July 2nd- The Familiar Unfamiliar PART 2

We went to the liquor shop and he parked the car to get that box of wine. I was a good 10 minutes away from Jack and Lillian’s (his older sister) apartment. It was going to be like old times, blasting the air conditioning with the fans to beat the heat that never seemed to ever completely leave their place unless it was pouring rain in the middle of Winter. Good conversation with the television playing in the background to aid whenever we ran out of subjects to talk about.

But when the wind pulled into the car when Jack opened the door it felt strange. I looked around me and saw nothing but the usual. At first I thought it was me adjusting to the area again, or perhaps that feeling that every girl gets in a car alone when entering a less that great area. I just couldn’t put my finger on it; it was are rare sort of strange.

“What is it?” When Jack returned, he was shaking his head throwing the boxed wine in the back.

“This crazy guy just kept starring at me with two gallons of milk, one in each hand. He must of had some crazy munchies; he had the biggest circles under his eyes and he was dragging his feet like some B movie zombie. Late night raver I’m guessing, crazy streaked bleached hair wearing all black with a trench coat in this weather. Even had a Paul Frank bag.”

“You… saw… him?” Was I hearing right? Other than the zombie-ques appeal I only knew one other person that might fit that description. Tears, started to fall without me noticing.

“Yeah, in the liquor store behind me when I was paying. Crazy stuff right?” He started the car and pulled out. I gave him no reply, I felt like I was in two worlds at the same time.

Out the window was Art. I saw him. And I wasn’t the only one that did. Art was real.

“Stop the car.” I pleaded to Jack.

“You alright Bright Eyes?” Jack called me that again. Seems like my signal’s of friendship were not clear. This was wrong, completely wrong.

“Stop the car PLEASE!” I was panting, trying to get the thick belt buckles loose on the old car. Jack finally pulled over and I quickly got out. If he hadn’t stopped I would’ve jumped into traffic.

“What are you doing!?” He was thrown off by my erratic behavior.

“I found something!” I started sprinting through the neighborhoods before I could even hear what he was saying. The traffic kept Jack from turning around and soon enough I was far into the night. He was real, somewhere in that night was Art and I couldn’t let him go.

At first I ran back to the liquor shop and asked the cashier if he knew where he went from the description. Unfortunately he spoke in an accent that was too thick for me, but he did point in a direction. I ran for what felt a good half hour without direction. I had no idea what to look for but what the Cashier had given me. I was doing so well until I felt the cement meet my shoulder: I tripped!

The cement had been lifted by a tree route in the narrow side walk. I felt the hot unnatural earth scrape my shoulder down to my wrist. When I got up I felt the sharp throbbing on my knee. The pain was so strong that I could barely walk, I had to sit in for a minute. I tried calling the mysterious 818 number again, it was the only hope I had left. It had to be Art, it just had to be!

“Yello.” A voice connected from the end of the phone. It wasn’t him.

“Hi, I got a call from this number a few days ago. I didn’t recognize it.” I tried with all my might to hide my despair; it resulted in sniffles.

“Eve, is that you?” The voice was hesitant.

I started bawling at the sound of my name. I was loud and lights in the apartment complex in front of me flickered on. I couldn’t help it, I felt like I went completely mad. The person on the other line hung up and I just got worse. I got up and tried to walk off the pain, no luck whatsoever. I was doomed, I thought.

I heard my name again. It was getting closer. I almost fell a second time when I heard the rusty apartment gate open next to me opened. A short broad fellow approached me, he was the one calling my name, a friendly face. Had I found my Virgil in this Inferno?

“Why are you in front of my apartment? Never fancied you as a stalker.” I took his hand and he helped me up. I winced as he accidentally touched my new sticky wounds. I stopped crying, but really didn’t know how to give him a good explanation.

We entered his apartment which was lined with neat beer bottles across the walls and patio furniture in replacement of real ones. It was a strange new world for me. I couldn’t help but ask.

“How do you know me, and have my number?” There was a silence as he paced through the kitchen putting away canned tuna and a new case of even more beer.

