Lucidly Real

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A narrative based on the timeline of a budding relationship. Growing up. Seeing things in a new light. Learning from fucking up. I don't want to say too much, I don't want anyone to read it with a biased opinion... The easiest way to describe the way I write is in the words of Tim O'Brien: "it's a true story that never happened."

Submitted: September 22, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 22, 2010



The truth was that I had actually wanted him for a long time. Well, subconsciously I guess. Since before we had our drunken hookup. Which, by the way, didn’t even mean a thing. I suppose that to me, it did, since I had a modest crush on him. But then again, to me, it didn’t, because by the end of the summer after I graduated, I’d kissed a total of 38 people in my four riotous years of high school. A majority of those people I simply stumbled upon while intoxicated, not unlike most other drunk and hormonal youth. I learned early, maybe too early, about casual hookups. It’s safe to say that my life didn’t even start until after I single-handedly obliterated my innocence, as life may go for most of the functional people I know. Once my innocence was out of the way it was easy for me to develop my methods for being the ideal one-night-stand: always act like a bitch first and cute second, never link any type of emotional value to a penis, act confident even when you have no self respect, always laugh about it the next day even when it’s more depressing than funny, and above all of course, perform well. I’d always hated to make anything awkward but loved a great kisser who knew how to pull my hair the hot way, so this trivial hookup was nothing new for me. I didn’t expect anything more from myself.
I think that night confirmed my suppressed admiration for him, though. I really didn’t know anything about him prior to that party, other than I’d gone to school with him since 6th grade and he’d progressively developed into a fashion-conscious writer with an excellent taste in music. He was a classic jock-turned-hipster stuck in a conservative high school; poor, little, and pretentious amateur poet suffering teenage angst in a bubble of white, ignorant rich kids who don’t know what the word “indie” means. Despite my cynical description, back then he was just so attractive to me because I didn’t know him, but what I knew about him made me positively shocked that I wasn’t dating him. He was mysteriously damaged, and I liked it. Misery does indeed love company.
The first factor that revealed the harmony of our personalities was when we were sitting in that bedroom getting drunk with a few other people that neither of us knew awfully well and neither of us wanted to know at all. Kids from high school, you know. One of the kids was talking about some girl fucking some guy and waving his hands around like it was impossible to speak without moving them. He and I were both dumbfounded at how worthless this tool’s words were. Then he just looks up at the kids and says, “Really? I just don’t think anyone here gives a shit.” That was definitely true. And the kid, who obviously hadn’t been drinking as much as he and I had been, just stood there awkwardly, talking hands in mid-sentence, while I caught his glance and both of us started laughing obnoxiously. Maybe I was a pretentious bitch too, but honestly I didn’t think I was a better person than all those douche bags. I just thought I was smarter. In that room we just had an odd, unspoken-of, mutual desire to piss the kids off because they were stupid and shallow and annoying, and we were each separately trying to get drunk and high away from the rest of the party. Our masochism was shared and obvious. Satisfyingly enough, being mean worked, and we were left the only ones in the room.
There existed somewhat a kind of sarcastic animosity between us at this point, because we both just enjoyed being outspoken assholes. Plus we were drunk so we couldn’t exactly turn off our offensive sarcasm, due to our lack of judgment and perhaps our inebriated second personalities. My memory of the conversation gets fuzzy; we were arguing about politics of some kind when I realized that I was for some reason arguing for the opposite viewpoint of my true, angry-liberal beliefs. I can’t ever make a valid point when I’m drunk. So I stopped, took a shot, and yelled, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m a fuckin’ socialist!” and he kinda looked at me, like he was trying to read my brain but my thoughts were in Shakespeare lingo and he couldn’t quite get the main point but the phrasing was really beautiful. I decided to leave him to his interpreting, grabbed my alcohol, and left the bedroom to rejoin the party. But as I walked out I heard him laugh, and he followed me out the door and said, “No shit, me too. Gun control!”
