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I don't know, Emily.

Short story By: jb1996
Young adult



A young man studies a woman in a bar.


Submitted:Feb 3, 2014    Reads: 53    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


I Don't Know, Emily.

This is from the past, but I still think about it.

A woman was in a bar. Something about her seemed just so lost, not in thought, but just lost in the world that surrounds her. She was constantly averting her attention from everything and everyone. She just kept looking around, as if she was expecting someone to give her attention. She appeared to be drunk- but in the entire time I was staring at her she didn't take a sip of anything. I thought she was beautiful, but distance was a factor, and I was just trying to avoid any social interaction, so I decided to stare at the one person who would be oblivious to my gaze. She was dressed like a girl, but she had the disposition of a woman, and in my current state, anything that was contradicting was sexy. Still, I wouldn't dare follow my eyes, for I was still in love with Rachel, who was too drunk to notice my distance.

The minutes of sparse staring turned into hours. She kept aimlessly, staring at everything, and noticing absolutely none of it. It felt like this strong wind was pushing me in her direction, like a gravitational pull sort of thing, for some reason, she was just so enticing. Rachel was off doing her thing, dancing with some guys she didn't even know, these circumstances were so common that I didn't even feel jealous anymore, I knew that she was just going to come back and have the audacity to apologize. And I would accept, because she loved me, and I guess I loved her. She was just drunk, I guess.

My attention drifted back to the woman, I decided that for my benefit it would be best to just name her, right? She had a life, obviously, a family, a past, and a future, and when you don't know someone, you can become a writer. You can become in control of everything in their life, you are god, until you actually get to know someone. What name fits? She was, well, enigmatic after all, that starts with E, so, there sat Emily. I had to decide if I was going to continue with this mental escapade, to pursue her fake biography. So I looked around, as she did, but with a little more concentration. I looked to see if anything note worthy, or possibly threatening to my relationship was going on, well no grinding, so I guess we're ok.

I guess she was born into a wealthy family. Her parents had relatively well paid jobs when she was born. Her parents fighting was basically an anomaly, well she feels that if she doesn't see it, it doesn't exist. She is always just behind her age group, she will never be mature for her age.

Emily's parents adored her- but didn't really show it a lot, she needed to fill in the spaces with what she was given, and that was hard for her. When she was a baby, her parents would read to her, and convey their love, she definitely got the message, but showing it seemed like weakness. So she didn't. . Her childhood, was I guess, relatively normal. Wait, no, she was very slow, she didn't get potty trained at a young enough age, her parents waited until she was practically three years old, and it took her until she was four to truly get the concept. She also breast fed until then, this caused an overwhelming self-esteem issue that still encompasses her. She can't really escape; no matter what well performed, hollow compliment is bestowed upon her.

As the only child, she got everything that could possibly be given to her. For her 5th birthday, this was a month after kindergarten started, she was given this….

"Baby, let's go home" Shouted the love of my life.

"Not quite, Rachel, I'm thinking about stuff."

"Oh. Well get out of that god damned chair and have some fun with everyone, it's a crazy party."

"Yeah, I see that, but I really need to think this through." I said, my gaze left her and did the Emily Routine.

"Okay, whatever, work, work, work with you." She said trying to get my gaze back.

"I'm not thinking about work."

"I wasn't talking about your job." She walked away.

Her instant of sobriety was actually quite spectacular, she's bright and shines through every so often when she was drunk. Come to think about it that was half the time, at least when we were together.

For her fifth birthday, Emily was given a necklace, a necklace I see on her neck all the way from here. This necklace means everything to her, not because it symbolizes anything in particular, but because it's just always been there. Every situation that she's been in, that necklace was just there watching everything happen in the same way she saw it. And Emily believed that, in bad situations, the necklace provided a source of reconciliation because it has seen all of the good moments in her life too. She is like that, a constant dreamer, the world is just too belligerent for her, being a girl is always better than being a grown woman, and she knew it.

She was one of those flower girls when she was young, always getting attention, due to her unquestionable sociability. Whenever she didn't, she cried, and whenever she worried that one of her cute gimmicks were going to fail, she did just that. I think… No, I bet, there was this time in 1st grade that her family came over. She was still the only child on both sides of the family, but a baby was on the way pretty soon. It was going to be Aunt Judy's baby, she had a husband too, but he didn't talk to Emily that much, she always forgot his name. Her aunt was getting all the attention, as if she was the baby herself, a new theme in the family. The adults kept talking, and talking, and talking! Is that all they do? If they're talking so much why can't they find a minute to talk to me?

