Reaching Out For You by S.Moose
I look down at my journal and read my latest entry. Writing is an escape from reality for me. It helps me release my emotions in a healthy way instead of making destructive decisions like turning to alcohol or locking myself away from the world. It aids me in letting out my feelings and it feels good because I can just write without worry of judgment from others. I have my ups and downs. I feel normal on the good days and I feel like I can accomplish so much. I’m happy and smiling. But when I’m upset, I shut out the world. I lie in bed all day and watch my life pass me by. Sometimes I think I am crazy. Sometimes I think I should get over my feelings and just be happy. I mean I’m alive, well just barely, and I have some amazing people in my life but there’s just something missing. Well someone. The ache in my heart is still there. It’ll never go away. I wonder if he thinks about me the way I think about him. I place my head on my pillow and my mind goes back to August when Adam walks back into my life.
I was in my creative writing class when I felt someone staring at me. I turned around and there he was standing there before me. My heart stopped beating. Adam Simpson walked back into my life after four years. I thought he was in Boston but I guess I was wrong. I wondered what he was doing here, in my class, at my school. Our eyes connected for a moment and I swore I saw a smile on his face. I remembered his smile and blue eyes. Those eyes stared at me as if he could see into my soul. I turned away from him because I didn’t want him to see me cry. I placed my head down and felt the tears coming down.
Tears start coming down again. I just want to hear his voice. I want to feel his arms around me like before. My mind runs wild as I think about him. We’ve been apart for so long and it kills me to think we may never be friends again. I know that I said bye to him but he let me go too. How can we be friends again after so many years apart? I grab my journal again and take out a picture of my past. I look at my two best friends, Adam and Connor, holding me as I’m standing in the middle laughing. I never told Adam what’s in my heart. I didn’t think he would feel the same. I put the picture down thinking how now that they’re at the same school as me, this is my second chance to make it right again. I shake my head and push those thoughts away. It’s too late. We can never be friends again. I close my journal and put it back under my mattress. I have to hide my thoughts from the world. I can’t let anyone, especially my boyfriend Kyle, know what I’m feeling or what’s on my mind. I start thinking about my mom again. I need her and wish she could be here with me.
My dad and older sister Sarah tried everything they could to help me but nothing worked. My dad put me in counseling but it was a waste of time then. The doctor couldn’t get through to me; no one could. I was alone. During each therapy session, I sat there looking at her. I felt bad how I acted, since she was trying to help, but at the time I hated everyone. At one of my sessions, she asked me if I was going to be angry for the rest of my life. I remembered looking at her with emptiness and shook my head. I didn’t want to be mad forever. I was so eager to move on with my life and away from all the pain. When I graduated in June, I decided it was time for my start over. School was hard at first because I wasn’t used to being around a lot of people and offering my opinions but as each day passed it was easier. Although there were still demons I was dealing with it, each day became easier.
I wipe the tears from my eyes. I’m alive and that’s the most important thing. I’m still in bed as I think about how my life is going. I’m in my senior year in college and I’m up for a marketing position at a prestigious company called Optimax. I have great friends and a boyfriend who loves me. Well I think he loves me. Kyle is a great boyfriend but lately we’ve been fighting. At first we would have simple disagreements, but now those disagreements are escalating and his temper is getting the best of him. He controls every aspect of my life and I want to walk away but I can’t. I don’t think Kyle will ever let me go. His room is in my building and he’s always popping up. I hate that I’m continuously under his eyes. This is not how love is supposed to be but I’m stuck.
I get up from my bed and decide to start getting ready for class. I put on a pair of jeans and a black v-neck sweater. I have a natural beauty and hate makeup, but today I apply mascara, blush and some gloss on my lips. I put on my black Michael Kors scarf and put on my pink North Face jacket. I give myself a quick check in the mirror and head out for class. It’s December and luckily no snow in North Carolina yet. It’s freezing outside but the walk to my class isn’t too bad of a walk. I look around and notice the bare trees all around. There’s a peaceful feel in the air today. I look up to the sky and remember my mom’s voice- I miss her so much. I think about her all the time. I talk to her from time to time especially when I’m having a bad day. It feels like she’s with me.
As I enter the building I see Erin chatting away with a group of friends. I still remember the day we became friends.
It was the first day of freshmen orientation and I saw this petite blond hair, green-eyed girl coming my way. I thought she’d mistaken me for someone else so I turned around and started walking away.
I turned around and saw her smile, “Um hi?” The question in my tone made me sound like a snob but I didn’t know how else to answer her.
"I’m Erin. It’s nice to meet you! I love your outfit! Oh my God! We need to go shopping together.”
We’ve been friends ever since.
“Well hello sunshine.” She gives me a quick hug and smiles at me, “Where are you going now?”
I point over to the classroom on the right hand side, “History. World War II, you know the fun stuff.”
“I don’t even know why you’re taking that class. You’re like done with everything so why bother.”
“One it’s a very interesting class and two I like to learn new things.”
“Learn anything from Kyle yet?” The evil smirk on her face makes me laugh.
