Chapter 38: Apologies and Toxic Ends
The first two months of our relationship hadn’t been a complete failure, but it definitely could have gone better. Admittedly, it was more my fault than hers. I hated when she compared herself to Natalie, but instead of saying that I said, ‘although the both of you have a similar amount of stupidity getting into situations that you were nowhere near ready for; there’s still a difference. Your stupidity led to you almost being raped, but hers lead to her death.’ I hadn’t meant for it to come out as harsh as it had, but it was worse when it finally hit my ears. Hell, thinking about it now makes me cringe. As per usual we didn’t talk for a while. The days after weren’t much different and it was about time it ended. Being together, but still feeling distant felt more wrong than not talking completely. Already we were stagnant and it sucked.
To add a shit cherry on top of a garbage sundae, she wanted to talk to Phoenix and wasn’t willing to see my side in this. I understood she had things she needed to sort out, but dude had a track record of ending my relationships when he had a voice in them. Nevermind the jealousy over her ‘talk’ with Jace after she first walked away. He just didn’t like me and I wasn’t going to kiss his ass because she wanted his ass as a friend. My father smacked me upside the head when I said that. Although I still didn’t agree, I understood. If I had the chance to fix things with Persephone she should be able to do the same. She felt like she wronged him and wanted to sort it out. I understood that firsthand. It is kind of sad how much bad things we truly have in common. I just hoped we could work things out first.
Neither of us wanted to be the first to break and although it seemed silly, we both had strong reasons behind it all. However, I was used to being the first to cave, so why should this time be any different. Pulling out my phone I constructed and sent a message officially marking myself as the weak one.
Mickey: Hey, I know that things haven’t exactly started off the way that we wanted, but I miss you. I know that I was the one too walk away and I truly am sorry for that. I apologize for what I said and throwing the situation in your face like that. It wasn’t fair of me and I won’t even attempt to try to make an excuse for it. My dealings with Natalie is something that I will have to face one day. I know that. It’s been a little over four years and I still haven’t gone to visit her grave. It’s not now nor will it ever be my intention to hurt you because of her and I truly apologize if I have before. Look, I’m getting off topic. I hurt you, and I apologize. I really miss you. I just want to cuddle and nuzzle up with you. I want to cook with you and for you. I want my girlfriend to still be my best-friend. I just want us to still be us. I want for us to be at least one of the non-complicated things in our lives right now. We already have enough as is.
It felt like forever waiting for her to respond back and when she finally did, it wasn’t as easy to breathe as I assumed it would be.
Minnie: I miss you too Mickey and I love you, but it can’t be like this anymore. You can’t just not like something I say, get disrespectful, walk away and come back a week later with some weak ass apology filled with pretty words and think that’s all it takes. It’s not going to change my mind. I really need to talk to Phoenix that same way that you had to talk to his sister. The difference is I’m not lying to you about doing so. Since you felt so keen to say it, let me help put the thought at ease. No it won’t end up like my talk with Jace. All the shit you did while I was away and never will I throw it in your face. In reality my past doesn’t concern you. I wasn’t with you when it was done, but I thought after everything I could at least be honest with you. You need to be careful Dave or you’ll end ruining this relationship and ending it before it starts. You already know firsthand, that I can love you from afar.
Well I guess I deserved that. It wasn’t fair for me to throw that in her face, especially not when I had been sleeping around just as much. She had a point, I’ll admit, but she forgets that I can walk away too.
Mickey: You’re right Minnie and I’m sorry. We’ve come too far for things to end up like this. Do whatever is it that you have to do, I’ll still be waiting when you’re done. I’m yours regardless and the chain around my neck will always be there as proof.
Just because I can walk away, doesn’t mean I have to. I love her and I hoped that much would be clear by this point. I also knew that by sending these texts, I was agreeing to her talking to Phoenix. Just as I thought it, I heard his voice.
I knew they were out in her backyard. I knew there were extremes I could go through to eavesdrop on their conversation, it’s not like I haven’t done it before, but I wasn’t going to. I had to prove to her that I trusted her. I had to show her that I was willing to be better. Besides, I had other things to do. A better way to deal with it all instead of lashing out. A way to get it off of my chest once and for all. A way I had been taught, but never implemented it before. Now I would.
I’m in a new relationship and one of the first things I’ve done is get pissed at her for being so much like you. It wasn’t fair. It would never be fair for anyone that I can see you in. If I’m being honest, it was those similarities to you that attracted me to her in the first place. It’s not in the way that everyone is thinking though. When I first met her of course it was easy to notice how beautiful she was, and just like you she wasn’t quite aware of that beauty. She had been beaten down into the shadows like we were and forced to believe she had to be a certain way to fit in.
