What is wrong with her?
This was so hard, just sitting here, knowing that Brendon was over there, making out with the girl of my dreams. That he was over there, smiling and winking, being flirtatious. And I was sitting here like some kind of jerk. I sighed and rolled over. I don't even know why I was lying here in this empty hotel room. Maybe it was because I didn't have anywhere else to go, and I had nothing else to do.
Suddenly, I heard the door open and then slam fiercely shut. There stood my best friend. He looked angry and sad and confused.
"Fuck," he yelled, kicking the wall. "Fuck this, Ryan. Fucking, just fuck this! Fuck!"
"I haven't heard the 'f' word so many times in one sentence since the Jerry Springer marathon on Fox," I joked.
He threw a glare at me. "You know Ryan, fuck her! I don't know what her problem is! We were having this great time. We were really connecting..."
"Did you ask her about her family?"
"Yeah, she told me about her mom and stuff. And then we like started making out, and Ryan, it was so amazing kissing her, feeling her. I've never had that before. And then tells me to leave!"
"Why?" I asked. Not that it was really any of my business, but I thought maybe I could help.
"She said that she didn't want to hurt me. She said that if I walked out right now it would be the best decision I ever made in my life."
"And... She couldn't be more wrong. I want to help her, Ryan," he said with a sigh, taking a seat next to me on the bed.
"I want you to help her," I told him. And honestly, I did.
"But I don't know how," he whispered. "I don't know how."
Maybe he was thinking of me. I sure couldn’t get him out of my mind. He just kept running through it, like a cross country track star. His kiss played over and over again on my tongue, on my lips. I kept thinking of his cold hands on my back, on my neck, on my thigh. I kept seeing us on the couch, kissing and just being together. Why did I have to screw it up? Why? You saved him I thought. And yes, I did. I was saving him from a terrible fate. I was rescuing him from a heartache that only I could bring.
“Brendon, wherever you are,” I whispered to the empty room. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Nothing in the world felt like this. Nothing hurt this God damned bad. Why was I acting this way? We had only just met. But there was something about her. It was in the way she kissed, the way she smiled. Something special was held in those fiery green eyes, something I could never even compare to. She was just this beautiful person who had been hurt and was shielding herself from the rest of the world; like she didn't want to let anyone in. She kept up a giant, unbreakable wall, a barrier that no one could cross.
"I'll cross it," I whispered. "I'll break down the wall."
"What?" Ryan asked.
"Oh, nothing. Just mumbling," I replied.
"Okay," he said, returning his gaze to the TV.
"Hey, Ry," I said.
"You don't have her number, do you?" I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm sure it's on the list of numbers for our business people."
"Do you think it's her cell phone?"
I rose from the bed and walked over to my suitcase where my address book was. Greg had given me his card and surely her number was on there as well.
Sure enough, Alena Miller, there it was on a small index card.
I punched in the number, saved it to my phone and began to compose a new message.
I'm so busy with work, I can't see straight. Oh, wait, I never have been able to. Damn eye problems. I mean, Greg left me in charge of something huge, okay, like MONDO enormous, and who was I to turn it down? I couldn’t tell him no. There was no way I could tell him ‘no’.
But I kept loosing place, because every time I came across a picture of Brendon, something inside me felt like it was going to break. And that could be rather distracting. But the thing that made my heart race the most was every image of Ryan I saw. I could see his talent, his beauty reflected in every photograph. He was perfect.
Suddenly, I felt my KRAZR vibrate on the couch cushion next to me. It was a text and I didn’t recognize the number, but when I read the message I knew who it was from.
Do you hate me?
No, Brendon. It’s not like that.
It isn’t? Then why am I here and not there?
I let out a sigh. Because life is weird I replied.
Why did I have to leave?
Because I’m an idiot.
No, I really want to know.
Then I’ll tell you
Can I come over?
I’ll be right there.
I knew it would take him about twenty minutes to get here. I thought about freshening up, changing out of my black Nike basketball shorts and plain white tank top and into something else, but I decided not to. I didn’t want to say anything by dressing up.
Let me tell you that that was the longest twenty minutes of my life, just sitting there pretending to do my work. I really was just staring at pictures of Brendon, knowing that I couldn’t make them better if I tried. There was no photo editing required. He was perfect, and here, I had captured it in a tiny photo.
When I heard a knock on my door, my heart skipped a beat. I wanted to run to the door, but to make sure I didn’t seem too eager; I just walked gently over to it. I placed my hand on the cold metal handle and opened. Before me stood probably one of the greatest musicians alive, his brown eyes wide in anticipation.
“Hey,” he whispered.
“Hi,” I whispered back. “Would you like to come in?”
He simply nodded his head and took a step forward in to the room.
Suddenly, he took me into his embrace. I felt our lips collide. I felt his strong, warm arms around my body. I felt him, and it was by far the best experience of my life. So this was what it was like to practice being spontaneous.
“Alena,” he whispered against my forehead. “Alena, I don’t care what is wrong with you. You make me feel like I can fly, like I am alive, like I am free. You give me new hope, new air to breathe. You make me feel wonderful.”
There. I said it. I poured out my entire heart; everything I was feeling. I really didn’t care what she said was wrong with her, just as long as she was with me.
“Do you really want to know?” she asked softly. I felt the air against my neck as she let it out of her lungs.
