august

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 11, 2016

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Submitted: October 11, 2016

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When she needed him the most, she’d do whatever she could to get the attention that she craved so much. No matter what she did, though, he wouldn’t notice. All he saw was a girl, you’d realize, after it was all finally over. She had convinced herself that he could feel something for somebody. Or that she could be important to him, no matter how much he’d blow her off, change the topic, or ignore her desperate messages. She spent so much time telling herself that he actually had feelings for her, or anybody for that matter, that she couldn’t see the truth. She wished she would’ve just stayed alone. None of that would’ve happened, and she would probably still feel normal or tolerable with herself.

I think it was November. No, December. Because her birthday was right before his. A few days after the new semester had started, he’d asked how old she was. Fifteen. He was older, only by a few months, but he was always so, so, so much more mature and laid back than anybody she knew. Maybe it was the drugs. He was always experimenting. Even things she didn’t even know existed at the time, but he’d done everything he could get his hands on. Which was multitudes, living in that region. Downtown, too close but too far away from anything. He always talked to her about how about how he would get out of that town, even if it killed him. He had dreams about making it big one day, and she admired that. She didn’t have any dreams of her own, since there were so many jumbled choices going on inside of her head. When she was younger, she’d always been drawn to art, thinking she could become the next Picasso or Da Vinci one day. Her hopes were too high, and she realized that early on. More and more possibilities would come and go for her, but she couldn’t decide. When she questioned him, he just shrugged, having no personal interest in her future. He didn’t care about anything as long as he made profit.

She never got to ask why. Why he always took so many street-prescribed medications, that is. She only realized after everything, that people always have reasons. Hers was just to feel something. Anything. I don’t mean that she huffed paint or popped pills. Just cigarettes and hard booze on the weekends, just to feel more, well, alive. Something other than alone. Being so young, all of these new emotions showed up inside of her one morning with no warning. She understood in time that it was just teen angst. Of course, she dealt with it differently than the average kid. I’m getting off track. What I mean to say is that she wanted to feel something other than that. When she first met him, she heard that he was bad news, but never saw it. To her, there was a different aura about him, and he stood out more than each person she’d seen. She was curious.

He didn’t notice her until eye contact. But for her, a quiet girl in a new school, new town, no friends to turn to, it was enough, just to experience something unlike other encounters with people. Society had always purposely avoided her, so she learned how to draw back and blend in. They’d go on the opposite side of the road, look for a moment before regarding that she was even there. She didn’t know what it was. Why they did it even. But he wouldn’t.

They had just one class together, passed each other in the halls often. Even though that school was bigger than any of her other three combined, he always gave the impression that he was just around the corner. It was nice to have a face she could recognize. Since she still hadn’t gotten used to being the new kid, when he’d look at her, she could feel something. I don’t know the word for it. Contentment? Ease? Whatever it is, it was something else.

She thought if she showed acknowledgement for once, he’d look away, and it’d be over. It’d be just like with everyone else. But instead, he actually smiled, and of course she felt something else. It resembled a child’s curiosity, except he was even more alien to her. Eventually she convinced herself that she should try and cross boundaries that she had created for herself. For the next few weeks, she felt the same curiosity. Once she found out his name, she questioned how she couldn’t find it out herself. It really fit him. A month or so afterwards, she became so overwhelmed with class work, that she decided to leave school. She couldn’t think straight with all of these different teachers and hundreds of kids droning endlessly about things she didn’t understand. It was just to get some air and think, of course. Only walking to the corner store down the road. But on her way back, she bumped into him. Figuring he’d felt the same as she did about that new school year, she had to smile at herself, managing to say something not entirely stupid. It felt like a connection, really. That’s how it all started.