I didn’t let him see me smile. Bitch first, cute second.
He and I both ended up being pretty belligerently wasted the whole night, but I think we felt like it was okay because it was our best friend’s house. Oh yeah, we had the same best friend. Unknowingly, though. She was his best friend first, but they’d known each other since pre-school and kind of argued a lot so it was more like they were siblings that didn’t live with each other and shouldn’t. That’s probably why I didn’t know they were best friends; they acted more like relatives that were forced to love each other. That and during her latest crazy-friend phase she was close with his then-girlfriend. Long story short, he was freed from the chains of a bitchy girlfriend so he spent more time around my friends again. To be honest, the facts and the relationships got kind of confusing and insignificant when you weren’t intertwined with them and didn’t necessarily care.
I got close with her around the same time that that shitstorm happened. She and I had just…become best friends. In the simplest terms possible, I tended to lose and gain best friends as frequently as someone would change the oil in his car. Not deliberately, of course, but things were just always apt to come up. I loved my friends more than I loved my family and each and every one of them knew that all too well, it’s just there were so many constant and drastic changes in my life it was quite difficult to avoid inevitable changes of the person who knew me best and knew how to look out for me at that point.
I’d known her since 10th grade and we had kind of a mutual friend, but from the instant I met her I never trusted her and always assumed things of her. I suppose that before we started hanging out, I was first cautious about confiding in her merely because of the lame and sickening crowd she ran around with, the same crowd that I somehow always found myself linked to in too many ways. She was close with jocky, cocky, girly bitches but everyone knew she would someday break off from them and become real and cultured, because she was smarter and had more ambitions than just to go to prom with a senior. Or spend equal amounts of time playing sports and spending daddy’s money on shitty clothes made by underpaid children. Or take three thousand pictures to post online as if it shows them having fun when in reality the event would be just as dull and uninteresting as the girls’ personalities or fashion sense. Eventually she did break off from that conservative, generic, suburban line of disgusting conformity. It was because she realized she cared more about her art; changing the world; and developing real, genuine, bona fide relationships with people who mattered than she did about football games and losing her virginity. So that’s when she and I started being better friends. When it became apparent that yes, she knew those friends were slightly stupid, and no, she didn’t plan on hanging out with them forever. Still, it wasn’t until the beginning of our senior year when five of us from art class smoked three bowls under a dark, beautiful tree in a park in the middle of our dirty city that I figured she was, in fact, quite a bit more authentic than those girls she was weary of calling her friends. But next the two of us individually experienced a few of those crazy-friend phases between then and May of that year. Until one day, when after being involved in a vicious love triangle and an even more vicious suspension from school, I came to the conclusion that I felt as if I’d lost any trace of a real friend in my life. I hung out with her and the art kids of course, but it didn’t change my sense of isolation until I realized that she, too, had an empty best friend slot in her life. She had no one but her boyfriend. No one that thought the way she did or listened to certain things you couldn’t tell a boyfriend or told her things you only tell a best friend. And at that point in my life, I was fed up with the ridiculous bullshit that was my ex-consistently-best friend of 11 years (who was the center of the psychotic love triangle). By the time there was a month left of school, neither of us gave two shits about anything at all; we wanted to graduate and we wanted to go to art school and we wanted to smoke pot and we wanted to live in New York City. It was like she and I kind of stopped, looked at each other, said, “Seriously, what the fuck?” and then we understood each other like only best friends could.

