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The fury was bubbling slowly, deep in his veins, as he watched Charlie walk through his bedroom door. He stood in awe, and walked to the window to glance out at the driveway where her car was parked. He listened carefully for the front door, to hear her footsteps returning, anything that would give him a hint that she’d changed her mind.
Come back to me. You can’t do this.
The small clock on his nightstand echoed with each tick, making the room feel smaller and his anticipation rise. He heard a jingle and a quiet click from downstairs. The silence crept up the stairwell, through the hallway and into his room. Even then, a part of him still denied that Charlie had left him.
He closed his eyes and exhaled.
He heard the muffled sound of her car door closing and the start of her engine. Glancing out the window in disbelief, he saw her pause for a moment. After lighting a cigarette, she stepped on the gas.
Jesse was fueled with hatred. He had trusted the wrong one. After finally gaining the courage it took to confide and respect someone, she left him. Just like the rest of them.
He threw on a pair of sweats and made his way down to the kitchen. He opened the cupboard and took out his medication. Staring into the palm of his hand at an assortment of pills, he froze as his mind raced about Charlie.
How could she do this? Is this more of our fucking game? Does she expect me to come running after her? No. She knows me better than that. See, I told you. You just had to go and fuck her. You knew everything would change, and yet, what? You hoped. You hoped she’d want to see who you really are? You hoped she’d accept you for all your flaws, scars, moods? You hoped she was different?
This snuck up on me.
Fuck hope. Hope is for the weak-minded. And fuck Charlie! Who does that? Who just gets up and leaves when someone is about to bare their fucking soul?
No, fuck Charlie. FUCK YOU, CHARLIE!
Jesse threw his medication across the room and began ripping the cabinets off their hinges. One by one, he wrestled and whipped across the room. They banged the bookshelves and shattered the windows. In his menacing rage, verging on madness, he began kicking and punching walls, ripping the curtains off the windows and overturning tables just to hear them crack on the floor. There was screeching in his ears and his head began to ache. He walked swiftly to the bookshelf and plucked off the remaining books, ripping out the pages by the handful and tossing the crippled bindings against the wall.
He stepped back and glanced around the room. Not a single moment of regret passed through him when he saw the disaster before him. The walls were chipped and broken. Framed pictures were tilted and the glass was in pieces. The cold spring air was rushing in through the broken window frames, cooling the room quickly, which only made the scorching blood traveling through his veins tolerable.
He stood, trying to focus one thought. Any thought. Something that could erase all the damage that had spun from the past two hours. He ran upstairs and stood in the entryway, staring into his bedroom. She was here. She was here just a moment ago. And now you’ve lost her. He stepped to the edge of his bed, looking down at the messed sheets. Picking up a pillow, he buried his face into it and breathed in deeply. That damn perfume. Hugging the pillow to his waste, he grabbed his chest and sunk; his knees collapsed to the floor.
He sat slouched, resting his hands on his knees. Staring into a sea of dirty clothes and loose change that littered his carpet, he tried to make sense of Charlie’s motivations.
“I’ll never be able to be everything you need me to be. And that’s okay. I just needed to be here for you. Your friend, your lover. Your confidante. I wouldn’t change a single moment of it. But you need to realize that love is more than just obsession wrapped up in a tiny, dancing brunette package.”
He glanced down at his tattoo on his forearm and traced the lines with his finger. His thoughts slowed and his mind emptied. He grabbed his hair and slumped his head between his knees.
“What the fuck!” Jesse’s head shot up when he heard Jake’s voice from downstairs.
Jesse rose quickly and grabbed a T-shirt from the floor. Pulling it over his head, he paused at his torso with a thought.
“Jesse Fucking Anders! Where the fuck are you? I’m going to kick your ass!” Jake’s voice rumbled through the hallway and Jesse grabbed his shoes and keys.
“I’m here,” Jesse said, quickly stepping down from the stairs.
Jake was standing in the middle of the living room assessing the damage.
“You want to explain this to me? What the hell happened here?”
“Not now. I gotta go,” Jesse said.
“What? No. You’re not going anywhere until you tell me who trashed my dad’s house,” Jake said, his face turning red.
Jake’s eyes opened wide and his mouth hung open as Jesse approached the front door.
“That’s all you’re going to say? No explanation?”
“Not now, I have to take care of something,” he said as he opened the door.
“Okay. Fine. That’s the way it’s gonna be? You’ve got one week to find a new place to live!” Jake shouted through the door just as Jess shut it behind him.
It’s one of those moments. It’s a moment so fragile, that if I move or speak, the whole thing will collapse. So I’ll just sit here, in this dirty chair, in a place that shouldn’t be open at midnight, and listen to the buzz vibrating in my head. I’ll listen to the screech of the needle as it collides with the layers of my skin, giving me a different kind of hope. One that I can make myself.
Taking a drink straight from the bottle, Jesse welcomed the physical pain he was enduring in order for the clawing in his gut to ease.
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I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll give you this letter, but I’m going to write it with the intentions of you reading it someday.
I hate not being able to be honest with you. But I’m way too defensive, needy and prideful where you’re concerned. I’ve reached this point where I plan the things I want to say to you. But of course, the subject of “us” is always brushed under the rug and saved for another day, another time, when we’ll both be ready to face it.
I’ve decided that day will never come.
I don’t regret that night, and I’m sorry if you do. And I’m sorry if you were ever disappointed. I’m not as experienced as, well, you. But, I need you in my life, I need you as my friend. Who knows? Maybe the sexual tension will finally pass now that the mystery is over. I’ll understand if it’s too weird for you, but I’m kind of addicted to you. To “us.” I’ve been pretty miserable for the past few days not knowing what you’re thinking, not being able to ask you, not being able to see you.
I know you’re not in love with me, and I’m not in love with you. But I don’t think, even twenty years from now, I could ever stop adoring you.
There’s something about your mixed messages that had kept me at your beck-and-call. It probably freaks you out that I’ve thought about you for so long, and so hard. I had been trying to put all the pieces together in my head, but it’s like a god damned never-ending jigsaw puzzle that just keeps accumulating in my head. It’s starting to overflow out my ears.
I left you that night for a few reasons. I had been thinking so much about myself and how you made me feel, that I hadn’t taken into consideration whether or not “you and I” should happen. When you asked me to stay, well, let’s just say it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I couldn’t stay. I feared the rejection you might give me the next morning with a change of heart. I feared what would happen if I let myself fall in love with you. But, most of all, I feared for you. You’re not ready for what I need. And, I certainly don’t have the understanding or patience for your moods. I am not right for you. God, I wish I was. I wish I was everything you wanted and needed me to be. I long for a fairytale ending, a dark knight on a white horse, a happily ever after. But with you, I just can’t do it. I couldn’t let myself be a part of that night anymore. Everything had been perfect, and I needed to leave before you crushed it for me.
The bottom line is… I can’t be the person you deserve. I know I’m sassy, sarcastic, foxy, feisty and about a dozen other adorable words you choose to describe me. But, that’s not enough. That’s all superficial bullshit. You need someone better than me. She needs to be patient, kind, forgiving, less defensive. You need someone who doesn’t hold your words against you. Someone who can understand and relate to your mind. With time, I can see a relationship between the two of us chipping away at all the things I love about us now. Slowly shredding it until there’s nothing left.
Walking away seemed the best thing to do at the time. But there isn’t a minute of the day I don’t wish I had made a different choice.
I’m tired Jess. I’m exhausted from the game we play. I need the truth. Do with me what you will, but honesty is the most important asset in a friendship. If you can’t give me that, then I don’t want to hear anything else you have to say.
Please just tell me how you feel.