She was made to believe that she had to be the perfect kind of popular to be considered beautiful. She also had a misconception of beauty and all this time I thought I was helping her, but she was helping me.
Bear, if you knew everything you’d be so disappointed in me. I was not the person that I should’ve been. I was not the person that you would have been proud of. I hit a new low Bear and you would’ve been ashamed of me. I became no better than Justin. I lost myself. I lost every inch of what made me, me.
The first year after you left me was the hardest Bear. I believed what everyone had been saying. It was my fault that you were gone. Had I paid more attention, had I heard your cries, maybe things would have ended differently. I blamed myself until I was stuck in this dark place that I couldn’t get out of. I no longer knew the meaning of the word sober. Then, I did the worst thing Bear, I hurt someone. I hurt a female. With my hands.
I put my hands on her Bear and I really hurt her. I almost killed her. I broke her in the worst way possible. I became everything that made me lose you and I know you’re disappointed in me because of it. I was always your protector and I failed. I was supposed to be your brother, and I failed. I was supposed to be this upstanding guy and still I failed.
I tried to move on and failed. I tried to be a better friend and protector. Do for her what I couldn’t for you and I failed. I fell in love with her and I couldn’t even do that right. I failed at making her feel secure. I failed at making her feel like she could come to me for anything. I failed at being a good boyfriend. I failed at being a good person. I lashed out and I made it harder for everyone.
Then I met Maria. Damn it Bear, I know if the two of you could meet you’d hit it off instantly no questions asked. Admittedly, I’d be jealous because I’d lose you both to each other. Maria changed me. The cycle started off the same and yes with her I still failed, but with her I wanted to try harder. I wanted to be better. I wanted to fix everything. I wanted to make everything I’d broken better. I wanted her to look at me and see more than a fuck up. Being with Maria showed me what real love felt like. That shit that I had experienced before was nowhere near what I feel now.
With Maria I feel like I can talk for hours and still have a ton more to talk about. I feel like I found my other half. Like I can hold my whole heart in my arms with each hug. She’s my soulmate Bear. there’s no doubt in my mind, body and soul that she’s the one for me. I can truly see myself spending the rest of my life with her. I can see us growing old with children of our own as I tell her about all of things we wanted to do and couldn’t because you were taking away from me too soon. When things are at their best and even when they get to their worse, it’s her I want beside me to experience it all with. It’s her that I know from the bottom of my heart, and from deep within the pit of my stomach, that can make it all better no matter the situation.
I would give anything to have it be both of you, but I can’t. You don’t know how many times I’ve prayed and wished for someone to turn back the hands of time so that I can fix the mistakes I’ve made. So that I can be there to save you from yours.
Then I think about it and realize that I wouldn’t have Maria if that was the case. The hardest decision I could think of would be if I had to choose between the two of you. I love you, but I’m in love with her. My heart beats for her.
Still, as much as I love her and even though I feel impossibly close to her, there is still something I’m comfortable telling only you. I really hope it doesn’t make you see me any differently. I’m sorry that I haven’t visited you, but I’m sure you’ll know why by the time that this letter is done.
After your death, my mom found out she was pregnant. She was so excited and hoped that it would be a little girl. She bragged about how she always wanted a little girl and although I was her handsome little man, having a little girl to bond with was important to her. I didn’t care. I was too numb on the inside to even pretend to be happy about being an older brother. I feared that if it was a girl, she’d find herself in similar situations as you. I feared that if it was a boy, he’d be the one to put girls in those situations. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to be the protective big brother they would need.
My mother tried to include me in the excitement of it all. For five months she just wanted me to be a part of the experience. She just wanted to share her happiness with me in hopes of making me feel better and I lashed out at her. I yelled so many things at her that I didn’t mean. I was young and I was filled with so many emotions that I didn’t understand and I didn’t know how to deal with them; but I blamed myself and thought that I deserved to feel every ounce of it.
The next day she had a miscarriage and I hated myself more. I blamed myself. If I hadn’t lashed out at her, she would have known her child. I would have a little brother or sister. It kills me still. She was five months pregnant and even years later I have no clue what she was going to have. I was too wrapped up in my own shit to be there for the one person who had never given up on me until then. I know nothing can ever replace the child she lost, but she told me a few weeks ago that she was pregnant again. I’m going to help her out this time and be the best supportive son that I can be. I’m going to try to make things better for all of us.
