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But now I’m free.
A prisoner: unable to move because of the shackles bound to my heart. Nothing can describe the words going through my head when I first saw her: fear, curiosity, desire. It was a warm day in August and I was 13. I was standing outside waiting for school to start when I saw her. She was wearing short black shorts and white tee shirt. She was gorgeous. My friend introduced us. I took a hit of the aroma that resonated off her. I was hooked. I introduced myself and began to talk to her. The bell rang. The high was over for now but I knew she would be back.
We started to talk in school. I got to know her over the next few months. We laughed and seemed to get along pretty well.
“Hey. Can I have your number?” These fatal words began my addiction.
“Sure! We should definitely hang out sometime,” she replied, as her beautiful pink tongue spewed those slithering words. I called her and we began to hang out uptown. Day after day, weekend after weekend, she enticed me with the rush of being with her. I was hooked. We were best friends. We wouldn’t do much but we would end up having so much fun. She made me feel wonderful. She would make me happy when I was sad. She would bring me up when I was down. She would make me high when I was low. But then again, she would sometimes make me numb. Because I wanted her and she seemed to want me too but she said she liked someone else. Buried twenty feet underground, no possible way to get any lower. But somehow she managed to pile on more dirt. Gram by gram, ounce by ounce, I started to suffocate under my own feelings. But I was blind. I ignored the bad and was attracted by the good. I love feeling good. Don’t you? So why wouldn’t you want to have that feeling all the time? So I went out with her. I began the relationship that ended my freedom.
But now I’m free.
It was so much fun. We were together all the time. She was my best friend; she was my girlfriend. I couldn’t get enough. I started to fall in love. I never would have thought that falling could hurt so badly. But I fell a long way. I jumped off the edge of a bottomless pit. She said that she had fallen too. She didn’t fall so far though. Six months after it started, it was over. She ended it. But she wanted to stay friends. I would have done anything to stay in her life. Maybe we will be together in the future? Maybe she will love me then? The ideas in my head pleaded me to stay. I kept my love wrapped in a box that I stored in my closet for several years.
Two years passed, and I continued to hide my love from that deceitful goddess. We were only friends. We would hang out all the time still. She would come over and we would laugh. I talked to her on the phone all the time. She would call me crying asking for help or just someone to talk to. I was always there. Even when she had other boyfriends, she would come to me when there was a problem. I still loved her. But she couldn’t know. Seeing her with other guys killed me. I would want to cry, asking God why I couldn’t have her. Do I not deserve her? Is she too good for me? But I would hold it in. Every year was the same cycle. Until one day it bore too much upon me. I broke like the Tin Man trading places with Atlas.
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t keep doing this. I love you but you don’t love me back. I don’t think we should hang out or talk for a while. Just until I get over you,” part of me shattered with every word I said. I didn’t want to. I had to leave. I lasted about a week without talking to her. But quitting cold turkey is a lot harder than wearing the patch. I wasn’t strong enough. I had to talk to her again.
“Hey,” she responded with content.
“I missed you.”
“I missed you too,” she replied. That was all I needed to fall again. I was hooked. We were talking, hanging out, and more intimate than before. Summertime rolled around. It was a crazy summer. And that’s when she told me.
“I think I love you.” My cheeks surpassed the boundaries of my face and headed to the edge of the universe. A current of great emotions splashed on my soul. Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers.
“But I don’t want a boyfriend right now,” she stated. Ok, that’s not bad, don’t you think? We can just act like boyfriend and girlfriend and just wont have the title, right? But she didn’t have the same ideas in mind. Hooking up for the occasional high was all it was. She liked someone else but loved me. Or so she said. She wanted to go to dances with another guy and she even wanted to go out with him. She’s going out with him, but don’t worry, she loves me. That made a lot of sense in my head. She wanted to be together when high school was over.
“That’s when we can start a real relationship,” she said. And I believed. I was hooked. The Tin Man strolled back into my life. I can hold out until school’s over, it won’t be that bad. I was lying to myself. I was lying to my soul. She was in an internal debate, the candidates: Me or another guy.
“Cody, she definitely doesn’t deserve you. You deserve someone who likes you and only you,” one of my friends preached to me. Wait. Maybe he’s right. Of everything I do for her: give her rides wherever and whenever she needs one, be there for her when she is sad or crying, or just there to see how her day was, unconditional love. She still is debating between me and another guy? Lord, did it not work out because she didn’t deserve me? My eyes were opened. I don’t need this addiction. So I left, this time for good. It hurt really badly to leave. But now she is no longer a variable in the equation of my life. Don’t get me wrong; I still miss the ecstasy. But I don’t miss the misery. I’m clean. I once was caged. But now I’m free.