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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 14
February 18, 2010
Will McKnight is probably the most unique and interesting person I’ve ever met. His style, his attitude, his background. Everything about him is just so out of the ordinary. If you looked up the word enigmatic in the dictionary, his picture would probably be there. He’s tall, dark, and handsome. He’s a rebel. He’s a mystery. But at the same time he’s kind and friendly.
At least to me he was. But his parents are a whole other story. I can’t believe how offhandedly and disrespectfully he acted towards his parents. Although he did kind of have the right to say some of that stuff. They were being completely rude to him. And right in front of me too. That’s not exactly the best way to leave a first impression on your new neighbor.
In a way, Will’s outburst reminded me of Ash and how he talked to Lori. Except Ash said things to purposely hurt her. He knew what her weaknesses were and he used them against her. Will was simply defending himself and his individuality. I like that Will stands up for himself too.
He knows who he is and he’s proud of it. And I like that.
“Don’t you dare speak to me like that ever again! I am your mother and you will show me respect! Is that clear?” The sound of Trish’s shrill shouting seamed to be coming from the window.
I glanced out my bedroom window, into Ash’s old room. Except now it was Will’s room. And him and his mother were having an argument inside of it. This brought back so many memories of Ash. It was like déjà vu.
“Yeah, it’s clear that you’re ashamed of me!” Will shouted back. “Just admit it already! I’m a disgrace to this family! I know it, you know it, dad knows it, Michael knows it! I don’t belong in this family.”
Trish went silent for a moment and I glanced back out the window. She was standing there staring at him, her face free of any evident emotions. She should’ve assured him that he belonged in the family. She should’ve let him know that she loved him, as did his father and brother. She should’ve made sure he knew that he was most definitely not a disgrace. That’s what any good mother would do. But she didn’t.
Instead, she turned around and walked off down the hallway, leaving him standing alone in his new room. He turned so that I could get a glimpse of his face, and when I saw it, I immediately felt sympathetic. I could see it in his eyes that he was hurt by his mother’s reaction. I could tell by the way he slowly shut and locked his door and then wandered over to his bed and sat down, staring into space.
He might’ve looked like a tough, thick-skinned “bad boy” on the outside, but I sensed that on the inside, he was much deeper than that. His leather jacket, eccentric hairstyle, and lack of smile was just a barrier that he’d set up for himself. At least, that’s what I’d began to suspect.
I’d unconsciously began to stare at him out the window, no longer trying to hide it. And when he turned his head and caught me staring, I was taken by surprise. Completely embarrassed, I turned away, blushing furiously.
After a moment though, I turned back for one last glance. And when I did, his window was shut, as were his curtains. Well that was just great. Now he probably thought I was some nosy creeper who watched people out of windows. What a great first impression I’d made on him.
I jumped at the sound of my doorbell ringing, tuning back into reality. Walking downstairs, I opened up the front door, wanting to shut it and run back upstairs when I saw who it was. Will.
“Hey, you mind if I come in for a second?” he asked me.
“Sure,” I replied, stepping aside to let him in. He was going to start yelling at me any second now for staring at him. I was sure of it.
“It’s a nice house you got here,” he commented, looking around the living room as if he were scanning it for imperfections.
“Thanks,” I responded, wondering when the yelling would begin.
But he just strolled through the living room, running his hand across the dark brown leather couch as he walked past it. He eyed the two magazines that were placed on our coffee table: TIME for my dad and In Touch for my mom. Then he glanced over at the wide screen TV, as I just stood there and watched him. Finally, he came to a stop at the picture that Mom had hung up on the wall. It was of Ash and I on our wedding day.
He gazed at it intently, his eyes studying every single detail. It was when we were about to make our marriage official with a kiss. Ash’s face was only about an inch away from mine. And it was taken from about ten feet away too, so our entire bodies were visible.
He examined my elegant white dress that was currently hanging up in the back of my closet. Ash’s black tux. The broad oak tree behind us: our tree. The looks on both of our faces. We were clearly in love. It was obvious by the way we gazed at each other.
A tear rolled down my cheek before I even realized that I was crying. Taking a deep breath, I wiped it away with the back of my hand. “Why did you come here?” I asked him, self-conscious of the way my voice cracked when I spoke.
“Is this you?” he inquired, completely ignoring my question.
“Yes,” I replied.
He nodded, not saying anything else. This boy was a complete and total mystery to me. I was so confused by every move he made. Wasn’t he supposed to be yelling at me right now? Why did he even come over here if he wasn’t going to yell at me?
“This is at the park just down the street,” he stated. I didn’t really know how to respond to that.
“Um, is there a particular reason that you came over here? Or did you just randomly decide to come over and stare at my pictures?” I inquired.
“Why isn’t your husband with you right now? Does he go to college or something?” he asked, once again ignoring my question.
“He’s dead.” I told him evenly.
“I see,” he replied. Usually when I told someone that my husband was dead, they’d immediately apologize and pity me. But Will didn’t do that. And for some reason, I liked that about him. “You’re too young to be getting married.” he told me.
