What Matters | Teen Ink

What Matters

November 12, 2014
By x-CaptainMonica-x BRONZE, Alpena, Michigan
x-CaptainMonica-x BRONZE, Alpena, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's not a statement as much as just a move of passion."

There was a time I hated him, when we were both very young. He was awkward to look at, all spindly legs and gangly arms. I had never before met someone so haughty, so incredibly rude, and just generally obnoxious. He produced a lot of saliva whenever he spoke, which in turn made him sound like the victim of a perpetual cold. The most exasperating thing about him, by far, was his inability to sit still. He would meander about the classroom, slinking from desk to desk, always making a scene out of avoiding contact with the floor. To know him then was a terrible misfortune. However, that period was brief, and is often forgotten about. Past affairs are exactly that: past affairs. Now is what matters, and to know him now is the greatest joy.

    He is still quite awkward to look at--now even more so--as his limbs are twice as lanky and his gait three times as fluid. His face is uncannily boyish and doesn’t quite coincide with his antique attire. But I have never known someone with such a beautiful soul as his. He is the type of person that is not quite sure if he can be loved, yet still manages to give out more than anyone could reasonably afford. Happiness comes and goes for him in tidal waves. There are days when he erupts with blissfulness; there are days when he is catatonic. Most days he appears to be caught in between the two, lost somewhere within himself. These are the days when he always responds with an “I’m fine” and a meager grin, although his eyes betray his words, incapable of concealing the truth. 

The truth is that he is constantly on the brink of destruction. Never before have I encountered a person so tortured. His mind harbors demons he refuses to let anyone see, though the effect that they have on him is exceedingly clear. They haunt him, cloud his heart with doubt, fool him into believing he is worthless. The negativity follows him everywhere, pervading the surrounding air like thick black smoke, choking all who dare tread near him. I believe that there is a part of him that is tired of running, a part that wants to succumb, just to know what it is like not to live in fear. I also believe that there is a part of him that wants, more than anything, to be saved--though he rarely feels that he is worth saving. It is hard, at times, to determine which side will prevail.

    I will never tell him, but he has a way about him that is utterly captivating. He often studies me, head cocked slightly to one side, one eye squinted, and right when I feel as if I might melt under his scrutiny, he grins and murmurs something like “We should see each other tomorrow. We’ll drink coffee and smoke cigars and listen to old albums.” Then, when we meet the next day, we do anything but that. I live for waking up on gray mornings entwined in his arms, his breathing in time with my heartbeat; lazy afternoons in his living room, lying on the floor as he clumsily strums his guitar and half-sings something he wrote; nights that drag on and on as we drain bottles of wine and dance to his father’s old records. His presence awakens every cell in my body. He inspires me to be better, not just for him, but for the world. I strive to make him as proud of me as I am of him.

He does not say goodbye. A glaring fault of his, I am driven mad by the lack of courtesy. Conversations on the phone are left open ended. Departures in person consist of a nod and a swift turn of the heel, at most. Whether this is his choice, or simply something he isn't capable of doing, I will never know. “It’s pointless,” he says to me whenever I try to argue. “Why make things harder for yourself? Think of how much happier everyone would be if they only ever said hello.” It frustrates me to no end when he says this. I am left sputtering, even as he rolls his eyes and leaves the room. “But you don’t understand,” I call after him. “Goodbyes are everything.” My words have yet to resonate with him, though. Even when he left to study abroad for a year, he refused to speak to anyone for two weeks prior to his voyage. I bring this up to him often; I try--in vain--to articulate just how much it hurts when he does things like that. He replies with a you-know-how-I-am kind of look and an apologetic shrug.

When he decided to leave again, this time for much longer than a year, he did so quietly and abruptly, as was his way. I remember waking up alone that gray morning, leaping out of bed, running through the house, screaming his name. Finding his body crumpled in the bathroom, finding his spirit no where. Wanting to peel off everything--from his shirt to the very nailpolish I was wearing--and evaporate into the dawn. Never before had I felt so hollow. I remember tearing through his belongings, through my belongings, desperately seeking a note, a picture, a sign. Collapsing beside him, demanding a reason. His silence was deafening. I should have been used to it by then; he had always been that way. It was a glaring fault of mine to expect anything else.

However, our past faults are just that: past faults. I had the great fortune of knowing him, of loving him--and that is what matters. To love him was the greatest joy.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Nov. 28 2014 at 7:31 pm
x-CaptainMonica-x BRONZE, Alpena, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's not a statement as much as just a move of passion."

Thank you so much!

on Nov. 21 2014 at 4:32 pm
RedHadan BRONZE, New York, New York
3 articles 0 photos 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find her way by moonlight, and her punishment is that she sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

beautifully writen but a sad ending! Great job this can really evoke emotion!