“Everything is terrible, nothing matters. The words you’re reading are nothing more than that, words. They sit here on a page just hoping that someone will one day come along and read them. Hoping that maybe if they do something or write something that people want to read, that they’ll be remembered. That just because a large amount of people like what they do that maybe, just maybe, they’ll be remembered. That they’ll be missed when they’re gone. But that’s not how this works, hell, no one knows how this works. We all flounder around doing pointless little tasks until we don’t anymore. One day everything is forgotten, nothing lasts forever.”
“Jesus Christ that’s dark.”
“Well you wanted to know why I’m always such a ‘downer’ Tom.” I quote the word with my fingers, before quickly letting my hands drop down to my sides.
“Yeah well, I thought it was because you didn’t have a boyfriend Jamie.” I sigh at his words.
“How many times do I have to tell you I don’t want a boyfriend.”
“Sure you don’t. You’re just saying that because you don’t have one.” Tom laughs. He fucking laughs. Like I haven’t told him a million times that I don’t want a boyfriend. Like I haven’t explained to him that I’m not interested in that kind of thing. Every time it’s the same.
“Of course you want a boyfriend, everyone does,” He scoffs, taking another bite of his apple
“You won’t know you don’t like it until you try it.” He waves his hand in front of his face in dismissal
“It’s just a phase,” He shrugs, as he keeps walking.
“You don’t fucking get it Tom!” I yell, my hands clenched. The people around us turn to stare. I’ve had enough.
“Well, then help me get it,” He almost, almost, sounds sincere with his words.
“I’ve tried!” I yell again, throwing my arms out in frustration. I’m standing now. “You just can’t get it through that thick skull of yours!”
“Calm down, okay.” He’s standing trying to get closer to me, trying to touch me.
“Don’t fucking touch me!” I yell pulling away from him.
“Okay! Okay, I won’t touch you.” He backs up a few steps like he’s afraid of me.
“You’re supposed to be my friend. You’re supposed to be on my side.” I take a steadying breath and look at him, really look at him, and there’s hurt in his eyes.
“I am your friend.” His voice is so soft at this point I almost don’t catch his words.
“Then why aren’t you on my side?” The words come out broken, the anger draining from my clenched fists and tense frame.
“I am Jamie. God, I am on your side.”
“Not about this you aren’t.”
“What do you mean about this? If you’re into girls instead you know I’d have your back.”
“There!” I almost yell again, pointing my finger harshly. “That’s the problem! You don’t get it!”
“What do you mean? Get what?!” Tom yells. He rakes his hand through his short hair, he’s almost at the end of his rope.
“I’m not into anyone!” I yell. He sputters to a stop. His outstretched hand falls to his side. His face goes slack. Like you’ve just been told that you’ve been doing math wrong your entire life. He just stands there, as I try to breathe normally again. It’s not that hard of a concept to grasp. But then his face contorts in anger. A rage so pure, so all consuming, that I take a step back. For the first time in my life I’m scared of Tom. Of what he might do.
“That’s what this is about?!” His words are laced with a venom that could eat through the floor. I stumble backwards, as he starts advancing towards me. “A stupid phase is what’s got you so worked up?!” He’s around the table now, his shoes landing hard against the ground. Like his body is trying to work through the anger anyway it can.
“It’s not a phase.”
“Like hell it isn’t!” He laughs. He fucking laughs. But this time it’s twisted, a sick parody of what it used to be. He’s only a few feet away from me now. “You need to stop acting like a fucking child and just pick one!” He jabs his finger into my chest every few words, and I bite back a whimper.
“You like one or the other, there is no neither! Everybody chooses so fucking choose, and let this stupid phase finally end!”
“The world’s not so black and white you know!” I yell back at him, my anger surging forward again. And then he hits me. The rest of the room comes back into focus; we’re no longer in our own little bubble. It’s popped, he popped it. The noise of people yelling at Tom, and the rushing water of the nearby fountain is the loudest.
“What the fuck!” Someone yells. There is noise everywhere, I don’t know where they are.
“Is she okay?” I can hear someone nearby murmuring. I shake my head in reflex. I’m not alright. I will never be alright. My best friend, the one person I should be able to count on, is gone. In his place is some hateful, vicious thing that only sees what supports his views. So stuck in its ways that it lashes out at anything and anyone that thinks differently.
“I want to go home.” It comes out as a soft whisper from my lips. Directed… somewhere, maybe even towards myself.
“Then let’s get you home alright?” A voice to my left answers. It’s then that I notice the hands on my shoulders, and the warm presence next to me. I’m still on my feet. Somehow despite my world crumbling around me, I’m still on my feet. Part of me knows I should stay, to talk to security or the police; to yell at Tom again or to fix things between us. But a larger part of me just wants this day to end. Wants everything to just stop being so confusing and frustrating.
“Where the fuck are you going?!” Tom yells. I jerk to a stop, his voice is still a twisted parody of what it should be.
“Away from here! Away from you!” I yell, almost turning around to face him again.
“I drove you here, what are you going to do walk?”
“If I have to.” I start walking again. With a kind stranger at my side and Tom’s venomous words at my back. Pretending like I don’t hear the insults he continues to hurl at me. Pretending like the only friend I’ve had for over ten years hasn’t just ripped out my heart. Pretending that I know what to do now.
I’m not broken. I don’t need to be fixed. I’m not an a thousand piece puzzle that’s missing pieces. They didn’t look through the box and say, “Darn there’s pieces missing, guess we have to send it back.” I’m not some damaged thing that you can send off to be fixed. There’s nothing to fix. I am not broken. I can get up in the morning and know that I am accepted. I can stand to look at myself in the mirror and know that there’s nothing wrong with me. I am not broken. There’s nothing missing. I’m playing a board game and I have all the pieces. Nothing has been stolen, or forgotten. Everything is right where it should be. I am not broken...right?
I don't really remember much of the ride home. Whoever walked out of the mall with me called me a cab or an Uber or something. I thanked them... I think and climbed in the car. My cheek throbs from where Tom hit me. I can't even remember if it was a slap or a punch.
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, ManthersWrite a Review