I haven’t slept in…God knows how many days. Not since I broke the news to you.
I shake my head. How did I let this happen? Just a few weeks ago we were so close to really being something. Boyfriends. A couple. And now we’re back to being nothing. All because I got Courtney pregnant.
I look desperately at the phone beside my bed, trying to will it to ring. I need you to call me. I need to apologize to you. To tell you that I’m not the type of guy to get a woman pregnant, then dump her. After all, I don’t want my kid to have to grow up the way I did. I’d rather die than let that happen.
I suppose it would be easier to just call you, but I don’t want to. I want you to make the first move. I don’t want to believe that you would really give me up that easily. I turn away from the silent phone. You’re not going to call. Your voice keeps playing in my head. “It’s not like it ever meant anything. We’re just messing around.”
I bite my lip. I had finally told you that my engagement meant that we couldn’t be together anymore. I had put it off for so long…and I was so nervous. I’m surprised you could even understand me, considering how fast I was speaking.
I don’t know what I’d expected. Did I think that you would beg and plead with me? You’re not that type. I don’t know what I’d expected, but it sure as hell wasn’t what I got.
A blank stare, followed by a calm, “Okay.”
I’d stared at you, confused.
“Yeah. It’s fine. It’s not like it ever meant anything. We’re just messing around.”
I’d looked away, trying to hide the hurt that must have been evident in my eyes.
“Oh. Right. Okay then. I’m glad that you’re okay with um…with all of this.” And then I’d walked away. Even though my head was screaming at me to stay. But was the point? Over the years, it had become habit to listen for the sound of your footsteps and I could hear you walking in the opposite direction.
I wish I would have stayed. Maybe then I’d be sleeping in your arms instead of lying in a cold bed next to Courtney.
She has a tight grip on my hand even though she is asleep. I hate the way that it feels. There’s nothing especially wrong with it…it’s just not yours.
I’ve been reading my journal by the light of my small, bedside lamp all night. Most entries are about you, about us. The ones from a few weeks ago are the hardest. The ones where I thought that we would be something. The ones where I talked about our future.
I can’t even just flip through them blindly, because the margins are covered in scribbles that should belong to an eight year old girl. Not a 25 year old man.
Things such as: I love Dave Grohl and Kurt + Dave forever.
Why the hell did I write that? I guess that that’s what love will do to you.
Love. Is that what this is?
I look again at the phone. Who am I kidding? Of course it is. I carefully pick it up and dial your number with some difficulty, as I only have one hand available.
After several rings, you answer.
“Hello?” You sound half-asleep and it occurs to me that I must have woken you up.
“Sorry. What time is it?”
“Three in the fucking morning…That’d better not be why you called, Kurt.”
“No. No. I just wanted to tell you…um…what I said before about…about us…” I stop, remembering that according to you, there was no ‘us’.
The realization makes my mind blank and I sit in silence. A couple minutes go by without either of us saying something and I begin to wonder if you hung up.
“I have to go.”
I hang up the phone and lie down, crying softly into my pillow.
Several hours later I’m beginning to pass into that state in between sleep and awareness. I have a slight headache from crying over you. I hear my name being whispered and I open my eyes.
You’re standing by my bed. I sit up, blinking.
“I have to talk to you. Come on.”
I shake my head.
“I don’t wanna wake up Courtney.” I say, motioning to her hand gripping mine. You roll your eyes.
“My God, Kurt.” You roughly pull my hand out of her clutch. I freeze, waiting for her to awaken. There is no response. You tug on my hand slightly and lead me through my house and out the front door.
“How’d you get in?”
“You gave me a key. I really have to talk to you.”
“Okay. But first – ”
“No. I’m going first.” Several moments pass as you seem to search for words. Finally, I decide to speak anyways.
“I didn’t mean it.” I’m surprised to hear the exact same words come out of your mouth. You look just as surprised.
“No! Well…I mean…I did. But I can’t follow through with it.”
“Good. Because I wasn’t going to let you anyways. Damn, Kurt. Don’t look so surprised. Did you really think that I was telling the truth before?”
I don’t answer.
“Damn. And you’re always telling me that I suck at lying…” Why didn’t I realized that you were lying?
“Well, you didn’t sound like yourself. You sounded…weird.”
I remember your voice and realize that without looking at you, it would have been easy to mistake monotone sadness with a calm, ‘who gives a shit’ attitude.
You shake your head.
“Anyways, that’s not really the point…I…the point is…I understand the whole Courtney thing, I guess. But…I don’t wanna end this um…thing. Whatever it is that we have. Cause we do have something. It’s not a relationship really. It’s more like a…”
You continue to ramble and I raise my eyebrows, amused. When you pause to take a breath, I kiss you.
“Does it really need a name?” My voice is soft.
“I…” You appear mesmerized.
“I mean, I know what I’m feeling…and not all feelings can be labeled that simply.”
“I…I know what I feel too…”
“Then that’s good enough…for now at least.” You smile and kiss the top of my head.
We watch the sun begin to rise in silence. Your hand finds mine and I smile. I can't think of any place that I would rather be.
“What time is it?”
I glance down at my watch.
“There’s a Dennys pretty close. You wanna get breakfast?” I nod.
I pause to kiss you once more before we leave.
I smile once again. This time, I meant what I said. Maybe we’re not a couple. Maybe we’re not anything. But it doesn’t matter. Walking by your side, my hand in yours…that’s good enough for now.