December 8, 2004

attempt at resolution

This is a recounting of what happened in the meeting between me and sarah the day after thanksgiving. things have gone far too sour since then, but i wrote this so i thought i might as well post it. of course all the details arent perfect, but for the most part i think it is fairly accurate.

[inspired by d.f. petrella's "Hi View"]
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“Damnit,” I mutter as I fumble with the jammed car door lock. After flipping the key around a few times the lock pops up and I hop into the car and zip out the driveway. I pat my pockets searching for my iPod, finding it in my breast coat pocket I pull it out and plug the tape adapter in, glancing up at the road and back down to my digital comforter and ever-present friend of these past two months.

I scroll through to a playlist simply labeled “Pissed” and press enter. I check the iPod’s clock before tossing it on the empty seat next to me, “3:15, I’m actually going to be on time? Crazy.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I turn around the corner and see her standing outside the Chocolate Moon. Of course she’s earlier than you are, she always is. I glance at my watch, 3:35. Shit, must’ve froze the battery when I left it in the car the other evening.

Being careful not to make eye contact with her I fly around the corner and up the parking garage to the free spots. I unplug the iPod and shove it in my pocket as I jog down the ramp. I walk back down the block, every step my heart races a little quicker, and climbs a little higher up my throat. I walk around the corner and to see her, as beautiful as ever, probably more so. God it stings so much to see her and not be able to kiss her. Not be able to hug her. I’ve missed her so much over these past two months. Words cannot begin to express the remorse I have for letting it all slip away.

My eyes burn as I suppress the tears that so desperately want to well up and spill down my cheeks. How is it that this girl that I had loved so much now causes me so much pain to even look at? We exchange meaningless small-talk greetings as we step inside to the warmth of the coffee shop.

I order a super-grande-mocha-latte-cappuccino-esspresso-something-or-other, and she ordered a cup of ice water. I don’t care too much what I’m drinking; I expect it to be more of a distraction for the awkward conversation that lies ahead.

Our drinks are prepared and handed to us, and we move to the only available table left. It’s a small table, one that we might’ve sat at and leaned in to hold hands at a few short months earlier; but now we both lean back, the distance of a few feet seems like miles. We sit, grasping our drinks and glance from our drinks to the children running around us as we exchange meaningless chitchat, much like these children’s mothers on their annual day-after-thanksgiving-shopping extravaganza coffee break.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I didn’t plan on it—“
“Stop,” I plead, my voice quavering. She fades into the backdrop of the rest of the room as my eyes blur with tears.

I thought, or tried to think, that everyone was right. That it was for the better. I placed the blame on her all along. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve accepted that I am the one to blame. I pushed her away. I didn’t put forth enough effort. If I had only fought a little, I might still have my happiness. But instead I sit here in a vain attempt to hold back tears.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gradually I open up to her. Slowly, over the course of this one conversation, we become friends again. She tells me of her family, and I wince at the thought of her happy extended family at their Thanksgiving dinner, without me. I always thought I’d be there with her this year; I wished I’d be there this year, but that’s all it amounted to: a wish. But I suppress my sadness and open up, telling her of my life at school. I don’t elaborate much, knowing the end is near and it won’t matter anyway.

We sat and talked for hours, as though we were good friends again. Not dating, but good friends anyway. I enjoyed it, but knew I was still yearning for more that I could not have. I explain that I want to be friends, but I cannot talk about him. “Of course not,” she seemingly understood.

I stand up to order another drink, and ask her if she wanted anything. “My treat,” I say and am stared at as though I just said “The sky is green,” or something equally absurd. She looked at me as though I’d never offered to pay for anything for her before.

“It’s just surprising, given the circumstances.” Fuck the circumstances. The goddamn circumstances are wrong. You should be with me not him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I just need to explain this one time,” my heart drops, “I didn’t want to break up. I thought that we’d go on a break for a week, give us time to think about it, and then seeing each other the next weekend we’d get back together and it would be wonderful again.” What?? You were planning on us getting back together that weekend? I hate myself. I thought you were going to bury the hatchet that weekend. I would’ve dropped everything to see you if I had known you wanted me back. Why? Why are you telling me this? How is this supposed to help now? “But then you said you weren’t ready to see me.”

