Sunday, December 21, 2008

When I Was 17 I Used To Know You

As much as crashing in the back bedroom and engaging in holiday traditions sucks ass, I am always amused to discover what I find on the old computer in my parents' house. Here's a real gem I stumbled upon that hilights how emo and brooding my former self really was. Aww HS BF, how sad you made me.

What Love Really Is - the beginning of a short story by Yours Truly.

“You’re beautiful,” he said right before he sped off for home leaving her standing in her snow-covered driveway.
What he’d actually said was “See ya later,” but tonight she chose to hear “You’re beautiful,” varying the phrase from her usual illusion of “I’m sorry.” Though each night when he dropped her off and mumbled some sort of goodbye he should have been saying “I’m sleeping with your best friend,” or “I’m totally apathetic to your presence in my life.” It was 12 minutes from his house to hers in the wintertime when the roads were slick, enough time for two cigarettes, a lot of awkward silence, and him to switch the CD three times, steering the car with his knees as he did it. She lit another cigarette as she walked to her front porch, checking her watch to see it was 2:00 AM. An early night for her, leaving hours ahead for quiet contemplation, either bending the events of the evening to make it all seem worthwhile, or to swear she’d never do it again.
She flicked the butt to sizzle in the snow, and then fumbled with her keys, thinking back to the last time she was happy with him. It was a year and some months ago, before the leaves had turned twice and the snow had drifted in, the very last time she could call him her own. Back when their feet were still bare on the back porch planks and he prepared to leave for college the next morning. A time when they could share a blanket and their thoughts and kissing wasn’t wrong, for he told her he’d miss her and he wanted her with him when it was her time to leave this town. But that time wasn’t now, and she had long since taken the photos from their frames and hidden them away in a drawer.
It was over a year since then, and time had seen weeks without speaking and apology poems and graduation and even a diary of kisses with other boys. She’d even plunged herself into a masquerade with an older man, holding up her feathered mask for as long as she could. When she sent his heart back ignored and unembraced, he’d asked, “You still love him don’t you?”. She’d ignored the question aptly, to which he responded, “If you think he loves you, you don’t know what love really is.” She shrugged because she knew that love really wasn’t what she had with anyone else, since upon his return from his first year away, he’d found his way back to her, and she hadn’t denied him. She’d simply told her then boyfriend that they’d gotten coffee and laughed about the old times as they caught up to the new.
She tossed her keys on the table and kicked off her snowy shoes. Just a week left, she reminded herself, and this house of haunted memories will be safely replaced by a cramped little dorm room, where it all can be avoided with the busy bustle of semester number two. She changed into sweatpants and set about distracting herself until dawn brought sleep...

Isn't it romantic? Blech. It did inspire some contemplation as to what I'd write on the subject now. I think it would go something like this:

What Love Really Is - An even shorter start to a short story by Yours Truly

"Drunk" says the text she recieves from the boy, the one she'd forgotten was due to return home this evening. Should I read into this? she wonders, briefly, before returning to her rivoting game of Super Mario Brothers.
The text sound rings again, breaking her concentration, and causing Mario to plummet to his doom from a teetering bridge. "Yep," the next message reads.
"Good work," she responds, smiling slightly at the witty banter, and taking a sip of her beer. A moment later, she gets her response.
"So..." the text reads, cryptic and questioning.
"Uh?" she texts back, then returns to her game. An hour or so later, while smoking a post-GAME OVER cigarette, she remembers the exchange and calls the boy. No answer. She walks inside to watch some re-runs of House.
Soon enough, she is shaken from her Hugh Laurie coma by the text bell again.
"Sorry," it says, "We are on our way to the strip club now."
"OK, call me when you get home," she responds. She closes the phone and reaches for the remote. The Soup should be starting in a few minutes.

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