From Nothing

Now that I finally have a computer–I couldn’t wait any longer–I can start posting everything from my writing notebook. We’ll start with the first decent story. I just made up the title now. All I had was the date: 6/2. Enjoy.

From Nothing

He didn’t know how to tell her he didn’t love her, so he chose to say nothing, hoping she would get the hint. He didn’t realize you can’t get something from nothing. You get nothing from nothing. And when you have nothing, you are nothing. Without him, she is nothing.

That was how she felt. She loved him all her life. They were best friends ever since they were little, when they first moved to the neighborhood. Even when she moved away, they kept in touch. Each time they spoke was like the first time. The time in between was just a little too long, so they had nothing to hold on to but the past. Neither realized they were constantly moving forward.

When they’re together, people come up to him when she’s looking the other way and say they make a great couple. All he could do is laugh. “We’re not dating,” he’d say quietly. A part of her seemed to die inside every time she overheard. She never said anything, though. Sometimes, he’d purposely say it a little louder, hoping she’d hear. He hoped she would just say I love you, but that day never came.

Sometimes he’d be bold, “grow a pair,” as his dad says, and ask her out. She’d scream yes on the inside. It was everything she ever hoped for. “I can’t,” would come out. Her anxiety always won. She always had an excuse. It wasn’t her fault, he understood. She didn’t have it easy when she was younger. She can find a guy without an issue. She’s truly beautiful, not just in his eyes, everyone’s. But there was something about her that just let people take advantage of her, like it was tattooed on her forehead. She fell too hard for everyone. When you’re in love like that, when that person is your entire world, the only reason you wake up in the morning, you can’t possibly think that they could do any wrong. It has to work out because you can’t imagine living the rest of your life without them.

Each relationship always ended badly–he would watch from the sidelines. She’d find out through a friend of a friend that he was seeing someone else at the same time. And she would do nothing. She tried to avoid any kind of conflict. It made him sick to see her with these guys. When she would call him and talk to him all night, he couldn’t even pay attention. He was too busy trying not to choke on the tension building up in his throat. He was good at hiding it. It wasn’t hard. When you’re a guy in that situation, you’re nothing, invisible.

He battled through very tough episodes of depression. There was no reason for him to get up in the morning. He tried again last night, and again, was blown off. Why get out of bed? Why wake up? If you sleep a little longer, you won’t be able to feel sad. That turned out to not be the case. He was haunted by her face in his dreams. They would hug, hold hands, kiss, sometimes make love, but he never felt her warm skin on his, he never got the taste of her lipgloss on his, and he never felt them become one in bed. He was no longer happy or sad. He stopped caring. He felt this way for a month.

One day, he woke up. His mind took over. His heart knew to step aside, that it would be better in the long run. It surprised him. He went with it, though. Baby steps. A step forward is always a step forward. The size of the step doesn’t matter. Those steps brought him around the block. They helped him to his phone, so he could turn it on, and call his friends. They were good to him, and he was always thankful for that. Like with her, he could go to them and they can act like nothing bad ever happened. They never judged him, to his face, at least.

The day before was a very productive day. He wanted more, and went out of his way to get it. He went for a drive down to the beach during the golden hour. The light dancing through the tall grass on the sides of the road and in the dunes energized him. He had to call her, to tell her how beautiful everything was., how he wished she could be with him. No answer.

He called his friends and asked if they wanted to get a drink. “Sure,” they said. “We’ll pick you up at ten.”

“There’s someone we want you to meet,” they say.

“I don’t know if I’m ready.”

“No one ever knows when they’re ready beforehand. You only find out after.”

“What’s her name?”

“Go ask.”

“Jen,” she says. They hit it off right away. They talk about their majors, who they hang out with, typical small talk. Turns out they live relatively close to each other. He suggests they go out again. She says sure, and gives him her number. They hug and go back to their groups of friends.

He turns around and sees her from across the bar, visibly upset, empty shot glass in her hand. She was watching the entire time. Her boyfriend noticed and took off. She didn’t even realize. He doesn’t realize either, that tears are slowly dripping down from the corners of his eyes. His friends don’t understand why he’s upset. They assume he blew it with Jen. When they go up to him to comfort him, he walks away before they could pat him on the back.

He tries to hug her and she brushes him off. It’s too much for her, for both of them. He wants to kiss her. He sees she wants him to, too. Their lips lock, but nothing’s there. She smiles at him, and he looks at her in horror. The realization of spending so much time obsessing over that moment, and having the moment be nothing like he ever expected, was funny to him. He hugs her again, tells her that it won’t work out, and finds Jen.

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