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The first time it happened, I didn't think it truly mattered. We did it all the time, so I thought it was just another one of those two day periods. "Hey," I said timidly from behind you.
You turned to face me, your hazel brown eyes meeting mine for just the briefest second. "Hey.”
We stood in that awkward silence, me picking at the fraying hem of my old t-shirt, you staring at your tennis shoes.
We've been dating for about three months, and there were always these periods of two days to a full week where we would barely speak. It was killing me, but I loved you too much to care. You cleared your throat. "So uhh, how have you...been?”
It was more of a statement than a question. "I've been good, busy, but good.” I said, smiling quietly to myself. “And you?”
It killed me, ya know, barely talking to you, barely having you stare me in the eyes. I knew you were shy, but handling this was harder than I thought. I loved you, so I was willing to do anything to make it work. I was desperate.
I looked up to see you staring at me oddly. I stared deeply into your eyes, searching for any new bit of hope to cling to desperately. "So uh," you started quietly, but trailed off.
I waited patiently to hear your voice. "Wanna go see a movie this Saturday?" you asked timidly.
My heart immediately rose in excitement. I flashed you a warm smile. "Definitely, text me the details?" I asked, feeling a lot better than when the conversation had started.
You only nodded, your eyes slightly averted. I frowned on the inside. Shoving your hands into your pockets, you walked away from me, leaving me more confused than ever.
I don't get a lot of things in this world- math, science, world economics, and a bunch of other confusing subject matters, but I guarantee it, you were on the top of that list. I stood there, pondering your antics before walking away.
Saturday arrived and I was hoping this would be the final icebreaker, the world shattering moment that made everything better.
Boy, was I wrong.
That day started out good; I ended up just hanging around the house the occasional TV show and Facebook update, waiting for the night I thought would magically fix everything.
The night you picked me up, it was just like usual, barely meeting your eyes, barely able to speak. "H-hey," I stuttered out, my old habit being brought into a blaring, hot light.
You nodded with a faint smile before wordlessly leading me to your, well, your mom's car. A poisoned, burning tension filled our silence, but everyone else seemed oblivious. As we got out of the car, we stood dumbly outside the theater, still barely meeting each other's eyes.
I heard you inhale sharply before saying, "So- uh, we should uh go i-in?"
I didn't respond, but just headed for the glass door leading to the theater.
You know what's ironic, sad, and funny?
I didn't even remember what movie we were seeing in the first place.
Sitting in the theater, I felt so conflicted. It wasn't an unusual feeling, especially around you. I just sat there, tapping the chair with my fingers, waiting impatiently for the movie to start, and oddly, looking forward to the finish.
Don't get me wrong; I loved spending time with you. But the severity of the situation made it just too hard to even be in the same room without feeling as if I were caught up in an episode of Degrassi. I cleared my throat, shifting awkwardly in my seat, right when the theater started to darken.
I didn't pay attention to the movie whatsoever. It was too awkward. All I could think about was how you were only inches away; we were even holding hands but it felt as if we were millions of miles apart. I don't even know why we were there. It was never going to move forward, always stuck in that kid crush mode, there was never going to be a future for us. I loved you.
I was wishing on all the shooting stars I could find, but there was going to be miracle for us, no happy ending.
There wasn't a future for us at all. We were just caught in that deadly childlike state of mind where we were silently crushing, sometimes having "moments," but never really going for anything. I wanted that, and I guess you did too, but I guess neither of us knew where to begin.
The movie was awful, and we awkwardly hugged goodbye, before I retreated to my room with a fresh set of tears. I didn't know what to do. I knew what was going to happen, but I kept trying to push it back, hoping it would disappear. It didn't.
After a while, we started to fight. "Don't walk away from me!" I said shrilly as you turned around to make an angry exit.
We were fighting again. The screams and yells happened so many times, bickering was like clockwork. It didn't matter about why, just about how we would fix ourselves up again.
You turned to face me, eyes blazing with anger. "What? What NOW?"
"Will you PLEASE stop acting like you're five?" I asked with my hands planted firmly on my hips.
"What do you want me to do? Throw a fit like you? Scream at everyone who crosses my path?" you asked angrily, your eyes narrowing.
I sighed. "YES! Scream! Let go of the world! Just stop acting so happy! We all know it isn't how you feel!"
"Well, I'm sorry I don't fit your soap opera guidelines," you said icily.
I rolled my eyes. You were so overdramatic; you either took statements as a great compliment, or a heart breaking insult. There was no neutral for you, was there? "Not like that, you KNOW what I mean! Instead of hiding how you truly feel behind that painted smile, maybe it's better for you to really let go."
You rolled your eyes back. "I'm sorry I can't be good enough for you!" you shouted angrily, hands clenched into fists.
"I have never asked you to be anything more than yourself."
"No, you do. You always want me to be more open, more complete, and more emotional. You ask me to let go for you, to be out of a zone I am in total comfort in," you replied coolly, knuckles turning white.
I could only stare at you angrily, holding my breath as I tried not to cry. "You know that's wrong," I said stiffly.
You only shrugged your shoulders. We averted our eyes for a few minutes, but when I looked back up, yours were glazed over with tears. I stared back, trying vainly not to break down. "Tell me something," you asked in a choked voice. "Aren't you tired of pretending you love me like I love you?"
I stared back. "You know I love you, and you know EXACTLY how much," I said, angry tears threatening to spill.
You gave me a sad shrug of the shoulders before walking away. Your footsteps echoed down the hall, and that's when all the barriers broke.
With you, it was like a game. You wouldn't open up, so I would try to get you to, and I figured one of these days, I would have broken down the walls for good. Round after round, and the game started to get painful. I never understood why, but I thought that if I kept playing, someday, somehow, I could win. I was so wrong.
The following day, we timidly approached each other. "Hey, I'm really sorry..." you started, smiling shyly.
"I am too. Don't worry; we're both to blame," I replied automatically.
We smiled, hugging briefly before separating to go to class.
The next time it happened, was the time I had an epiphany. I usually received those around you.
"Why can't you just give it a REST?" you sighed exasperatedly.
We were doing it again, but this time, I think something snapped. "Because, because I CARE about you, and I don't want you growing up and having some sort of mental breakdown!”
"Life isn't a drama, ya know!” you shot back angrily, fists curled back up defensively.
"No, it isn’t, but ours is because you choose to make it so!" I hissed, clenching my fists so hard the palms were bleeding.
You only stared icily. "I do not start drama. You're the one wanting to know all of my problems. You're the one who constantly wants me to be open. What if I'm just fine being closed?"
I sighed in frustration. You were never going to get it. So I said the one thing on my mind that's been harbored in my heart for days now.
"Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, me opening up is wrong for me, and-" you started indignantly, your cheeks reddening with each word.
"Tell me something, please," I cut you off, my eyes glazed with tears. "Aren't you tired of pretending you love me like I love you?"
You just gaped, speechless, as those tears in my eyes seemed to grow closer and closer to falling. I gave a humorless half-smile.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," I said, then drew in a deep breath. "Tell you what. Go find some self-respect, and then you can come crying to my door, but until then... I'm through."
I stormed off then, pulling my arms in closer and trying to control the flood of tears that was threatening to break. You just buried your head in your hands, and for the first time in years, I bet you didn't feel angry at anyone but yourself.