He’d only broken up with his girlfriend a month previous. It’s not like I cared at all. Ever since I met that girl I knew she was a fake, nauseating, image of nothing but a pretty face and pretty artwork. She had become so disgustingly obnoxious in her artificiality that year that my best friend couldn’t really stand to spend much time with her, hence the two of us finding comfort in our developing into best friends with each other. It was easy for us to see that his ex-girlfriend’s art was indeed just as empty as she was.

I remember how drunk I was that night; it was the best drunk I’d felt in a while. Such that I did undeniably have a short make out session in a bathroom with one of my long time guy friends I hadn’t yet kissed. I would afterward tell all of my few girl friends to never mention that the incident took place. But it was just as hilarious as it was embarrassing so I didn’t really mind if anyone did happen to mock me about it. My best friend took great pride in reminding me of this episode. But once again, it was okay, because it was her party. You kind of had to have that mindset in high school when someone was giving a place to get wild to more than forty loud, underage, suburban-bred drunks.
But staggering out of the bathroom with my shirt on inside out I was left kind of bored. The party wasn’t quite dying down yet but I noticed it had obviously reached its peak while the bathroom was occupied. Boy breath infested my lips so I dizzily tried to begin the near impossible journey of finding my cigarettes but literally ran right into him on my way up the stairs. I couldn’t help but crack a cute drunk smile and bite my lip when I looked at him. Some sort of flirtatious, sarcastic comments were made and I guess I eventually persuaded him to come and smoke a cigarette with me because I didn’t want to be alone in the dark on the front porch of a neighborhood house with beer cans littering the yard. Mind you, cops in our little, white, overly-religion-based town had one goal and one goal only: destroy all teenagers and their satanic drugs, music, alcohol, driving records, and fun. Stat!
It was then a mutual known fact between us that he and I were going to engage in an innocent, drunken fling when we so conspicuously laid under the same blanket (which later was grimaced at upon finding out whatever happened underneath it) on the floor of my best friend’s living room where a few other irritating kids – who couldn’t drink as much as we could – had passed the fuck out hours earlier.
When one is drunk, or at least when I’m drunk, I tend to transition into being even easier going than I am when I’m sober. And by sober I mean either the standard definition of sober, or high, because for me the two were interchangeable for the duration of my years in high school.
I’d always been rather laid back though, ever since elementary school when I publicly wished to be a peaceful and artsy hippie for the rest of my life. I guess after all the bullshit I tried to be between then and my senior year I turned out relatively close to who I was the entire time.
At any rate, due to the fact that that night I’d been growing increasingly more carefree with every shot and every beer and every joint, I was taking stupid things seriously, which really, I think, is a great part of being wasted. For example, if someone were to run up to me and explain to me how intensely the filing cabinet in the next room over was in love with me, it is most likely that I would immediately fall to embrace that person and, although not really being stable enough to sit still because of the oncoming sensation of the spins, look into that someone’s eyes and smile and tell the person about how grateful I was that I was informed of this before I broke its heart. Then I would probably offer to pack up a bowl and ask for a lighter before I could even remember the name of the person who just notified me that an inanimate object loved me.
So if it wasn’t clear, I was trashed. But you see, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d so much rather feel something marvelous while fucked up and not remember it than feel nothing at all while I’m sober and not be able to forget the fact that I didn’t feel a thing. Despite my state of mind, I remember feeling something with him. The reason for that is a toss-up between genuine feelings and alcohol overdose, and I believed it was the latter, because it always was. After going through enough drunken hookups, I’d ultimately conditioned myself to be convinced and know right off the bat that it meant nothing, even if I wanted it to; that both of us, or possibly just myself, were just too drunk; that it was fun, even if maybe it really wasn’t. But shit just happens, you know? And when shit happens you have to just flush it and forget it until it becomes normal. Don’t get me wrong, I often was the one who initiated those frequent occasions with different boys, but that’s almost the worst part.

Months later I’d realize it was in fact not the latter of the two. I’d realize that he and I were so alike it was almost daunting, yet it was the very idea that attracted me to him in the first place. Of course I didn’t let anything between him and me get awkward, that’s just not my style. Because of our mutual best friend, we were somewhat halfway within the same group of friends. He and I were occasionally at the same parties or places and I didn’t really think much of my former crush anymore – I’d already kissed the kid, you know? And since we were drunk when it happened, the magic of a cute little crush was gone. But it didn’t matter to me; my insignificant crushes came and went with every boy I kissed. He just became yet another distant, laughable night at a party and yet another casual male friend that I could add to my list; until that summer.

