Loverboy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance


Every time I think I’m over you, my dreams tell me I’m not. And last night, we got the farthest we ever did – an unexpected kiss.

Submitted: August 12, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 12, 2018

A A A

A A A


Every time I think I’m over you, my dreams tell me I’m not. And last night, we got the farthest we ever did – an unexpected kiss.

***

We met on a farm.

I know it sounds weird, but let me explain.

It was fall semester and two weeks before my nineteenth birthday and a I was sophomore. You were twenty and a sophomore, having taken a year off to work, but I wouldn’t find all this out until later. A club that I was in was doing a bonding trip at the farm where you could pet goats, buy pumpkins, and walk through a corn maze. I didn’t know a single person there, but there were six of us and they were friendly enough for me to open up.

Because there was so little of us and we had rented a campfire for the night, one of the girls asked you and another one of her friends if they could come. She warned us of your extremely self-deprecating humor, but I didn’t care because it matched my humor.

When you came, it was a little nerve-wracking solely because it meant that there were now two more people who I’d never spoken to before here. I got a little quieter because I do better in smaller crowds than bigger ones.

The weather was getting colder as Autumn progressed, this night being one of the first nights the weather dropped below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It was getting darker, but we decided to go through the corn maze anyways. I stuck next to a girl who was a bit more outgoing than me and we mocked the instructional video that told us not to take the corn and that the maze was a specific shape (I don’t remember what it was). We had to complete a puzzle.

So we set off in our big group, searching for the puzzle pieces. There was no prize, but it certainly was a bit of a bonding experience. At this point in the evening, I felt a little more out of my shell, switching between talking to different people as we moved along. I didn’t ever get to talk to the other boy and I only remember his name and that he was tall. When I got to talking to you, you were putting sticky notes on the corn that said “kill me” which was shockingly morbid especially considering I had met you that night.

Geez, I haven’t thought about these memories in so long. It sucks, but I’ll continue.

I laughed and we talked. I don’t remember what about, but it was good conversation. Eventually we all made it out of the corn maze and it was dark enough to need a flashlight to get out, but we did it. We then went back to the campfire to get warm for a little while. There was more talking and I got to learn about you through your friend. You could speak another language, but you hated every moment of learning it. I say this because we then forced you to speak it.

After warming up and having some s’mores, we went to feed the goats! I’m originally from New York City, so everything about this was riveting and getting the opportunity to feed and pet a farm animal? I didn’t think it would be so great until I was in vicinity to the weird-eyed animals. I didn’t want to pay for the food pellets, so I started picking up food from the ground that had been dropped. There was a fence between us and the goats, but I was still having a great time.

People felt bad for me. They all lived in the area of the university or in a similar area somewhere else. In retrospect, I guess it seemed ridiculous for me to be so excited, but not excited enough to buy pellets. What can I say? I’m cheap.

People, who maybe at this point I would consider friend-acquaintances, offered to give me some of their pellets. Eventually, the machine where you bought the pellets jammed and the person at the help center or whatever gave my friend a whole cup of pellets and you offered it up to share.

I was the last one to finished petting the goats and I felt a little bad making everyone wait, but they didn’t seem to mind. We then washed our hands and explored the farm trying to figure out what we were going to do next. There was one of those basketball games, some shooting games, and a bunch of other stuff that you had to pay extra for. Since we were all broke college kids, we choose to keep walking.

And then there were more animals.

Rabbits, chicken, pigs, and more goats if I’m remembering correctly. They were off into the corner and I was so excited. I’m allergic to rabbits but they were so cute in their little pen and you could bet I was voicing my love for these animals while I was near them, even if I wasn’t talking to anyone in particular.

When other kids and their families discovered this little area, we left back to the campfire. We were there the rest of the night, talking about things I can’t remember. We were all getting along so much that when it was time to leave, we thought about seeing some horror movie we had mentioned, but it was late and we decided to go another time even though we all knew that we’d never get together in a group like this again.

At the time, I didn’t like you like I did over a month later. I didn’t get my hopes up for a friendship because I figured since you went to a different school, we’d never see each other again. When I got back to my apartment, my housemates had their doors closed and my roommate was at work like she always was.

I immediately changed into pjs and laid in bed. I probably should have showered the campfire smell off me, but it was late and my hair took a long time to dry. I friended all the girls from the club on facebook, followed them on Instagram, and went to bed. After spending the first month of the semester so bored and lonely, I was really hoping I’d found my friend group after mine had left.

