Your trying to live your life, but the thought of him swarms every hour you’re trying to live. You’re in a diner. Your favorite diner. You took him here. You sat at that booth. He ordered you a coffee before you sat down. You walked out of the restroom, and you see him hunched over the table— staring out of the window. He sees the couples outside. He sees the skater trip over the curb. He sees the elderly lady stumbling out of the laundry mat. You liked that he was observant and curious just like you. He knew you took your coffee black. He had one cream and two sugars in his. You hated yourself for knowing that. That white mug taunted all of the feelings you felt. He knew you— parts of you. You peered over the mug to see all of it gone. He was gone.
He always said we were nothing alike. I always told him he never took the time to get to know me in order to make that statement. We were actually very similar. He said, “Why don’t you ever talk about your family?” It was the one sentence that made me feel like a child all over again. It was the one sentence that made me see the wall I had built for myself.
You told him one drunk night.
Maybe it was all too much for him. I was damaged. I just wanted an explanation.
Remember that person that you use to like. I’m talking about like-like. The jerk that you think is amazing but also an asshole. In front of him you word vomit. You ramble and make really bad jokes. You can’t stop fidgeting around them because you’re so nervous. You avoid constant eye contact because you’re afraid of what you may say when you stare into them. You become that little girl again, that one that use to trip over her lit sketchers in the halls of her elementary school. You become that little girl that can’t help but to get red in the face when she gets caught staring at the boy she thought was different. You can’t stop randomly mentioning that person’s name in everyday conversations even when they have no relevance in the conversation. Everyone told you he was an asshole, but you thought they were wrong. You saw the good in people— too much of the good. You were the fool. You were the girl.
His red curls fall along the frame of his face. His green eyes graze over your existence in the florets of trees— until the both of you make eye contact. You see every layer to him. He is an onion made of metal. He is like your favorite stanza in your favorite Walt Whitman poem that manages to frustrate and excite you all at the same time. You spent an entire summer with him. Working with him. The aura of him was worth more than any smile or bicep. Your mind was similar to the little girls you mentored all summer. They would helplessly lust over the smallest of things. It wasn’t difficult to get your attention— you would think. You didn’t like the typical boys. The ones that chose a lacrosse stick over a good book. The ones that were tan with the “perfect smile”. You liked the guys that were in bowling leagues on Wednesdays. You liked the ones that had a little scruff. You liked the ones that were comfortable in nature and were full of ambition. You liked the ones that were cute and had no idea that they even were.
You haven’t dated anyone. You’re twenty years old. You’re in college. You have your own apartment. Society tells you that you should feel this sense of humiliation, because you’re at this stage of your life and you still haven’t been in a relationship. You like to think that you have your shit together, but when it comes to a boy you become that girl people mock with their friends.
It’s hard for you to eat. It’s hard for you to focus. It’s hard for you not to retrace everything you’ve said and have done with him, because those moments were the times that you never wanted to end. Those were the times that you never wanted your warm feet to hit the cold floor. You were trying to stop yourself— you needed to stop to keep what was left of your sanity. You wondered too much. You always have. Society was getting in your head. You kept wondering about all of the things you should’ve done to keep him around. You thought it was you. You imagine the ideal girl that he would want, but it’s one you could never be. Maybe if you were prettier. Maybe if you wore more make-up. Maybe if you were skinner. Maybe if you were like the rest of them. Take the converse shoe loving, see through legging, the girl that knows one Chance the Rapper song “big fan”, the sequined obsessed chick that has no personality or care in the world about life past her meal for the night. Sorry I can never be that girl. I hope your happy with her. Actually no, I hope she breaks your heart like you did mine.
You slowly become that girl that you hated. Remember what it was like when you heard your first Jack Johnson song. That’s what it was like. Imagine sliding down a slip n slide at the age of 20. Your expression is one you don’t recognize. You all are trying to remember what that kind of happiness feels like again. It should be a feeling that we never forget to feel. But, that happens. We forget. And if you find that one person again that makes you remember that feeling, you aren’t prepared for what is to come. That person was one in a million. You were willing to make it work. You were vulnerable. You had your feelings so vocalized the whole world heard and whispered about them. You question what the both of you were. You go to sleep wondering if that other person is thinking about you. You want to know if you ever meant anything. You want to know everything. You are waiting around for a snapchat from that one name you desperately want to see pop up. You try to avoid watching his snapchat stories because you can’t seem like you care too much. You can’t text him. You can’t call him. You’re waiting for him, but you don’t want to admit it to yourself.
The snotty tissues were scattered on the floor. The old coffee sat on your dresser. The bed the both of you slept in is across the room. He was gone in another country and you had no other choice but to be reminded of his existence. You were the one left in the place you shared all of those memories.
You deserved better. You don’t play hard to get, because you don’t see the point of it. But, that’s what people told you to do. They tell you to play the games. Ignore the messages. Spend hours to reply. Avoid their existence. You can’t be too nice. You have to show a little skin. You should be wearing makeup when you see him. Why do you care? You don’t. You are going to say it. Time is but of an essence. That’s as cheesy as it gets. You value your time in the world and so should you. Why is that so scary for someone to accept? Someone cares for you. Someone likes you. But, you are too immature to use your words and say what you feel because… I don’t know why you do what you do, but you are driving her insane. You either have feelings for her or you don’t. Make that as simple as it is. Say it. Say these few words so she can get over you. Say what you think, say what you feel before there is no more air in this world to breathe. We are all done waiting.