“So…are you just never going to talk to me again?”
I turned towards her but she wasn’t looking at me. Her head was down looking at her food. I didn’t even know she was there until she started talking.
“I, uh,” she caught me off guard. We hadn’t exchanged words in nearly three months. I had heard her voice and she’d heard mine but we hadn’t addressed each other.
“Um I mean…I was waiting for you to say something. I told you I wouldn’t bother you again.”
“Yeah but, still nothing? I mean okay, you were a douche but you could have tried to apologize again after a couple of months.”
The food in front of me had lost any interest it claimed on me and I shifted my positioning to face her. She was talking to me. Out of the blue like this. Why? What changed? I had thought she might in six months or a year or something but only after a few months? I was still in disbelief.
“Well I did. I mean I did again. Twice. I said I was profusely sorry again and reiterated that I wouldn’t bother you at all unless you wanted to say something to me. So…I was just trying not to bother you. I hope it didn’t seem like I was trying to pretend nothing happened. Like I was hoping you’d just forget. That’s not what I was doing.”
“No. No, I didn’t think that.”
“Good because that’s not what this was. I…I was struggling trying to figure out what to do. Do I keep apologizing? Do I just try and talk to you after a while? All of it seemed like it was harassing you or making light of it so I thought the best thing to do would be to let you come to me. I didn’t feel right asking for your forgiveness, it was yours to give whether you wanted to or not. I didn’t want it to feel like you were just saying it was fine when it really wasn’t.”
“You still talk too much.”
I laughed a little, “way more then seven words, hm?”
She nodded and dragged her fork across her plate. We sat in silence for a few moments. I stared at her until it felt awkward and I looked back at my food. She took a bite of hers and continued pushing the pieces of salad from one side of her bowl to the other. I knew I should say something but I didn’t know what. I couldn’t let it just end like that.
“So, I am sorry. I…really am.”
She nodded again, “yeah…”
“See like…,” I signed. This is what I didn’t want to happen. I didn’t want to apologize and have her not believe me. I didn’t want to tell her how sorry I was and have it be nothing. I didn’t want it to keep going on like this.
“You said you wouldn’t hurt me, ever.” She still didn’t move her look towards me. Her hair was hanging down and I couldn’t see face, “you did though. You hurt my trust in you.”
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know before but now I was lost. I knew what I wanted to say but I know it wasn’t going to make anything better. I wanted to tell her that I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to tell her that she was partly to blame. She just left. We were close and she just left because we were close. When she came back it was still like she wasn’t there even.
“I’m sorry. I got too attached. I wasn’t thinking straight. All I wanted was you.”
It was true too. I went a little mad when we weren’t what we were anymore. Yeah, she told me to cool it but I was in such bliss I just wanted to revel in it. When she was gone I was sad and lonely. I sent her notes even when she didn’t respond. I wanted her to know I was still thinking about her.
“Yeah but, I told you. I told you I didn’t want anything serious. I told you. Then I heard things. People were talking and it was too much so even…even when I came back.”
She trailed off. She didn’t need to finish what she was saying. I knew what she was saying. Even when she came back she didn’t want it and I sent her notes nearly every day. The only thing she could do is pull back. I wouldn’t have it though because she was everything I never knew I wanted and I had her and didn’t want that feeling to go away. So I made up a plan to trick her.
“Yeah…yeah…I know. I didn’t handle it well. I…you…you were just special to me is all.”
She turned her head towards me. Not all the way, just a crick of the neck and she stopped it.
“But you shouldn’t have done that. Why did you have to do that?”
I tricked her. We had talked about it before, when we were good together. She joked that I was so into her that I couldn’t resist her. That I was way more into her then she was to me. I countered, flirtatiously, saying that I could absolutely trick her into being more into me. She laughed and told me to go ahead then, “I’ll see right through it,” she said. She didn’t.
“I…there’s no excuse. I’m sorry. I wanted you and it was the only way to get you to talk to me the way we used to. It was horrible and I’m sorry.”
I waited. I couldn’t just get her to fall for me right away because any attempt right after the conversation she would know right off. I waited and was going to put it into action when she left. The plan was all but forgotten until she came back and wasn’t the same. She avoided me and was polite but short. It was then that I remembered the plan and thought it was the only way to get that feeling back.
So I left her notes. I wrote things I knew she would like. I sent her messages from an anonymous number. I used everything I knew about her to and plucked her strings perfectly. She was mine, but it wasn’t me. It was this fake persona I had created. I made her think she had a secret admirer and it gave her a thrill. Someone she could feel just what she wanted to feel without anything extra that she didn’t want.
“Yeah, it was. You were horrible. You fucked up.”
It was going perfect. It was all like it used to be. New Years Eve I said to myself as I was writing another note to her, “what are you doing?!” I didn’t listen to myself though.
She told me she wanted to tell me things about herself. Secret things that nobody else knew, but first she had a question. She wanted to know if she knew me. She had said I seemed familiar but she couldn’t place it.
I felt a rush of blood run to my face. I’d always said I’d never lie to her and to this point I hadn’t. I deceived her into believing I was someone else but to a direct question I’d never told her false information. I was never going to. I told her she did know me. I sent her a message and she responded quickly and said she wasn’t expecting that. She wanted to know who I was, so I told her. She didn’t speak to me again until today.
“I’m not asking you to forgive me. I can’t ask that. All I can do is apologize for hurting you because you were the reason I was smiling for the three months we spent together last summer and fall. You were the reason I was excited to get up in the morning and that had to pull myself away in the evening. I never wanted anything other than to spend time in your company trying to make you smile.”
She turned her head back straight ahead and didn’t say anything for a few moments. I almost felt like crying. I’ve wanted to say this to her for so long. I went through misery and felt so much guilt over what I had done and I wanted her to forgive me, or at least have the opportunity to apologize. Now I just had to wait.
“Yeah well…you shouldn’t have.”
Then she stopped talking. I didn’t know how else to respond to that. I didn’t know what I could say. I apologized. I acknowledged wrong doing. I admitted it and I accepted my fate. Sometimes you have to do just that and whatever comes with it you can’t change. When you make a mistake with someones feelings they may never let that possibility happen again.
She turned her head towards me. Again not fully looking eye to eye but more so than she had at any point during our conversation.
“Don’t do it again. Ever. I have to go,” she got up and didn’t let me respond.
I watched her leave and thought about her words. She said not to do it again. That means its better, right? Or not better but not horrible. That maybe this can be something to build on. I hope so anyways. I’ve felt like a piece of me was missing as I watched her talk to other people but couldn’t say hello. Even if I can’t get that feeling back with us she’ll always be special to me. I just need to remember not to fuck it up this time, whatever “it” turns into.