I was waiting for him.
It felt like I was always waiting for him.
Notice how I said was. Not am. As in not currently. Not anymore.
Now I was just waiting to get my things. I wasn’t waiting on him to give me butterflies. I was waiting on him to give me my cd’s. I wasn’t waiting on him to give me an excuse to inhale. I was waiting on him to give me an excuse to exhale.
Right now I was just waiting.
Some things change, while others don’t.
The sun beat down on my bare shoulders and I shuddered at the thought of getting a sunburn. I’m pale, so even though I’m aware that the pain of a sunburn lessens as the days go on, for the first few days of the aftermath they are rather painful.
That’s where I’m at now.
The first few days of the aftermath.
I hoped this would lessen as the days went on.
He walked up to me as I figured he would. Hand in pockets and best friend trailing behind. Unconsciously, I scanned the vicinity for her. I heard they were back together now. I hear that makes me obsolete.
I felt the familiar burn of the sun on my bare chest. I felt foolish that I hadn’t covered up my newest tattoo. I wished the sun would have mercy and try not to fade it too much. At the same time, I wished the sun could fade other things as easily as it could ink. Like feelings. Or memories. Or hope.
He nodded at me as he swung the adjacent metal chair out and sat down in it lazily.
Patrick lit up a cigarette and handed another to Pete. I always hated that they smoked. I always hated that they came in a pair. To date one was to date the other. I wondered if she hated that as well.
“It’s hot out here.” He stated while making a point to blow smoke away from my direction. The word “gentleman” would have came to mind, but I knew better.
“Do you have my things?” Getting to the point was all that mattered to me during this encounter. I’ve already made myself look foolish enough by dating him for the past four months only for him to return to his ex lover during a week of very little contact between he and I. I just wanted this over with. I had a long drive back to rehash this scenario and I’d rather not give myself more to regret.
“Yes, of course. I just thought we’d catch up.” His tone was carefree and the cigarette in his left hand combined with the smoke in his throat added to that.
“I’m caught up.” I tried to speak that sentence without any resentment, anger, or hope. I wanted to seem completely neutral.
“Oh, yea?” He exhaled. “We haven’t spoken much these past few weeks. How can you be caught up?” He glanced as Patrick who leaned back and propped his feet upon the table.
“Your silence told me everything I needed to hear.”
“Well, that’s ironic.” He flicked the lighter in his hands. He made flames appear and disappear. Much like he made his feelings appear and disappear, only he didn’t need a button for that.
“Life’s like that sometimes.” I took a sip of my coffee.
“I’ve never known you to be in such a hurry.”
“I’ve never known you to draw things out” I kept sipping my coffee as he flicked the lighter repetitively.
“You think I don’t care.” It was a statement rather than a question.
“I think you never cared.” My eyes challenged his and I wondered which of us would look away first.
“That’s silly. After everything we said to each other. It’s just like you to think such a thing , though.”
“You know what isn’t like me? To give up so easily. To not fight for what I want. To lose contact with someone I spoke with such passion about. I can’t imagine what we have to talk about now that couldn’t have been said weeks ago.” Neither one of us had looked away yet. “Except for maybe her, of course.” He stopped flicking the lighter, but his face lacked emotion.
“You can’t judge me.”
“To judge you would be to think about you, and I don’t do much of that anymore.”
“I tried to call you a good bit. You never answered. Then you sent those letters. What was I supposed to think?”
“You tried to call me once, Pete. Don’t play the victim. And I sent those letters out of anger and confusion of us not speaking for a week. You had me. For the past four months, you’ve had all of me and you knew that. You know that. I told you that. I showed you that.” So much for being neutral.
“And you think you didn’t have me? All of those things I said to you. All of that time we spent together. I couldn‘t make that up.” He spoke in mock sarcasm.
“I‘m not suggesting that you made it up.”
“What are you suggesting? Because you’re obviously suggesting something.” Pete acknowledged Patrick’s presence again, who had remained uncharacteristically mute throughout all of this.
“I just want my things, Pete.”
“Thought you weren’t one to not fight for what you want.” He taunted me.
“Maybe you aren’t what I want anymore.”