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Five Stages of Grief
How could he do this to me? Why? What did I do to him. Eight years of camaraderie and loyalty and then this. So what if his dad got some futile, asinine promotion. He can't just drop a bomb on me like that. Loyalty. Doesn't he understand? Why doesn't he understand? I need to make him understand.
These thoughts seared ferociously through my brain, consuming my waking thoughts for what seemed like hours, possibly even days. I picked up my phone, holding it to my ear.
"....Callie? Hello? Are you ok?"
I listened for a few moments before I went into lock down. My throat decided I didn't need to breath anymore, because what was the point.
"Ok...." I managed to stammer, warning shots ringing through my head.
Oxygen levels dropping. Oxygen levels dropping.
"I just... I wanted to tell you first."
"Ok. I'll see you tomorrow." I sounded robotic, but I felt like someone had literally stabbed me in the back with a freaking katana. I bit the insides of my cheeks, but no tears came, so I opted to to drag myself upstairs and get the pain out.
I took the first thing I could find, which happened to be tapioca pudding, and set it on one of the stools in the dining room. Next, I grabbed a handful of spoons from the silverware drawer, and proceeded to sulk on the ground whilst chucking said spoons at said tapioca pudding.
This wasn’t possible. How could he? It wasn’t his fault, his parents probably decided I was a pointless, hopeless piece of trash that need not be dealt with any longer.
My older sister, Lilly, pranced through the front door like she'd just won a billion dollars, while here I sat on our hard wood floor feeling like a billion bricks had been dropped on my head.
"Oh my god! Callie, what the h--- are you doing?" She shook my shoulders, and stared at me with wide eyes like I was some schizophrenic maniac.
"I don't 'anna talk 'bout it," I mumbled, my mouth resisting any commands from my brain.
"What happened?" Her voice was sympathetic now, like I was less of a maniac and more of a crazy toddler.
“Oh, really? Where to?"
I looked down at my hands, at the fingernails I had chewed off out of nervousness.
She gasped, wrapping her arms around my limp shoulders. "I'm so sorry!"
I shook my head at her and stood. I wiped the tears from my blue eyes, brushed back my dirty-blonde, Californian hair and walked back to my room, leaving my sister, the spoons, and the pudding to simmer in my aura of anger.
The next day, Saturday, I decided I’d call Trevor back. I suppose sixteen missed calls from someone means you left them hanging.
The phone rang in my ear, mixing with the chirps from outside my window. It stood open, letting the salty summer air into my room, clearing my mind. It’s what I would need to be able to talk to him.
“Hey, are you alright?” He sounded worried. I leaned out the window, breathing in as much air as I could before I continued.
“I just needed some time to think, that’s all.”
A pause, then, “I’m sorry. I guess it was something I should have said in person.”
“No no. I’m fine. I just thought maybe…” I thought for a moment, assembling my words. The line was silent while he waited. “Maybe you could stay?”
I closed my eyes, willing the emotional vacuum to stay off. I didn’t want anything to tear me apart just yet. “Can’t you just stay?”
“H-How would I-“
“Like maybe you could live here! We have a guest room, too. You know the one with the blue curtains the water bed. You could prob-“
“Callie, you’re like a sister to me, but I can’t just leave my parents.”
“Well, if you’re so pent up on family, and I’m your ‘sister,’ why can’t you stay! Stay here!” My voice cracked on the last syllable. “Why don’t you ask?”
“Callie, I wish I-“
Tears began rushing down my cheeks, dripping onto the windowsill. The bright sky didn’t seem like the right setting for how things were going. I guess despite my current emotional hurricane, the weather didn’t revolve around me.
I hung up. He didn’t need to hear me cry. He didn’t need to hear me scream out to the ocean. He didn’t need to hear the way I hurled the phone out the window, or how I tore my room apart and burrowed up into a giant blanket pile and sobbed myself to a dreamless sleep.
I woke up the next morning, thankful for the existence of the weekend. I dragged myself out of my conundrum, and told myself to suck it up. I threw on a jacket and went out into the light of 2am.
It took me a nearly an hour, but I found the phone. I scraped the dirt out from between the buttons and dialed them.
A few tries later, he picked up. “….hello….?”
“Cal? What the actual h---.”
“Listen, I know it’s early, but I’m sorry. You moving isn’t your fault, and it isn’t your parents fault. I was being a jerk. I’m really, honestly sorry.”
I was stunned to hear him laughing on the other end. “It’s fine. Besides, you didn’t let me finish- what, two days ago?- When I was telling you I was moving.”
I felt the confusion flash across my face, the disbelief and hope filling me.
“What do you mean?”
“Callie, I’m only moving for a few months.”
My mouth hung open now, the sea air drying my throat. “What?!”
Now I was the one laughing, or more like an demonic howl rather than some up-beat peppy girl giggle that the news deserved.
I hung up one more time, but not because I was in denial, or because I was angry, or wanted to beg him to stay, to bargain my soul for him to remain. No, I wasn’t depressed about it. I was fine. I was truly, perfectly fine.
My grief could leave, and the sunny, summer condition of things would finally make sense.