A Love Different From Yours
“She walks inside your house, tears held tightly in her hands, sobbing to take her back and you have the audacity to reject her?!” I asked, limply hanging on to the last thread of sanity. Ty shrugs, “she's a skank and can't keep her damn legs shut. There is no sincere apology in her eyes.” I retort back quickly, defending my best friend, “oh because pouring her heart out to you isn't enough. No, hold on, you want her to beg, don't you? To get down on her knees and plead you back? You don't even know if it's true!” I scoff and he just smiles. “You try so hard to make her look innocent but she's not. We both know it. You don't have to stick up for her anymore, she's gone anyways.” He says with a c***y smirk plastered on his lips. “You say that as if she's dead.” I reply. He only shrugs and takes a hit from his cigarette. I snatch the blunt away from him and chuck it to the ground, smashing it under my foot. “Those things will kill you.” “What can I say? Shortening my lifespan has become a hobby of mine.” I didn't bother answering his snarky remark and remained silent for a bit, dozing off every now and then.
I finally rolled off the couch and lamely stood up, slouching my back in a comfortable position. I twirled my house keys around my index finger as I walked out his home, muttering a ‘goodbye’ to Ty who seems to have passed out. Who could've thought our lives would end up like this? College dropouts at 20, no job and living in our parent’s attic. Well not quite, Ty lived in his own rundown apartment and managed to provide for himself by selling weed. I always told him he'd eventually get killed by the mafia or something but lately, it's been pretty quiet. There's also Daniela who left home a while ago probably dying to get away from Ty, their past wasn't great. Daniela was raped by ex-boyfriends and dumped by Ty. Although Ty had a weird way of showing his love for others. Personally, I like to believe Ty ended things with Daniela to give her space from guys for a while but it only teared her apart. I sighed and shoved my hands in the pockets of my hoodie and it only reminded me of the day I met Ty, it was probably the worst day of my life. All I thought about that day was about my grandpa. He was ill, every one knew. He tried so hard to mask it from little me but I always had the luck of overhearing things and 8 year old me understood very well. I didn't know how to tell him good bye. I was so afraid, so nervous and, even against all of the warnings my mother told me that I shouldn't, I couldn't help but cry when he embraced me. Tuesday morning, the maids kept whispering “Mr.Rem has died” followed by shushes when I walked by. I was forced to go to school to keep me away from him. During the walk home after school I was greeted by a snowball, the force of the hit was enough to fill my nose with blood. A short and stubby kid wobbled his way over to me and pulled on the sleeve of his sweater, wiping the blood off my lips with it. “I'm sorry, it was by accident!! Please don't tell my mom!!” He whined desperately. All the chants of “Ty touched a girl!! He's got cooties!” drowned out from my mind. Everyone went silent. I was so miserable, I was embarrassed and everything came upon all at once, the hot tears streaming down my cheeks and my shivering lip motioned Ty to lean in close to me and whispered, “do you even know why you're crying?” I shook my head no, I didn't want to tell him. Mostly everything from that day was so clear, the shuffling of the feet, the smell of pine cones, the nice and fuzzy feeling of the kid’s sweater, it was all there but then what happened next? The next memory I have of Ty and I together is two weeks later at school. What happened between that time?
Ty says he doesn't remember, I shook the thought away from my mind. The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful and irrelevant. I stopped by the park and sat down on the swing set. I took out my phone from my back pocket and dialed Daniela’s number, the familiar answering machine ringing through my ears. A ball rolled over to me, stopping at my feet followed by a kid with strangely similar characteristics as… Ty. I picked up the ball and threw at him, his small hands catching it. The knowing scent of churro and chocolate drifted its way towards me as a young woman approached. “Felix” she said. Her hair color has changed from a warm brown to a cool-toned blonde and her eyes narrowed with age. “Daniela” I said. She sat down on the swing next to me and was silent for a moment. I thought I would never see her again but she didn't seem surprised to see me here. After all, this is the park where Ty, Daniela and I would play at.
“How’s Ty?” She asked. Her head tilted down, casting a shadow from her long hair. “He’s okay. You know, sleeping and eating. The usual.” She nodded in response and continued to kick aimlessly at the ground. We both ignored the question that I had. Why had she come back? She looked up at the kid that caught the ball I threw who played with kids of his same age, tossing the ball around, screaming “hot potato”. She smiled and turned to view me, “isn't he beautiful?” She asked. I didn't what to say. She mumbled quietly under her lips, swaying “you can't tell Ty”. I looked over to her, she shielded herself away from with an utter look of embarrassment and I couldn't help but ask why she was back. She replied quickly, “because I can't take care of him anymore”. At this point, it sounded very stupid to ask but I wanted to be sure. I wanted to know and not make assumptions. “Is he Ty’s child?” She nodded once again, small tears of bittersweet pain pouring down her sorrowed expression. I didn't say anything else, I didn't know how to fix it either. I didn't know a lot of things like for example where she had been for the past five years. All of a sudden, it just didn't matter anymore.