It’s weird thinking about this now and how it felt. I’ve been avoiding thinking and talking about it for so long and the memories pain me, but I’m writing about this now because I need to tell somebody when I’m too afraid to tell the people I know.

When I woke up, you sent me a friend request. I thought it had been weird for me to add you and the other guy, but not only did you add me, you sent me a message too. It was something along the lines of saying I took cool pictures. I’m a wannabe photographer, so it was a nice complement.

We talked nonstop for the whole week. The next weekend, I was going to a convention in the city with my mom and a couple of friends and family. The day was amazing. I got to speak to people who I considered famous, got to see cosplays and artwork, and so much more. I went to this convention every year and every year I took a million and one pictures. I always get so happy that I’m on the verge of tears.

Of course, right before we’re about to leave, my iPhone freezes. I make note that I had an iPhone because after this day, I hate Apple with a burning passion. And when a phone freezes, you either wait for it to unfreeze or you restart it. I did both. Once my phone turned back on, all my pictures from the day were gone. I didn’t back anything to the cloud because you’re only allowed 5GB for free and I had over 2,000 pictures and videos – probably about 20GB.

I panicked, standing outside of the convention center being comforted by my mom and a family friend. They kept saying that the pictures had to be there somewhere or that I didn’t have any space left on my phone. Both were wrong and I had to fight back tears. Imagine having pictures of a celebrity (not the level of Leonardo DiCaprio, but a celebrity nonetheless) and then all evidence of it is taken away like it’s nothing. That’s how I felt.

I didn’t let myself cry until my mom and I were in the car and on our way home. I told you what happened. I told you that I’d broken into tears. “Needless to say I’m crying my eyes out right now” I remember writing. I’d never been the vulnerable with someone after only knowing them for a week. It was so strange, but I needed someone to talk to that wasn’t there, just like I’m doing now.

He sympathized and told me to think of five good things that happened that week. I struggled to think of five. At first, I couldn’t even think of one.

You were the person I talked to the most that semester and we didn’t even go to the same school. I guess some of that was my fault, but I didn’t really talk to anyone outside of lunch and dinner.

I felt better after I thought of the fifth thing – it was that I got to see my dogs that weekend. I cried the whole ride home and cuddled with my dogs the whole night.

We spoke every waking moment the whole next week, taking a short break that Saturday when I went to the Apple store so they could help me fix my problem. My phone had frozen again, it was hardly two years old, but only the first time had my pictures vanished. The worked had told me to restart my phone to factory settings. I hadn’t backed my phone up in over a year, but she helped me sync my camera roll to Google Photos. All 20GB+. It took a long, long time.

I spent hours that evening downloading all my apps back and logging in. My pictures from the convention were still gone. Thankfully, we were on our Fall break, meaning I had gone back home from college for the four day weekend and was able to seek the comfort of my dogs. I was also able to see some friends that went to the college near home, but they’re not relevant to the story right now.

During that break, my phone had frozen again. Nothing mysteriously vanished, but I wasn’t about to take the risk of it happening again so the day I was going to leave which was also my mom’s birthday, I decided to quickly get on an Apple customer service chat. I was redirected to a senior chat dude who told me that the workers at the Apple store weren’t proficient enough to help with my complex problem. This is also not relevant to the story, but it’s so ridiculous that I need to share it.

Our chat on the computer turned into a phone call so that I could better explain what was happening with my phone. His oh so bright idea was for me to sync my previous backup (the backup I had done at the Apple store) back to the phone. Oh great, I thought, I was going to have to log back into everything again.

I did as he told me to and after five hours of talking on the phone, we thought my problem was fixed. Throughout the next three days, my phone froze again. That weekend, I called the Apple chat guy I’d been talking to. He knew I was in college and I knew he had kids. We really got acquainted those five hours we spoke.

Anyways, when I called him, he essentially told me to do one thing: Reset my phone to factory settings. This man, my good pal, had told me to do the exact thing the worker at the Apple store told me to do. I told him that that’s what I’d done before initially contacting him and his reply was essentially “yikes idk what to tell you then :/ rip bye” and I was livid. Skip to December and I got myself a Google phone and said goodbye to Apple forever.

Back to him and October. The Thursday I had gotten back from Fall break, we went on a walk through a very hilly park. I was incredibly nervous because we were hanging out one-on-one, he didn’t know my campus at all, and I had to pick out his car in a parking lot when I know nothing about cars. When we had had our fair share of walking, we sat down at the top of a hill on a rock and talked. The sun was already behind the mountains, but it had left a pink glow in the sky.