Keeping up with my record of regular intoxication, I crashed my car at the beginning of that July when my stoned friend and my drunken self produced the idea of cruising a bowl on a deserted dirt road. Anyone who knows me knows that car crashes are a routine occurrence for me; normally sober. But I guess the gist of the crash, besides that I’m a regulation dumbass, is that a drunk driver with a phone in one hand and a pipe in the other can still fuck up her own life even when there’s not a single soul on the road.
I hit a tree on the driver’s side and I don’t clearly recall what precisely happened while I was in the car for obvious reasons, and unobvious ones that someone could only understand if that person had been in a near fatal accident. I do remember getting out of my car thinking that maybe it wasn’t that bad, I’d crashed and been fine before, I can just get back in the car and tell my parents someone sideswiped me. However, once I sort of came-to and saw from afar the crushed hood of my car, the busted out driver’s window of my car, the shattered windshield of my car, the blood-covered airbags of my car, and heard that fucking horn of my car that wouldn’t fucking shut the fuck up the entire fucking time, I realized that I didn’t have my car anymore. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or the accident that did it, but my legs just gave out and I had to collapse into the ditch with dizziness. I touched my head because it felt wet and when I saw my entire hand covered in blood, I asked myself if I was going to die.
A lot of people consider my accident as not quite as big of a deal as it truly was, which could be due to the fact that I crash cars so often, but mostly they’re all unaware of how my comedian friend died in an accident a year previous to that same day. That was, in reality, the worst part of the whole thing. After all, I was alive. He died a year ago in an accident that was his fault, and this thing was more than one hundred percent my fault and I was fucking alive. That was all I could think about while laying in the ambulance on a stretcher on the way to the hospital when that brainless asshole of a paramedic actually thought I gave a shit about anything he was babbling on about. He died, I didn’t. He died, I didn’t. He fucking died, I fucking didn’t. It made me wish I had. Up until that moment I truly had never yet, and never again since then have I, honestly wished I were dead. I blamed him for it then, he didn’t let me die because he knew I was a dumbass for driving drunk for the countless time and he wanted to let me know just how stupid I was, and he wanted to make sure I would never do it again. Ever.
The emergency room sucked, the stitches sucked, the needles sucked, the pain sucked, the nurses sucked, the drugs were cool, but everything was hell. I guess none of that shit really mattered at all, because there I was, alive. Completely alive, without a DUI, without a car, without any possibility of thinking logically or speaking functionally at all, perhaps because of the remaining alcohol in my blood but so much more so the flash flood of extreme emotions that had just barreled over my mind in the past few hours.
The important thing to understand is that I don’t believe in religion, really. I guess someone could label me agnostic or atheist if someone in fact felt the need to give a lack of religion a title, but to me I don’t frankly care what anyone calls it because it’s just what I believe. But damn, do I sure as hell believe in souls of the dead. I sure as hell believe in Jay.
After this dreadful ordeal finished as the early morning sun shone, I was thrust straight into a weekend of pure, dirty, expensive bliss in New York City for a trip to visit my darling brother that I’d planned months ago. Leaving the state after it happened allowed me no time to think about it. At all. Which I supposed was a fine idea, to get my mind off the thing, you know? But after I got back into the state and everyone had learned of the incident or already knew what happened, no one talked about it. Besides the occasional “that’s awful!” or “holy shit, what happened to your face?” I didn’t talk about it either. The only words I could use to describe a piece of the infinite number of concentrated emotions that I was feeling were, “Oh, the stitches? You mean the ones in the middle of my face that make me look like Harry Potter? I think my window shattered. It happened so fast.” So fucking fast. It was hard to get someone who wasn’t there to grasp the concept that one second I was feeling a nice buzz and on my way to listen to reggae music with my friends and the next second I was centimeters away from losing an eye or maybe even my life, I don’t know. How do you talk about death like that to someone who asks you about what happened to your face or your car, but who can’t even comprehend the meaning of the words coming out of your mouth?

