AN (Author’s Note): I wrote this story last night - technically this morning - in about half an hour. It’s pretty rough, but I like how it turned out. Enjoy, and please review!
AN (Author’s Note): Updating the story - I edited it a few months ago, and forgot to revise the post. Reviews appreciated! xox
She knew, she knew, she knew, but she did it anyways.
Friends. That’s all they were from the start. Nothing more, nothing less. Flirting was out of the question, and liking? Out of the answer.
She has a million friends: some for talking to, laughing with, lying to, fighting with. But he’s the only one for whom she sets aside her feelings and just listens. Everyone else- well, everyone she trusts- is all too willing to listen to her, to the point that sometimes she wishes they just didn’t care.
There’s nothing to talk about- it’s not like her life is anything interesting, after all. Teen angst, procrastination, and ‘he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not’. Found on every Tumblr blog, in every teen fiction novel, everywhere around her, everywhere she goes.
She’s nothing special, and she knows it; that’s why he is.
He lies, he fucks up, he angsts- too much, sometimes- and through it all? She listens. Being the reader of the story instead of the main character; it’s a welcome change. So she listens to him: to the heartbreak, to the twisted stories, to the lies he tells to make himself feel better, to the lies he tells to remind himself that someone will still believe him no matter what.
And through the lies, the late-night rants, the never-ending talking and the never-ending listening, she finds herself beginning to fall in-
No. Not this time.
So she lets him talk, and she listens.
It’s always been about him. A few girls, here and there, but none of them lasted. None of them mattered. And somehow, she deluded herself into thinking that she did. Maybe, just maybe, since he was still there, still talking, she mattered to him. Maybe, just maybe, he cared.
So she lets him talk about all those other girls; lets him tell her everything she never needed to know; lets him talk but never listen. Never listen. Because in the books and the movies, the one who’s always there is always there in the end. He just has to turn around and notice her.
But then. He begins to talk about her. And right away, she knows: this one is different.
He’s happy at the thought of her; sad, too; overwhelmed by whatever it is he’s feeling. These aren’t the same as what she feels; oh no. What she feels is friendship. No more, no less.
So why does it hurt, one day, when she finally realizes he doesn’t care the same way she does? She’s known, all along, but then they’re talking, and they’re talking about her; and the realization is like lightning. White-hot, unexpected, and it hurts so much.
And she keeps trying to be there for him, for days and weeks and months after, but she’s sinking, and it’s like she can’t even see the surface anymore. Like she’s sinking so deep into him she can’t breathe.
By the time she tells him, it’s too late. But somehow, this time, she’s the one who doesn’t care. And while he’s confused and wondering and self-righteous (‘I told you this would happen’), she’s realizing that maybe what she felt for him wasn’t so right after all; maybe it wasn’t the truth. Maybe, just maybe, she was lying too.
She’s always believed in the maybes. And this time is no exception. So she picks up the pieces, deletes the texts, forces herself back to feeling platonic. Forces herself to let go. Idon’tcareIdon’tcareIdon’tcare plays in her head like a song on the radio.
Before she falls asleep every night, she thinks about the possibilities. Maybe she can do this. Maybe he can forget that she ever said anything. Maybe they can go back to how they used to be.
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be just fine.
© Yasmin Emery 2013