Long Distance Static

September 14, 2008
By Anonymous

“So, yeah,” I finished with a sigh. There was static, awkward and stolid. Was he judging? Was he pausing?

“Yeah.”

Okay. What did that imply? After a year of this, he still didn’t know how to hold up his end of the conversation. I sculpted my next phrase cagily, trying to sound nonchalant, saccharine, and just a little husky. “Okay, I guess I’ll talk to you later,” I finally sighed.

“Yeah, I guess.”

Three whole syllables. He’s branching out. I rolled this around in my mind, and somehow warped it into a charming “Miss you.”

“See you,” he responded. My heart leaped, as it always responded to his just above pubescent yet to me resonating voice, but then it was caught by his actual words. He must have misunderstood. Or did he- no, he’s most definitely reciprocated before. But my thoughts were stifled with an automatic “Bye.”

“Bye,” he said. I clasped the phone to my ear, and drummed my stubbly fingernails on the pink metallic phone. He would undeniably say something endearing that would perfectly resolve my nervous inner turmoil. Just static; one, two- click.

I stared at the screen, doubly checking to see if he’d really hung up. Of course he had, what else could have happened? I grimaced and tossed it into the comforter, and it sunk deep into the patchwork velvet folds.

I returned to my previous musings faster that he hung up. He had reacted exactly three months and twenty-seven days ago deep in the woods of summer camp. He had mumbled in my messed up hair fervent, loving stipulations. I love you so much; I’ll miss you so much. Well, he’d better- half an hour after his basketball game, kissing his neck was salty and for him alone. Not like he was doing anything for me when my back was being scratched by the grating oak bark. I remember his kisses so well; when twisted in my lovesick, delusional fog, they were passionate and romantic. Then I recall his annoyingly eager, openmouthed smooches. Ugh.

Enough of that. Sitting on my bed looking towards the blank wall in front of me couldn’t help. Wait, the wall? I couldn’t see the wall. My vision was nothing but red. Tears rushed down my face, unstoppable. I felt sick to my stomach, and I pressed my face to my pillow. Sobbing, strangled screams ripped from my throat, and made me feel only about as big as my lips, seeking his so far away. Then they split wide, and spewed vomit across the same pillow I had imagined his face, his chest for days then weeks then months. “How could he? What could I have done wrong?”

Then I spotted his picture in his silver frame beside my bed. His face was so tender and soft, as I remembered to the very touch. I calmed down. And I hiccupped. And I wiped my eyes with the edge of my Minnie Mouse sweatshirt. Then I calmly took the cover off of my pillow, and put it alone in the washer. I imagined seeing him again, his strong arms around me and his eyes warm and soothing. He would never hurt me.

I said this to myself as I held my stomach and dabbed at my smudged eyeliner with the purple sweater, the washing machine whirring in the moonlight. I couldn’t wait for our next call. Our wedding will be heaven on earth.


The author's comments:
Everyone needs to be aware that this is what society does to teenage girls. The pressure to love and be love makes us blind in a less than Shakespearean. I have seen many girls cry and seriously hurt themselves while obsessing over who they believe to be their soulmate- they may have met at a dance or camp or in Geometry, whatever. Teenage girls need to fight back, and know that if somebody makes you cry, your happiness is worth more than theirs.

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