Pain

I can’t figure out what I’m going to write about. I’ve been spending so much time reading countless things for work and I’ve been slowly getting through my never-ending, must-read list. I have some spare time, so we’ll see if anything good will come out of it.

Actually, I just came across an interesting prompt: describe what pain is to someone who can’t experience it, and without using the word “pain.” Here goes nothing…

 

You’re sitting next to the girl who says she loves you. It’s the middle of winter, but she needs a cigarette, because her ex boyfriend showed up at the party. He knew you were coming. You actually introduced yourself to him and he seemed pretty cool. Ignorance is bliss, you think. She tells you she’s over him, and you believe her. There’s no reason not to. She’s been honest right from the start.

She offers you a cigarette, but you don’t take it. You tell her you don’t smoke. She goes to take the one in her mouth out, but you tell her you don’t mind, and light it for her.

“I’m going to quit one day. It’s disgusting,” she says. You wonder why she does it then, but the thought quickly fades.

The glowing embers slowly turn to ash and blow away in the cold breeze that penetrated your jacket, and you feel it in your bones. And you’re covered in ashes. She apologizes and you laugh, again, telling her you don’t mind.

You want to hold her. You see the fire in her arms, and you can feel the warmth radiating from her body. She moves closer, and you move away, uncomfortable. The other day, she said she just got out of a relationship with that guy inside. She said she needed space, so you give it to her. She looks you in the eyes and tells you she likes you, but she’s confused, going on and on and on; and you want to grab her, shut her up, pull her in close, and kiss her.

“I’m here if you need me,” you finally say. How stupid, you think to yourself. There’s still a chance, though. She’s leaning on your shoulder, but you can’t get what she just told you out of your mind. You’re so concerned with her happiness, you sacrifice your own, you forget who you are and what you want. She can tell you’re uncomfortable, but she blames the weather and asks if you want to go back inside. “Sure,” you say, and you let her lead the way.

Back downstairs. Her ex naturally leaves the room. Her cousin is off to the side, looking at her leaning on you, wondering when you’ll make the move. You see her staring, and you smile, but she doesn’t smile back. You’re drunk at this point, so you think nothing of it, and go back to cracking your knuckles.

The party’s over. It’s four in the morning. Her cousin offers to drive us to my car, parked outside her house. We have a great time in the car. You’re in the back and she’s sitting shotgun. You have your hand on her shoulder, rubbing it gently. She says she had a great time, and that her cousin liked you. All good signs.

“I want to see you again,” she continues.

“Me too.”

You don’t ask her to get out, so you can hug her and kiss her goodnight. You know she would do it. That’s probably why you didn’t ask. You’re afraid of being hurt again. Everything’s going too fast, but you remind yourself that she wants to see you again, so you’ll have another chance. You thank her for the ride and the good time and go home. When you get home, you text her and tell her you already miss her. No response. That’s fine. She said she was going to Taco Bell, so won’t answer until she’s home.

You see her in school on Monday and she pulls you aside.

“I have to tell you something.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m seeing someone else. I had a good time the other night, but it’s just how things worked out. Don’t hate me, please.”

You don’t know what to say, so you play it off like it’s not a big deal. Only if you had known how much sleep you’d lose, and how hard it would be in the coming weeks to do something as simple as finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

 

 

 

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