CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
“Respect your enemies;
And one day they may become your allies!”
She didn’t really have to say anything when she came over. I had spent the past three hours thinking of nothing but when I would see her next, and I had come to the conclusion that there was only one possible thing that could happen. Still she came, and we talked.
“Hi” I said
“Hi” She replied
“Where is my fucking hug hello” I thought
She walked over and sat on my couch. I followed her in and sat on a milk crate chair opposite her.
“I’m sorry” She said
“You don’t have to say that” I replied
“Yes I do”
“No you don’t”
“Well I don’t want to argue about it….done enough arguing today”
“Sorry” I said
“You don’t have to say that” She replied
“I’m the one who is sorry” she said as tears began to well up in her enormous brown eyes
“I know you are”
“Please don’t say it yet” I thought to myself
“I’m sorry about Brad….he had no right to come over here”
“I know….how did he find out?”
“You sent those flowers….and he was home when they came”
“Why was he home….you said you had broken up?”
“I know….I lied”
“You fucking what” I screamed at her in my head
“I’m sorry….I didn’t think for one second that you could be so incredibly sweet and romantic to send me flowers and a poem, such an amazing poem, so soon after I told you we could be together…you’re just so amazing JayJay….I’m not used to being with someone so amazing…you caught me by surprise”
“So why did you lie?” I asked
“I’m sorry….I didn’t mean for it to be a lie…it just was….I was going to tell him yesterday…all day, then I was going to tell you that we could be together….I opened my mouth to tell him ten times…but I couldn’t find the words….they just wouldn’t come out….so I decided to tell you first, I decided that if I told you that we had broken up, and that you and I could be together, and that I was coming over tonight, to stay….then I would be trapped….I wouldn’t be able to avoid telling Brad…..I decided I would come home tonight and pack a bag….then I would wait till Brad came home….he would see me with the bag and ask me about it…and I would tell him….Brad it’s over…I know you’re hurt, I know this isn’t what you want, I know you love me…and I love you…but not like that….not anymore, and its over….I want to be friends…but tonight we should not be together, so I will stay with a friend for a couple of days, I wasn’t going to say you….then Brad could decide what he wanted out of our relationship…given that it would be friendship or nothing….I thought it was a good plan….I thought it would work out, at least as good as possible in such a situation…..but I didn’t think you could be so sweet….you’re so amazing JayJay…I’m so sorry”
“I’m sorry…I ruined it all” I replied
“No you didn’t…I did…it was me who fucked up”
“Well…I’m sorry anyway”
“Thanks….oh fuck…I’m sorry JayJay…I haven’t even asked how you are, are you ok? I heard about the fight….well Brad sort of had to tell me, I came home and he was sitting on the couch naked with a huge ice pack on his balls….they’re pretty purple, you crushed them pretty good….I’m so sorry….are you ok?”
“Yeah…I’m a bit sore…well I’m a lot sore….but I’m ok….the only really bad thing is this” I pulled my bottom lip down to reveal a quite gross looking cut in my gums, which had bled quite consistently for the past few hours. There’s nothing quite like a bowl of cereal for dinner with both milk and blood for lubrication
“Oh my god JayJay….I’m so sorry”
“Its ok…I’ve had worse…much worse”
“Stop saying your fucking sorry” I yelled at her in my head
“It’s ok…is Brad ok…I didn’t want to hurt him…he sort of gave me no choice”
“Well no he’s not really ok…but I hurt him more than you did”
“Well I hope he feels better soon”
“You really are amazing aren’t you JayJay…you’re actually concerned about your girlfriends boyfriend who spent the afternoon trying to crack your head open and trash your apartment”
“Well Brad’s actually a nice guy….he doesn’t deserve all this”
“I know….but you don’t know what he’s like with me….he used to be nice….not lately”
“I know I know I know…I wasn’t suggesting that you didn’t have your reasons”
“Its ok…I know I have fucked up big time”
“Well….I can’t argue with that one”
“I’m sorry” she said, as she turned her head from me
“Yeah I know”
“So….I noticed you didn’t bring a bag of clothes with you”
“I can’t believe you made me bring this up first” I thought
“I know” she said as she turned back to look me in the eyes
“Well I can’t stay”
“I figured that”