“Tell me, Alena. Please. I don’t care.”
She lingered there a moment. I could feel her breathe me in, and then let it out slowly. “Brendon… the reason I don’t want you here, or anyone else for that matter is because… Brendon,” she sighed again.
“No…” she whispered.
“I can help you! Please, Alena, just don’t run from me.”
She pushed me away from her, not forcefully, just enough to let me know she wanted out.
“That’s just it!” she yelled. “I don’t need your help! I don’t need anyone’s help or sympathy or anything else! Okay?”
“Alena,” I said softly, walking over to her and placing a hand on her shoulder. “Alena, I didn’t mean that. Just…”
“Just take me away,” she said, turning into my arms. I gladly wrapped them around her. “Just make it go away!” She was crying uncontrollably, I could feel her tears hot against me shoulder.
“Shhh…” I cooed, trying to ease the pain. “Alena, Alena, Alena,” I whispered over and over and over again. I wanted to save her from this sea of emptiness she found herself swimming in.
“Brendon,” she whispered. “You won’t leave, will you?”
“No, baby,” I said, stroking her hair. “No, I’ll stay right here.” I lightly placed a kiss on the top of her head. She placed a kiss on my neck, on my cheek, finding her way to my waiting lips. Our feelings exploded, coming out in waves of lustful kisses, heavy touching.
“Brendon,” she said. “Make me forget.”
We some how made our way to the bed. She began to undo the buttons on my shirt and allowed her. She blindly tossed it aside. I raised the tank top over her head and cast it away.
“Alena,” I said suddenly. No matter how much I wanted this, I wanted her to be all right with it. “Are you sure?”
She pulled away from me then, only slightly. “I’ve never done this…” she admitted. “Brendon, I’ve never gone this far before.”
“Didn’t you have boyfriends in high school?” I asked.
“No,” she said, taking her arms from around my neck and crossing them over her bare chest. “I didn’t let anyone near me.”
“No one?” I asked, trying to take her hand, but she wouldn’t let me.
“Brendon,” she whispered. “You will just get hurt.”
I placed my hand on the small of her back. She felt so beautiful to the touch. “Alena, please. Let me help you.”
She just sat there, tears rolling down her face.
“Fuck, Alena! I can’t ask you anymore! I don’t understand! Please, Alena. Why won’t you tell me?”
“Because you won’t understand! No one does! No one ever has! And I don’t think anyone ever will. Damn it, I want to open my heart to you, Brendon! I want to say all those things to you that I couldn’t ever say to anyone else! I want to hold you close and take you in, breathe you in, and just hold you! I want to be with you! But you won’t understand!” she cried, placing her trembling hands over her face.
“How do you know? Huh? How can you judge me? And what if I want all those things to? Why won’t you let me in? I just want to hold you, okay? But do you know what?” I asked, standing up suddenly. “If you won’t let me in, if you can’t trust me then I will just go.” I walked over to where my tee shirt had landed and swiftly pulled it over my head.
“Brendon,” she whispered. “It’s not just you. Everyone! Every God damned one!”
“Well,” I told her. “If that’s how it has to be, then fine. I hope you like this fucking pit you just put yourself in!” I stormed from the room and into the hallway. I didn’t stay there any longer. I couldn’t. I just kept walking, half-running down to the street.
I hailed a cab and let it take me back to my hotel room. I needed my best friend.
“Brendon, she didn’t tell you what was wrong?”
“No, she kept avoiding it. She told me that I would only get hurt.”
“Like, she is going to hurt you or…”
“No, like my feelings. Like yeah, she would hurt me, but…” he let out a sigh. “Ryan, I don’t know what the hell she is. But she’s just a girl, Ryan. Right?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Just another girl.”
“But she was different…”
I nodded my head. She was pretty special.
“Maybe I should go back…”
“Brendon, do you think that’s best?” I asked.
He shook his head. “No…” he sighed.
“Do you want me to go see if she’s okay?”
Brendon just gave me a long, tired look. We were sitting outside of our hotel, just watching the light midnight traffic go by.
“What do you think is wrong with her?” he asked me.
“Maybe she’s schizophrenic.”
“I don’t know.”
“What if she has AIDS or something?”
“I don’t know,” I answered.
He rose up and gave one last lingering look to the empty street before us. “I’m going to bed Ryan. You should come up soon.”
“Yeah, I will.”
“Okay,” he said. “And thanks.”
“Any time, Brendon. You know that.”
“Yeah,” he said with a small laugh. “I do.” He turned and opened the large front doors and disappeared into building.
“I can beat you!” I cried, staring at myself in the large vanity mirror. “I will win!”
You can’t. You won’t. You never will.
“Yes I can! I will win! You won’t take me! You won’t!”
There is only one way.
“I can’t do that,” I whispered, this time not so sure of myself. I looked down at the razor lying on the bathroom sink, right in front of me.
Only one way. It repeated.
“I won’t,” I said, though I picked it up. I stared down at my freshly scrubbed pale wrist. If I just let loose, I would win. I would take my life before it ever could. I would win. I would be in complete control.
“I will win!” I said with a laugh. “I will win!”
To my faithful readers,
Thank you so much for reading this. I promise you that this will get better. I hope I am maintaining your interest. And thank you again.