I look back and see her waiting patiently for my answer. “No nothing new,” I laugh.
“How are you a 21 year old virgin? Soph, you need to work on that or something! No wonder you’re always so mad.” She starts laughing and I want to crawl under the floor and disappear. Yes Kyle and I aren’t having sex but we do other things. He tries to convince me we should take our relationship to the next level every time we’re together. It kills me that he doesn’t understand. I tell him that I’m not ready and at first he understood, but now it’s just another argument. He throws it in my face that he can get any girl on campus to have sex with him. He makes me feel little and I hate it. I know I can break up with him but something always pulls me back to him.
“Funny.” I shrug my shoulders. “You’re lucky you’re my best friend. But I got to get to class, talk to you later.” We give each other another hug and I go to class. I make my way to the back of the classroom and get ready for class to start. Students are slowly making their way into class. The room is fairly large with windows all over. It’s nice to look out and watch the world pass you by during a boring lecture. Today we’re discussing imprisonment, so fun.
I pull out my notebook from my purse when I see Adam come into the room. My breathing stops and I feel my heart pounding. Our eyes meet and there’s something in his eyes that I can’t figure out. The look in his eyes makes me smile. He seems happy to see me. My heart starts dancing. I feel nervous, but a good nervous. That kind of nervous that makes you blush and secretly want more. I want him near me. I want us to be friends again. Our eyes are still on one another. The look that’s on his face brings back so many memories.
When we were friends, he used to give me this look that made me feel good. It made my heart race. I was never able to describe that look but I knew what it meant. Deep down inside, I knew he felt the same about me. He used to take care of me and made sure I was happy. One time when I was sick, he skipped school and spent the day with me. He made me chicken noodle soup and rented movies for us to watch. It was moments like that which made me fall in love with him. We used to spend so much time together. Connor joked around with us all the time and kept telling us to make it official. Adam never said no but he didn’t say yes either. We laughed it off and never talked about it. We did everything together. Every memory I had involved Adam and Connor. I hated sleeping alone so Adam spent the nights with me in my room. He slept on the floor at first but when we got a little older he crawled into my bed with me. Nothing happened. We just talked.
As soon as Dr. Murphy comes into class he takes Adam into the hall. I wonder what’s going on. I try and peek out but they’re so quiet and everyone in class is loud so I can’t hear anything. I keep thinking about the times we’ve run into each other and the smiles he gives me. Adam has two smiles-a friendly smile and one that means something else. The smile I get is the one that means something else. Still not sure what his smile means. I want to know but I can’t ask him. It’s hard to look at him when we pass each other. I’ve never taken the chance to talk to him because I’m anxious with how he’ll react. Would he dismiss me? Would he care? I don’t think he’d be rude since he smiles whenever I’m around but something just feels off. Finally Dr. Murphy comes back into class, without Adam, and starts his lecture. I try and listen to what he’s talking about but I keep thinking about Adam. The way he looks today stays on my mind. I love looking into his blue eyes. That smile. It makes me feel a little better. I want to think he misses me too or else he wouldn’t be friendly.
I quickly look up when Dr. Murphy calls my name. “I’m sorry Dr. Murphy could you repeat the question?”
Annoyance in his tone he asks, “What are your thoughts about imprisonment?”
I look around the room and see my classmate’s eyes on me. This seems like an easy answer since I experience imprisonment almost every day. I’m confident with my answer. “It’s an evil force that was used throughout the war and I think it was used to create fear and control.”
Dr. Murphy’s face starts to glow. “Good Miss Burns.”
He continues on with class and starts talking about how we shouldn’t let history repeat itself and making small changes can help ensure that. I think about what he’s saying and realize how I don’t want history to repeat. I don’t want the darkness to take over my life anymore. Erin keeps pushing me to talk to him and mend our friendship but I can’t. I don’t want him to laugh in my face or brush me off. I can’t handle that rejection from him. I do want things back to normal but I just need time and I need to do it on my own.
Erin tried being friends with him since they had some classes together and talked about how good he looked or how nice he was. She thought it would be a good idea for us to be friends but I couldn’t handle the thought of Adam in my life again. She told me he asked about me but I immediately changed the topic. Talking about Adam opened too many wounds. I asked her to stop bringing him up because it hurt and she understood but told me I needed to grow a pair.
When he dismisses class, I hurry out the room. I send a text to Erin so that we can meet for coffee. My body suddenly freezes and I feel someone watching me. I slowly turn around and see Adam behind me. Why did he have to transfer here to my school? Out of the thousands of schools there are in the United States, why this one? Why does he have to come back and turn my life upside down? My eyes are ready to pop out of my head. I don’t know what to say to him or what to do. He gets in front of me and I can’t talk. His face is inches from mine. Why does he have to stand so close to me? Our eyes connect and it’s a feeling no one can ever describe. The way he makes me feel is unbelievable. I feel my heart flutter and I see his smile touch his eyes. Everything makes sense when I’m with him. If only I can put aside my fears and talk to him. I want to tell him how much I miss him and ask him if we can be friends again. When he looks at me, nothing else matters. It feels like it’s just us and no one else-our own little world.