Well it seems like this is getting a little long winded, but I don’t regret writing it. You may never read it, but I know you can still hear it.
The last thing that I need to admit to someone is the fact that I no longer want to die and I really wish that I hadn’t attempted it. I don’t think I’ll ever completely heal from that night, but this is a start. I’m starting to move on and I’m learning to fix what I break.
I miss you so much Bear and there aren’t enough words in the world to truly explain how much. You are a silent star in the night sky and when you shine, I know that’s your way of letting me know your fine. I wish that I could hug you just one more time and tell you that I love you. I wish that I could protect you in the way that you deserved.
I’ll be a better big brother to my own sibling than I ever was for you. I promise you that.
Goodnight Bear, I’ll never forget you or what you meant to me.
The possibility that Dave was eavesdropping on us from somewhere was one of the first things to cross my mind as we sat on my porch swing. Then I shook it away. I’d grown into the terrible habit of thinking less of him since he told me he was paid seven thousand dollars to be my friend. I couldn’t do that anymore. Saying that I trusted him with my heart, but second guessing everything he says and does is too big a contradiction for me.
He was my best-friend and now he’s my boyfriend, my job from here on out was finding a way to combine the two. It all started with what I was doing right now. Besides my mother, he was the only other person I felt I had to make amends with. For the sake of both my relationship and my own sanity. However, it was easier said than done. I never realized how awkward things would be after the last time we talked.
He warned me about the monster living in the boy next door and instead of running, he looked up and we’re kissing and going out on dates. Clearly nothing has changed between us, but Phoenix was a part of the new life I’d built away. Despite how awful I’d treated him, he’d still proven to be the kind of friend that you wanted in your life. Yet, we’d never get to that point if someone didn’t just open their mouth already.
The little demon within was stirring impatiently. She wanted to hurry up and get back to her lil monster hidden within my new boyfriend. She loved the toxicity that was us and doing this had definitely caused a bit of toxic air to surround us. Usually when I let her out things only seemed to get worse, but for now her bluntness was needed.
“Are you in love with me or something?” blurted the words from my lips as I gasped and my hands flew over my mouth. Okay, maybe little missy needed to be locked up some more. To make it worse, the words sounded like I was disgusted by the thought of it. I could feel my face schooling itself into the most uninterested look it could muster up. I knew the story. I knew that was most likely the least cause of his actions, but the demon wasn’t so sure. “I mean, why did you tell me all those things about Dave? What were you trying to accomplish?” Okay, that sounds more normal. More like me.
“Despite what you may think, I didn’t do what I did because I’m secretly in love with you. I really believed that I was doing the right thing. I wanted to protect someone in the way that I hadn’t been able to protect my sister. I’m the good guy in all of this Spice.” he sighed his face clouded with frustration. I could see he was sincere in what he was saying. He really believed his cause, but he was still biased towards Dave. Especially without the right context.
“At this point I’ve known Dave for a few years Nix, even if you had been right about him, did you really think I would see him differently? The Dave I’ve known isn’t the same one you knew. We talk and he’s never cowarded away from his past with me. He’s told me everything so blunt and honest it knocks me breathless. He’s aware of the monster he became and he tries to make up for it. He’s not all those rumors you overheard, even your sister knows that much.”
“I know what I heard Spice. I was there.” he spat getting defensive.
“No doubt that you believe the stories that you were told, but let me tell you what I saw. What I saw was a guy who had lost his other half, his soulmate in a way neither of us will ever understand. The same way that he and I will never understand your relationship with your twin. What I saw was a boy forced to be a man too soon. A boy who only had one close friend on this planet whom he could confide everything to. Who missed all the signs that the person whom he knew best needed help. He was caught up in the wrong things, but it’s high school. Who doesn’t want to be popular and known by everyone? We all get caught up in it, but it never changed how he saw her. In his eyes no one was better, but she couldn’t see it. He wasn’t obsessed with her, he was obsessed with trying to get her to see herself under the same light that he saw her. Instead he lost her because of a psychopath who wanted to kill them both. You had a boy who was scared for his life, being bullied, grieving the loss of his best-friend, being blamed for her death, turning a blind eye to the real culprit and having his entire life change all in one night. A true monster will not cry to someone about their mistakes. They will not try to make amends. They will not try to kill themselves over the mistakes they made. You can fake a lot of things, but you can’t fake a soul. So no Nix, there was absolutely nothing you could say that would make me see him any differently than the Dave that I know. I don’t want this to be a problem for us. I could see us being good friends-”
“Why would I want to be friends with someone like you?” he snapped, cutting me off. Something I’d said had touched a nerve and this wasn’t going nowhere near where I wanted it too. “The only reason you can’t see who he is, is because you’re just like him. Why would you see the wrong in him when you can’t even acknowledge it within yourself? All I wanted was to warn you about him, but instead you’re fucking him. My job is done. Whatever happens to you is your own fault.” he spat standing up to leave. At this point it was fuck it with the nice shit. I let the lil demon out and I didn’t care one bit if she hurt his feelings.