Confused, Emily sauntered away from her family. Her natural blonde hair always glistened in the dark somehow, it was so light, not dark, and apathetic like it is now, not even fitting her face. She expected to be followed when she walked away, but all that was there was a bigger, emotionless shade, that mocked her movements.

The bar was now silent, the majority of the rambunctious drunkards had now left. "You're the city's problem now." I yelled at one of them when they were leaving, I'm pretty sure he was dancing with my girl, but I really didn't care anymore, all that is left in this relationship is love. But there she was, Emily was still there, she seemed so calm now, is she more than what she seems to be? Does she know that I'm getting over Rachel? I thought this in the exact same way she thought about the adults talking. Much too fast. Something was strange, could she possibly be my soul mate? She looked prettier now that I began to dissect her non existent past. I still had a couple hours before the joint closed, I began to think about work.

But I needed to finish her, my greatest creation, the enigmatic girl named Emily. She always claimed that her lack of friends was because she only needed a select few, but at many points of her childhood, she didn't even have that. In 5th grade, happiness seems either easily attained, or scarce, at least from my experience. Happiness seemed so innate for many of the other children, like it was as basic as breathing, I, clearly, was not well liked. Emily was the same way, she tried so hard to find happiness at that age, that now it seems unimaginable, the incredible feeling of content after years of misery.

She had her group, Kelly, Jillian, and Maya, she was safe at the time, but she didn't believe it. Happiness was so obvious, but she was so accustomed to trying her hardest to reach this point in life, and that just led to this. The four girls were playing. Kelly was the leader, what she said would go, Emily trusted her the most, and always talked to her more than the others.

"I'm so bored." Shouted out Maya, her spectacled face became a little condensed while saying it.

"We can make this fun." Said Jillian.

Kelly, Jillian and Maya, started formulating what they should do with their time. Emily stood behind Kelly, per usual, advocating any idea that fell out of her mouth. Jillian didn't like Kelly or Emily, she was only there because her best friend, Maya, was friends with the other two.

"Emily, go ask out Mike over there.." Jillian said with a smirk that exploded in Emily's eyes.

Emily got closer to Kelly, as if she was her guardian, protecting her from the other girls. A wan face that made that blonde hair glisten even more. Two blue eyes, quivering at the sight of the various obstacles in her path, they were like tides. Beautiful blue, going back and forth over and over again. Her body was slumped over. Her vision darted to Kelly, who knew that Emily wanted her to intervene, but unfortunately, the one who is in charge doesn't need to do bold things. The girls began laughing at her, for some reason this calmed down Emily. Attention leads to gall, gall inevitably leads to failure.

Over there was her objective, he was alone which was a benefit. She did kind of like him, but she also never even spoke to him, she was like I am right now. Kelly was looking at Emily, she made a face that Emily couldn't quite understand., but Kelly quickly averted her gaze. Emily went forward to talk to him, her friends were waiting ever so patiently for her to come back despondent and broken.

"Umm, Mike?" She said constantly looking around.

"Oh uh, well Hi Emily. How was the test?" Mike said.

"How did you know I took a test?" She spun around in a recursive circle, just so she didn't look into his eyes.

"Will you be my boyfriend?"

"Ok."

"Great!" They then both ran to their respective friends.

She burst into an incredulous smile while walking to the rest of her friends. She imagined how her friends were seeing her, she imagined that beautiful glimmer from her hair was showing, she imagined being able to talk to them and not being forced to repeat the one thing that she knew would make her friends laugh. I guess that she got there, and uh, Jillian and Maya were both outraged. They were just so surprised. "How can someone like her and not me? They both thought. Kelly didn't do anything initially, just looking at the lucky girl. Kelly was in such shock, but wouldn't dare hurt anyone's feelings Their eyes met, Kelly seemed to be looking through Emily. Kelly and Emily finally became close, something about Emily was so alluring to Kelly. Something made her want to be friends with her even if it meant not being friends with anyone else.

What in the hell is Rachel doing? I suddenly came back to reality. This night had aged so well, like the wine that was beyond my wallet. The insane noise turned into insane silence, both made me feel like I was going insane, am I insane? Why was she still there? Still wasting the night doing absolutely nothing. I looked back at Rachel, throwing up her night on the floor, and screaming my name.

"Sean! Jesus Christ, let's go home."

"More like a hospital, Rachel."

"Just get me up." Her face of apparent contempt burned through me, I just didn't feel it. it felt like a breeze. I looked down on the only person I have ever known whose existence was relevant in every decision, good or bad, that I made. She's my conscience, but Emily is my drive. Even if her past isn't true, I cared enough to make her my masterpiece.