“Writing, we were in a writing group together at some time.” He said it in a shady tone. I was hesitant at first until I realized that a stranger couldn’t simply tell I was a writer just from looking at me.

“In college?” My memory needed jogging.

“Yeah! Creative writing. Great class.” I perked up at his response, I really liked that class…

“So why call after a couple years?” I asked him, it was all too curious…

“You really don’t remember me do you?” He came in on the defensive side.

“Sorry…” I felt like a total failure at this point. “Is there any way you can give me a ride home?”

“Sorry I use the bus, I was on the last route…” The room felt like it was slowly sinking, I didn’t realize I went silent… “You better clean those wounds, bathrooms the door on the right. You can crash in here for the night, I’ll ask a friend of mine to take you home in the morning.”

“Thank you…” I lingered.

“Nate.” He finished, and went to his room. Funny, I really don’t know a Nate one bit. I’ll ask Jack sometime… well…

No use worrying about it. I just wanted to write all this out as I’m finding it so hard to sleep. Talk about a horrible day, can’t believe I still have to go with Cleston to the Film Festival tomorrow evening. What a insane day…

At least Art is real. He’s out there somewhere, that made up for this whole fiasco.

3am already, going to try to sleep one last time…

-Eve

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July 2nd- The Familiar Unfamiliar PART 1

Dear Journal,
Greetings from my phone soon to be email soon to be posted in your pages. I’m not going home tonight… I was stupid. I was really really stupid… Just checked my phone, it’s 1am, I have no where else to go… I’m scared and I think I deserve it.

After Jack had showed up and explained Henrietta’s wedding I have to say my entire vote of self-confidence was starting to crumble. Think about it, a year and soon to be half wasted to keep a girls fantasy mixed with her reality. Henrietta was going to have her cake and east it at my expense, and I would be left to wash the dishes: figuratively speaking. Next thing you know it I was having breakfast with Jack on the rooftop of the recording studio he rents every now and then, and scurrying about Aardvarks finding a dress and a tie to match it for Henrietta’s grand fairytale.

It was like I cut the time of my life and stitched it back together. The routine was working as it always had, or was it? I couldn’t smile, my mouth just drew this straight line like a kid asking permission to do the wrong thing. I was beautiful, I reminded him of songs from The Cure, he would spin me around and swish me past the smell of old and clothes and cracked leather. Yet through all of this my eyes were heavy and my hands were numb. I even fell into the curtains and stumbled, welcoming the giant curtain as a mask to the world. As he reached his hand out to me I sunk deeper into the curtains, dusty and thick I didn’t want to leave them; I cried. …Shopping was over… The stitches bounding the gap of time were a scar that not even the sincerest kindest heart could ignore, and this heart was still broken no matter how tight it was bound back together.

Out of guilt, to myself and for putting Jack in such a horrible place I agreed to come back to his place for a bit… You know those feelings you get when you know the day is going to end bad, where it takes the strongest of courage to just pull the covers up from where you are and place your tense achy feet on the ground? I had just that feeling the minute I rose from that curtain. He kindly purchased the dress and tie for me. I couldn’t stop starring at the accessories behind the counter, dreaming of wearing a wig or giant sunglasses to the wedding. I just wanted to be anything but the Eve that I am now, even if it’s a ridiculous one…

Getting into Jack’s Teal Sidekick made me feel worse and worse, I could actually feel my fingertips straining to the touch of things. I listened to Jack fumble through his i-pod and The Cure started to play through his speakers, but it was different this time. The speakers were on low.

“I’m a monster to do this.” He apologized, it was sincere I could tell.

“I’m a mess…” I admitted. “You must think I’m stupid.”

“No, you’re brave. You always were, why else would I come back? You’re the only person that actually did any right out of what happened.” He waited and the track slowly faded to the next.

The sun was now setting and the ride was getting bumpier; we hit the Valley. The moment was broken as he brought the convertible up in the back, he slowed down to keep the dirt from the street from wafting up at our faces. Suddenly we were encased with the silence, the playlist had even ended. Traffic was picking up on the streets, and older model dirty cars started to becoming more commonly mingled with trucks and Asian sports cars. I thought I would never see this culture so soon. More than anything, the sight of the Valley sealed my dread in a sort of droning way. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it, I broke my inner poise.

