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Looking back, I can’t even believe I was that stupid, that I thought I was in love just because she batted her eyes at me. Just because she paid attention to me. Just because she ignored the differences and ran with it. Looking back, I can’t even remember what led me to here, to all the pain, the suffering. The lies. I mean, was she even worth it? Still now, I am not even sure if she was worth the past speckled with sunny moments, stormy days, unexpected lightning bolts, and the hurricane hell she made my life.
But I suppose, in part, that I must shoulder some of the blame. I chose my route; I chose my life, even though she didn’t deserve my affection or any of this. Here I sit on a hospital bed, penned down by my infirmities. Drowning in the hurt, breathing in raspy breaths, wishing to die. No.
Wishing to leave this place, now.
My ribs ache as I push myself up from the bed. My elbows rub against the white sheets as I use them to lift up my torso, as I open my eyes for the first time in what seems to be forever. My elbows grow cold as I nudge the metal bar, the chilled bar. I collapse back on the sheets, distracted, out of focus. Tired.
The bland sheets, the white glow of the room, and the nurses’ voices have been all I can recollect from the days that have intertwined with the night. The window of the room is shut, continually. Through the blinds I can sometimes see piecemeal representations of light; faint shards hitting the white walls of the room and the tan pigmentation of my face.
But then I hear her footsteps, dainty upon the linoleum floor. There the footsteps go. The sounds are almost inaudible, light and stealthy. Graceful and carefree. Just like Blair, like Blair I always loved.
God, I loved her. Loved her, but no longer still. I know what it is like to have a heart ripped out, to watch the heart convulse, beat rapidly, and then die right before my eyes. I know what is like to be on the losing end of an unreciprocated love. I know that I don’t want to go back.
I can’t go back.
My ribs are a constant reminder of the hurt. And her footsteps break the cycle of day and night. I close my eyes tighter. I don’t want to see her.
I can’t see her.
I bite my lip and I begin to taste the first droplets of blood that escape my lip held taunt. The blood tastes like her. My eyes remain veiled by my eyelids—tan over brown. I won’t look at her, but I know it is her. It has to be. What is she going to do? Apologize, finally?
It’s too late for that. It’s much too late. But my heart begins to pump and I wish with all my heart that she will say the words that I want so much to hear. I want her to say I’m sorry, Jet. I want her to say, I loved you too. But after everything has unfolded to become this great mess of broken ribs and hearts, I’m not sure things can go back to what they were before. In fact, what was before?
I don’t think that I want to deal with this, not yet. I guess I have the right to deny having a visitor. I’m in the hospital because of her. It’s understandable that I don’t want to see her…now. I’ve been embarrassed, and…I’m just tired of the journey that has led me here.
The most aching pain is in my heart, when I realize that I still, somewhere deep within, have strong feelings for Blair. That’d I would consider starting where we left off if she apologized, confessed an undying love, touched me. But she isn’t going to do that, and I know that.
So I keep my eyes closed as I breathe in shallowly. The nurse walks in, I know it’s the nurse because of the click of her heels. I open my eyes and she meets my gaze. She flashes an obtuse smile in my direction, completely unaware that Blair’s visit could be the worst thing for me right now. She leaves now, preparing to grant Blair and me privacy. I want to call her back, to supervise, to keep me from doing something stupid, but talking hurts too much. My lips are chapped, crusted. My heart is empty. My eyes close tight. Resilient.
Subconsciously I give up the struggle to sit up and the inward struggle over Blair. I continue to lie in the white sheets.
And then I sigh. I embrace the dark that my closed lids offer.
And then I open my eyes, unable to keep them shut. Unable to pretend that she doesn’t matter to me.
I wish that I could forget everything that happened before. I feel trapped between memories and the stagnated present. I feel dead and alive. I feel like a Trumbo character, unable to speak but with importance weighing down my tongue, ready to be released.
When I hold in my breaths, I can almost forget. I can forget the betrayal, the falling-head-over-heels process, and the crash after infatuation.
I close my eyes again, seeking peace behind my eyelids. Seeking repose. Seeking meditation. Seeking hope. Instead I find remembrance of the afterthoughts of before. I bite my lip again, and I remember—everything.
And I hate that I remember.