After that, Rachel was gone. I looked at the clock, ten minutes had gone by, someone must of picked her up. I really do get what she has tried to tell me for years, that everything I see is vitally important to my life. How immersed could I be in Emily? If that is her real name, the girl who I had loved a couple hours ago was gone and I didn't care. Emily was still there, and a couple other people. She turned in my direction and I didn't look away, I couldn't. I could finally get a good glance at her necklace. It was truly beautiful, no wonder why she trusted it so much.

I know that I can make her as great as she is capable of being. If I just tried, unlike everyone else. Kelly made Emily try, I guess, but Emily realized that Kelly just pitied her eventually. Emily must be brilliant, only smart people do nothing in a bar..

I went over to one of the bar stools, about five feet from her. The barkeep was good old Ryan Ukers. I have known him since high school, he was a smart guy. As he was walking in my direction I could see it made his night a little better, seeing an old friend who wasn't wasted, but he stopped at the girl first.

"Still not going to order anything?" Ryan said with a smile

"No Ryan, I'm okay. I'd just rather stay here and think." She said, face on the ground.

Emily's voice was shy, she wanted to be there, no doubt, but in seclusion. Just two months ago she was happy, and just three months ago she was still in college. She had done everything in college, graduated a year early even, she was just so smart. Men were never her issue because she didn't have the time to share it with anyone else, god how beautiful is she? Every time I looked over at her the light that encompassed her blinded me.

God she looks so. Immaculate, I've seen nothing but pathetic drunks all night and I'm so fucking sick of it. No one EVER pays attention to me, even though I can tell them important shit to know. I'd be shocked if some of these people even knew we were at war. These arrogant people are stuck in there own, meaningless war with themselves. That's why they drink, thinking is too much work, so why put in effort for meaningless thoughts. Their ideology, I guess.

Ryan came over to me and gave his sympathy for Rachel.

"I know you really love her, man."

"Where did she go?" I asked expecting to go running for her, since the love was still there, but love of what?

"What do you mean, where is she? You can't tell when your girlfriend begs another guy to take her home? A better question, why didn't you!?" He said, his sentence gradually got louder.

"I don't know, who cares really? She hardly loved me."

"Maybe, maybe not, but you loved her, and that's certainly not the moral thing to do to someone you love. You aren't in school anymore, Sean, relationships are supposed to start meaning something after awhile. You know?"

"It meant everything to me, Ryan." I said my mind completely off Emily.

"Please, you and I both know why you're doing this."

"No, I don't, enlighten me."

"Because loving someone is too easy for someone like you."

I looked at him inquisitively. Emily was looking over at us, and I got really embarrassed. Great, I thought, maybe now she won't like me, but I noticed that she was still playing her innocent staring game. It's just that we were in her line of vision. She looked so certain of something, I'm not sure what, but something troubling her had just been solved. I could have gone over and talked to her in her moment of "Mental Redemption," but I didn't, I needed to find out what she was so perplexed about when she walked in.

After college, Emily and her boyfriend began having problems. His name was Derek, he was so different than every other guy she had been with. He always gave her the attention she so desperately craved. He saw beauty in her far beyond anyone ever had, a beauty that glimmered no matter what mood she was in, he was always lost in her, everything about her was in his focus at all times. Her eyes were no more sexy than her hands, and he was intrigued by her everything, as if she was the universe. The facts about her just led to more questions. God I want to know everything about that girl, so badly.

They're still together. Barely, I'm guessing. They used to come here, around a year ago when she first turned 21. They used to go out on the floor and get drunk, and indulge in their youth. I used to do that too, right? I think I miss it, yeah, I miss it a lot. Then I couldn't stop thinking about myself, the thoughts of Emily were gone. I kept asking myself when did I change?

Why did I even bring up Derek? What's his relevance, he's just an asshole that let her go, right? Or at the very least, has begun to toss her aside, her perfection is too much for him. She has problems, but that light still blinds me and I want it to continue to enthrall me. I don't know Emily, but I know her more than everyone else that ever threw her away. Kelly, Maya, Jillian, Derek. Christ, I bet even her family tossed her aside like nothing because she's too perfect to be understood. Why did I ever love Rachel!? I've been wasting my time for much too long, this girl has been waiting for me from the moment al the eyes were not locked on her. But I promise, I promise Emily I will love you forever! I want to know everything my simple mind can not create, I want you to teach me of your life, embellish what I have created.

"Emily!" I turned left and shouted.

The barren room felt like being on an abandoned island. Nothing but the sound of my thoughts plaguing my mind. Where has she run off to? I hope not Derek, she is much too good for him.





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