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I Can't Sleep (part 4)
That was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. It killed me so much. It still does. Whenever I think of him I try to tune out that memory. I want to see the sweet Troy, the caring and compassionate Troy, the Troy that fought so hard for me because he saw something in me that other guys never tried to find. It was rare and it was special, the Troy that was my friend, my companion. But all of that is gone, all in the matter of a couple of hours… All because of one mistake.
Would I take him back? I think that it’s gone too far for either of us to turn back. I’m upset and he’s probably pissed, or maybe he’s already moved on.
I wonder if he is seeing that make-out girl. Maybe he is. I keep telling myself I don’t want to know how far they went, but if he slept with her, then he would have had to tell me, right? So he didn’t sleep with her… I guess.
Oh God, it’s almost 6 am. Why do I do this to myself?
I look around my room again. It feels so empty. It’s like I can remember exactly where everything was, every picture, every ribbon, and every detail. I remember what he said in my yearbook: “Getting to know you was quite the experiment. I’ll never forget our math class and how Mrs. Miller was completely incapable of teaching anything related to numbers. I’ll never forget the first time you gave me some knuckles; it was totally spiritual. I’ll never forget when you serenaded me. Many memories over the year we spent together. Have a great summer.” I remember the multiple Wii dates we had and the few times that I actually beat him. I remember when he left for college and how we refused to say “goodbye”, but instead, “talk to you soon”. I remember the two pictures that I had on my mirror: the one from a photo booth when went to the shore, and that adorable picture my friend took of him kissing my cheek. I remember when he took me out to dinner for the first time, and I took a plastic toothpick that had their logo on it. I remember the dress I wore when I shared New Years with him and his family, and the inevitable kiss I received that night. I remember when he surprised me with a small basket of Easter candy and also treats from South Carolina. I remember the letters he sent me and the adorable stickers that he decorated them with. I remember it all. I remember taking it all down and putting it in a box. Close to a yearlong relationship, diminished into a men’s sneaker box. It made me cry.
I feel the foot of my bed burning. No, I don’t want to get the shoebox and relive it all. Not tonight.
I lay me head down lightly. I squeeze my eyes shut in hopes that I magically go to sleep, but instead I remember back to when I gave him my virginity. It was so cute. His parents understood how important it was for us to have a moment alone a few days before he officially left for SC. His parents agreed to give him the house for 4 hours, from 7-11pm. He bought all the food that we needed, and started to cook for me, but I couldn’t just let him do that, so I helped. It was adorable. We made homemade mac and cheese with green beans. It was so manly and attractive to see him cook. We ate dinner, and in the freezer he had my favorite ice cream. He dished it out, and even had whipped cream for us. Did I mention that I did spray him a little bit? After the cold ice cream, he got a fire started outside for our end-of-the-summer-last-chance-you-have-to-roast-marshmallows-s'mores event. We made some gooey messes but delicious treats, and we cuddled and kissed. There wasn’t much dialog I remember that night except:
Troy: “I love you.”
Me: A tear trickles. “I love you too.” I smile.
Troy: He wipes away the tear. “How are you feeling?”
Me: “I’m ready.”
Troy: “It’s okay if you don’t---”
Me: “No, I want to.”
He took me to his room. He took off my shirt and kissed my shoulder. I took his shirt off and kissed his neck. Layers came off, and much kissing occurred, until finally it happened, that moment of raw passion where we were one. I remember afterward, when I was in his bed, I looked into his eyes. Now that I think about it, there was just so much unspoken emotion in his eyes: love, lust, happiness, gratefulness, excitement, and most of all hope. I know that sounds strange, but he had hope in his blue eyes that things could be this good always. Maybe I was too hard on him…
I got to stop thinking about this.I swear, love will be the death of me.
I finally decide there is no point in trying to sleep. It’s not going to happen. I get up, make myself some tea, and go out onto the porch. There my mom has a puzzle set up. She always does this in the summer. The weather is nice, and she’ll come out here in the mornings and evenings and just do a little at a time. And when summer ends, she doesn’t do puzzles anymore, not until the next summer. That’s why it is a cruel Christmas or birthday present to give her puzzles, especially since her birthday is in October, and she typically has just finished her last puzzle.
