by aimee friedland
In the beginning, it was that can't-eat, can't-sleep kind of love that made me absolutely crumble. But he was scared; scared I'd leave him in a week, get bored. He told me he came into people's lives when they needed it most and pitched him once the waters were calm. He said he was tired of being that stepping-stone to the bigger and better fortunes of others. The whole three months we dated he said I'd find someone better. He wanted me to be happy. I thought he was absurd, how could I ever find someone better?
He warned me that the novelty of any relationship's beginning wears off quickly. Maybe it was true; I gained back the ten
pounds lost during the first week I met him as my appetite returned with a vengeance. But he was still there, and I still loved him. I loved him even more as the Prozac withdrawls made my life feel bleak and joyless.
He spent the last two nights at my house. Monday, he was exhausted and collapsed on my bed at 9 pm. I joined him some hours
later, and had an unfufilling sleep. I woke up at 4 am and struggled to fall back asleep for another hour and a half. So I slept on the floor.
The next night I was already sick of him; I wanted to study Russian, do my homework, be alone. As I cracked open the pages of From Nyet to Da he looked at me with tired eyes.
"Come to bed," he cooed.
I felt guilty because I was ignoring him, but all I could think was,
"No, I don't want to be lazy and tired. I'm motivated. I don't want to be like you."
But I didn't say that. I layed down beside him, under the condition that once he was asleep I would retreat to the living room and read.
"You don't need me anymore, do you?" he asked.
Sometimes I didn't even want him.
It was our differences that ultimately brought us down. He wanted a girl that could share his love for pop culture, video games, and besides that,
"You're too antisocial," he said.
I'll wear the title proudly. My personal quests for knowledge and creativity are important to me, and moreover require solitude. We're different.
He treats his friends to coffee and burritos every day after school, they play games at his house and then leave. I have two best friends, one of which the only time I see is during our AP History and English classes. The other, I am lucky enough to spend my workdays with.
That's another thing. I work. I'm saving up money to study in Russia this summer; he's an heir to the General Mills cereal fortune and flexes his consumerist muscle whenever he can. It's not his fault but it made us different.
These have been the most tumultuous three months of my life, full of jealousy, depression, stress. But I'd like to think now that I'm getting better. My drive is back, I've reformulated a vision for the future, and I'm almost happy. This is the way I was when I first met him.
"I feel like I've served my time with you," he muttered remorsefully.
It's true. He was a flicker of three months, and in these past few days we both realized that my life had reverted to the way it was before I met him. And I was happy with that. He was a stepping stone.
"I just don't want to be forgotten," he told me.
"God, how could I forget you, Philip?"
I turned into him, and we held each other for the rest of the night, one last time.
(c) Aimee Friedland 2007