“Oh god” tears started to flow down her cheeks “I love you JayJay….I do, I really do…..but”
“Don’t say it, please don’t say it” I interrupted with
“I have to”
“No you don’t….I know what your going to say”
“I don’t think you do”
“Well I know its not going to be good”
“I wish it could be…..but you’re right”
I knew it, but my heart still sunk into a deep pit with this news
“I’m not getting back with Brad…I promise I’m not….he doesn’t want me back anyway….but that’s not it, I don’t want him….we’ve talked about it….he knows it’s over…I know”
“Well…I love you”
“You have said that already”
“The thing is…..I cant…..I just cant….I cant be with anyone at the moment”
“Why not?” I asked, knowing the answer, but needing to hear it from her
“You just don’t know JayJay…you don’t know what it’s like to be in this position….I just can’t deal with it…I know I love you….but I can’t look at you without feeling so guilty about all the pain I’ve caused…..even the pain I’ve caused to you….I know it’s stupid, to hurt you because I cant handle the fact I’ve hurt you…..but its just so hard”
“It seems stupid to me”
“I know it does….but it’s not just that…it’s…I mean I have been in a relationship for six years, six whole years….it’s a long time….I can’t just jump from one long term relationship straight into another one….and I know….with you…if I was with just you …..then it would have to be a long term relationship….because I love you….I adore you….it’s just….I just need some time for myself, to be myself, to find myself…the real me….the me that isn’t just trying to please the man I’m with”
“You can be you with me”
“I can’t JayJay….its different….you don’t know….you haven’t had a long term relationship”
“Yeah I wonder why…even the girls who love me back don’t want me”
“So why didn’t you feel this way yesterday, yesterday you wanted to be with me”
“I did…I do…I want to be with you so much…it’s just that I want to be with you, but I need to be without you”
“Again….why didn’t you say this yesterday?”
“Of course honestly”
“Well the fact is I was using you”
“You were using me?”
“Well you were my escape mechanism…you were the reason to end it with Brad…you were the thing that stopped me from letting myself believe being miserable was ok…you showed me I could still find happiness…you showed me that I wasn’t with Brad because I thought I couldn’t have anything better…you showed me something better….you gave me courage….you gave me joy…you made my heart start beating again….you made my vagina start working again, for Christ sake, I’ve had more orgasms in the brief time I have been seeing you than in the whole six years I was with Brad…you taught me….that my future could still be bright…..I’ll always be grateful for that”
“Really more orgasms than six years with brad, that’s not fucking bad, I must be fucking awesome in bed” I rather surprisingly thought to myself quite gleefully
“You just don’t think that bright future has me in it?” I asked
“I didn’t say that…just not right now….who knows what could happen in the future”
“I guess that’s something”
“JayJay….please, please, please believe me that I truly do love you….if this was different circumstances I would be the happiest person in the world to be with you…it’s just fucked up circumstances”
“I love you too”
“I know….but I have no doubt that you will find someone to love you who you will love, and you’ll be happy together for ever…and I’ll sit and watch it happen….kicking myself, killing myself for letting you go”
“I don’t want anyone else…I want you”
“Oh JayJay” She launched forward and hugged me. She hugged me tighter than ever before, and I held onto her just like you do when you’re holding something you love for the last time ever. When we eventually pulled away both our faces were drenched in tears. As I wiped my face dry with my sleeve, leaving a trail of wet snot all the way from my sleeve to my face, like melted mozzarella from a fresh baked pizza, Ellie rose to her feet.
“I have to go JayJay” She said
“I’ll miss you”
“I’ll miss you too….maybe one day I’ll be knocking on that door, and we’ll be together….but until that day….just know….just promise me you will remember…you’re in my heart, you’ll always be in my heart, and I’ll be thinking of you”
“Bye Bye my Ellie Belly”
“Bye Bye my sweet JayJay”
And just like that she was gone. So was I. I burst into tears like never ever before. I cried so hard that my whole body shook, and I ached in parts of my body that I didn’t even know I had. I rolled up into a ball on the floor, just crying. I fell into a state of near unconscious, just crying, and barely thinking.
