Taking Back a Stolen Heart

I don't remember how I met Sean*. But if you told me that I was going to be riding the craziest roller-coaster of my life with it's upside-down turns and zero slope drops seven years ago when I did, I probably wouldn't have believed you. His sweet smile and warm presence created a special friendship and you could say that he stole my heart in an instant.

~

Seven years later:

I was so relieved that the Christmas concert was over. One stresser of life taken off of my shoulders thanks to Father Time. I had put my silver painted double French Horn in its smooth black case and sighed, letting the last of the anxiety go, and left the band room to start the search for my dad and his girlfriend, Patty.

My father saw me in the hallway I had by chance turned into and found him and congratulated me with a hug and a “Good job”. My friend Kiera walked by and gave me a quick hug. When I didn't return the friendly gesture, she simply walked away, hand towards me, blocking my face and said, “Whatever, Daughter of Zeus!”

I laughed. My dad looked so confused. “I love you, Daughter of Hades!” I shouted down the hallway.

“Well, I'm gonna let you go home,” my dad said. “Love you, and again great job.” We shared a good-bye hug.

“Love you, too.” I said.

My father and Patty left, and I walked to the front doors that led to the auditorium, that were also parallel to the doors leading to the parking lot, thinking that my grandmother might be there. Instead I found Sean's younger brother, Mark*, was standing by himself. I creeped up behind him, and gave him a hug. He let out a funny scream and I let him go.

“Oh,” he said as he turned around and saw me. “It's just you.”

“Yep.”

Sean stood over by two other guys who we were both pretty good friends with, Chris* and Dem*. “Sean, did you forget about your girlfriend?” Mark shouted to him across the small room, pointing in my direction, trying to make himself heard over the other chatters.

“Girlfriend?” I asked Mark, confused.

“Yeah. Livy*.”

“Oh,” I turned to my left and saw a preppy, lesser than attractive girl staring in Sean's direction. “Hi,” I said, laughing a little.

She rolled her eyes and ignored me as Sean walked over. Livy was frowning as she talked to him. I could tell she was watching me in the corner of her eye, though I couldn't tell if she was talking about me or not. I turned and walked out of the small room, into the hallway, upset. I had to get home and not let anyone see me this depressed and angry.

In fifteen minutes, I found myself pacing in my bedroom, a bitter and painful expression on my face I noticed as I looked in the mirror. The tears that blazed my eyes flooded out onto my cheeks, nose, and neck uncontrollably. I snapped my head and laid my eyes upon a coral mechanical pencil. I grabbed it with a great, swift force and pushed the eraser once. Why is this happening to me? I asked myself. I slid the graphite down my arm. The tears now gushed out faster and more. In a blurry, depressing minute or so later, I looked down and saw his initials carved into my skin, a little blood rising to surface of my flesh. “Now you'll always be a part of me,” I said to the S and V in my arms, disgustingly satisfied.

~

After three months of being constantly hugged, cuddling, staring (at), and singing “Bad Romance” with Sean, here he was, not letting me leave to go home, and pulled me back to the small room that led out to the door. What could he possibly have to say to me? This can't be one of those Hollywood moments where the guy says that he's desperately in love with me, I thought.

“Mikaila, I know you've liked me for a long time.”

Oh, God.

“...and I'm sorry that I don't like you like... that.” He gestured with his hand.

Hand gesture? Really? Are you really that gay?

“...I mean, I'll always be here for you. When you're up, when you're down, when you're sideways.”

I laughed. Might as well.

“But... you are an amazing friend, and you're going to find an awesome guy. I'm just... not him.”

I looked at him, not sure if I had fire or water in my eyes. “Who told you?”

“That chicky over there,” he sounded like it was a question that wasn't needed, and acted like he could just brush it off as he nodded his head towards one of my best friends. “Anna.”

Anna. Of course. Why am I not surprised?

“Come on, let's hug it out.” He put his arms around me.

“I love you,” he whispered.

I remained silent.

“It's OK. You don't have to say it back,” he said.

“I love you, too,” I said quickly, harshly, meanly, rudely, raping the words, though I still meant them.

He stroked my back with his thumbs before letting me go.

“Let's forget this ever happened,” I said.

“Yeah.”

“If anyone asks about a conversation, we'll ask, 'what conversation?'”

“Yeah. See ya.”

I exited and walked away, towards my grandmother's car. I needed to go home to ball my eyes out over a guy. Again.

~

I had invited Anna for a sleepover about a month later. I was over the whole incident with Sean. Or so I thought. She wanted Sean and I to be friends, possibly date, and not be “upset or crying over each other”. Though, for some reason, I found myself several nights in between the two dates crying nights away, chasing them until dawn arrived.

“I need to tell you something. Don't be mad at me, OK?” Anna said.

“OK. What is it?” I said, sleepily, bored with watching “Mamma Mia!” for what seemed like the millionth time in the “home office”.

“I kissed Sean.”

Ouch.

“It wasn't like I meant anything by it,” she lectured on. “I just know that that's what I wanted with Seth, and I wanted to make Sean happy. I just wanted to give Sean five seconds of happiness.”

Yeah. That's right. Sean liked Anna. My best friend was in love with my best friend. Can you spell “irony”?

“Don't be upset,” she said.

No. I couldn't possibly upset. Why don't you just slap me in the face a few times and scream at me that there's no way Sean could ever like me because he's too busy being in love with you?

I'm sure that it's no surprise that the rest of the sleepover was pretty awkward and upsetting. Except for when I was marveling over the acting abilities of my favorite celebrity while Anna was asleep.

~

Love is hot, and the pain of heartbreak has flames that can reach even higher. Your heart says “yes”, but your mind knows better and tells you “no”. You let people in, sometimes, who aren't ready to come in yet. The harder you try to press someone to agree, they fight against you even more. What have I learned from this? Well, my first answer would be nothing. Then, I would think about your question and tell you that Kyle in the movie “North Country” was right; it's easy to love someone, but every time you say you hate someone, you have to think about why. Love has no limits, and no conditions. I've learned that love is never easy, but maybe that isn't the kind of love Sean needs. Maybe he needs someone to be devoted to him in a different way and be his friend no matter what. And maybe Anna needs a friend who will be patient with her no matter what.
~

Note: names with stars ARE NOT their real names.





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