To Have and Have Not

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To Have and Have Not

            This is about a girl I used to know.

            She really is quite beautiful. Her skin paler than Snow White. She has a presence about her, she’s a star. Her gait is a lively one, one that plays in your mind like a show, a good one. Her face is kind, her eyes glow, they listen, understand. She can lighten up a room. Her lips are perfectly shaped, a more reddish pink than lighter. When she smiles, her dimples form, her lips part perfectly, and she gazes at you. Her adorable nose, not too big, not too small. A slight hint of red at the very tip. She has a natural sincerity, nothing about her is forced. Her sweet voice stays in your ear for hours after you hear it. Her ears were a mystery, hidden behind her light amber, almost blonde hair that falls straight down and parts ever so slightly at her shoulders. She is effortlessly beautiful. A rose in a field of weeds.

            I didn’t realize this immediately. It took time, and maybe that was the problem. The way I found her, it was not an enchanted evening, when I heard her laugh from across from the room. We were friendly, we would talk, and that was it. There was no flirtation, maybe unintentionally from my side, but never from hers. She was too nice, I think, to get to what she wanted. Which is ironic, because she usually works hard and out loud for what she wants. But, I think that this was different, and so she was much blunter about it, simply letting me know how she felt. I still remember this very well, what she said to me.

            “So… I have a dilemma.”


            “I like you… and I know that you don’t like me.”


            “Surprisingly, no.”

            Even at this, I did not bite. It was a bit of a shock to me, though. This was the first girl to out and out proclaim affection for me. It took me more time and further communications for me to realize what I had here. We began to speak a lot, and I tried to give her a glimpse of who I was. This is when it became clear to me.

            The more I think about it, the more I realize how little we knew about each other. Our relationship was an awkward one, a distanced one. Our communication skills to each other were not ideal. We saw each other for minimal time in person, maybe just in passing or by chance. We would talk in modern ways, texts and such. This was no way to get to know someone. You can’t feel a tone, understand a look. Maybe I should have listened to what this was telling me, that it was a relationship that wasn’t meant to be. Besides, her Christianity, or whatever it was, wouldn’t work with my family’s Judaism.

            Because of this, there was a separation between us, a wall. My beliefs did this, I assume. I pulled myself away, when the only thing I wanted to do was draw closer. It was not me though, but the things around me, that forced this to happen. I was always told by my parents to only go for a Jew. I constantly felt the fear that they would find out what was going on. I was extremely torn about this, trying to please them while also making myself happy. Truthfully, I didn’t care about her beliefs.  That didn’t matter to me. What mattered to me was who she was, not what she was.

            It really was quite a dilemma. But who started this dilemma? It was not I, for sure. It was she who seduced me. Not with the body, for that battle was over the moment my eyes found her, but with the mind, the words are what won me. This was not something I asked for, but something that found me. But once it found me, I did not want to let it go. It was the best problem that I had ever had.

            I was not myself around her, she said. But, was it she who never knew the real me? Did she fall for an imposter, a stand-in looking to impress? Could I never be myself around her, because I was myself around her? The other me was the one she fell for, the one she wanted. The real one, she discovered, was not her man.

            The day that we ended is still clear in my mind. It was a brisk day, early afternoon. I was going down, she up. I caught her out of the corner of my eye. I could only gasp. The sun shone right on her, her hair glistening, she was glistening. She wore a short skirt, her legs were lethal. A loose denim jacket. She was looking down, not paying attention to anything around her, just what was in front of her. I waited until she passed me a little, then slightly tugged her jacket, she turned, almost startled.

            “Oh! Moss… I actually wanted to talk to you.”

            Crap. Those, or any variations of those words are the worst that any partner can hear. They are a death sentence. No partner wants to hear those words. You know that something is wrong.

            “Which way are you going?”

            “I was going up.”

            “I’ll come with you.”

            Why does she do this? She was treating me kindly, doing anything that I wanted, before sticking the knife in. She was too nice, this hurt her too much. But, unfortunately, not nearly as much as it hurt me.

