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Retaliation.

Updated on March 18, 2015

Life is so screwed up.
Everything is so black and white, and yet nothing is.
Everything is always so complicated and mysterious, but you can learn all you need to know in just a few minutes. I look at you and I simply can't understand it.
Your mouth morphs and your tongue flickers as you whisper the lies to me in the simplest words and most basic explanations.
A thunderstorm rages in my head as my will begins to fade and your words break me down.
My eyes dry up, my jaw starts to shake, and I struggle to clear my throat.
Your lips quiver into a weak smile but your eyes stay flat and cold.
I use the pathetic remnants of my strength to return the smile with just as much sincerity.
"Are you okay?", you ask.
I shrug and force a sad chuckle.
You smile, and it's a little less phony, but it's wiped away by the worlds most condescending hug.
You shrug your shoulders and walk away.
I only see you leave for about a minute but it feels like hours.
Suddenly, I'm all alone, and I allow myself a moment of weakness.
My lips shake and free-fall into a frown as I refuse every tremor of a sob that rumbles up my spine.
I slam my eyes shut and force the tears to go back where the came from.
I take one deep breath and glance around to make sure I'm alone.
I am for the moment, but an older couple is rapidly approaching from across the park.
I gather the things you left for me and head to my car.
I don't turn it on right away.
I lean back and stare blankly out the window at the sky.
The whispers of thoughts respectfully stay under the surface of my mind and grant me a moment of peace.
But it is only a moment as the truth finally dawns on me.
She's gone.
I sniffle once before I completely lose control.
The tears come faster than I can stop them and I'm overwhelmed by anger and confusion.
Where did it go wrong?
What did I do wrong?
Why wasn't I good enough?
Funneling pure emotion into one brutal fist, I bruise my knuckles against the steering wheel.
The blood slowly trickles down the back of my hand, and I embrace the pain for a moment.
There's a void in my chest where you used to be, and now it's swallowing all of the pain.
It doesn't make me feel whole, but for a minute, I'm not as empty.
The adrenaline gets to my head, and I can't sit still any longer.
I need to move.
I need to do something to get away from you and all the memories you left behind.
I force the car into reverse and my turns burn out as I tear off into the summer sunset.
I punch the radio... and our song comes on.
I scream a profanity out my open window and slap the speakers until they stop playing.
Places and faces fly by in a blur and I curse them all.
I curse them for being happier than me.
I curse them all for laughing at me.
I curse them all for living without this gaping absence.
Of course, it's all in my head.
Of course, all of this is in my head.
My heartbeat starts to slow down, and I let my foot ease off the pedal.
I'm coasting down the highway now and I let myself breathe.
I realize my bloody knuckles have been gripping the steering wheel this whole time and relax.
I take a deep breath, and close my eyes for a minute.
I look at myself in the mirror.
My face is flushed, my eyes are bloodshot, and the remains of snot and tears are everywhere.
I reach into the bag you left for me and grab a shirt to wipe my face with.
I put it up to my face and begin to wipe when I make an awful mistake.
I breathe in.
I inhale.
And it smells like you.
All the memories fly back.
We're holding hands on a walk that couldn't be long enough.
We're dancing to no music while strangers give us weird looks.
We're sharing popcorn during a dreadful movie.
We're sitting together, holding hands, and staring awkwardly at anything but each other.
Finally our eyes meet and the contact doesn't break.
I look at you.
You look at me.
And it happens.
Our lips are pressed together and another moment lasts much longer than it actually does.
Lightning shoots from my toes to my head and I lose feeling in my legs.
We finally move away from each other and laugh awkwardly.
Awkwardly but sincerely.

The tears return and I can't help but laugh again.
As much as it hurts, as painful as it is, I'll always have those memories.
I'll always have the time we spent together, no matter how short.
I'll always have every laugh, every joke, and every kiss in the box I keep under the bed in my heart.
I start to laugh harder and the tears stop.
As painful as this is, you're not gone.
Not really.
I go home and my roommate asks if I'm okay.
I give him an honest smile and nod.
"Yeah man, I'll tell you about it later"
I go into my room and listen to music, I play some video games, and I fall asleep.