My best friend had recently been expressing to me that he was talking to her about being depressed. She said the way he talked about offing himself was almost annoying, but I knew she felt scared; how could you not feel scared when one of your closest friends even just casually mentions a thing like that?
It scared me too. But, admittedly, it also pissed me off to an extent. Did he not understand that even though he might be clinically depressed, he was still alive, and did he not understand that the possibility was there every god damn second of every god damn day that the life that he’d been living for seventeen years and knew so well could simply be ripped out from under him without him even realizing what happened?

I had only occasionally exchanged friendly, everyday, typical conversation about random happenings and such with him since our now quite infamous hookup. The popular knowledge of what had happened soon gifted me with sweet hate from his clearly psychotic ex-girlfriend (who called me a whore in art class after making friends with previously mentioned love-triangle-ex-best-friend due to a shared loathing for my, according to my enemies, “boyfriend-stealing” habits. Habits that, in reality, were nothing more than simply kissing someone I wanted to kiss).

When my best friend told me that information about him, it truly made me profoundly sad inside. It hurt me because I had felt before what he was feeling. If anyone is anyone you know that high school sucks big balls, and it’s my firm belief that almost everyone – or everyone who’s smart enough to understand how much growing up blows – experiences true depression at some point in time, for each his own grounds; whether it’s because of something a person experienced, something a person hated, something a person just couldn’t figure the fuck out, or just something a person’s brain cells simply couldn’t balance out.I think the difference was that I realized it when I was in that state. And yeah, I still dealt with it with rather irrational actions, feelings, substances, whatever. But man, you have to realize that any of those unhealthy vices and coping mechanisms are better than the permanent resolution to a temporary crisis.
I sent him a message. I told him all of it. I guess the truth was that it was for both of us; I really wanted him to know that I identified with all the bullshit he ached to give up on, but I also craved to talk about my accident with someone who knew what he was talking about when the word death was brought up. I guess it was easier to let him know I was there for listening when my accident was the reason for bringing it up. I wasn’t about to tell him that our best friend was truly worried about him, worried enough to tell me when the closest I’d ever been to him wasn’t even psychologically but solely physically. I just was so hungry to discuss with someone the utterly revolting feeling of wanting to be dead. I needed to. Though I knew I only contracted that feeling for a short moment in time, because of how fucked up I was from being so close to death and from seeing myself in my car mirror with blood spilling down my face like little rivers on a map and from screaming to my stoner friend asking her what do I do what do I do hide the alcohol and from collapsing in the same ditch I threw my pipe in and from staining the cigarette in my shaking hand red with my own blood and from confidently believing that I was surely about to die. And what scared me most, the most fucked up part of the whole thing, is that despite being afraid that I was to die, I wished with all my racing heart that it would stop.

After a couple weeks, the petty crush had returned. It was because I could talk to him. About things I’d never talked to a boy about before.