“I’m still not over you, like you think I am.” And I’m not over you, so why aren’t we still together? “I think about you every day.” I seriously doubt that. “I started dating him because I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.” Pass up that opportunity? It was there for months before when we were still dating. Where was it going? “I would’ve always been wondering what could’ve been if I didn’t act on it.” The room goes blurry again, a tear climbs over my eyelid, my hand heading it off before it can roll down my cheek. “Don’t cry,” she says as she places her hand over mine, and I recoil slightly, so she lets go.

“My feelings for you were like this,” as she motions two feet above the tabletop. “And my feelings for him are like this,” holding her other hand a few inches off the table.
“Is that supposed to help me?” I ask too quiet for her to hear.
“What?”
“Nothing,” I sniff hard.
“I just had to see,” she said, as though I was supposed to understand why her feelings were so much stronger for me than him, yet she is dating him. “There’s 20,000 girls at U of I.” But none of them are you. After a long silence she asks, “What is it? You look determined to say something.” I hate that she can read me so well.
“Nothing. Nevermind.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She reaches into her purse and pulls out her phone. “6:20! It’s been three hours? Wow… I should get going…” I can read her too; I know she’s going to see him. She referenced having some plans for that night and didn’t elaborate more than that.

We walk outside and stop at the corner. “I’m over there,” she points the opposite direction of the parking garage. She scans my face for approval as she opens her arms. I reach out and pull her close. I missed this so much. I missed you so much. I realize after a few seconds that I am holding on a bit too tight, and let go. My instant reaction is to kiss her as we move away from the embrace but I hold it back with my tears.

“I don’t remember you being this tall.” I used to slouch more, so I wasn’t so far from you. “You look like you want to say something again.” It kills me how well she reads me.
“No, it’s nothing… Well, it’s something; I just don’t know if I really want to say it or not.” I love you. Come back to me, we belong together.
“Well, take a second to decide if you want to say it or not,” she says with a slight grin. “You can always talk to me. Not just about this, but about anything: life, whatever.”
“Ok, I decided I’m going to say it. It’s actually in reference to something you said in there. About how there are 20,000 girls at U of I.” My eyes drop to the ground. “That’s true, but none of them are you.” As I turn away I mumble, “Bye,” still not making any eye contact.

I walk back to the garage with my head hanging low. I so badly want that romantic movie ending: she comes running up behind me, yelling my name. I turn around in time to catch her leaping into my arms and we kiss a deep passionate kiss. But I know my life is no movie. This is where our relationship officially is over forever.

I climb the ramp and walk around my car. I force the key to turn, despite its attempts to stick again. I sit down hard on the old seat and dig through my pocket to get my iPod out. I connect the tape adapter and navigate the controls by touch, my eyes too blurred by tears to read the display. A piano melody fills the car around me and tears pour down my cheeks as Ben Folds’ voice washes over me.

“I don’t get many things right the first time…”


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so that's my story. i was happy with how well it turned out... kinda wish i could've written something this good when i was actually in a rhet class. oh well. i enjoy writing, just been lacking inspiration i suppose.

Posted by hollimer at December 8, 2004 6:52 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Holy crap, I almost cried myself.

Posted by: Jon at December 10, 2004 12:10 AM

its my turn to write my story now. and dont steal my writing style...thinking in italics...thats all me.

Posted by: Carrie at December 11, 2004 3:09 PM

Ryan-
I know you're not obliged to appease me, but I would really appreciate it if you took this entry down. It really makes me uncomfortable, sharing these personal details with everyone. Obviously, you don't have to listen to me, but I figured I would try.
-Sar

Posted by: Sarah at December 11, 2004 8:09 PM
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