            We reached the top of the stairs.  She began a little.

            “This is really hard for me to say.”

            Into the hallway.

            “You’re really a good guy.”

            Get on with it, I thought.

            “I just think that we had a better connection when we were just friends.”

            You were the one who started everything!

            “You can hate me, not want to talk to me anymore, and I would understand.”

            That was all I heard for a while. She did almost all of the talking. I added a few grunts here and there, maybe a couple nods of the head, but that was all, I was mute for those few minutes. My world had come crashing down. I didn’t know what to say, didn’t have anything to say.

            All I had ever wanted, the greatest girl I had ever met, gone. The greatest thing that had ever happened to me was now over, no more. My mind was racing and blank at the same time. I had so much to think about, yet I couldn’t think at all.

            “Well, I’ll see you around.”

            “Yeah, yeah.”

            And that was that. The girl just walked away, as I just watched. Still as beautiful as she always was, but it was different, she was no longer mine. She was walking alone. Some things take a while to hit you, a realization, an event, but not this. It sunk in right away. I think that this was because I always knew that it could never end happily. It would never end well, there was no way for us to be together. I just never imagined that I would be the one getting the short end of the stick.

            I walked away kicking myself, what had I done? How could I have been so stupid, not to hang on to this girl, this wonderful being. Over time I realized that I was not entirely at fault, that she had been premature, not letting things play out, to see where they would have went. We both could have done things better.

            I would be lying if I were to tell you that it came as a total surprise. She acted differently leading up to the day. Some messages would go unanswered, looks not returned. She drew a line between us, so that she could disconnect herself in her own mind before doing the real thing.

            Now that we are no longer together, I can see her more clearly. She knows she’s talented, and unintentionally lets you know as well. I recall a time we spoke, well, texted, and she told me of her fear of not being the lead in a show, at least once.

            “If I don’t get a lead by the time I’m a senior, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

            “Stop it. You’re amazing, you’ll get a lead.”

            “But, they put me in the back of every song, you can never see me.”

            “You’ll get your leads, you just have to wait.”

            “I don’t know if I can.”

            I saw that show. She had a named part, and shared a song with the lead, just she and him. I brought her flowers after the performance, and three days later, we were no more.

            She had so much going on. So much to think about. School, shows, outside classes, her Vice Presidency, and me. It was too much for her, understandably, and it was tiring her out too much. She works too hard, cares too much. She’s nervous, unsure of herself. But there is no reason for this. She’s the best, a star. Her passion for everything she does brings her down. I can see it on her face. Her exhaustion, her worries. She wants so much to succeed, and she won’t rest until she does. She needed to drop something by her side. Unfortunately, that something was me.

            She tired me out as well. I was so worried about how we would be able to work this crazy thing out. How we could be together. I would spend nights not sleeping, just looking for a solution, looking for an answer that would never come…

            I see her most days. When her face comes into sight, a shock wave goes through my body. My fists clench, and my jaw tightens. I try to look away, but I can’t. I find myself seeking out her face in the crowd. I don’t know why. I find myself continuing to want some one who had done so much damage to me. There was so much pain, so many questions, yet I find myself willing to let them all go for just another chance. Why must this happen to me?

            Occasionally our eyes will meet, only for a moment, and then they part. Instantly, immediately.  Is she afraid? Afraid that I will go crazy, explode, tear her apart. If that’s why, then she is wrong. I just want to reach out, find her, have the closing talk that never happened. She never really let it happen. Afraid, maybe, that she will realize how wrong she really was. I want to properly end things, so that this silliness doesn’t have to continue. But she looks away still, and then again, so do I.

            I could go on to say how terrible a person she is, how hideous a human being, I’ve gained the right. But I can’t. She’s still pretty, still smart, still nice, still a star, still the best. She can still light up a room, still light up a life.

            Still light up a life.

Created: Mar 01, 2011


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