When I Saw You Again | Teen Ink

When I Saw You Again

September 14, 2021
By grethelptja26 BRONZE, Cape Coral, Florida
grethelptja26 BRONZE, Cape Coral, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The sweltering heat of this climate climbs inside and exhausts me to no end. The grueling boredom of these months had long glued me to my bed and the noise of the outside world was nonexistent. My mind used to go ten miles a minute, but now, it goes one hundred miles a second. All the thoughts were clouded with you. And then my life became about you. But I kid myself to think it wasn’t before. I woke up thinking about you. I went to sleep thinking about you. Ever since I met you, you were on my mind. Stuck like a song. Even when I thought you were gone, you emerged from the deepest parts of my brain. It was like finding a priceless antique that I’d been missing for ages. I thrived on knowing that you were alive and well. I was not expecting you to remember me and feel for me. I guess you still did. I believed that I had put my walls up high and tough enough as I tried to protect myself from you. However… it wasn’t you that I needed protection from… It was myself. I am my own worst enemy. Me and my obsessive thinking. I need to protect myself. I am both my savior and my fallout. I see your face and it’s like seeing a stranger. Well, not a stranger, but a different person. A person I’ve been imagining for years. You were always my friend. The person I spent the most time with. But even after all that time I spent with you, it didn’t prepare me for the different person I saw that day. 

I waited for you. I would close my eyes and stare at the ceiling for hours. I would imagine that same dusty road where I first saw you. The hair sticking to my face as the wind rattled the old car in the hot tropical weather. I would see your house in my dreams and the old school down the road. The four o’clocks growing in your mother’s garden. I could feel the stiff July breeze brush across my face. I imagined the mountains in the horizon and the occasional planes preparing for landing in the nearby airport. It was all in my imagination. It was all in my dreams. And I would wake up and realize that I wouldn’t see you again for months. The slowest time of my life was spent sitting on my bed and watching the window while waiting for you. What am I waiting for? A phone call? A text message? A sign from the divine universe? I never knew. I would torture myself with the same question, “When am I going to see you again.” It broke me inside that I couldn’t answer that question. I’ve never been patient. I wasn’t blessed with that quality at birth. I’ve never been good at waiting. I always wanted to get things done then and there. “Maybe I should stop thinking about it. That’ll make time go faster”. But time was slow. Slow like the ticking of the old wooden clock. Telling me that I was never going to see you again. Is he right?

I believe that there are three versions of you. The way you were before, the version of you I created in my head, and the person you truly are. The person I see before me today. When did you change? It was like I blinked my eyes for a split second and you replaced yourself with another one of you. In my mind, you were perfect. When I imagined walking by your house, it was like imagining my own heaven. The thick palm trees swaying and the panorama of the city that I saw from your window. It all felt like home. Maybe it was my own fault for creating this perfect version of you that could do no wrong. The disappointment struck me too hard to see you the same way again. And even now that you’re standing outside my door, which is all I ever wanted, I can’t help but think that quote was right. “The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.”

“Can I come in,” you said, with your signature smile. You said that like time hadn’t gone by. You said it like we were still at your house that July afternoon. 

“Why,” I asked. What am I supposed to say now? I had been planning this moment for so long. You dropped your smile and looked at the floor.

“I’m sorry,” you quietly whispered. 

“Did you really expect me to welcome you with open arms,” I asked you.

“No, but…I wasn’t expecting you to be this cold. You weren’t like this before.” 

“How would you know? You don’t know anything about me.” 

“Yes I do.”

It had been so long since I heard you say my name. It was like hearing the rush of the ocean as I walked along the beach during the sunset. Should I let you in? I shouldn’t. Letting you in means reliving all the time I spent longing for you. All the pain of not knowing if you were okay. All the time spent wondering if you even thought of me.

“I’m sorry. I can’t let you back in,” I said as the tears burned my corneas.

You watched my face for a while and then sighed as you looked back at the floor. I knew you wanted more than anything to come in. But not again. I couldn’t.

“Please,” you whispered, “I have to talk to you. Just listen to what I have to say.”

At that moment, I made the most difficult decision of all my life. I had to choose carefully like in one of those “choose-your-own-adventure” books I used to read. There are two alternate universes out there in the world. The one I’m living in now, and another one where I never met you. I was going to step into another alternate universe now. But which one? The old wooden clock ticked and ticked loudly on the wall. It seemed like hours passed by as I stared into your deep brown eyes while you waited anxiously for my response like the flowers wait for rain so they can grow and flourish. I always used to have the same dream about you. I would be in our old town again looking for you. I knew you were nearby. I could feel your presence even in the dream. But I always woke up before I could find you. I closed my eyes and counted to 12. 

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This article has 1 comment.

cmariej GOLD said...
on Sep. 27 2021 at 9:33 pm
cmariej GOLD, Buckeystown, Maryland
13 articles 7 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Even darkness must pass, anew day will come and and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer."
J.R.R Tolkien

This is a beautiful story! I enjoyed it so much, please write a second part. I would love to know what happens next.