I wake up with a smile and check my phone.
It's one in the afternoon and you haven't texted me.
I wonder why?
You're probably pissed at me for sleeping in so late when you've been at work for hours.
I feel something odd.
It's like there is a fly on the wall of the inside of my brain.
It's buzzing and I just can't figure out where it is.
And then suddenly, I remember.
You're gone.
I fall back into bed, feeling devastated and alone.
You're really gone... You're gone for good.
I try to go back to sleep but the pain won't let me.
I try to get out of bed but there's no reason.
My feet touch the cold ground and find no strength.
I surrender to my grief and let gravity bring me back to my bed.
I hear a knock on my door but I ignore it.
They call my name and I grunt, "I'm naked"
I hear an exasperated sigh and footsteps as they walk away.

The days go by and every time I start getting my act together, someone brings you up.
Every time I get back on my feet, the wind whispers your name and I'm back on my ass.
Every day seems the same.
I wake up, miserable and alone.
I force myself out of bed, force myself to get out, force myself to act normal.
And after a while, I start believing it.
I feel more alive than I had for years!
I feel motivated and excited and like maybe I was finally over you.
I get ready to go to bed, and I'm sure tomorrow will be the day I'm over you.
And it never is.
And your messages are never there.
And you're never there.

The one thing that does change is the anger.
Some days I wake up and I'm just pissed at you.
I'm pissed at you for your excuses and lies.
I'm pissed at you for leaving without letting me prove you wrong.
I'm pissed at you for not thinking I'm good enough.

Furiously I'll reach for my phone and around the third vulgar word, my brain catches up and I'll delete it.

And it keeps getting worse.
Some days I wake up so angry that I take it out on my friends and family, who become less and less sympathetic as every day passes by.

And then one day, I wake up as angry as I've ever been or ever will be.
And I feel the need to make it mean something.

I go for a run.
And I run until my feet bleed.
I go to the gym.
And I lift everything until the blisters on my palm become raw and unbearable.

I take the pictures of us and I burn them.
I take the pottery you made me and I fling it as far as I can see into the wilderness.
I smash the CDs we listened to and drop them in the blender.
Because now I don't miss you.
Because now I don't love you.
I hate you.
I hate everything about you.
I hate the way you laugh, I hate the way you talk, I hate every little single mannerism that used to drive me crazy.
The adrenaline feels good.
The anger feels good.
So I use it.
I decide that I'm not going to sit around and obsess over you.
I'm going to use that pain to make myself better.
I'm going to make myself something better than you.
When you see what I become, you'll regret losing me.

The days go by, and I don't lose my motivation.
I get stronger, I get leaner, I get faster.
I get a haircut.
I clean my car.
I clean my room!
I...
I...
I wake up one day and realize something.

I'm not angry anymore.
I'm not hurt anymore.

I glance around my room and realize...
I'm okay.
I'm doing pretty well for myself.
I think of you and feel nothing.
I don't hate you, I don't resent you, and it doesn't sting anymore...
Well, not much.
I laugh at myself.
What was I so upset about?
Why did I tell myself I hated you?
How could I ever hate you?

I shrug, I smile, and I head out the door.
The sun is a little brighter, the sky is a little bluer, and every face I see is smiling.
For the first time in months, I go back to the park where it all went wrong.
I park in the same spot, and trot over to where you left me.
I sit back, relax, and let the sun wash over me.

"Well... Isn't this awkward", I hear a voice say.
I look over at the bench across the path and there you are.

Your hair is a little longer than it used to be, you have a new piercing, and you're wearing a jacket I don't remember, but it's definitely the same old you.

"Hey!" I exclaim, genuinely happy to see you.
You smile awkwardly and we make small chat.
You're still just as adorably awkward as you've always been and even after all this time, we still play off each other like an old married couple.
You ask me out to coffee some time to catch up some more and I chuckle.

"Sure, give me a call sometime" I say, smiling.
You look at me, confused, but amused, and walk away.
Life is so funny.
Everything is so black and white, and yet nothing is.
Everything is always so complicated and mysterious, but you can learn all you need to know in just a few minutes.
I look at you and I simply can't understand it.

Author's Note.

STOP!
Before you put up "Missing" signs, I'm perfectly aware that there are some spaces where commas are supposed to be.
This isn't supposed to be something like that.
This is something that's supposed to be read quickly.
This is something that the character is saying and feeling.
Not something the character is writing.
Thank you.

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