I know I said I’d have a big story, and that I’d be writing all day, but it turned out that that’s not how it’s going to work. I started writing this morning with those intentions. It just didn’t work out that way. I said what I had to say. Lately I’ve been feeling like shit. I still do. Things aren’t getting better. This is my last chance. It’ll break or make me. I have no choice but to write. All I’ll say about this story is that my favorite song by one of my favorite singers inspired me. Enjoy the ride; it will be bumpy.
Somewhere With You
It takes everything he has in him to pretend that she doesn’t exist, that every little moment they’ve had together meant nothing. Sometimes he believes it, but his heart knows better. He’s up into the early hours of the morning hoping she’ll answer. If he actually falls asleep, he’s up before the sun rises checking to see if he missed her call.
He fills his day with things he loves. Writing is number one. He can write all day. Never sci-fi, never fantasy. He can never connect to the stories and no one connects to them either. He needs the connection. Most of his stories are fiction, but he puts so much reality into them that they dance on that fine line between fiction and nonfiction. The more he writes, the more he learns about himself. The longer she’s gone, the more he realizes that each story is not just about her, but for her.
She feels she needs to be alone. There’s a lot of stuff going on in her life. Every day is a struggle. Her own idea of happiness doesn’t involve him. Deep down, the flame might still be lit. She’d have to blow on the embers to wake them up; she might have to go out to find wood to keep it alive, but the fire certainly isn’t done yet. The will to keep it going needs to be there, and she sets out to find it.
If he’s not writing, he’s reading. He read Ethan Frome in one night waiting for her to call. The call never came, but it helped put his own situation into perspective. The book destroyed him. He knew how it would end, but it still shocked him just as much. Sleep wasn’t on his mind after that. He knew they would never be anything like the characters in Ethan Frome. Sledding into a tree is a horrible way to do something horrible like commit suicide.
But he was able to relate to Frome. He fucked up every chance he had, and not just with her, but with every other girl before her, too. He’s a walking shit-show, but he never stops caring.
One of the prettiest girls he ever had a chance with invited him to a party. He went and they had a good time until her ex showed up. She asked him to go outside with her while she smoked a cigarette.
“I like you, but I don’t know how it can work,” she says.
She starts getting into her life with her ex, how it sucked, and why he’s her ex. He payed no attention to anything she was saying, until she rested her head on his shoulder. He does nothing. Doesn’t wrap his arm around his shoulder, nothing to say, just smiles. It wasn’t enough. He knew it right away and still did nothing. She resented this and he picked it up in her eyes. The next morning, after driving home from Queens at four in the morning, no texts from her. Nothing. Last time they spoke, she told him about the guy he was seeing.
His anxiety comes from a number of places. The origin is still fresh in his head. In high school, he met his one and only girlfriend. They were never happy together. There were always accusations of her cheating. He didn’t believe them at first. Haters are always looking to bring others down. What he didn’t realize was that those “haters” were his friends actually looking out for him. One day she told him while she was on vacation, she was with three guys in one night. It destroyed him, but he didn’t break up with her on the spot. When they did break up, he also found out his best friend at the time was with her while they dated. Now every time he starts something new, he has make himself believe that not all girls are like that. It usually works out, but it always comes back to haunt him.
She’s different, though. Being around her doesn’t give him anxiety like any of the other girls. The opposite happens. He can talk to her and know she won’t judge him. If she’s upset, he doesn’t immediately assume it’s his fault because he’s too focused on doing whatever it takes to make her feel better. When he finally gets that smile, he believes that there’s nothing else to live for than for her.
But there’s something in her that keeps her from climbing up the last step. They can be together. He wants it. He believes she wants it. But something’s in the way. He won’t push it, though. It’s for her to figure out. She knows she can go to him at any time. His phone is always on. Things are still fresh enough to start over if they commit to it. They barely started in the first place, but something is there.
If he’s not reading or writing, he’s at the gym or running through the woods. He’s been sick from the stress for the past week or two, but he never misses a workout. He has to stay busy. Destroying himself is the only way he knows how to do it. Luckily, people look up to those that are committed to physical activity, so they assume I’m doing well. If he keeps telling himself he’s doing well, maybe he’ll believe it himself and things will turn out okay. It motivates him to run faster and lift more.
When he gets home, he immediately goes to the shower. He turns on the water, and with it comes all the memories of her. While he runs, there’s no time to think. In the shower, thoughts rush out faster than the water. The shower has always been the one place outside of his writing where everything can escape.
He has a dream of taking her to his house upstate. They walk through the wildflowers, picking them as they go along to put in a vase. The flowers they pick are the ones he grew from seed. In his mind, they were always for someone else. He’s lucky that she’s the one that gets to enjoy them. She deserves to be happy, and he’s happy he can be the one to provide her with it. He’ll cook her pasta with sauce on the side and build her a fire from nothing but paper and twigs to keep her warm. He’ll scare her by throwing a christmas tree on the fire so the flames go as high as the house. They’ll share a bottle of wine and watch a movie and go to bed. Or they’ll go out to the bars and listen to the crazy fucked up music at Snug’s, and meet up with the guy that buys pitchers of cider for himself, the one that does coke with his mother and thinks acid is safer than shrooms. It’s very romantic.
The point is that he wants to be with her. Everything he does, he wants her there with him. He wants her at her best and worst. When he runs that stupid twelve-mile race, he wants her on his mind the entire time. He wants to believe he’s doing it for her. He never expected to feel this way. He thought the age difference would be all the difference. In reality, it means nothing. She knew that. She told him. He nodded his head, and didn’t believe her. He does now. He admits he’s wrong. Age is just a number. How they feel means everything.
He can go out any night of the week, hook up with anyone he meets, and it’s just a temporary high, but when he closes his eyes, he’s somewhere with you.