I Feel Guilty
Chat Song: ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ by Adele.
“’Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something that it won’t. And here in the dark, these final hours, I will lay down my heart, I will feel the power. But you won’t, no you won’t. ’Cause I can’t make you love me when you don’t.”
Saturday May 16 2020
Lexie’s location: On her sofa, in her living room.
S: Did you sext with Josh again?
L: No. We only did it once.
(Lexie feels a pang of guilt for the giant lie she just spilled to her friend. But what could she have done? Selene would have only regarded her with judgment and Lexie is not able to handle any more ‘I told you so’s.’ For the whole week, she and Josh had been texting quite intimately. Things weren’t awkward at school for Josh as it was for Lexie. He still threw his arms around her at lunch and they played around as usual, but at nights, they would exchange words that should only be exchanged between lovers. Lexie was always left confused, but when she saw him switching his display image to a new picture of his girlfriend every two hours, she was immediately reminded of the truth that Josh does not see her as more than a friend. This is all just a fun game for him, one he thinks she’s enjoying as well. But it isn’t entirely enjoyable for her, yet she can’t seem to stop because when he speaks to her the way he speaks to Sabrina, she feels happy inside. No matter how fake it is.)
S: Good because I don’t want to have to attend your funeral when you commit suicide over a boy.
L: I would never commit suicide over a boy.
S: Really?👀You don’t convince me. Not by the way you’re crazy about him.
L: Stop that Selene.
(Selene has gone offline.)
(Lexie doesn’t mind the fact that Selene has abruptly stopped texting her. She is more concerned about Josh. It is Saturday and she hasn’t heard from him all day. After shooting him several texts, she decides to call him.)
(Stuffing her cushion under her stomach, she waits for him to answer. After ringing three times, the phone finally picks up and Lexie smiles elatedly.)
“No, it’s his mom, sweetie.”
Lexie slumps her shoulders, fondling with the loose cotton strings on the cushion. “Oh hi Mrs. Taylor. Is Josh there?”
“Josh is out with his girlfriend, dear. I am not sure why he left his cell behind.”
Instantly, Lexie feels her throat burning with evidence of her heartbreak.
“Should I pass on a message?”
She shakes her head, even though his mother is unable to see her. “No...I’ll wait until he gets home.”
“Okay, dear. I will tell him that you called.”
“Thank you.” She smiles a little, but it quickly fades as soon as she’s off the phone.
She can’t cry. She mustn’t cry. She knew that they were just playing around. She knew he had a girlfriend. She knew they were just friends. She knew Josh doesn’t like her the way she likes him.
She knows all of this.
She lays her head against the arm of her sofa and absentmindedly stares at whatever is playing on her Tv. Josh left his phone behind; did he do that intentionally?
The Same Day (Nightfall).
Lexie’s Location: Lying in bed, watching Spongebob on Netflix.
(She retrieves her phone from the bed and realizes that Josh must have finally gotten home. She isn’t ready to speak to him. Her eyes are swollen, and her heart still hurts, so she sets the cell back down and continues watching the animation.)
Two hours later...
One hour later...
J: Why weren’t you answering my texts? :(
L: I was sleeping.
J: My mom told me you called. I’m home now, are you okay?
J: Are you sure?
J: You’re not. You keep saying ‘yes.’ I can tell that you aren’t.
(Lexie does not want to appear petty, so she brushes her emotions aside and decides to fight the dejected feelings.)
L: I’m fine. :)
J: I hope you are, I’m really sorry for the late response.
L: Where were you today?
J: I went to Sabrina’s house. I met her parents and her entire family. We had dinner.
L: Must have been nice.
J: :-) yeah, I kept wondering if you were alright though.
L: Then why’d you leave your phone behind?
J: I just didn’t want to make a mistake.
L: What kind of mistake?
J: ....If I took my cell with me, I was afraid Sabrina would somehow see our messages...that’s all.
L: I thought you said it was okay? You said she knows how much we joke about sexual stuff.
J: Yeah...but I think we have already surpassed her expectations. I think...we maybe went a little too far.
J: I am sorry.
L: For what?
J: 😔I don’t know. I’m sorry I didn’t take my phone with me and you haven’t heard from me all day.
L: It’s okay. :)
J: I love you, Lexie.
L: I know.
J: But we can’t keep doing that.
(She is not sure she understands.)
L: Doing what?
J: Sexting. We shouldn’t do it anymore.
(She stares at her phone screen. Tears are already welling in her eyes as she types a response.)
L: What do you mean?
J: We should stop talking the way we have been talking to each other. It’s not right.
L: I said that first. Then you told me it was okay. You made me let my guard down...
J: And I was wrong. When I met Sabrina today, I felt so fucking guilty. I couldn't look her in the eyes. I can’t keep doing this. We can’t keep doing this, okay?
(Once again, tears flow from Lexie’s eyes. She sits upright against her headboard, pulling her knees up to her chest as she cries between them. This is so hard and she’s tired.)
Two minutes later...
J: I am sorry. :(
L: It’s ok.
J: It’s not. I know when you’re mad. I am sorry I made you let your guard down. I really am.
(Lexie has gone offline.)
J: Come on, Lex. Don’t leave💔
(She is not mad at Josh; she just needs some time to cry to herself and she is not able to do that while texting him.)
J: Lex :(
Two minutes later...
J: Answer me, please?
Five minutes later...
(Josh’s ID pops up on her phone, signaling that he is calling her. Lex can barely see her screen since her eyes are blurry with tears. She decides to ignore him, stuffing the cell under her pillow. How will she explain her reaction to him? She feels like she is making it obvious that she is secretly in love with him.)
(Josh calls numerous times and Lexie decides not to respond. Soon, her cell stops ringing, then there is a soft knock on her room door. Lexie quickly wipes her eyes as she tells the person to enter.)
“Baby, Josh is on the telephone.” Her mom’s brown head of curls pokes into her room and Lexie clears her throat so she does not sound as if she had been crying.
“I’m tired. I’ll call him back tomorrow, mom.”
Her mother’s entire body enters the room now, as she observes her carefully with curious brown eyes. “Did something happen between you two?”
Lexie shakes her head, gripping the hem of her dress. “No...”
“Okay...” Her mother nods reluctantly. “Well get some rest. Our neighbor invited us to church tomorrow.”
(Lexie just nods, and as soon as her mom leaves the room, she lays her head against her pillows and closes her eyes. A delayed tear slides beneath her eyelid as she grips her duvet tightly into her palm. This always ends badly for her. Always.)
“I close my eyes cause then I don’t see the love you don’t feel when you’re home with me. Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right. Just give me ’til then to give up this fight. And I will give up this fight.” —Adele.