Do you remember that Valentines present, the one with the ugly stuffed bear and the felt hearts, that I left in your garage because I was too afraid to hand them to you before I left? There's no way that you didn't know they were from me. She would have told you. She probably told you everything; it's what friends are supposed to do right? Tell one friend something, promise that they'll keep your secret, then run to the next one and see what that information can do. You never said anything about it. Not even a friendly thank you. You knew what it meant. You wouldn't, couldn't have ignored it otherwise. It doesn't matter that you hate Valentine's Day, I didn't know that until after anyways, you could have at least told me no. Left it somewhere for me to pick up and throw away. Like I've been learning to do with those pieces I still had for you.
Have for you.
I find them lodged in my heart sometimes. They wake me at night and burrow deep when I see something that I think you'd like. I can't even talk to you without feeling them slither through my veins. I've been picking them out, sliver by sliver, these past months. Throwing them away. Washing them from myself. Giving them away to others. When I think I've gotten them all out, that I can move on to the next out-of-nowhere-crush, that I can look at you without feeling them stacking up again, you look at me—meaning nothing by it I know—and I crumple into maybes and I'm not sures. I like to imagine that you're unsure, that it might be there but daunting. I like to imagine that one day I'll find a hideous stuffed rabbit under my hotel pillow next Easter. No one else will get it, and we won't explain it. She'll know of course. But she already knows everything about this anyway. She probably knows right this second why you can't face me with this. But because you're the best friend and I'm just the one that she sees almost every fucking day your secrets stay between the two of you.
Did you have a good laugh? The two of you huddled together in that mixed up mashed up house of yours that I adore? Did you chortle until the stacks of books tumbled down those unstable shelves and littered the ground like those pieces of mine?
But that's okay.
When I was in your position I did the same thing. I was so cruel to her. I was a monster. I made up a totally fictitious life, full of complex lies and detailed stories, so I wouldn't have to face her and everything she wanted from me. I played the victim and cried out for pity. I didn't tell anyone about any of the rest. Why she thought the way she did. The horror I felt when I was through with her. The regret I still feel about not being able to see her anymore. How would I reach out to her now? I ruined everything between us, and didn't care for the longest time. Sometimes I wonder about the pieces I might have left her with. I'm ashamed of those. And I prey, in moments of absolute and utter fear within my core, that those pieces have long since been torn from her. I don't want her to remember me. I don't want her to remember what I did, what we did.
I don't tell anyone that because then they'll see. I don't want you to see me like that. I don't want you to do that to me. Maybe your silence is better, your cold shoulder more inviting then your distain and refusal. I never wanted this to change anything between us; I just thought I could enjoy you more that way. I wanted to be closer. Maybe because she is as close as can be without having what I want and maybe this whole thing is just childish jealousy, but I thought of you as a prize. Not as in a treasure, or something to fight for or won, but more of an aspiration. You were what I wanted most in my life at that moment. I honestly want you in it now as well, I'll probably never let go of that fully, but I never meant for it to come out quite the way it did.
I never meant to say things the way I said them, or to give you those looks that you didn't know what to do with. I never meant to leave you presents in such a strange way or bring things up that I didn't know what to do with. I'm sorry that every time you took a rain check that I acted like it was the end of the world. I was convinced every single time that it was though. That it was going to be the day that you just simply quit me and moved on. That's why I can't talk to you anymore. The next time I talk to you is going to be the day that you tell me to get lost, go away, fuck off, leave you alone. And no matter how many of those pieces I pull day after day they are going to tear me apart when I hear that from you.
I'm trying to make it easier, on you or me, I'm not sure. Maybe I'm delusional and you never noticed any of this at all. Maybe I'm crazy and that polar bear of a dog of yours tore that tacky cellophane bag apart and buried it somewhere before you had a chance to let me down gently. Maybe I'm irrational and when you said you couldn't come over because your dad broke both his wrists he really was as messed up as you said. I didn't want to doubt you, didn't want to blame you for any of this, but you have to understand just how unbelievable it all is to me. You could have at least told me no. Could have at least brushed it off with a see-through joke. Could have at least had her deliver the bad news to me so you didn't have to yourself. You should have at least told me something!
It's okay, really.
I'm mostly over it now anyways.