They’d become pretty close afterwards, learned things about one another. She’d seek him out in the mornings before school started and they’d sit in the bare hallway with his friends, not really saying more than a word to each other. It was hard for her to even be around somebody, it was so blurred. Now she was expected to figure out how to form sentences? One of her new emotions were anxiety. He never knew what to say, too drained, too high. Too innocent to know, she supposed he assumed her shy and didn’t want to pressure her into an actual conversation. Really though, she was scared and didn’t know what the two of them were, why he chose to bring her around his noisy friends. It hurt to contemplate it too much. Everything hurt.

Maybe this seems like a love story. A confession. I guess, in a way, you might call it that. It’s the things she hasn’t gotten to say—to him or at all ever since then. Yes, telling it from another perspective is easier to explain. Can you blame me? Honestly, I wonder how I could’ve been so stupid. Why hadn’t I done something earlier? I was so blind. I haven’t told anyone about us—not all the fine print and the emotions experienced at the time. I leave out pieces when I tell someone, either because it hurts too much to talk about it or I have a hard time recalling. It all happened so fast. You know what happened, so I don’t even need to go into detail about that.

But you don’t know that this is all your fault. I hate myself more than I hate you, so don’t take it personally. The drugs, the liquor—it was all to get some attention, honestly. Maybe that’s the reason most people do it? I just wanted you to ask me why I did it, so I could finally pour my heart out. It would’ve been so much easier to deal with the ‘new emotions’. Cliché, I know. But I actually did like you. When I got the courage to tell you something so straightforward, you just laughed. That’s one of the details I make sure to leave out, because I know it makes me even stupider, because I just couldn’t take the hint. It’s funny, because even when I ended up in the hospital that day, when my mom was sitting anxiously, waiting for an explanation, I told her about everything but you. Skipping, smoking, trespassing, passing around that pipe, getting into that car after everyone else had went back to school. I didn’t tell her anything about you being there, because I wanted to protect you.

You held it against me, hated me, because you thought I’d told people about it. I was suspended from school, stuck home alone for over a month, waiting for you to call. You didn’t. And when I got back to school? I wasn’t too invisible anymore. Everyone stared, gave me mean looks, asked questions I didn’t know the answer to. It was so lonely, so frustrating. And where were you? You might’ve been in the same boat, and I thought I understood why you hadn’t gotten ahold of me. But I can promise you, I didn’t tell anyone, they just knew. All of those rumors that went around? Rape? You know how kids are. They assumed that’s what happened since I was high, and you were the ‘bad guy’. I couldn’t even imagine you doing something like that. But you were supposed to take care of me, weren’t you? I didn’t remember anything after getting into that car. How could I go around telling anybody about something I didn’t remember? To get back at you for not calling me? I was even promised by the principal that none of the staff would be informed, because it was too embarrassing for the school’s reputation. But I trusted you, and where did I end up? Alone again.

But I wasn’t mad. I was just stupid. I just wanted to ask what actually happened so people would treat me like they normally do. Back in August, those three years ago, I tried something I’d only heard of. It didn’t work. I must’ve done it wrong, maybe not deep enough, maybe the razor wasn’t sharp enough. That’s another thing I wanted to ask you before you disappeared. I think I couldn’t bring myself to actually do it, really. It must’ve been me trying to get your attention again.  

And I think, still, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I have tried since then, whenever you come across my mind. Not for you, or for some recognition from those around me, but just to experience something else. I could think straight; my priorities were clear. That’s why you did it, wasn’t it? I know if you really wanted to die, you’d be able to. You’ve always been stronger than I was. I really do understand why you do it, though. It took me long enough, but I finally get it. Why you do the things you do to yourself. The pills you take; the shit you smoke. I was too young to understand, just starting to experience teen angst. But I finally realized it on the third year anniversary from that day. It was this summer, in August. I’m just like you now. I wish I would’ve realized it sooner; you know? I would’ve been so much better off. If you’re not connected to anyone, they can’t hurt you, right? That’s why you laughed. You knew how hard I was trying, but that didn’t matter, since you couldn’t feel anything for me, or anyone, for that matter. You can’t get hurt that way. And I would’ve hurt you too, being so stupid. 


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