“Do you know where Ty lives?” I asked her, she shook her no and then gave me a smile. “I was kinda hoping I'd find you here and you'd tell me or something. I didn't really have a plan.” I returned her smile, “noted” I said. “Do you remember when we were little?” She asked. “Yeah but it's all kinda just a blur.” She snorted and covered up her mouth, a habit she's had forever. “Of course you don't.” She said. I looked over to her and furrowed my eyebrows, “what do you mean?” She looks away from me as if she had said nothing but she can't deny it anymore. “I mean it really was nothing.” I hopped off the swing and kneeled in front of her, “Daniela if you remember anything about that week-“ “what week?” She cut me off, her voice high and shaky, “I- I don't know what you're talking about.” I bit my lip and looked down at my fumbling hands, “please, Daniela. What happened after my Grandfather died?” There was no audio from her for a while and I figured she wasn't going to say anything until she began to speak again. “After your grandfather died, you had a really bad accident. You had temporary memory loss but some things never returned to you. Those two weeks in May, we all had complications. Ty and I, we had been friends for so long. Way before you came along, I was always there for him. Slowly, I felt myself being replaced by you. Those two weeks, he visited you every single day. I was in the room right across from you and he never went by, not once. You're my best friend, Felix, but it hurts. After a couple years, I wanted him to look at me. I wanted him to notice me. So I slept with him. We went into a relationship because he felt obliged to but never once did he tell me he liked me.” She gasped for air after finishing and I couldn't tell her I understood because I didn't. I opened my mouth to speak but she beat me to it, “besides, I kinda… found something else. Or rather, someone else.” I kept staring at her, this woman who I grew up with held such an expression of fear. Why is she afraid? “Hey, I kept trying to find you but you have your phone off or something?”
A tall, lean woman weaved her way around me and placed her arms around Daniela where she then proceeded to give Daniela a kiss on her lips. I sat there, dumbfounded, confused on so many levels. Daniela turned to me, “meet my girlfriend, Talia.” I managed to collect myself after a few awkward seconds, struggling to form a sentence, “wow, uhm, okay well h-hi my name’s Felix.” She responded back with a polite greeting and I didn't know what to do then. Daniela broke the silence, “I still don't exactly know what to do with the kid. He's gotten sick lately and I can't pay for his medical bills.” I nodded. “Ty lives just down the street. I can show you if you want. You know, no pressure or anything.” She inhaled deeply, “yeah please.” We walked towards Ty’s house and I wasn't sure how he’d react. I don't even know how I managed to make my way out of that situation. We arrived in front of his apartment and I glanced at Daniela who was pretty much about to faint from an anxiety attack, “I'm going to ring the doorbell now.” We waited for what felt like minutes until a groggy Ty opened the door to stare at me with narrowed eyes. “Do you know what time it is? I have to get to the factory at like 10pm and I haven't slept a bit-“ I cleared my throat, stopping his blabbering and I monitored towards the couple standing next to me with a five-year old son in front. He looked back and forth between Daniela and the kid until he spoke her name. “Do you remember that night? We said it wouldn't be necessary and I know I should've told you so much sooner but I was afraid when my period didn't come for like three months straight and I just couldn't-“ she stopped and took a deep breath before starting again, “I think you should meet your son. His name is Cole.” She nudged Cole towards Ty and Ty stared at the kid completely frozen. He waited a few minutes before looking at Daniela, “are you telling me I have to take care of him? I don't even know if he's actually my kid!!” I rolled my eyes at Ty and placed myself in between Daniela and him, “Ty for God’s sake, the kid is basically your twin. Stop being so goddamn stubborn.” His eyes widened, “oh I'm so sorry but waking up to a woman you haven't seen in five years and she's telling you ‘hey look you have a son which, by the way, you don't know he existed until two minutes ago’ is not something you take lightly!!” I mumbled a ‘get over yourself’ and turned myself towards Daniela, “how is this supposed to work? Do you fill out a form or something? If Ty doesn't take him, I will.” Daniela looked flabbergasted and I was surprised myself, I've never been one to take up anything in life. I wouldn't even get a dog because I'm afraid I'll forget to feed it or something but lately I’ve wanted a new meaning to my life and I feel like if I have something to work for then I'll be motivated. “Yeah, you can keep him with you for now but we’ll have to go down to City Court and get it all sorted out formally.” I nodded, “okay great. It's all settled then.” Ty gripped my shoulders and spun me around, “do you not remember?! Did you forget?! You told me you'd never forget!” Tears dripped from his eyes which held so much anger in them, “I thought someday you'd remember but lately you just can't seem to understand anything!” I looked for words but everything seemed all crumbled in my mind and nothing felt right to say. “Ty, calm down. What do you mean? I'm sorry if I upset you-“ he shook his head. “Felix you promised me you'd love me till the day we took our last breath. You pieced it together with all your force. That day you were going into surgery, you promised me a family. Our family, with kids and a marriage. You forgot, didn't you? I've been waiting for so long.” He looked over my shoulder, directly at Daniela. “I'm really sorry” he said to her, “that I helped you make a child with no love.” Daniela buried her face in her partner’s chest and I had noticed Ty held my hands. I've probably held hands with Ty millions of times but have never felt anything from it. I never noticed how warm his hands are, how safe he makes me feel or how soothing his voice is to me.” I back away from Ty and place my hands on Cole. “Ty, you can't say this child is not a product of love. This child holds so much love for you. You're his dad and you can choose to leave him or you can choose to raise him right. Either way, this child is my best friend’s and I'll do what I can for him.”
Ty blinked away his tears, “if I told you I'd stay, would it make me sound cheesy and cliché?” I laughed and flicked his forehead, “of course not. My love is a different love from yours. I like cliché things.” I smiled and turn to Daniela and her partner, “would you like to come inside for some coffee?”