I am Brutus

February 2, 2011
“Are you okay?” “Yeah,” I said in a weak voice. The truth was I felt like every nerve inside my body felt like it was going to jump out of my sweat-drenched skin. We were sitting on the front of my black Mustang, just watching the stars go by when the one question I was about to ask her could change everything. Three words and the one word answer. Four words that can make me be happy, happiness everyday for the rest of our lives. She just grabbed my trembling hand and just smiled. I don’t know why, but that’s all it took to make me calm, just her warm touch and the smell of her perfume. Lizzie always smells really nice when we go on our Friday and Saturday night romantic evenings together. It was that moment I knew I had to just man up and do what had to be done.

“Lizzie, will you marry me?” “No John, I’m not ready.” After she broke the bad news to me, she smiled at me with a sympathetic look and every so sweetly responded, “I’m sorry,” but I didn’t care. She just looked at me with those deep sweet blue eyes and ever so warm smile that made me feel I had something in this miserable world to hope for and out of those same lips destroyed every ounce of cheerfulness out of my hopeless being. I don’t know why but I still had feelings for Lizzie. It’s like when Julius Caesar looked Brutus square in the eye before he was slayed by his best friend and just sadly said “Et tu, Brute.” “Et tu, Brute.” There’s something about those words that sum up the entire existence of the human spirit, especially mine.

“I’m really sorry, John.” “I don’t care.” I said a lot of things I didn’t mean and I wasn’t exactly courteous to her but for some reason that three word phrase is what I remember the most about my really mean lash out at Lizzie. “I don’t care.” How could I have been that stupid to tell her I didn’t care? What I didn’t know was those three carelessly spoken words would haunt me for the rest of my life. Every day I wished I had told Lizzie how I really felt, how I loved spending time with her, and that I love her. I don’t know if my life would be any different if I just looked her in the eyes and told her that I didn’t mean what I said, that I’m just hurt, confused and scared, and I love her. I just want more than anything to be with her but all I could bring myself to say was “Can I get the door for you?” There is not a single night I go to bed wishing I did the right thing, and it didn’t matter how badly I want to apologize to Lizzie but I can’t because she’s gone.

“You don’t have to drive me home; I can just call my dad.” “No, Lizzie, I’ll drive you home.” It was a long ride to Lizzie’s house. Never before have, I have seen such a dismal evening or maybe it just seemed like it. It seemed like an eternity but we made the entire trip to Lizzie’s place without a single word between us. As she started to get out of the car, I said, “Lizzie let me get the door for you.’’ She just leaned over and kissed my right cheek; she looked at me and she ever so softly grinned at me. I never saw that look from her before and I didn’t like it. In that moment I realized it would be a long time before she would forgive me for the way I acted. “I can get my own door, thank you very much.” Then she walked off.

I then drove off into the blackness of the night, but not all of me made it back from that night out. I guess there will always be a part of me sitting on top of my Mustang holding on to Lizzie’s hand. Et tu, Brute. Et Tu, Lizzie. Et tu.

A couple weeks later I tried to call her, but she just hung up after she heard my voice. One month later, I tried again. One year later I tried again, but she wouldn’t even speak to me. She always hung up when she heard me on the other line. That night when I just let her walk away, I felt she was the one that betrayed me, but that’s not true. The reality is I am Brutus. I am Brutus because I was careless with my words. I am Brutus because I could have fixed my mistake, but I didn’t.
Et tu, John, et tu.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

PerfectMGymnast This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 27, 2011 at 12:37 am
this kept my attention the whole time! i really like it!! i  did find a couple mistakes but it was just small grammatical errors!! 
 
youngpilot said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm

This is a very intersting romance story, and is vrey well told, though i do have a pet peeve that has been broken. It's small, each new speaker gets a new paragraph. Other than that, and a few tense changes, its good! nice job:)

 

 
emrose said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 11:51 am
Wow!! This was really good! I liked it. there were some tense issues there but other than that I could see this being published!! Great job!!
 
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