Didn’t know what time you’d be arriving so I made some pizza. It’s in the refrigerator – microwave it! – Dad
As much as I loved my dad’s cooking, it was too early for dinner. (Not that pizza should only be enjoyed for a meal – pizza is pizza.) I decided to call my friends from Rhode Island.
No luck. I just got a text saying they were too busy, but they’d call later.
Too busy, huh? I wonder how that felt.
I knew it. I knew nobody would miss me once I moved. Sure, one missed call seemed like a ridiculous thing to fuss over, but none of them actually made an effort to text or call me when I had arrived at Wilson Bridge. And it’s been quite a while now. I don’t blame them, though. I was never really close with any of them. And though I hated to admit it, part of me was actually happy we got to move. Because I was hoping things would change.
But they didn’t.
I am not important. At least, I don’t feel like I am. When I was in Rhode Island, I went to school, went on with my day, and then came back home with too much free time in my hands. Now that I was in Conneticut, I went to school, went on with my day, and then came back home with too much free time in my hands.
And all I’ve been doing for seventeen years is breathing in and breathing out. Even trees served greater purpose than I have.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt like I fitted in, actually. And maybe it was my fault for tolerating it.
Sometimes lonely people tolerate the worst of things just to feel less lonely.
Being lonely is something you get used to. But not something that stops hurting.
Part of the reason why I didn’t make a lot of friends was because I felt too much. That was my flaw. I’ve decided I love a person before he’s decided he likes me. I get attached to quickly and that will be the death of me. I feel too strongly, and even if they feel the same way, they’ll never feel as strongly as I feel.
In the end, I’m going to be the one breaking my own heart.
I grabbed a bunch of Jenga pieces and played Jenga in the living room. But playing Jenga wasn’t as fun when you play it alone. Especially when you’ve done it more times than you can count.
After an hour of Jenga, I decided to grab my wallet and venture outside. My dad was telling me about an ice cream shop just two houses away from my home, and I was in the mood for ice cream.
“Cold Treats.” That seemed accurate.
Cold Treats was nearly empty, expect for two or three other customers. I went to the cashier. “Hello, can I grab a chips and cream, please?”
After the girl working the register gave me my ice cream, I noticed another girl walking out of the cashier area. She placed her timecard on the desk and signed it. Then she looked up and noticed me.
Yup. Cara, the girl from my Math class, had a part-time job in Cold Treats.
“Want me to buy you an ice cream?” I asked.
Cara said yes, of course, and five minutes later we were sitting on a table beside the window, and scooping ice cream off our cups.
“So your mom and dad own the place?” I asked.
“Yes, they do,” Cara said. “And since it was senior year and they wanted me to get work experience before I started college, they made me work here.” She took a big scoop out of her cup. “And I’m not even getting paid!”
“Well, I am, but not an amount that’s worth it,” Cara said. “God, they really should raise the minimum wage.”
Cara smiled. “So how’s Wilson Bridge working for you? Meet any more new friends?”
“Not really,” I said. “Then again, I’ve never been very good at making friends.”
“Well, you’re sitting here with me, so how bad can you be, right?”
“Well, I guess I made one other friend,” I said. “His name’s Grayson Adler. Do you know him?”
“Yeah, I know that dude,” Cara said. “He used to pretty popular.”
“Grayson?” I asked, surprised. “Popular?”
“Well, sort of,” Cara said, taking the last scoop of her ice cream. “I mean, he wasn’t jock popular, or student council popular, but I would see him all the time with friends, right? Like, a lot of them. And they used to come here a lot. Then, junior year came and they still went here, all right, just without him.”
“Oh.” I guess I unlocked part of his back story. Do I get a level up?
“But, that’s high school, right?” Cara said, shrugging. “You lose friends, you gain friends. If that ain’t happening, then you’re not living.”
And because I am no expert at living, I asked, “How come?”
“Well, because you’re going to be doing a lot of things if you’re living,” Cara explained. “And you’re going to be trying a lot of things. And sometimes, you’re going to meet people and then you’re going to realize that you were only friends because the circumstances forced you too.”
“So, you think friendships don’t last?”
“I didn’t say that,” Cara said. “Some friendships really do last. You just gotta find someone who’s willing to make the effort to. It’s kinda like being in a relationship.”
“Are you in a relationship?” I asked, then instantly regretted it. “I mean, sorry – I like being your friend, I don’t want to be your boyfriend.”
“Well, that wouldn’t really work out,” she said.
“What do you mean?”
“Well…” Cara said, hesitating, “I don’t really go for boys.”
Oh. “Oh.” She likes girls. “You like girls.”
Cara laughed. “Yes, Jeremy, I like girls.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, though,” I said. “I mean, you date girls, so what? It’s love and love is great.”
Cara smiled. “Thank you. I guess the Beatles got it right after all. Love is all you need.”
“Oh, let me guess, you like the Beatles too?”
“My dad loves them,” I said. “They’re okay, I guess. Some of their music’s good. But I think they’re highly overrated. If they were a band now, I don’t think people would like them as much.”
Cara stared at me, her mouth open. “I’m starting to reconsider ever being your friend.”
“Don’t!” I said. “I mean, I love Yellow Submarine.”
Cara tried to hold in her laughter. “You love Yellow Submarine? Of all the Beatle songs, Yellow Submarine is your favorite?”
Crap. I forgot Yellow Submarine was a really embarrassing song. It was a guilty pleasure, but nobody would ever consider it as the Beatles top ten. “I didn’t say I love it,” I said, struggling to come up with a rescue. “I said I loathe it.”
“Really?” Cara said. “You loathe it?”
“Loathe is really the word you used?”
“Enough about the Beatles,” I said. “If we’re talking about old bands, then The Smiths is definitely one of my favourites.”
“I like The Smiths just fine. My favorite song of theirs is Panic.”
“Good one! Mine is There is a Light That Never Goes Out.”
“I expected you to say that,” Cara said with a smile. Her phone rang and she picked it up. “Yeah, I should really go. I have to meet-up with my friend and all. I had fun.”
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