Chapter 24: Truth Be Told(Part 1)
It had been months since the last time I was with Maria. It was harder than I ever imagined was possible. I felt like she hated me and she’d move on so quickly.
She didn’t talk to me.
She didn’t look at me.
She didn’t acknowledge my presence.
She even took the dogs from me.
I had lost her and all that I cared about. I even confronted Clarissa about what was said. She confirmed that they were friends, but says Maria stopped talking to her because she got to big headed for herself. She claimed that Maria thought she was better than her for reasons I didn’t believe at all. Maria wasn’t that type. Later that day someone left a note in my locker saying they’d been there. That Clarissa was the liar and set Maria up and that if they were to come forward and tell they’d be next. It took everything I had within me not to put my hands on her. She was still a female no matter how repulsive her character was. I didn’t want to be a bad guy anymore.
Without the distraction of her though, my mind was on Maria nonstop. I found myself hoping for a glimpse of her through her window at least twice a day. I’d sit and laugh to myself about all the jokes we cracked about that exact thing. I missed her. Being without her felt like a knife stabbing through my already shattered heart; turning it into dust and blowing it away. No chance for it to heal at all. It killed me to have found yet another new book and not be able to share it with her over a few misunderstandings.
I wanted to explain. I wanted to apologize. I wanted her to know that I’m still the person she’s always known. I wanted to be able to see her face and know that I’m the reason for that smile, not John. I wanted to make her laugh again and know that I’m the reason for such a beautiful sound, not John. I deserved to be with her. I got to know her. I got to understand her. We shared secrets. I loved her and she loved me too; she just needs help remembering. We had the most in common and it would be hard to just forget that all.
I tried to watch her out of the corner of my eye, but I kept getting distracted. She was beautiful as allowed her finger to graze against the many books on the self. It was a rainy day and seemed more gloomy than relaxing. On days like this we would head to the bookstore to start our next adventure.
“I like this one.” she spoke softly once again bringing my attention to her. For a moment I was lost in thought as her hair swung softly as she turned to face me. I could smell the strawberries coming off her. Her full lips painted a beautiful plum color. She was entranced, her eyes glossed over, as she read the back of the book. “Listen to this Mickey.” I watched as her mouth moved as she read me the summary. I almost didn’t retain anything. “ ‘All I ever wanted was him and him only. The way he made me feel was a kind of intensity no words could ever describe. Most days I find myself wishing that he wanted me with the same amount of passion and raw emotion that I had for him.’ Look there’s even a book quote here. ‘When you were the one that broke me, how do you expect to fix me? Especially since I don’t know if I can trust you anymore.’ We have to read this!” she exclaimed as I paled. How in the hell did she pick a book like that.
“I don’t know Minnie. We did Romance last time.” I stuttered. There was no way that she knew, but it damn sure felt like she did. I was panicking without the need too.
“Oh come on Mickey. It’s a perfect read for the kind of day we’ve been having lately. I wondered if she forgave him. If they ended up together and they went through to get to the end point. What led to the end point? What was the big truth that came out? ” I wondered the same thing, but it wasn’t about a book. It was about us. Would I be able to keep my secrets from her? Would it hurt me to continue to do so? Would I eventually be able to tell her everything? More importantly, would I ever be able to tell her how in love with her I actually was.”
“Fine, but only if we can get smoothies and donuts after this.” I sighed, not bothering to fight her on it anymore. I always seemed to give in anyways.
“Yay!” she squealed, launching herself towards me in a tight hug as I laughed to myself and tried not to get caught sniffing her. “I’ll buy the books, you buy the snacks. We can go back to my house and read them.” she was so excited as she grabbed another copy and headed to the register. Who was I to ruin that for her?
“Dave sweetie, can I come in?” My mother’s voice came after she knocked on the door and brought me back to reality. I would be lying if I said the hope that it was Maria knocking didn’t cross me. I sighed disappointed before getting up and going to sit on my bed. I didn’t need her worrying over me again.
“Yes ma’am.” I answered back, forcing myself to seem like I was doing better as I got more comfortable. It made me notice that if it wasn’t for football my abs would definitely be gone. All I did now was go to school and come back home eating all of her favorites. Somehow it made me feel closer to her.
I tried ignoring the thoughts as my mother sat on my bed and stared at me curiously. Only she would truly understand everything that was going on within my mind.
“So we have a Thanksgiving dinner invite, but after everything that’s been going on, I’m not too sure it’s a good idea.” The look on her face told me this wasn’t about Maria and her family at all. She looked sick. I paled. “I don’t want to force you back into old habits son, but-”
“Mom-” I interrupted trying to speak but my voice cracked as tears brimmed the corners of my eyes. I didn’t need this right now.
“I know sweetie, I know. They say they are ready to talk though. Maybe it’s time to let them hear you out. It’s not fair for you to carry the guilt of the world on your shoulders because of an idiot teenager and an unfortunate situation.”
“That idiot teenager was there because of me though mom.” I whispered trying to wipe away the tears. I still wondered if she knew the full story. She should’ve been disappointed in me, but all she saw was her son. All she wanted to believe was that I was still the boy she’d raised, but she was wrong. I didn’t even know who that person was anymore.
“I reiterate, it’s not fair. It wasn’t your fault Dave. You need to start understanding that.” She sighed trying to hug me, but I moved. I didn’t want to be touched. I felt like bad luck. Like everything I touched would be ruined.
“I’m sorry mom. I’m just not ready. You guys can still go and I’ll just stay home. I can’t ruin anything if I’m alone.” I tried to smile but it still felt forced even to me. “I’m sorry mom, I kind of just want to be left alone.”
“Okay sweetie.” She sighed as she got up “I love you.”
“I love you too.” I knew she was worried about me and really didn’t want to leave me. She was a strong believer in the more you talk about what’s hurting you, the better you’ll feel. At least now she believed in that and I understood why. I’d forced her hand in doing so, but maybe in this case she was right. Picking up my phone, I hesitated for a moment before clicking on her contact. It had been months and I didn’t know if she’d answer, but I had to give it a final try.
I had to explain as much as she would let me.
I mean as much as I hoped she would let me.