leftcoast's Diaryland Diary

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Perks

As we entered her room, I noticed how different it looked from the night Sam kissed me. The pictures were down, and the dressers were empty, and everything was in a big pile on the bed. I said to myself that I would not cry no matter what because I didn't want to make Sam feel any more panicked than she already was.
So, I just watched her pack, and I tried to notice as many details as I possibly could. Her long hair and her thin wrists and her green eyes. I wanted to remember everything. Especially the sound of her voice.
Sam talked about a lot of things, trying to keep herself distracted. She talked about what a long drive they had tomorrow and how her parents had rented a van. She wondered what her classes would be like and what her eventual "major" would be. She said she didn't want to join a sorority but was looking forward to the football games. She was just getting more and more sad.  Finally, she turned around.
"Why didn't you ask me out when the whole Craig thing happened?"
I just sat there. I didn't know what to say. She said it soft.
"Charlie ...  after that thing with Mary Elizabeth at the party and us dancing at the club and everything ..."
I didn't know what to say. Honestly, I was lost.
"Okay, Charlie ...  I'll make this easy. When that whole thing with Craig happened, what did you think?" She really wanted to know.
I said, "Well, I thought a lot of things. But mostly, I thought that your being sad was much more important to me than Craig not being your boyfriend anymore. And if it meant that I would never get to think of you that way, as long as you were happy, it was okay.  That's when I realized that I really loved you."
She sat down on the floor with me. She spoke quiet.
"Charlie, don't you get it? I can't feel that. It's sweet and everything, but it's like you're not even there sometimes. It's great that you can listen and be a shoulder to someone, but what about when someone doesn't need a shoulder. What if they need the arms or something like that? You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things."
"Like what?" I asked. My mouth was dry.
"I don't know. Like take their hands when the slow song comes up for a change. Or be the one who asks someone for a date. Or tell people what you need. Or what you want. Like on the dance floor, did you want to kiss me?"
"Yeah," I said.
"Then, why didn't you?" she asked real serious.
"Because I didn't think you wanted me to."
"Why did you think that?"
"Because of what you said."
"What I said nine months ago? When I told you not to think of me that way?"
I nodded.
"Charlie, I also told you not to tell Mary Elizabeth she was pretty. And to ask her a lot of questions and not interrupt her. Now she's with a guy who does the exact opposite. And it works because that's who Peter really is. He's being himself. And he does things."
"But I didn't like Mary Elizabeth."
"Charlie, you're missing the point. The point is that I don't think you would have acted different even if you did like Mary Elizabeth. It's like you can come to Patrick's rescue and hurt two guys that are trying to hurt him, but what about when Patrick's hurting himself? Like when you guys went to that park? Or when he was kissing you? Did you want him to kiss you?"
I shook my head no.
"So, why did you let him?"
"I was just trying to be a friend," I said.
"But you weren't, Charlie. At those times, you weren't being his friend at all.  Because you weren't honest with him."
I sat there very still. I looked at the floor. I didn't say anything. Very uncomfortable.
"Charlie, I told you not to think of me that way nine months ago because of what I'm saying now. Not because of Craig. Not because I didn't think you were great.  It's just that I don't want to be somebody's crush.  If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don't want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too. I want them to be able to do whatever they want around me. And if they do something I don't like, I'll tell them."
She was starting to cry a little. But she wasn't sad.
"You know I blamed Craig for not letting me do things? You know how stupid I feel about that now? Maybe he didn't really encourage me to do things, but he didn't prevent me from doing them either. But after a while, I didn't do things because I didn't want him to think different about me. But the thing is, I wasn't being honest. So, why would I care whether or not he loved me when he didn't really even know me?"
I looked up at her. She had stopped crying.
"So, tomorrow, I'm leaving. And I'm not going to let that happen again with anyone else. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. And I'm going to figure out what that is. But right now I'm here with you. And I want to know where you are, what you need, and what you want to do."
She waited patiently for my answer. But after everything she said, I figured that I should just do what I wanted to do. Not think about it. Not say it out loud. And if she didn't like it, then she could just say so. And we could go back to packing.
So, I kissed her. And she kissed me back. 

11:11 - 2012-10-03

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