“I hate this gloomy place.” I said in a way that sounded like spitting…

“You get used to it, quite peaceful in the mornings…” He was smiling, I was something other than sad at least.

“We always come here at night, I wouldn’t know.” I layed my head on the back of my chair feeling the air return to my breath, finally I was being something that I was willing to admit: Uncomfortable.

“You could of said no, saved yourself the grief.” He argued. We were in stop and go traffic trying for a turn that were were four cars away from.

“I couldn’t stay scared forever. I couldn’t let you have that.” Every He fidgeted to play more music, I pushed his i-pod away. Something came over me, I decided then that all this suffering had to come some good. All of a sudden my heart took words, my subconscious refused to be sealed away.

“You couldn’t even handle my heart, because we were never in love Jack. This whole wedding proves that more than anything; infact I couldn’t think of a better example. I can’t wait to march up to Henrietta and tell her everything that my literary tongue can fit on the cardboard romance that was left for photo shoots and fluffy words. I feel so SORRY for the both of us! Because we put ourselves to hell and back for the sake of people’s crappy self esteem and egos.” I was screaming at this point, I enjoyed it.

“Ho-ho Bright Eyes, you were a Siren when we met up on campus. Cold as hell, you were ready to make me suffer. Don’t go saying you felt sorry for US! If that were true I wouldn’t be in the dog house blocked from every form of modern contact.” He laughed at me. To make things worse he stared at himself in the mirror, grooming that wave part of his.

“When you became one of those idyllic bastards I couldn’t help but leave you. I wanted nothing to do with the old gang and the narrow-minded attitude. Disappearing was the greatest rebellion.” A smile swept my face. It felt so good, I STARTED LAUGHING.

We made that turn. I even pressed play on his i-pod and blasted the volume. Jack didn’t mind. In the world of eccentric creative minds we made amends. I even agreed to get a box wine with him and talk the rest of the night. He compared our relationship to VHS vs DVD; we were the same story but different because it was in better quality and detail. We salvaged a friendship that was always there and compromised because of other people hopes and expectations. If this all sounds too perfect, it was only for a few decent minutes.

We went to the liquor shop and

—EMAIL TRUNCATED DUE TO SPACE—

June 28 – Singing Telegrams

These past few days have been quite the turn of events. So much that this past week has simply been a whirlwind and I can only now write about it !

The phone calls got more frequent, Jack was leaving voice mails, and they were not just the “Hi it’s me” kind. No they would go on with his stuttering (Jack always stutters when he gets nervous) about reuniting for a good cause and get cut off before I could quite understand what the fuss was about. Well, after a week of the banter I went to the mobile store and had his number blocked. I even celebrated and got myself a new book at Vroman’s on the way back.

My plan was simple, I wanted to curl up to a good book and my current tea fling (Jasmine w/Rose Mmmm) and finally fall asleep in sheer lazy bliss. You’d think that this would happen as there was a blocked number and I’m become quite the isolated character, but just as my eyes got heavy THE PHONE RANG ONLY ONCE! It wasn’t a number that I recognized, but it was from the same 818 area code as Jack’s. I was fumed, had he finally sink so low?

Overwhelmed with frustration I did what I thought I would never do again, I unblocked Jack from my Facebook and messaged him to stop harassing me for the sake of decency. He instantly replied. My heart stung seeing his face pop up with his icon. I felt a bit of guilt. I was a few days off before a year and six months since the break-up, talking to him almost felt like I was cheating on my decency. In the conversation he had one bit of leverage, Henrietta. Long story short, I agreed to meet him on our old campus in agreement that he would stop harassing me after I helped him figure this out.

I didn’t sleep the whole night, I didn’t even read my book. I felt terrible, weak, and a little excited all the same time. All of my self doubts and slightest second thoughts were going to be indulged in a couple of hours. In a couple of hours I was going to see all my hard work of staying strong crumble. I didn’t even bother getting ready, I slipped into my hoodie and flip flops, and didn’t bother to change out of my pajamas.