The weirdest thing about it all was that what had just happened was exactly what I had guessed would happen. Even more amazingly it was what I wanted to happen. I did truly love Ellie. However she was right, the events of that day had changed everything. The events of that day had brought into light how disgraceful I had been in seeing her despite knowing about Brad. The events of that day meant that I could never look at Ellie the same way again. I could never see her without seeing the site of Brad in my bath sobbing like he was. A grown man who just a little while before had been smashing my face so hard that I slammed to the floor. The look on his face was a look I never wanted to see again. And I would have seen it every single time I ever saw Ellie again. I knew I couldn’t stay with her. It tore me up inside like I had swallowed a bag of ninja stars. It ripped at my heart like some voodoo master ripping my heart from my chest while I was alive and awake, and quick enough so that I could watch it beat in his hand as my life slipped away.
Before Ellie had come over that night I had already decided if she doesn’t end it then I will, but I really wanted her to do it. I didn’t think I could say the words. “I love you….but”. The hardest words in the world to say. I didn’t think I could sit there and break her heart. I didn’t think I could watch that pain on her face. Then it occurred to me, that then and only then, I actually fully understood what Ellie had gone though with Brad. I felt guilt for contributing to that pain. It hurt me so much to think I would lose Ellie, but only one thing hurt more, the thought I could hurt Ellie that much myself.
Still hearing her say those words to me, no matter how much I was expecting them. No matter how much I wanted her to say them, were still the most painful words ever spoken to me. I cried for a long time, I cried for a loss of something I had never had before, and had no way of knowing if I would ever have again.
Eventually I realized that I had to get up off the floor. And I realized that I wanted someone there with me. I wanted Hannah there. I called her up, and just cried into the phone, I don’t know if I even said hello. Hannah simply said, “I’ll be there in five minutes JayJay, just hold tight”, and no surprise at all, Hannah as always was true to her word, and five minutes later I was crying into her arms, two seconds after she knocked on my door.
I cried for a while, but then, feeling a little embarrassed I stopped and look Hannah in the eyes, and she looked at me back and wiped some tears from my face. Then she told me to tell her what happened, and I did. We spent hours talking about it. We talked till the sunrise was starting to break on the horizon. Then Hannah and I went outside for a walk and sat at a park and watched the sunrise. It was a beautiful one. I thought about the last one I had watched, the most beautiful one I had ever seen, the one outside Wendy’s house, the day I was bashed nearly to death. This one wasn’t as beautiful as that, but it was beautiful, really beautiful.
Again I had found myself sitting watching a sunrise and also watching a beautiful girl. Only this time she knew me, this time she was my friend, this time she was sitting there trying to think of anything possible she could to make me feel better. There was nothing she could say to make me feel better, but it’s the thought that counts, and her amazing thought cheered me up more than any words in the dictionary could have.
After we had watched for a while we walked back to my place. By now we were both exhausted, and Hannah asked if she could stay with me at my place. I of course said yes. We went to bed in the clothes we were wearing, and as soon as my head hit the pillow Hannah’s arms came around me and she pulled me in close to her. I had my back to her, and we snuggled into together like two kittens snuggling together for warmth. I smiled as I felt her body against mine, and fell almost immediately into a deep slumber.
When I woke up the day had well and truly begun, and Hannah’s arms still held me tightly. I smiled again. It was the first night ever I had spent a whole nights sleep cuddling. I rolled around and looked at Hannah asleep. It had been a while since I really looked at her. Her eyes were closed tight, and she had what looked like a small smile on her face. I wondered if she was having a nice dream, I hoped so. She looked so peaceful lying like that. I had forgotten how breathtakingly beautiful she was. I had forgotten how incredibly lucky I was that someone as beautiful, and as wonderful as her, would even say hello to me once, let alone become my best friend in the whole world. And we were truly best friends, I would tell Hannah anything, my dark secrets, my hopes and fears, I would turn to her in my darkest moments. I used to want nothing but to be alone when I was desperately sad, now I just desperately wanted to be near Hannah.
I stared at her face for ages. I remembered the first time I had really stared at her face, in the class room, all that time ago, when she asked me to be her partner in photography. I remembered thinking I could stare at that face forever and not get bored for one second. As I looked at her face again now, I realized that that was still definitely true.
Eventually Hannah stirred from her sleep. As she opened her groggy eyes she saw me looking back at her, and simply smiled at me, and closed her eyes again. It was that exact moment, right then, that I realized something; something I should have known for a long time, something that would change everything in my world.