By birthday was that next Thursday and all I did was go to class and have dinner with my parents. Two of my friends, my roommate and one of my housemates, went to Walmart to get parts of their costume for the Halloween party we were going to on Saturday. Did I mention that they didn’t ask me if I wanted to go with them? They didn’t even tell me they were leaving. I was sitting in our room with my roommate when she got up to ask our housemate if she was ready to go. So yeah, living in the apartment was just dandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November

The Thursday after my birthday, we went on a hike together. It wasn’t really a hike, but more like a walk around a really pretty lake. You had asked if I needed to be picked up from the Halloween party because I was drunk and not having fun, but I said no because even though we talked a lot, we still didn’t know each other for long and my drunk self thought it was too risky. I should have said yes.

We had a good time on our walk around the lake. You did most of the talking which is funny because in the end, I did most of the talking throughout our friendship. We walked around the lake until it had closed. It didn’t help that we had stopped on the other side of the lake to watch the sun set. Yes, I took about forty pictures of the sun setting over the mountains.

When we got to the parking lot, we were both starving and you took me to a Thai place. I don’t know what I got but it was delicious, but I’ve learned since then that I’m not a fan of Thai food. You did the kindest thing and paid for me, telling me it was my birthday present when I insisted I’d pay for my own food.

That next Thursday, we went on an actual hike. It was getting darker earlier and it was a rainy day, but we still went through with it and boy was it an adventure. We were both wearing jeans and I had my camera with me like I always did on our Thursdays out. The sky was already on its way to getting darker by the time we got there, but we continued on.

There was one funny moment where I slipped and my phone fell out of my pocket and started sliding down a large rock right into the stream, but I caught it in time. My phone went in my camera bag after that. A quarter of the way through the hike and it was dark out. Since we were in the woods, it was pitch black.

Thankfully I’d packed a flashlight in my bag. I’m not sure why because I never brought it before, but it came in handy. You walked ahead of me with the flashlight, warning me of the uneven ground, loose rocks, and roots that could easily trip you. On a flat piece of land, we saw a tree stump where someone had made a little wooden door and it looked like a fairy’s hut.

When we got to the top of the small mountain, we took out our phones to find a map to get us out because we had no idea where we were or how long it would be until we were back to the parking lot. You kept apologizing for bringing me on this hike, but I didn’t mind. It was an adventure I’d continue telling a year later and I was almost enjoying being completely lost and unable to see in the rain.

From the top of the mountain, we could see much better. The layer of fog didn’t help, but it was such an amazing sight to see. It was dark, but the dark grey sky contrasted enough with the black trees so that could you see that in that moment, you were taller than them. Coming from someone who’s five feet tall, that was a pretty great feeling.

But it was still raining. I was glad I wore waterproof makeup.

We couldn’t find any trail markers from the top of the mountain which wasn’t reassuring since I didn’t have enough cell service to download a map in time and your phone had died, so we just started walking, hoping we’d eventually see a trail marker. We walked through thick wet grass when you saw the trail marker just a bit to the right, making it completely worthless for us to soak our jeans in the grass.

We made it out of the hike alive, ecstatic when we got to your car and blasted the heat. You still apologized, but I had a blast.

You dropped me off at the apartment and the one person I really thought was my friend in that apartment thought I was crazing for hiking in the rain. She was right, but it was worth it.

When I went upstairs to change into pjs and import my pictures, a voice in my head asked me if I liked him and I froze. I hadn’t considered that before. We’d only known each other for a month, but we also talked every day. He was such a nice guy and even attempted to comfort me through the heartbreak of another friendship I had, a friendship with someone that doesn’t deserve their own story, but one I was still saddened by months later.

After a short amount of thinking time, I determined that I did like you. You were sweet and Thursdays became the highlight of my week. It was weird to feel this way and I had realized I was pretty comfortable around him and got butterflies in my stomach when we sat next to each other in the car. I was nervous enough to stutter when I spoke, something that only really happens to me when I’m in big groups and the attention’s all on me or when presenting in class.

The next Thursday, it was too dark outside to go on a real hike, so we walked around a nearby park after it closed. The park had a gorge, a waterfall, a bridge, a playground, etc. Even to this day, it’s my favorite park.

