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It's What I'm Good At
“You’re not that great, you know? You’re not that handsome. Or sweet. Or charming. Or smart. Or witty. Or irresistible. You’re not that encouraging. Or thoughtful. Or caring. You don’t make me laugh all the time. You don’t interest me entirely. I can’t hear your voice over so many others, or spot yours in a sea of faces. I don’t hear your faint accent when you say certain words. I can’t see the expression on your face that comes with the words you say without looking at you. I don’t know how you laugh when someone says something that catches you off-guard. I don’t get your sense of humor, nor do I enjoy talking to you about politics. I hear you when you talk to me about your problems, but I don’t actually listen to you. I don’t worry for you when you’re in pain. I don’t worry about you when you have a problem that hurts you. I don’t love you. Did you know that?”
“No, actually. I never knew any of that. But what I do know is that you’re lying,” he said, and it was quiet for a while. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I never noticed all those things. I’m sorry that I never knew,” he spoke slowly, as if he was at a loss. He was right. I was lying. He must have heard the tears in my voice. Heh, at least he noticed that.
“Yeah, well. It doesn’t matter. None of that even matters anymore. I guess I was lying. I guess those were aspirations.”
“Oh,” he said. I knew what he felt, and what he was already thinking. I pushed it from my mind and pretended that I didn’t care. I wasn’t supposed to be complicated. I wasn’t supposed to be silly. Or petty. I was the cool one. The girl who texted him play by plays of the super bowl when I skipped school for it and he didn’t. The girl he could gamble with, play sports with. The girl he’d argue with about politics. I was supposed to be the one person in his life that didn’t complicate things. Being my best friend was supposed to be easy.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I pretended to be strong because I knew that once the adrenaline was gone, all I’d feel was numb.
“Aid – “
“How did she do it?”
“Do what?” he asked, a little confused.
“How’d she get you to let her in after three weeks? It took me three years.” Silence. “ God, and you know, in spite of myself, I started to think that maybe I was beginning to be really important to you. I was starting to feel like you’d be lost if I wasn’t your best friend; if I wasn’t always there to be with you when no one else could. Only now did I realize that maybe I wasn’t really that important to you in the first place. Maybe I was just kidding myself; giving in to a false hope I really wished to be true.”
“I don’t..” he started to say. “I’m so.. how can I.. God, Aidan. I don’t know what to say.”
“Don’t say anything. I don’t want it. I don’t want your words. I don’t want your friendship. I don’t want any of it.”
“Aidan..” he said. I knew if I let him say any more, he’d alter my train of thought.
“Look, I know what you’re thinking, remember? I know how you feel and I know what you want to say. I’ve always known. So just save it. There’s no use repeating what I already heard in my head. Just.. just don’t feel bad, okay? Don’t feel guilty. You shouldn’t.”
I hung up the phone without warning. I thought that things would be easier that way. I knew it was unfair of me, and completely selfish. Blunt, insensitive me. But it was the only thing I knew how to do. I left him hanging. It’s what I’m good at.