Walking on campus again felt like I was going backwards. It was early enough in the morning where the sun was just about to peak through the marine layer, and the sound of sprinklers and lawn blowers encased me from the urban sounds of the bus and traffic of cars. There he stood at the administration steps in his distressed¬† jean jacket, gorgeous as he always was, like some hunk out of an 80s movie. He was obsessed with the 80s all the way to it’s fashion. It suited him well, as all I cared for was being swept away by the free spirited reject that he was.

…I forgot how good he looked in a tight clean t-shirt… freak.

…he even brought my Bavarian cream doughnuts from the shop near his house…

… the Styrofoam cup of Moroccan Mint tea had the words ‘I’M SORRY‘…

“Hey Bright Eyes.” He sighed, trying to keep from smiling. How dare he use my old pet name! It was almost instant that I remembered why I could never fully love him, his over confidence. At first I thought of it as a Marc Darcy and Elizabeth situation, but it never seemed to really fade. It wasn’t that he was never good to me, but sometimes when we kissed I felt like he was kissing himself, EW!

“Lets get this over with.” I told him.

I didn’t eat the doughnut, I tried to resist drinking the tea (but you know me and tea) which ended up to be me sipping it from time to time. He explained everything, desperate in his own way. There were times when he was running short of words and trust me, Jack’s a lyricist, there was definitely something wrong. He recently spoke to Henrietta, the girl that played matchmaker with us. Seems like she’s getting married! I had known Henrietta for less than Jack had, but were very close until she went to study abroad in England for a semester. That’s where she fell in love and has been in an online relationship with a guy for almost 3 years.

She invited us to the wedding. Yes US, the us that needs to die in soon-to-be a year and a half. Seems like the guy she fell in love with was the teacher. Its how she pulled the strings to stay in England and complete her major there even though her grades were sinking. Just as I was appalled with the thought of how many sluts I actually knew. I realized why Jack made such the effort to see me.

Henrietta swore that she believed in love again because of us and would kill herself if we ever broke up.

What else do you expect from an Emo/Goth Theatre major? The cutting was a nightmare, I won’t even get into her eating disorders. But Jack and I noticed something in the early stages of us getting together: she started to cut less and less and actually moved on. It was one of the reasons we were together for so long, I mean us as an item was actually a good thing. Jack lied to her that we were still together for this very reason.

Call it redemption for actually giving into my guilty pleasure, but I agreed that I would play along only if I was able to tell her after the wedding. Since he had no choice, he agreed. The ceremony is in late August at The Brewery where her parents live.¬† I’m sure it will be nothing less of Henrietta, artsy and all.

Here’s the strange part: As we were about to leave, I told him I would agree to unblock his number if he promised to stop calling me on strange hours and different numbers.

“What are you talking about?” He looked puzzled. I knew he wasn’t acting, he was horrible at lying. His reaction frightened me.

“This” I showed him the number on the phone log. I felt my heart stop. Who else would have called me? It couldn’t be… could it?

Taking the phone from me, he put it of speaker and dialed the number. I couldn’t seem to fight him, I was dying to know who it was as well… The phone rang until it hit the voice mail; strange enough it was a song, recorded from something else.

“Who does that anymore? That was an early decade thing, haven’t heard of that since high school.” Jack laughed at first, but he started to hum the song. I knew what he was doing, memorizing the lyrics.

We Googled some of the lyrics on his phone, it was Bjork’s I Miss You (Remix) from her Telegram album. None of knew anyone that listened to Bjork, let alone extensively to buy this remake album. I begged him not to call it again.

“Seems you have bigger problems than Henrietta, a stalker. Can’t say I’m not jealous.” He taunted, I was too shocked he easily took me in for a hug.

As he disappeared I realized I was eating the doughnut, stress eating. No wonder he was making fun of me. Still, I couldn’t deny the truth. I was losing my control, and a fragment of my reality was unraveling before my eyes…