Big words don't always have many letters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
I did this as an exercise for a Lit Club. Was bored.

Submitted: November 16, 2007

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Submitted: November 16, 2007

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There are big words.  Words I enjoy.  Words like ‘vicissitudes’.  This word has only one meaning.  It describes how things change: mutability in life.

 

There are other big words.  Words I don’t enjoy. 

 

These words are small in size, but big in meaning.  These words cause fights, they cause hurt and they never describe anything.  They are useless in function and impossible to interpret.

 

“Read this.”  I instruct her shoving the dictionary into her lap.

 

“Mmmh, I like this one.” 

 

She points to the third interpretation of the word ‘love’:  a strong physical attraction between two people.

 

***

 

I remember fighting with her over the phone a week ago.

 

“I love you.”

 

“You don’t know what that means.”

 

“You showed me.  It is when someone makes you feel warm inside.”

 

“I don’t know Jonathan.  Its not working.”

 

“Give it more time.”

 

“What do you want me to say?”

 

“How about I love you?”

 

“I love you.”

 

***

 

I point to the definition I like:  a warm feeling.  She smiles, I don’t understand her.

 

I would do anything for her, she is my fix.  I need her to make me feel this way.

 

I close the dictionary and just sit there thinking.

 

“I am hungry.  Don’t you have any money?”

 

“No, not really.”

 

“What about all those coins in your room?”  Her friend asks.  I keep my silver for emergencies; I always spend my money on bullshit.

 

Once when we were in a bar they kissed.  They saw me looking and they laughed, she told me that sometimes girls kiss.  It was spontaneous though, like they were in love.

 

“Okay, you guys can see if there’s enough for something.”  I say reluctantly, it is only Sunday and I am already broke.  I quickly figure that I have about thirty bucks in coins.  That is my money for the week, but it doesn’t matter.

 

***

 

Three days later, she’s breaking up with me again.  I need her, she is my fix.  I need her to feel this way.

 

“I love you.”

 

“Jonathan, you don’t love me, you love the idea of me.”  It breaks my heart.

 

Later I find out that is a line from some corny Barbara Streisand movie.  That hurts even more.

 

***

 

About six months later I speak to an old friend.  Our friendship was ruined by my relationship with her.

 

“I was so drunk the other night.  I was lying on the lawn, Dylan checked up on me and I told him:  Don’t you fuck Julie, I love her.  I don’t even remember that, Dylan told me the next day, and I felt so stupid.”

 

I laugh but feel uneasy.  I miss my fix.  Feel so cold inside.  And for the first time I see the same pain written on his face.

 

He has always been more of a big brother to her.  I don’t think he understands how lucky he is.  Sure, he has to see her with other guys, but he sees her, and he gets to protect her.

 

I get horribly drunk and I don’t speak much.  I walk around, this random girl comes up to me and says:  “You look like a writer.”

 

I smile but say nothing, what a horrible thing to say to a stranger.  Jesus, I must look depressed.

 


© Copyright 2017 Francois Roux. All rights reserved.

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