Friday, August 28, 2009

"Blurring Lines"

"I was like a lost moon – my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation – that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the laws of gravity.

I didn't keep track of the days that passed – there was no reason, as I tried to live as much in the present as possible, no past fading, no future impending.

It was a very strange kind of day. I enjoyed myself. I wondered at first if it was just the aftershock of losing the numbness, but I didn't think that was enough of an explanation.

It wasn't as hard as I would have thought to keep focused on the present. The city looked a lot like any other normal hangout, and he set a vastly different mood.

After that, I really watched the show, laughing with him as the comedy got more and more crass. How was I ever going to fight the blurring lines in our relationship when I enjoyed being with him so much?

It was strange for me, being this close – emotionally rather than physically, though the physical was strange for me, too – to another human being. It wasn't my usual style. I didn't normally relate to people so easily, on such a basic level.

It wasn't just that he was always so happy to see me, or that he didn't watch me out of the corner of his eye, waiting for me to do something that would mark me as crazy or stupid. It was nothing that related to me at all.

It was just him. He was simply a perpetually happy person, and he carried that happiness with him like an aura, sharing it with whoever was near him. Like an earthbound sun, whenever someone was within his gravitational pull, he warmed them. It was natural, a part of who he was. No wonder I was so eager to see him.

I could tell that I was boring him, but he didn't complain. I tried not to dwell on my last trip through this part of the city, with a very different companion. Normal memories were still dangerous. If I let myself slip up, I'd end up with my arms clutching my chest to hold it together, gasping for air, and how would I explain that to him?

He whistled cheerfully, an unfamiliar tune, swinging his arms and moving easily through the crowd. The shadows didn't seem as dark as usual. Not with my personal sun along.

It was so wrong to encourage him. Pure selfishness. It didn't matter that I'd tried to make my position clear. If he felt any suspicion at all that this would turn into something other than friendship, then I hadn't been clear enough.

How could I explain so that he would understand? I was an empty shell. Like a vacant house – condemned – for months I'd been utterly uninhabitable. Now I was a little improved. The front room was in better repair. But that was all – just the one small piece. He deserved better than that – better than a one-room, falling-down fixer-upper. No amount of investment on his part could put me back in working order.

Yet I knew that I wouldn't send him away, regardless. I needed him too much, and I was selfish.

This made me brood a little. I supposed that that was exactly what it looked like from the outside; that I was using him. As long as he and I knew how it really was, I shouldn't let those kinds of assumptions bother me. And maybe they wouldn't, if I hadn't known that he would have loved for things to be what they appeared. But his hand felt nice as it warmed mine, and I didn't protest.

Maybe I could make my side more clear, so that he would know to leave me. The thought made me shudder, and he tightened his arm around me.

He was quiet, thoughtful. He left his arm around me, and it was so warm that the cold wind felt good. I stared out the windshield, consumed with guilt.

I watched him go, and he seemed to be in better control – than me, at least. I stared at the empty street when he was gone, feeling a little sick myself, but not for any physical reason.

How much I wished that had some legitimate claim on him that still would leave me free of any blame. Heaven knows I had never wanted to use him, but I couldn't help but interpret the guilt I felt now to mean that I had.

Even more, I had never meant to love him. One thing I truly knew—knew it in the pit of my stomach, in the center of my bones, knew it from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, knew it deep in my empty chest—was how love gave someone the power to break you.

I'd been broken beyond repair.

But I needed him now, needed him like a drug. I'd used him as a crutch for too long, and I was in deeper than I'd planned to go with anyone again. Now I couldn't bear for him to be hurt, and I couldn't keep from hurting him, either. He thought time and patience would change me, and, though I knew he was dead wrong, I also knew that I would let him try.

He was my best friend. I would always love him, and it would never, ever be enough."

All the content in this post are the sole copyright of The Hachette Book Group's Little Brown and Company and Stephanie Meyer. No plagiarism intended.


Post a Comment