Him/Her | Teen Ink

Him/Her

April 16, 2018
By rymmyo, woodbridge, Virginia
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rymmyo, Woodbridge, Virginia
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She knew things weren’t right. She’d known for weeks now. Everything felt different.
She felt different. Some nights she’d wake up in a panic, grasping for something- someone- that
wasn’t there, a mixture of tears and sweat dripping down the bridge of her nose. Her hair, which
was once the epitome of a real life Rapunzel, was now a tangle of cascading locks, a messy yet
accurate representation of what her life had become. Things had changed, and so had she.
Saturdays used to be special. They were her relaxation days, spent taking long walks in
the park, an ice cream cone in one hand, his hand in the other. They were days spent curled up in front of a good movie, a fuzzy blanket spread across their legs, his arm draped over her shoulder while his lips grazed her forehead. They were fused together on these days. Saturdays were quaint little dinners in their kitchen when they couldn’t afford to go to a fancy Italian restaurant- hours spent cooking her special beef and cheese lasagna while he tried to help, to no avail. This would result in her kicking him out the
kitchen while he went to buy her favorite wine (and Ben and Jerry’s). She loved wine (and Ben
and Jerry’s).
This is why Isabelle had always been fond of Saturday’s. Scattered around her apartment
weeks after it happened were still signs of those Saturday’s. A tie thrown over the desk chair, a
spoon trying to conceal itself underneath the refrigerator, their clothes haphazardly splayed over the bed like an open accordion, and most importantly- the pictures.
They were everywhere. Adorning her bureau were polaroids- he loved that camera, no matter
how often she complained about its age. Some were taken in the apartment, some outside. Most

were ones he had taken of her- while she was tying her new shoes that he bought her, while she
was eating ice cream, splayed out on the living room floor- while she was sleeping, her face at
peace- while she was sketching her latest drawing, her eyebrows furrowed and tongue peeking
out of the corner of her mouth in concentration.
He adored Isabelle in more than one way. The forms of adoration he bestowed upon her
were endless. Even when he didn’t have this love in the form of money to shower upon her, he
gave her more than any rich man could. He had a list of places he’d take her one day, when they
had the money, and as they lay in bed, he’d caress her hair, whispering to her all the places
they’d go and the things they’d see. From France to Spain to Rome to England, he wanted her to
see the world, with him right beside her.
And this is how life was for months. The routine of work, love, work, love, work and
love again. They adored it. It was a whirlwind of breathtaking moments, all spent in the
proximity of their little apartment.
Landon was always a big dreamer. He dreamt of anything and everything possible- even
some things that weren’t in the realm of possibility.
He was a different form of a god. Everything would be okay if Landon was there- all
problems would be solved- one of the many things Isabelle loved about him.
The depression started around late May, when the flowers were finally in full bloom and
everything smelt sweet. How ironic. He was working at a furniture store, taking night classes,
and trying to finish his most recent piece of writing. Isabelle tried to give him his space. When
she didn’t bother him, he wanted her opinion on a piece. When she spoke to him, he wanted to be
left alone. He was bitter and on edge- always worried about work, or what time to be home, or
whether or not he had enough ink for the printer- little things, that weren’t important in the grand
scheme of things, but meant everything to Landon. His life had to be consistent, always.
Isabelle was the complete opposite. Spontaneous was her middle name. She went at a fast
paced rhythm, always hurried, which was just how she liked it.
And although they were so different, they were worked in perfect correspondence. For
some time.

***

“Landon, babe, where’s the mail? I need to see what bills came in,” Isabelle called out,
shuffling through the papers sitting on the kitchen counter. Slipping off her shoes, she walked
into Landon’s “office” which was really just a small closet they cleared out when he started
delving back into his writing. Being in the same room as Isabelle was a task too difficult to
accomplish, so therefore, he now had his office, consisting of a small desk, his trusty laptop,
printer, and 400 year old desk chair.
“I don’t know, Isabelle.” His voice was gruff and a thick layer of annoyance coated his
every word. She winced- this had been his attitude towards her for weeks now.
She walked into his office, as cramped as it was, and wrapped her arms around his
shoulders. “Hello my darling,” she mumbled into his ear.
“Hi.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Yes. Look, Isabelle, I really need to finish this. My deadlines coming up and this is
important to me. There’s some Chinese food in the fridge if you’re hungry.”

She stood there for a few seconds, her mind filled with a mixture of burning anger and
rushing sadness. This wasn’t Landon. Landon was head over heels for her. She was his main
priority. A deadline? What deadline was more important than her!
She quickly left the room, closing the door behind her. She wrapped her sweater tighter
around her body, a sudden piercing cold overtaking her body. Alone- that’s how she felt at this
moment, and she suddenly realized- she’d felt like this for days, weeks, months. Was it time to scrape his memory away from her mind?She knew things weren’t right. She’d known for weeks now. Everything felt different.