“Excuse me?” I said, confused and surprised by his statement. “You don’t even know what happened. You barely even know me.”
“I know that you’re too young to be getting married.”
“Age is nothing but a number. Marriage shouldn’t be decided by age. It should be decided by love. And for me, it was.” I told him.
“Lots of young, naïve people think they’re in love. They go off and get married and are happier than they’ve ever been. Then sooner or later, reality hits them and they realize how stupid they were for marrying at such a young age.”
Why was he telling me this? Why did he even care when I married? Will was such a strange person. “So you’re saying that I’m stupid?” I demanded.
“Did I say that?” he inquired.
“No, but you implied it.” I remarked.
“Not intentionally,” he said. “You seem like a very smart person. But you’re still too young to have gotten married. Now you’re husband’s dead and you’re going to have to live with that loss for the rest of your life. And you’re only eighteen, so it’s not like you’re going to pass away any time soon.”
“Thanks, I feel so much better now.” I retorted flatly, my voice dripping with sarcasm. I wish I had at least the slightest of clues as to why he was having this conversation with me. But I didn’t.
“Why do people do that?” he cried. “You obviously don’t feel better, so why would you say that you do?”
“It’s called being sarcastic.” I informed him.
“I know what sarcasm is. I just think it’s stupid. Why would people say something when they mean the complete opposite of what they’re saying? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
I considered this for a moment, realizing his point. “Ok, so you think sarcasm is stupid, you think I’m too young to get married, you think I seem smart, and you don’t think I’m going to die anytime soon.” I stated. “That’s great, but why are you telling me all of this? Do you even have a reason for coming over here?”
“Yes,” he stated simply.
“Well what is it then? Because so far, all you’ve done is utterly confuse me. And honestly, I’m beginning to think you’ve been smoking something.” I told him.
“I don’t do drugs.” he informed me. “I don’t drink either.”
“That’s wonderful. You should get a certificate. But seriously, why are you here?” I was done trying to be polite to him. This guy was kind of a freak and I was fed up with all of his random topic changes.
He looked at me for a moment, looking as if he were deep in thought, although it really wasn’t that hard of a question. “You’re getting angry at me. I can tell.”
“Yes, Will, I’m getting angry at you.” I snapped, way beyond the point of irritation. “Congratulations, you’ve just stated the obvious!”
“I should go now.” he said.
“Well since you seem to have no reason for coming in the first place, maybe you should.” I retorted sharply.
“I already told you that I have a reason.”
“Well what is it then?” I practically shouted.
“I wanted to let you know that I saw you looking at me out the window.”
Now my humiliation from before had completely disappeared and was replaced with annoyance. “Well why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”
“You heard what I said to my mom, didn’t you?” he asked me, ignoring my question yet again.
Sighing, I replied, “Yes, I heard what you said to your mom.”
He nodded, “Our family has some issues.”
“All families have issues.” I assured him.
“Yeah, but it’s different for me. I just feel like if I simply disappeared one day, my parents wouldn’t even mind. As long as they have Michael, they’re satisfied. He’s the son that they brag about to their friends. He’s the son that they encourage to follow his dreams. He’s the son that they take pride in having as their own. And I’m the son that they look down upon and wonder what they did wrong for me to become what I am today.”
“Don’t say that, Will.” I told him, feeling sympathetic for him once again.
“Why shouldn’t I? It’s true. If I were nearly as smart as Michael is, my parents would not treat me the way they do.”
“You’re very smart.” I told him. “And you’re also very opinionated. I don’t know you that well but you seem like a very unique person.”
“Yeah, but my parents don’t care that I’m unique or opinionated. They just want me to be normal. They want me to become a lawyer or a doctor, not a musician. But I’m not normal. I know it and I accept it. But my parents don’t.”
“Well if they truly don’t appreciate you for who you are, then they’re mistaken. And if you’re passionate about music, and you want to be a musician that badly, then go ahead. You can do it if you believe in yourself. Don’t let your parents stop you.” I encouraged him. My whole “just believe in yourself” pep talk sounded a little tacky even in my own ears, but it was better than nothing.
“Yeah, sure,” he replied flatly, clearly unconvinced.
“Don’t down yourself. If you tell yourself that you can’t do something, then there’s no way you’ll ever be able to.” I told him.
“I know, it’s just hard,” He sighed, looking down at his black, worn-out Converse. “I’d better get going now. I guess I just came here because I wanted you to know that I don’t want you to think any differently of me just because of what you heard between my mom and I.”
“Why would I think differently of you because of that?” I inquired.
“Well it’s happened before, and I don’t want it to happen again.” he said. “Anyways, I’ve really got to go now. I guess I’ll see you later.”
“Ok,” I replied. Then he turned and walked out my front door. My conversation with him had been strange, and had left me feeling pretty confused, and very curious about him. But it had also left me liking him even more than I did when I first met him.
Even though his oddness had began to aggravate me, there was something about him and his personality that I found unique and refreshing. He was nothing like Ash or Cole. He was nothing like any boy I’d ever met. And I was pretty sure that was why I liked him.