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I sighed, and rolled over for what must have been the millionth time. I never have trouble getting to sleep…that is, unless I have something on my mind. I readjusted myself again and angrily screamed into my pillow. The clock on my bedside table read 12:45 a.m. I glared at it, hoping I could scare it enough to turn back time a bit. When nothing happened, I turned my attention to my phone and my itouch, which were sitting comfortably next to the clock.
Maybe he was online right now…he liked to stay up late didn’t he? I caught myself just as I was reaching for my cell and angrily shook the thought out of my head. Stupid brain! You’re not supposed to like him. Or even think about him! Especially when you’re supposed to be sleeping.
Closing my eyes, I thought of the conversation I had had with Megan yesterday morning.
“Saw Max this morning,” She said as we stretched, getting ready for cheerleading practice. “Is he still stalking you?” She laughed, but I felt my face burning up.
“Totally,” I lied, pretending to be super annoyed. “It’s like he’s everywhere I go. He pretty much told me he loves me the other day.” Megan laughed.
“What a weird-o! Can’t he take a hint?”
“Guess not…” I said quietly. I looked sadly over at where the marching band was practicing. I just ‘happened’ to see Max standing there. He must have felt me watching him or something, because he looked up. I felt myself turn red and quickly looked away. I swore I could hear my heart go ‘twang’.
You see the thing is, Max had sort of been stalking me. He’d asked me out at the beginning of last year, and I had said yes. He was a sweet guy after all. Not the most attractive person on the planet or anything, but hey, you can’t have it all. Unless you’re Joe Mauer, but that’s beside the point.
So anyway, the relationship didn’t really work out. He was just so…clingy. But breaking up didn’t stop him. He kept right on my tail, chasing away guys who liked me, instantly hating any guy I talked to, just because it might mean he was ‘competition’. I was constantly getting pity looks from girls around me, and none of his friends liked me that much, but for some reason I never told him to go away.
He’d try to get me to go on a date with him almost every week, usually to the movies, and I would always say the same thing: “That’s a great idea! We should all (‘all’ meaning our ‘clique’ if you will) go to the movies this weekend! I’ll tell the others.” He would sigh, put on a smile and say “Great.”
Looking back, that was probably a really low thing to do, and he’s a saint for having put up with it…If a guy had done that to me twenty times in a row, I probably would have killed him…or at least given up asking.
I rolled over again, looking sadly at the ceiling. He had always been right next to me, that Max. Always given me something to fall back on. I’d cried on his shoulders plenty of times, and he hadn’t asked for a thing in return. And there I was, calling him a ‘stalker’ and pretending like he was some deranged creeper behind his back. I sat up and held my face in my hands. I’m such a loser.
But lately, things are different. Since we got back from a class trip, he hasn’t said more to me than “Hi,” when we run into each other at practice. I haven’t gotten a text from him in weeks, he’s never on Facebook anymore….
Maybe he’s finally getting revenge on me for all those times I said no. Maybe he’s experimenting to see if I get lonely or miss him or come crawling back to him or something. Maybe he’s just really distracted, with us going into Freshman year and all…ya that’s it! I try to slam that excuse into my head. I repeat it over and over, until I believe it’s true. “He’s busy. He’s busy. HE’S BUSY!”
But no matter how many times I say that, the idea that’s been in the back of my mind all night resurfaces and strangles me with its terrible evil: Maybe he met another girl.
As soon as I think it, I feel myself choking back tears. Him finding another girl. That would mean that there was no reason for him to follow me around anymore. No more weekends laughing at the movies with him because one of us accidentally snorted cotton candy or something. No more texting him late at night, or laughing at that guy in out class, Tuck Smith, because he’s such a jerky loser…none of that…he’d be doing all of it for another girl.
But maybe…maybe, I think, looking at the floor of my room. Maybe it’s not all bad. Guys can finally talk to me without look for him over their shoulder. I don’t have to pretend I hate him in front of the girls at practice anymore. I don’t have to tell Megan that he’s a stalker anymore.
I don’t have to hurt him anymore….
I sit there, still holding my head and close my eyes again. Suddenly I’m remembering that day last year…We’d been talking for a while on Facebook. It was after he’d started asking me out every week. He’d just asked me to the movies again, when I suddenly burst out “Why do you keep asking me when you know what the answer is?!”
I immediately wanted to take it back. I bit my tongue as I waited for him to answer. He was usually the type to blow up when people talked about this around him, but what he answered completely took my aback.
“Because I think you’re worth it. So I keep trying, even if I know you’ll say no.” He just typed it. I was just reading it off a screen, so it’s not like he could look deep into my eyes like in the movies or anything like that…but just the words were powerful to me. I think that’s when I started to fall for him again. Not head-over-heels or anything, but I wanted him near me, to keep me close.
And then he just suddenly stopped. And it hurt. It’s like part of me had been taken away. And apparently I needed that part to sleep. I looked at the clock again. 1:30. I sighed, and my eyes drifted to my phone. I must have stared at it for ages, but finally I had it in my hands. I would text him. It was my turn to start a conversation. My turn to tell him he was worth it. I sent the message…not only because I missed him.
But because I really needed to get some sleep.