||[17 May 2008|12:57am]
I just wrote this. Or... I just re-wrote it, really. It's based off of a story that I've been working on for over two years now (I started it in my IPAR notebook), and I thought I'd try doing something new with it. It might make more sense if you had the back story... I don't know how it is, I haven't even read it yet. Let me know.
It's two weeks later now, and he still won't take your phone calls. You know he'll hate you for it, but there's nothing else to do.
You deliberately go to his house when you know his mom will answer the door, and she just smiles at you sadly, and says, "He's in the back."
And when you push the sliding screen door closed behind you, sure enough there he is, plucking on his unplugged guitar. And you see him tense up when you take a few steps toward him.
"I'm not hungry," he says, and you start to think that sad smile at the door wasn't just for you.
"Oh," is all he says, like you haven't been calling him four times a day for fifteen and a half days now.
"I'm worried about you," you say, and you are, but it's getting harder and harder lately. You're pretty sure everybody else has given up by now. He just makes a quiet noise in the back of his throat and goes back to ignoring you. "Your mom must have noticed by now."
"Maybe not," and you want to punch him, push him, break him, something, just so that he'll wake up and come back to you. To everybody. To himself. (Mostly you, though you feel selfish admitting it). But you know that won't help.
"Can we talk, maybe?"
You can barely breathe while you wait for his response, and when he finally says, "Okay," it still sounds like you haven't been calling him four times a day for fifteen and half straight days. Which you definitely have.
He doesn't move though, and you're about to ask him... well you don't know yet, but something, and then he says, "On the swing?"
So you nod and follow him to the swing, and your mind starts wandering to things other than what you came here for, because the swing is so romantic. Then again, depression isn't, and even if it was... you snap yourself out of it. More of that damned self-preservation.
He leans his guitar up against the oak tree, and you sit down on the end furthest from where he's sitting, just because the thoughts are still lingering in your mind, and your heartbeat is starting to quicken, despite your best efforts to stop it, and then you remember, this isn't about your stupid fantasies (even though if you're honest with yourself that is kind of why you're here), it's about him, so that's where you focus.
Then he speaks up without prompting, which you don't expect. "This used to be easier."
"When?" but you don't need to ask, because you know first hand.
"Before there was any sort of... romance. Back when we were naive. Kids."
"We kind of still are."
"Not the same though."
You don't need him to tell you. You said it more for yourself than him. In fact, you didn't say it for his sake at all.
In the silence, the thoughts start swirling through your head again, and you just want to... anything. Touch is hand or his shoulder even, just something so you can prove he's really there. You need him to be there, because maybe one day he'll... be there. You feel the tears welling up in your eyes, even though you promised you wouldn't cry, and say, "I just really wish..." even though you promised yourself you wouldn't bring it up, and then you don't even have the courage to finish the sentence, even though you promised yourself you would if it came up.
And suddenly his arm is over your shoulder, and your heart rate doubles, and you start crying even harder, because maybe he is there a little bit. Why that merits tears you couldn't say, but that's just how you feel right now.
"I'm going to be okay," he says, and you believe him, even though you shouldn't, and you shift a little bit so that you're a little bit more in his arms, which feels good, but weird. And then he says, "I really am," and you're falling under his spell, the one he's used to get everybody else to believe it, and you shift a little more and reach up and take his hand, and he lets his other hand settle on your stomach, and you don't mind that this isn't the right reaction in the circumstances.
And you have to focus to breathe properly.
But after an few minutes, just when you think it's too good to be true, it is. He pulls his hands away gently, and gives you a soft nudge to make you sit up. And you look at him, confused, and he just says, "I'll be okay, I promise." You're not under his spell anymore, so you don't quite believe it, but you want to, so you nod.
You start to leave, confused about everything (most prominently the things going on inside of you), and just as you reach the door he adds, "I'm sorry," almost an afterthought, and as you walk home you try to figure out which part it is that he's sorry for.