I think this was when I told you I was transferring, but I don’t actually remember. In secret, I had gone home a weekend just to visit colleges. My mom thought it was silly for me to transfer in the middle of the year, but I couldn’t live there for another semester. I was extremely unhappy and lonely. I never told you that Thursdays were the only thing that made me happy during the week, but they were. I had been considering transferring a year earlier, my freshman year, but that semester was by far the worst one of the three and I couldn’t take it anymore.

You were the first one I told. I wanted to gage your reaction. Would you miss me? Would you visit? Was this the end of our friendship?

I was only going to be an hour away, which is closer than where I lived at home, so we’d still be able to see each other even though we didn’t.

Our trip to the park, which I now think wasn’t when I told you I was transferring, was a short one. Maybe a half hour. I wanted to do something after, to still hang out, but your mom was making your favorite pasta and I couldn’t impose on that.

The next Thursday was Thanksgiving so we didn’t get to see each other. We still texted, but not as often throughout the day. You even told me that it was weird for us to not be together on that day because Thursday’s had become Our Day.

I eventually told one of my housemates, the one I considered to be a real friend, that I was transferring. I told her at dinner right before the rest of the housemates arrived because we all ate dinner together. She was shocked and forced me to tell everyone else later that day because she didn’t think she could keep it a secret. It took me a lot of courage to tell them, but I eventually did. They were shocked as well.

My roommate was at work at the time, so I had to wait for the next day to tell her. And when I did, she wasn’t surprised. She was also going to transfer, but she had an opportunity only an idiot would pass up. Out of all eight of us in the apartment, she was the only one I was friends with before moving in. Freshman year I would have even considered her my best friend. But things changed. She deserves her own story, but she won’t get one just yet.

I’ve completely forgotten to mention the club meetings, the one that led me to the farm. They were every other Tuesday. At the meetings, I’d send you a picture of your friend, the one that invited you to the farm and she’d send you pictures of me. You see, I already knew you were friends, you went to high school together and everything. But in order for her to know that we were such good friends meant you had to be talking about me.

 

 

 

 

 

December

On the first Saturday of December, we went a ways away from school. The mountains we were about to see were two hours from the city our schools were in. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day and since it was winter, the mountains weren’t as beautiful as they could have been, so we promised we’d see them again when the trees grew their leaves back.

The ride was nice, but you have a tendency to be quiet. At first I felt awkward in the silence, but then I learned to find peace in it. But this silence still led me to do most of the talking.

The “hike” was pretty much just driving up to the mountain to look at other mountains and a river flowing between them. It was absolutely stunning. We stood by the wooden fence that kept us from falling down the cliff and we talked. We walked on a short trail and I was a little unnerved when we passed the pile of bear crap. Eventually we reached a road that we walked alongside. I hadn’t realized there were No Hunting signs until we stopped seeing them.

That was when a bunch of men wearing neon orange in trucks told us we were going to get shot. After that, we turned around and went back to the wooden fence. I was still so nervous to be close to him but at the same time I wanted to be closer.

There was also a time, I don’t remember when (late November or early December) where you fixed my laptop because I have horrible luck with technology and you’re a computer wiz. The apartment was empty and we sat in the kitchen and talked as you fixed my laptop for free. This was insignificant but I’m grateful for it.

I wasn’t planning on telling the club I was transferring – I like that good ole Irish goodbye – but I had made their first ever shirts which meant I was getting one for free, but they weren’t arriving until the spring semester. Everyone was upset. I hadn’t realized how much they liked me since I only spoke to one of them outside the club and that was because we were friends beforehand.

At the end of that meeting, and I think it was the last meeting, the girl who brought you to the farm asked me if there was anything going on between the two of us. I said no because it was the truth, but I was surprised she asked. She was sad to see me go, but I wasn’t changing my mind.

One of the girls from the farm, the one that was a bit more outgoing than me, lived near me so we walked back to our apartments together. It was the first time we’d done that, but it was like our own goodbye. A two minute walk turned into a two hour conversation. She also asked me if you and I were a thing and I said no and denied that I liked you because I knew you didn’t feel the same way. You were so sweet and nice to me, but it was who you are as a person.

She said she thought we really hit it off at the farm. I didn’t think we had, not as much as she implied, but I suppose she was right. But now I was leaving so what was the point?

Our finals week didn’t line up and we didn’t see each other again after our thirty minute trip to the park, but we still talked. I was stressed as most people are during finals week and when I’m studying, I isolate myself. There was a point I had been studying for my one final for my hardest class when you offered to bring me Chinese food, my favorite.

How sweet is that? Of course, my overworked self said no. I needed to pass the class and had no time to relax. I should have said yes.

