manner that only a highly stressed out politely insane girl can accomplish. My hair fell forward to cover my face as I pulled my sweater tighter around me, as if trying to hold myself together. It was the first time he had ever seen me cry without hiding it from him. It was possibly the first time I had cried around him for reasons other than him.
He got up off the bed and walked across the room towards me, saying "its okay, its just a lab manual, and one I didn't need anymore anyways."
As he reached me, he put his arms around me, and I put my head onto his shoulder, shaking as tears streamed off my face onto his sweater.
The part of my mind that always seems to be observing my life as opposed to actually living it pointed out that this was not only the first time I'd let him see me cry, but the first time I'd ever let myself sob on anyone's shoulder.
As his hands rubbed my back it all started to tumbled out.
"I, just, the flood, and maintenance didn't come, and all these tests and I haven't really slept in almost a week, my Dad's sick, and I'm so tired, and there's no one here, there's no one ever here, and I don't have anyone to talk to and and and I'm so tired."
My sobs and rampant thoughts slowed down as I stood in the arms of a boy who was only there for me when I begged him to be. But it was the best I had and I needed someone more than I ever had before.
After hugging me a few minutes more, he dealt with things the way we both always did.
"I was going to watch a movie, have a seat."
Just like that, it had never happened.
And I wondered how someone I had once refused to cry in front of had become the only person left for me to turn to when I was most alone.
This is partly in reference to the "door of lost souls" that was briefly mentioned in one of my other entries, "My Box."
We always lose people as we continue on. They vanish for varying reasons. Some choose to step out of your life, some are left behind due to circumstances, and some disappear in a haze of misunderstanding and poor relationship skills. To me the lost people tend to fall into three categories, if you can ever really categorize people. There are the ones I miss deeply and want back more than anything, the ones I have just let go of, and the ones I would still not speak to if I saw them on the street today.
Most days I can ignore the ones I truly miss. And then something catches my eye, and I involuntarily consider how much that person would have loved that. On good days I barely notice these things but to smile at them, but on bad days they seem like they are everywhere and the bitter taste of regret constantly consumes my mouth.
The name Emmet popped into my head today. I smiled and then the proverbial ton of bricks hit me. I always teased him about not having a middle name. So we decided to make one up for him. Sitting in Ms. Dickow's pre-calculus class the two of us were the kids snickering and whispering all of the time. I wanted his middle name to be Francesco, because it was his baptismal name. And in the catholic church we had both grown up in, your baptismal name was your middle name. He didn't want some bible name though.
So he thought about it and decided on Emmett. It was the name of the cutest gay guy on a show he watched. I can't even remember the name of the show now, or whether it was on Showtime of HBO. It was some channel that I didn't get, a show I'd never seen, but one he religiously summed up for me every Monday morning in math class. Usually as I was finishing up my homework by looking at his.
I couldn't come up with a better middle name than that, much less a better reason for a middle name than some really cute guy. All I knew was that I had another inside joke with a person who at the time was slowly becoming my savior. It was things like his middle name that kept me going through that year, one of the hardest I had.
Now it is his middle name that starkly reminds me I didn't keep going with him through his hardest time. Instead I abandoned him for a boyfriend who never really wanted me. Abandoned him to a place where he ran out of options. I started to leave him alone during a time when his father was getting ready to walk out, he was dealing with homework, friends, and trying to finding his place in the world. And then his best friend, the one who he had carried the previous year, abandoned him.
I suppose what happened next was obvious, we grew apart. With him it was different than the others that I've left behind though. In other relationships, even the ones that have been so painful to leave behind, the other person was usually okay. I was hurt, but I could take care of myself. In this case, though, the release was not mutual, it was not beneficial in the long run. I took away his choices. In the end there was no choice between friends who did drugs, and those who didnít, because the one who didnít was gone. Much of this sounds egotistical, but if you donít have a choice in the matter, how can you ever make the right choice?
Later down the line when I realized what had happened, I tried to fix things. But it was too late, he was lost, wanting nothing more to do with me. I canít blame him for that, after all I was the one who wanted nothing to do with him previously. It has been a rather difficult way to learn the life lesson that you canít take back some of the choices that you make, whether they were conscious or not. And I wish I would have learned it at my own expense, not someone elseís.
We never really know what would have happened if we had made different choices. As one of my other friends points out, I can't say for sure that if I had been with him he wouldn't have turned to drugs and become a person I no long recognized. But I should have never taken that chance. Of all the people Iíve lost, of all the ones Iíve let go, this one exacted the highest price, and one I will never be able to repay.