I look at the puzzle she has set up on the table. It’s beautiful. It’s an old 1950’s painting of a couple kissing, but it’s their silhouettes. I look at it, and it makes me think of how beautiful, and lonely love can be. It’s a dark town that’s empty with streetlights being the only things lit. It’s beautiful how they can be together, but in a way, you give up everything and everyone else for them to be truly dedicated. Faithfulness and loyalty are beautiful, but it’s saying that it is painful and rare, like two lovers having to say goodbye late at night in the dimly lit street.
My mom comes out with her cup of coffee and a cigarette in her hand. She sees me taking an interest in her puzzles for once. She smiles. I connect a few pieces.
Mom: “What are you doing up so early?”
Me: “I couldn’t sleep.”
Mom: “Are you feeling okay?”
Me: “Just peachy.”
Mom: “You can’t keep beating yourself up about this.”
Me: “Today would have been 1 year.”
Mom: She pauses and thinks of how to phrase her words of wisdom so perfectly. “You know why I like puzzles?”
Mom: “Because even though some pieces may be hard to fit or are ugly, there are those easy pieces and those pretty looking ones. In the end, it all comes together to make something beautiful, a masterpiece. And when you look at it, those ugly pieces are still there, but as a whole, they just don’t seem to matter.”
Me: I sip my tea, and I watch her as she finds more pieces that fit. I find a couple, but I stay silent.
Mom: “You made the right decision, and you go to stop second-guessing yourself. He’s just a boy, and obviously he didn’t appreciate how wonderful you are. There is no need to think about him anymore. No one’s perfect, even you. Just remember that.” She puts out her cigarette in the ashtray and takes a sip of coffee.
I get up and go back to my room. I sit on my bed and think about what just happened. I stare at the ceiling fan until I collect all of my thoughts.
She’s right. I’m not perfect and neither is Troy. And if I can’t look beyond his imperfections and his “ugly pieces” and see the great guy he is, then why even be with him. I shouldn’t keep getting upset about this. It happened and I need to move on. I can’t move on if I think I made a mistake… or might have made a mistake.
I did what I had to do. Yes, and Troy may have cheated on me, but he did care about me at one point. If I stayed with him, who knows if we still would have been together now anyway. Maybe he’d have slipped up again, or broken things off. And that’s it. It’s not worth dissecting anymore. There’s no point in losing sleep over him when he obviously isn’t thinking of me.
At that moment, my phone beeped. It’s now 7:18am and I just got a text message.
Troy: “I know this is going to sound completely random, but I had a dream about you playing a song for me right now, and it had to deal with how upset you are. Well, it got me thinking… I know I really hurt you, so bad that you felt you couldn’t trust me. I’m sorry. I know I said it before, but it never sounded sincere to you. I was an a**. I know we haven’t talked for months, and you’re pretty pissed. I just want you to know how much you did mean to me. You were very sweet to me, and you’re the only person that has ever serenaded me before. I know that you thought I took advantage of you and that what we had didn’t mean as much to me as it meant to you. Well, you’re wrong. Anyway, I’m sorry that it took me this long to realize it and say it, but better late than never, right? I just hope that you can eventually forgive me… And yes, I did remember that today was our 1 year.”
I read it again, and again. I can’t believe it. My new song? He isn’t thinking about me? What about the “meant to be if paths cross again” thing? I don’t know what to think… The message, it breaks my heart and heals the bruises all at the same time.
I so badly want to respond, but I don’t. I can’t. I realized that even though I wanted to text him, call him, see him, and talk about the whole situation and find the truth, cut though the lies, know the gory details of what exactly happened; it’s not worth it. Even though there is still a residue of good times on me, I can’t let that overpower everything that has been eating me up inside for months.
I’ve come so far in a matter of hours, and why would I want to change that. I can’t hold onto this anymore… As much as you may want to know certain things, and have the whole world in front of you, all figured out and answered, sometimes its better not to know, and leave things unsaid. Sometimes we humans need a little mystery in our lives. And sometimes we need to stop, take a breath, and let it go.
I close my phone and put it on my nightstand. I slip under the covers, and close my eyes. Things will be clearer when I wake up; I know it.
Sleep is a beautiful thing, but dreams, dreams are divine…
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
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