“Hey Soph,” He smiles at me. “It was good seeing you in class. Sorry I couldn’t talk but maybe next time.” He places his hand on my shoulder and gives me a gentle squeeze and walks toward the gym. My body is on fire. With just one touch, my mind is spinning in circles. I feel everything in my body tighten.
I stand there with my mouth dry and my heart beating out of my chest. I can’t even say ‘hi’ to him. This is ridiculous. I am twenty-one years old and can’t handle talking to an old friend. An old friend that I still love and fantasize about, oh yeah, saying ‘Hi’ should have been easy!
I make it to the café and order a soy caramel latte with an extra shot of espresso. I take a sip and wait for Erin at a table in the corner of the room. I play that scene over in my head and try to figure it all out. Maybe he doesn’t hate me and is trying to get back in my life? I lean back in the chair and smile. He’s always saying hi to me when we run into each other. I shouldn’t be nervous. This is a good thing. I hope.
“Girl, stop thinking.”
My head jerks up and my bubbly best friend is dressed to impress with her skinny jeans, black knee high boots and a sweater, “Hi to you too sunshine.”
She takes my latte and sits down, “Yeah yeah. Alright what’s going on?”
I give her my death stare as she drinks my latte, “Nothing! I wanted to see you and catch up.” I want to tell her more about Adam but it feels weird to talk about him. I’m not sure if any of this means anything. He’s probably just being nice.
“Bullshit.” She rolls her eyes at me. “I know something’s up with you so tell me.”
I sigh. I knew she wouldn’t let this go and get me to talk. “Alright so you remember Adam right?”
“Yeah, hot Adam Simpson,” My body tenses again when she says his name.
“Yeah him, well, I can’t stop thinking about him Erin. I dream about him at night and freeze every time he’s near me. I can’t focus at all and ugh!” Why is this so hard? “And get this? He was walking behind me earlier and said hey to me! I almost died!”
Erin slaps my arm and nearly falls out of her chair. “What the hell did you say back to him?”
I look away from her, “Nothing,” I mumble.
“Huh? Talk! Louder!” She enunciates her words.
“Nothing,” I shriek and then put my hands over my face to hide my humiliation.
Erin bursts out laughing. I yank my latte back. I can’t believe she’s laughing at me. I know I should have said something instead of standing there but she isn’t making me feel any better. “You said nothing, oh Soph.”
I roll my eyes. “You’re not making me feel better.” I play with my latte cup and keep my eyes on the ground. “You laughing at me makes me feel so much better.”
She takes my hand and looks at me. “Honey, I love you so much but you’re a riot. Why do I feel like something else is going on with you?” She looks at me with question in her eyes. I look away from her, “Oh no Sophia! Tell me what’s going on!”
I roll my eyes. “I don’t know if I want to be with Kyle anymore. Things suck right now. All we do is fight and he’s an asshole.” I sigh and lean back in my chair. “I don’t know Erin. I mean we fight a lot and he gets mad when I don’t want to go out. I like to stay away from the party scene and he hasn’t grown up, he is still a partier. He’s different behind closed doors when we’re alone.”
“Aww Soph, I’m sorry. Have you tried talking to him?”
“No,” I look down at my hands. “He doesn’t like to talk about anything. He wants to take our relationship to the next level but I’m not ready! He’s been staying out late and coming back drunk. I hate how he treats me. He’s always mad about something. It’s always my fault!”
Erin gets up and walks over to me. She sits down again and looks me in the eyes. “I want you to be happy Soph because you deserve nothing but the best. If you are feeling shitty with Kyle then leave him.” She rubs my hand and I put my head on her shoulder. Talking to Erin makes me a little better but I’m still lost. “Sophia I know I joke around a lot about you being a virgin but don’t sleep with him if you aren’t ready. If you want to break up then do it. I hate seeing you like this. You’re my best friend and I want what’s best for you. I’m always here for you.”
“It’s not that easy Erin. I’ve tried breaking up with him but he keeps saying sorry.”
Last week when I tried to break up with Kyle, he broke down and cried. He said how sorry he was for what happened. He said things would get better. I believed him. That night, he took me for ice cream and was affectionate. He paid attention and listened to me. I told him that I wanted things to work but that I wanted us to be better. He told me he understood and I believed him. We spent the night in my room laughing and reminiscing about how we met and started dating. Things were great. But the next night, he went out partying and came back drunk. He wanted to have sex but I said no so he asked me to do other things and I did. His hands got a little too curious. I told him to stop but he wouldn’t. His hands went in my panties and started to stroke me. His fingers went in me and I cried in silence. I didn’t want that. Afterwards, he fell asleep and left me lying there. The next morning he asked me if I was ok. I didn’t want to start an argument so I just smiled.
She puts me out at arms lengths and looks at me. “So what if he says sorry! If he were sorry then he wouldn’t be an asshole. You got to do you, babe.”
I look at my best friend and think what to do next.