“Now wait a motherfucking minute you rage fueled jealous asshat. You have no fucking idea what I’ve been through.” my nostrils were flared as I glared directly at him.
“I’m sorry princess, what went wrong for ms. cheerleader? Did you break a nail right before regionals? Got a bad hairstyle and had to wear it for a day before daddy gave you money to fix it? What could have possibly gone wrong for the spoiled princess who has probably always had everything handed to her?”
“You don’t know shit about me Nix. So don’t sit there and act like you do. Now I don’t have to explain myself or my decision to your bum ass. What I chose for me is what’s best for me. Now I do agree you deserve a fucking apology, but damn I’m starting to regret it. I never should’ve played with your feelings like that. Yes, it was wrong, but it wasn’t me when I did it. I made a choice not to feel anymore. To give into the shallow darkness that haunted me and personally I feel like I had the right to do so. Want to know why I’m so forgiving of him, it’s because I know what it’s like to go through years of false rumors and be proven right and still be told it was your fault. I know what it’s like to sit there feeling dirty and ashamed for something you never did, but still getting bullied like you did. I know what it’s like to have the one person you thought you could trust be the cause of your misfortune. So yeah Phoenix you’re right. Dave and I do have a hell of a lot in common and none of it is good because of people like you believing the assholes who caused our suffering. Yes, he made a mistake. One that he will forever be beating himself over because for that one night he was no different than the asshole WHO KILLED HIS FUCKING BEST-FRIEND. There is no one beating him down more than he is already hurting himself. You don’t know him, you just know what you were told and you definitely don’t know me. If you did you’d never call me princess and you would never think my world was perfect. So yes, I apologize but it’s still fuck you.” I was breathing hard as I finished. It was almost as if I hadn’t taken a single breath while chastising him. To my amazement he smiled.
“I got my dorm assignments today. Looks like we’ll be sharing an apartment next year. I just came over to see if it was okay with you, now that I know it’s not, I think I’ll just accept it as fate.” he shrugged as my jaw dropped. It was such a fucking random thing to drop at the worse possible time. “Who knows, you may begin to show who you really are again.” he started to walk away, but he paused and faced me once more. “By the way bitch, I have a girlfriend and she’s better than you in every way. I met her during Christmas vacation when you were out probably being the slut you are. People like you don’t change. Your relationship won’t last.” he laughed.
“You better hope I don’t tell Dave what you said. He made a mistake hitting your sister, but from what I hear he always kicks your ass. Now imagine what will happen when I let him fully unleash on you. We’ll see who the real bitch is.” he growled and made a step towards me, but the sound of the back door opening stopped him. I smirked as an evil glint filled my eyes. “Get out of here you bitch, or face the consequences.” I laughed. The demon had fully taken control. She hoped Dave had heard so the monster would come out to play. Phoenix grunted but turned to walk away as I laughed. He knew better. Once he was gone, I looked up making eye contact with my boyfriend and smiled.
He may not have been the best to everyone else, but to me he was everything.
I can admit though, he was right. I never should have tried to talk to Phoenix, that boy was just too stubborn for his own good.
“Hey sexy, I’m looking for a girl who can eat her weight in all of her favorite foods and snacks, and drink so fucking much but still won’t have to pee for hours. I kind of want to have an at home date with her and just cuddle her all night. It’s been a trying few months. Have you seen her?” he asked with a wink as I laughed. If he had heard he was trying to maintain himself for the sake of being there for me and that only made me love him more.
“Yeah, I think I just saw her. Sounds like something she would without a doubt in my mind love. She needs a break and for her boyfriend to come give her a hugely passionate kiss. She needs that for sure.” he smiled at me before crossing the thin barrier that separated our two houses. In no time at all he was wrapping me up in his arms and lifting me off my feet. I giggled as our lips met. Fireworks exploded beneath my closed eyes as my heart skipped a beat and I completely melted in his arms. Right now was perfect and I couldn’t wait to see how much better it would get.