It must be realized that the word “relationship” was about as foreign to me as one would be to, say, the Latin word for “bong.” As previously stated, since I started high school, hookups had been my area of expertise. There was a difference between what I did and a “slut.” In the context of my high school, sluts rarely smoked weed. Thus, making them less chill and more irritating. Sluts tried to get laid. A lot. Sluts didn’t typically befriend their random hookups. See, I hooked up with a lot of my friends. I hesitate to make it sound worse, but most of my friends were guys. However, most of my sexcapades weren’t with my friends, and that’s how I taught myself how to not make it awkward. Sluts are the girls you see on their walk of shame in the morning in heels, barely any pants, and trying to hide their makeup-less faces from the world. I was the girl sitting on the couch of last night’s mistake with Adderall in my pocket, liquor still in my system, smoking a bowl with the mistake.
Don’t mistake me for a common slut. I had indeed had “things” with guys. But the problem, until the end of time it seemed, was that the guy – I usually attracted the sensitive, “you’re so beautiful” types – always ended up heartbroken after weeks of blindly pining after me due to my leading him on. Then after a while I would get bored with liking the guy because – although I didn’t exactly recognize this defect of mine at the time – usually the only basis I had for convincing myself of liking any guy was because I was a sucker for a cute boy feeding me pretty words. You’re so gorgeous, you’re perfect, you’re amazing, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful. I knew damn well that the only reasons they’d say it were to either get me to fall in love with them or to get me to fall into bed with them. But still, I only fell into a short-lived trance that would allow me to get the guy to believe I wanted to be with him. After the cute compliments and excitement of someone new to kiss wore off, however, there was really nothing I could do! For real, it’s not like I meant to continuously just abruptly quit giving guys the time of day when I got jaded. I could claim that it was never my fault that none of the boys would be able to hold a stimulating conversation that actually sparked in me an interest for them, but after the same phenomenon happens to you over and over, you kind of start to think that perhaps it’s you that’s the trouble and not every sweet-talking guy in the universe. I really did convince myself that I had real feelings for whatever guy it happened to be, because the only feelings I’d ever felt before were that of a boy’s hands on me so who was I to know when I loved someone?
The ironic bit was that it was always I who was to fuck the guy over for some commitment issues embedded within the realm of my unconscious (issues I didn’t take notice of until I grew older and learned a thing or two from therapists willing to sit through my bullshit). That was me, making a hobby out of destroying relationships. When all I needed was just a stable boy who would make me feel comfortable and buy me cigarettes.

He was sweet. Really, truly, sweet. Not even because he called me beautiful, but because he was only the second boy who I ever believed actually meant it. And just for the record, he was merely second to my dead friend, so I’d say that’s pretty high in the ranks. Especially considering I’ve heard it said to me wrapped up in lies so many times it makes me sick. The silly thing is that I had heard the word beautiful associated with my name enough times that I could just smell the bullshit from miles away, where a fake boy would be feeding fake words into those ravenous, naive ears of mine that had already heard too much fiction-camouflaged reality.
He wasn’t only nice to me because I was a girl he thought he had a crush on because he thought I was hot or because he was horny and bored or because he was trying to be something that he wasn’t. This boy was nice to me because he did care about me. He was real, and he genuinely cared about me as a person and my feelings as they grew and my thoughts as intelligent insights and the part that hit me was that he cared about my well-being. He didn’t just care solely as if I were another girl he wanted to date, he cared in a way that made me feel real too, in a way that for the first time ever made me believe that maybe, maybe I did deserve someone like that. And I thought his care so true in its origin that it made me fucking exultant just to imagine that the way he felt was finally…authentic. It’s just so incredibly refreshing to find something so lucidly real in a world that’s so typically fabricated, you know?
The part of these circumstances that left me strangely uneasy of believing it would work was that we were alike in the most bizarre of aspects. As in, I felt like he and I understood the way the other’s mind worked without making a trying effort. Once I had gotten to know him, it was like I saw that his thoughts were in Shakespeare lingo too, the same he was trying to interpret in my head that first night. And now we could read each other’s brains and it made sense and the phrasing looked beautiful. My instincts said it was too good to be real, there had to be a catch, he had to be gay or have Tourette’s or something. I wasn’t supposed to find someone who seemed to be such a perfect fit for me; that just wasn’t how my life operated on the daily. We were like one another in the core aspects that defined who we were; our character. We were sarcastic and that’s how we dealt with annoyances. To this day I haven’t met anyone besides he or I who has a more addictive personality. I had fucked-up mommy issues (bitch) and he had fucked-up daddy issues (cop). My self-esteem had grossly dwindled over years of unfortunate experiences and unnecessary self-loathing. His insecurity was wildly obvious so he could get others attention for the same faults that his father only saw in him. We were both pissed at life. He bluntly hated himself while I hid my anxiety beneath drugs, but we both just coated everything with humor. It was great, at first I naturally questioned how two people who were so strongly fucked up by no one’s fault but their own could fit together like the way our bodies fit together so flawlessly. It was just such a peculiar yet beautiful idea that two self-destructive commitment-fearing self-hating authority-bothered alcoholics could make each other so truly happy.
He didn’t even make a single attempt at feeling me up. The first time we kissed sober, that is. Real kiss. That’s how I knew he cared so. It sounds cliché and all that, like I should now say it means he’s looking past the shallow physical aspect and seeing the real me and my great personality! But that’s not it at all. I mean, come on, everyone knows touching the boobs is like the main goal of your average sixth grade future-tool looking to get laid for the first time. What I mean is that it’s a given, you know, but they’re still my boobs and boobs mean business. But I’ve never kissed one guy in my entire life who didn’t try for the titties after five minutes at the very longest. Seriously, it’s not like I don’t usually enjoy it.
But I loved it a hundred times more when he held my face and kissed me.
Real kiss.
The way he held me that made me feel.
The way he held me that made me feel real.
That first real kiss with him was the first time in my life that I knew the feeling of kissing someone who wasn’t using me.
I’m not sure if it’s a shocking idea to the average girl or what, but for the very first time in my entire life, I felt a completely peaceful physical and emotional balance between the two of us. I didn’t feel like I was just waiting for him to be done and I didn’t feel like I was only doing him a favor and I didn’t feel like I was only kissing him because I wanted to kiss anyone. I was there with him in his car kissing him because I was totally falling for him.
It was the first time we’d been even remotely physical since the hookup night.
It was so much better.