She felt different. Some nights she’d wake up in a panic, grasping for something- someone- that
wasn’t there, a mixture of tears and sweat dripping down the bridge of her nose. Her hair, which
was once the epitome of a real life Rapunzel, was now a tangle of cascading locks, a messy yet
accurate representation of what her life had become. Things had changed, and so had she.
Saturdays used to be special. They were her relaxation days, spent taking long walks in
the park, an ice cream cone in one hand, his hand in the other. They were days spent curled up in front of a good movie, a fuzzy blanket spread across their legs, his arm draped over her shoulder while his lips grazed her forehead. They were fused together on these days. Saturdays were quaint little dinners in their kitchen when they couldn’t afford to go to a fancy Italian restaurant- hours spent cooking her special beef and cheese lasagna while he tried to help, to no avail. This would result in her kicking him out the
kitchen while he went to buy her favorite wine (and Ben and Jerry’s). She loved wine (and Ben
and Jerry’s).
This is why Isabelle had always been fond of Saturday’s. Scattered around her apartment
weeks after it happened were still signs of those Saturday’s. A tie thrown over the desk chair, a
spoon trying to conceal itself underneath the refrigerator, their clothes haphazardly splayed over the bed like an open accordion, and most importantly- the pictures.
They were everywhere. Adorning her bureau were polaroids- he loved that camera, no matter
how often she complained about its age. Some were taken in the apartment, some outside. Most

were ones he had taken of her- while she was tying her new shoes that he bought her, while she
was eating ice cream, splayed out on the living room floor- while she was sleeping, her face at
peace- while she was sketching her latest drawing, her eyebrows furrowed and tongue peeking
out of the corner of her mouth in concentration.
He adored Isabelle in more than one way. The forms of adoration he bestowed upon her
were endless. Even when he didn’t have this love in the form of money to shower upon her, he
gave her more than any rich man could. He had a list of places he’d take her one day, when they
had the money, and as they lay in bed, he’d caress her hair, whispering to her all the places
they’d go and the things they’d see. From France to Spain to Rome to England, he wanted her to
see the world, with him right beside her.
And this is how life was for months. The routine of work, love, work, love, work and
love again. They adored it. It was a whirlwind of breathtaking moments, all spent in the
proximity of their little apartment.
Landon was always a big dreamer. He dreamt of anything and everything possible- even
some things that weren’t in the realm of possibility.
He was a different form of a god. Everything would be okay if Landon was there- all
problems would be solved- one of the many things Isabelle loved about him.
The depression started around late May, when the flowers were finally in full bloom and
everything smelt sweet. How ironic. He was working at a furniture store, taking night classes,
and trying to finish his most recent piece of writing. Isabelle tried to give him his space. When
she didn’t bother him, he wanted her opinion on a piece. When she spoke to him, he wanted to be
left alone. He was bitter and on edge- always worried about work, or what time to be home, or
whether or not he had enough ink for the printer- little things, that weren’t important in the grand
scheme of things, but meant everything to Landon. His life had to be consistent, always.
Isabelle was the complete opposite. Spontaneous was her middle name. She went at a fast
paced rhythm, always hurried, which was just how she liked it.
And although they were so different, they were worked in perfect correspondence. For
some time.

***

“Landon, babe, where’s the mail? I need to see what bills came in,” Isabelle called out,
shuffling through the papers sitting on the kitchen counter. Slipping off her shoes, she walked
into Landon’s “office” which was really just a small closet they cleared out when he started
delving back into his writing. Being in the same room as Isabelle was a task too difficult to
accomplish, so therefore, he now had his office, consisting of a small desk, his trusty laptop,
printer, and 400 year old desk chair.
“I don’t know, Isabelle.” His voice was gruff and a thick layer of annoyance coated his
every word. She winced- this had been his attitude towards her for weeks now.
She walked into his office, as cramped as it was, and wrapped her arms around his
shoulders. “Hello my darling,” she mumbled into his ear.
“Hi.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Yes. Look, Isabelle, I really need to finish this. My deadlines coming up and this is
important to me. There’s some Chinese food in the fridge if you’re hungry.”

She stood there for a few seconds, her mind filled with a mixture of burning anger and
rushing sadness. This wasn’t Landon. Landon was head over heels for her. She was his main
priority. A deadline? What deadline was more important than her!
She quickly left the room, closing the door behind her. She wrapped her sweater tighter
around her body, a sudden piercing cold overtaking her body. Alone- that’s how she felt at this
moment, and she suddenly realized- she’d felt like this for days, weeks, months. Was it time to scrape his memory away from her mind?



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