“You just don’t understand how much you can hurt me..” I let the words roll around in my mouth. I stroke the paper in my journal that holds this phrase.
“You just don’t understand how much you can hurt me...” He really didn’t. He was always so concerned with his feelings. I mean, it made sense. It just frustrated me. I felt like I had trusted him with something, something I didn’t give to everyone and he just disregarded its value.
He didn’t have to want it, he didn’t have to cherish it, he just needed to understand that what I had given him wasn’t something to be played with. It was a responsibility.
Looking back, I can’t believe how incredibly selfish of me that was. Blaming him for all the pain I felt. And even if it was his wanton disregard for my love that caused my turmoil, I am the one that gave him that responsibility. He never asked for it. But that didn’t change the fact that he didn’t seem to understand that he could hurt me. He seemed to think he was the only fragile one, the only one that could be broken. I didn’t want to hurt him. Not at all.
Maybe he was right to not trust me completely.Sometimes, I would question my own intentions:“Have I really created a connection with him? Am I just being blinded by lust?” The fact that I didn’t know still scares me.
To this day, I feel the sting of remorse when I think about that day at the beach. The day that I went too far.
The sound of footsteps, tramping down the stairs, woke me up. I opened my eyes and felt the heat of the sun beat down on my face through my window. The familiar dryness of a late morning sat heavy in my throat. I turned onto my other side and reached for my phone, ignoring the moistness of my shirt. I have a notification. A text message from a random number.The sequence of numbers seemed familiar and it hit me. It was Nick’s number. I knew it by heart back then. I had deleted his contact from my phone in an attempt to get him out of my head. It didn’t work.
The text read:
“Holden, you know I don’t hate you.”
I simply responded with, “I know”.
Those texts would generally be a trimonthly occurrence. I would call him at some god forsaken hour, in a lonely desperate stupor. He would never answer but, that’s what I wanted. I didn’t want him to answer so I could talk to his voicemail. It was one of the only ways I’d ever been able to really talk to him.
The next day he would text me with some terse response to what I had said. It was never what I wanted. It was always hollow. That always made me angry. I just wanted some sincerity. Some genuity. Sometimes it would concerns me that, maybe, I was the one being insincere. And maybe I didn’t really know what sincerity was. So I never said anything because, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t want to be wrong.
I sat in my bed, clutching my phone waiting for a response. The footsteps began ascending the stairs again. By the speed and the volume of each step, I could usually tell who was coming up the stairs. The steps were quick and sharp into the ground, as if whoever was coming up had been excited about something. My door bursts open and I hear the voice of my youngest sister call out.
“Beach day! Beach day!” she chanted, opening everybody's bedroom door. She had woken up an hour earlier than all of us, hoping we would leave to the beach earlier if she was ready. Much to her dismay, that morning we all slept in. Well, had slept in.
I roll out of my bed and go to my closet, leaving my phone on the charger. My room was warm from the open window but the lilac paint made it feel cool. I ran my fingers along the clothes in my closet, deciding what to wear to the beach.