Ever since I was a kid it was my ultimate life goal to end up in New York City, regardless of what I did to make money or what I lived in or what I owned, that place is where I had always imagined I was supposed to be. The city. So for some reason, going off to college in an artsy, liberal-minded city, considerably smaller than NYC, was something of a downgrade in a sense. Even though I really shouldn’t be saying that kind of thing because it was the only city in the state that had decriminalized marijuana and my parents were also paying for me to attend the most expensive public university in the state just so I could smoke weed and make shitty art. And that’s all I was planning to do when I got out of my suffocating town. In actuality, I not only was leaving to be a free spirit and independent and on my own, but I was leaving to escape the cage within which my parents had me incarcerated since I showed any sign of misbehavior. They very well knew I was going to smoke and drink and explore and experiment when I left their supervision, I’m just not sure they knew the entire extent to which I did that in high school. I mean, believe me, the bars of that cage were completely mangled, melted, and misshapen by the time I graduated high school. My parents had gone so far as to tell me that I was indeed the worse kid by far compared to my perfect-plus brother. The point was that I had been waiting years to wriggle free from the grasp of any type of authority that constantly was threatening to keep me oppressed.
It sort of made me hate myself even more that I didn’t find him until a month before I left for a school that was three hours away by car. It actually was the worst possible time in my life for me to find someone so perfect. I suppose I don’t regret not having a serious relationship in high school, because I do believe it’s disgusting the way kids insist on stifling each other’s happiness to achieve a relationship they think is functional…all the while pretending to be happy, when in reality the relationship is completely unhealthy and entirely premature in timing. Kids in high school should be partying and experimenting and finding out who they are, not practicing to be married.
But still, I did it wrong too, because I never had anything remotely close to being a functional relationship, long-term or not. In fact, you could call every single one of them dysfunctional and absolutely worthless. If you could call any of those things relationships.
Looking back, there’s no way I could have ever controlled when I met him. It just so happened that the whole time we were driving down separate roads that weren’t even close to the same path or highway or even the same state or country for that matter. But both of our interstates lead us to each other. I was completely oblivious to how it happened, why we fell for each other so fast, where we’d be in the near future, why the timing of us was so off, and if we could really still make each other so happy after I left to begin a new chapter of my life. I had no answers. No answers at the only time in my life when I wanted them so badly, I just wanted to be happy with someone, finally. After years of being an angsty teenage shitshow wondering what the fuck was wrong with me I just finally wanted to stay as happy as he made me when he looked at me.
There’s always the one who got away.

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