How do you look at the person you love and just walk away? It’s not the easiest thing to do yet it’s what you have to do. Life has this weird way of making you do things that challenge us. They break us, make us who we are. In the end we wind up breaking more than just our heart. Stop. Rewind. I know what you’re thinking. How did it all come to this? Believe me I have asked myself that same question over and over again. I still don’t have the answers or at least any that would make much sense.
Rain falls softly in a rhythmic pattern on a solemn Northern Carolina morning. Tears and emotions flow out matching the morning’s gloom. The cut of the season weather stirs up the smell of damp fresh cut grass in the cemetery. It had been a long time since I had been back in this place. Far too long. I trace my fingers over and over the name. No matter what happens death still follows. Death isn’t a gift…it’s more like a curse.
I feel like a complete stranger. The rain doesn’t bother me. What got to me was all the fake apologies and concerns. People saying how sorry they are. All I wanted to do was scream long and loud. I wanted to say goodbye on my own, in my own way. I never really had a relationship with my mother. She pretty much abandoned me and my father when I was young so my memories are few and far between. My mother’s passing had once been the talk of the town and I could already feel the stares on my back. They still treated me like an outsider no matter what I did, that was all that I was ever going to be seen as. An outsider. An outcast. I stood there in reflection for a few more minutes before finally walking away. My life was this never ending string of mistakes and misfortunes. There were some that I could never take back, makes amends for.
The rain started to come down harder and faster. Some part of me didn’t care. If I got soaked or not, all I wanted was to forget everything even if it was for a few brief fleeting seconds. It was like my whole world came crashing down on my head. I couldn’t stop it I welcomed it. I welcomed the chaos. I took off the first chance that I got. I never looked back and I never apologized for it. Sure there were people that I missed in my life but no one of great importance. There were times when I regretted leaving and other times when I’d wish to hell that I hadn’t come back.
Hearing my name I turned to face the voice. A small smile crept across my face. It had been years since I had seen him. He still looked the same. The same blue eyes that used to make me weak in the knees. That devilish smirk that he always had. Without saying a word I wrapped my arms around him. Once I felt his arms around me I felt like I was home.
I sighed. “It’s okay. I didn’t think you’d be here.”
“I am. Ididn't know that you would be here. I thought you'd be as far away as you could get.”
“ This place is home. Is it wrong to want to see you?”
He pulled away. “Not at all. It’s been too damn long since I’ve seen you.”
I smiled a little. “Let’s get out of here.”
He nodded and then walked beside of me. Part of me was overjoyed to see him, to feel his touch again. We had ended things in such a bad way. There was so many things that I needed to say. Things that he needed to hear. Maybe this wasn’t the best time to bring up the past. He knew me better than anyone. I never meant to hurt him and that was the biggest regret of all. As we walked I tried to imagine what his life had been, if he loved someone else, if he loved someone the way he did me.I didn’t see a ring on his finger.
“What’s going on?”
I stopped and looked at him. “Nothing.”
“You’re thinking. I can tell.”
“You know me better than anyone.”
“That I do.”
“I just……right now might not be the best time to have this conversation.”
He smirked. “Whenever you are ready I will be here to listen.”
It wasn’t what I needed to hear but it was a start. I wanted him to yell at me or something just anything. It felt weird when he never said anything but it was for the best. There was a time and indeed a place for everything and right now this wasn’t the place. I smiled as I watched him. It had been years since I had laid eyes on him, the boy that lived next door. I had to get away. I had to find out who I was.
“I’m sorry I stayed away.”
He looked at me. “You did what you had to do.”
“I’m sorry for a lot of things. I never…..I never meant to hurt you.”
“But you did hurt me.”
“I wasn’t trying to. I should have been there for you.”
“Let’s not talk about it.”
“I just….knowing that I hurt the one person that I love with the purest part of my heart kills me.”
“Now you know how I feel. You don’t call or write. Hell you wrote me off like I didn’t matter and for what?”
“What was I supposed to do?”
“I don’t know. Give me a better reason than you did.”
I sighed. Being honest really sucked at this point. I felt like it was the right thing to do at the moment. “You can hate me. Scream at me. Curse my name. Tell me to go away. I deserve it. I deserve everything that you can possibly throw at me. I’m no good for you….I’m not good for anyone.”
“You just left.”
“I am so sorry. I would give anything to just be able to take it back.”
“But you can’t take it back and that’s the point. You didn’t think, you just do what you want, the rest of us be damned.”
Every day for the past three weeks I had woke up in the place that used to be home. Even now I felt like a stranger. It would be easier if I just picked up my things and went away but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that to him again. I couldn’t be that person again, as much as I wanted to take his pain away I couldn’t. I couldn’t even take my own pain away as much as I tried to. The pain was still there, it lingered with me. It kept me up most nights if I was really honest with myself.
I ran my fingers through my blonde locks. All I wanted was to run, run into the darkness. Life just has this way of really gut checking you. Everything was slowly coming full circle or at least it felt that way. All I could think about was him. Could I ever make it right? I loved him so much more than what he got. Shaking my head I grabbed my shoes and put them on. Maybe some fresh air would do me some god. I carefully closed the door behind me. It was like nothing had changed. Everything was still a standstill. I needed the walk to clear my mind. I need to think things through before I approached him again.