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The Mute Button


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The moment I heard it, I immediately tore down every negative poster from my walls, leaving them barren. It had that much of an effect on me. I, who insisted whenever the topic was brought up, that love had alluded me, that it had forgotten about me, much like Santa had in 1998. All that remained on the wall were several song lyrics, like “I want you, and I need you. I do.” So, basically, after his confession of love, I removed anything that was not remotely sappy from my life.
Which is strange, because I usually lack sap to the extreme. I am no tree, and romance has never really taken me by storm like it does with most girls. I like to think that I am a robot, one of those with the newest technology going for it. A well-dressed robot that can simultaneously solve math equations and allude love. I know, my aspirations are quite unreachable. But the sad thing is…these aren’t my aspirations. They are how I view myself and how I think others should view me. This is an unfair expectation, but I honestly never thought anyone would fall in love with me.
Me? Really? I can barely tell my own mother how I feel about her; I’m that emotionally unavailable. Yet, despite this obvious fact, he said it. Love. I don’t even know what love is, besides a break from rejection. Though I’m sure that somehow, someday, someone will find a way to both tell me they love me and reject me, almost as simultaneously as robot-me solves math equations and alludes love. I am that good at picking out complete losers.
That’s the strangest thing; he isn’t a loser. He’s an amazing person: intelligent, funny, sweet. Quite possibly the total package, which is not a very good match for me. Me, I’m the kind of gift that is either unwrapped or containing a hideous holiday sweater an elderly family member thinks is absolutely adorable. Like the sweater, I am not absolutely adorable. Whatever the opposite of that is, that’s me.
The thing I feel worst about is that when he said it, he said it with this small, expecting voice. He expected me to say something back, and I could barely get out two words.
One day, I was driving home and saw a turtle crossing the road. Intrigued, I stopped my car and walked over to it, doing a lame tap dance I learned as a child to “Mony Mony”. I tapped away, screamed at it, anything to get some type of a reaction. And it just sat there, as if I were Kevin Bacon. Frustrated, I walked away and turned ever so slightly to see the turtle begin to move again.
I am the turtle! He says I love you, and I just stay mute. Even Helen Keller said “wah-wah”! As it would happen, my reaction began just as he left. Instead of calling him back over, crying out my own confession of love, I sat there, alone, wondering why I couldn’t just be normal for once. Why couldn’t I embrace someone who had so honestly laid out their feelings for me? Someone that brave, to risk total rejection, deserved to say those words to someone who could respond perfectly.
But I’m not perfect. I’m not adorable. I’m just me. And I happen to be emotionally unavailable and socially retarded. Because of this, I never said anything. I still cannot say anything, even though I see him every day.
I cling to the thought that I am a talented, well-dressed robot, but I know that I am not. I do feel for him more than I have ever felt for anyone. I just can’t say it. I can’t say it. I can’t.



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