When the semester ended, that was it. I was gone.

Over winter break, we spoke less and less until we finally went an entire day without talking. Eventually, a day turned into a week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Semester

I hated it. When we weren’t speaking, I didn’t think about you. And then you’d text me or I’d text you and then all the feelings would rush back. No matter how little we spoke though, I always ended up getting left on read.

Eventually we were speaking once or twice a month. I hadn’t told a single friend that I liked you and I was glad because I was suffering. I suffered in the fall semester too, liking you and knowing you didn’t like me back, but this somehow hurt more because it came in bursts.

And then one of the girls in the club, who was graduating with her masters at the end of the semester, was giving a speech at the school about her struggle with an eating disorder. This was a topic I cared a lot about and wanted to be there to support her, so I asked you if you could drive me to see it. And it was on a Thursday.

Let me explain what that would entail for him…He would have to drive an hour to pick me up at school, and hour to my old school, sit there and listen to a bunch of people tell their stories, drive me an hour back, and then drive an hour back home. He said yes.

It was February and I was still battling myself on whether or not I still liked you. I didn’t get to hear my friend speak because the program was running long, but I got the shirt that I made! It rained that whole evening but when we got back I forced you to get late night food because neither of us had had dinner. We sat in the dining hall for a short while since you had to get home and it getting pretty late.

Before you left, we hugged. It was the closest we had ever been to each other. It was a goodbye hug that felt like you knew we weren’t going to see each other for a while. I was ready for it to be a short, simple hug but it wasn’t. It was a long hug and I was comfortable in your arms.

When you left and I had gotten ready for bed, I texted you, telling you that I enjoyed seeing you, but I think you beat me to the punch with that text. If you can’t tell, my memory isn’t great but it still made my heart flutter.

We continued on not speaking a whole lot after that, but we still spoke more than we had over winter break.

We were supposed to go back to that mountain with the river that semester, but you forgot and took a work shift. I was disappointed but I carried on. Instead after your shift, you came up and we hiked a bit of the nature preserve. It was muddy so we ended early and went to get dinner. You paid for that as well even though I got a steak. Not an expensive steak, but the thought was still there.

We hugged again when you left.

We didn’t really talk anymore after that. It had gotten to the point where I had been left on read so many times that I had given up and left it all to you to start the conversation. We weren’t as close as we used to be. Our “conversations” weren’t dull, but they lacked depth and meaning.

I had given up, really feeling that I didn’t like you anymore. Okay, I still got butterflies when you said things like “I miss talking to you” but that was really it.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Break

I don’t drive and I don’t have a car so visiting you is out of the question, especially when we’re two hours apart over break. But still, I remembered you saying you’d never been to New York City and I now lived close enough that I could take the train into Manhattan, so I figured why not go? Everyone needs to experience the city at least once in their life.

In late June, you came. I was nervous because we hadn’t seen each other in months and hardly spoke anymore, but everything went smoothly. Sure, I got us lost a bunch of times because we were talking so much I forgot to pay attention to the streets, but we made it out alive.

And on the hour and a half mostly silent train ride home, I realized that I was done with you. Not in a bad way, but because I realized that throughout the day, I didn’t like you anymore. When we got back to my house at one in the morning, we hugged before you left. It was a nice, long hug, but it was a hug between friends and friends only.

After this realization, I started a 5-week online summer class that kept me so busy I didn’t have enough time to breathe. Throughout it, we didn’t talk to each other. Sure, there was the occasional snap on snapchat, but that was it. There was no real conversation. Once the class was over and I could finally relax, I started having dreams.

Maybe once a week or so, I’d have a dream about liking you, or at least someone with your vague features. One dream even had Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl and even though you two don’t look alike, you’ve got the same light skin and long-ish dark hair (Side note: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the show, but Ed Westwick is the love of my life).

And then last night the dream was just about you and that’s what prompted me to write this.

In the dream, (forgive me if I don’t remember or leave out important details…dreams are hard to remember) we were in my empty bedroom of the house I used to live in way before college started. The walls were white when they were pink when I left them and the only furniture was a bedframe.

And in the dream, we kissed. And it was magical.

My dreams have been unsettling me since they began. Why am I having them? I’ll take the Freudian way out and say that there’s meaning behind them that my subconscious is trying to tell me.

I truly don’t feel like I like you anymore, but I think I’m having these dreams because I never told you that I once liked you. I always felt that there was no point because I knew you didn’t like me back, but maybe this is an unnecessary weight on my shoulders.

What do you think?


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