This is an attempt at a short, autobiographical story, of which I hope to write more in the future, including fiction. It is personal and has a directed audience. Feel free to read it, but it may not be of much worth to anyone, including its intended recipient.
You called me. I answered. It was the fifth or sixth ring. I had been sitting holding the telephone, feeling it vibrate through me as my heart palpitated faster to keep up with its pulse. An eternity passed between me hitting send and hearing my hoarse, unused voice cough out "Hello?"
I don't remember anything you said. I know you wanted me to pick you up outside your dorm. I think you were hungry. I was shocked at hearing your voice and at the thought you would call me. I ran eagerly to my car, pushing past youngish looking men blocking the stairways laughing heartily about everything and nothing. I tripped on one of them and heard only faint curses in the distance as I hurriedly continued. I needed to touch you. I wanted to hear you. I was determined to see you.
I reached the car, flung the door open, and suddenly felt a sinking feeling. "What does she want from me?" I sat there for five minutes. Then it was ten. Twenty minutes later I summoned the courage to start the car and leave the parking lot. I tried to clear my mind, but I was overcome with anger at the thought that maybe this was only a car ride. Maybe you just needed something. You probably think I just want to be your friend.
You got in the car, and it was silent. Even the car drove tensely. I tried to think of something, anything I could say. It all sounded stupid, so I just kept my mouth shut, hoping you had something to talk about. You didn't. We drove somewhere. I don't remember driving at all.
All I can remember is the tightness in my chest, the way you filled my car with the scent of your lotion, how happy I was that you were with me, how I wanted to touch you so much it hurt, that I wanted to tell you I still loved you and how beautiful you looked in that baggy, old t-shirt. I wanted to say that I had never loved anyone before, and I didn't know what that meant before I met you. I wanted you to know how tortured my life had been since I selfishly paraded out on you because I thought you couldn't want me anymore.
Then I heard you say, loudly, "So are you just not going to talk to me?"
I looked you in the eyes for the first time in months. Your face was red; your look was fierce. This was not a look of scorn, anger or sadness. It was much worse. It was all three. I could hear your heart beating and breaking through your voice. It was both powerful and weak.
We argued. I don't remember anything I said; I didn't know what I was saying then. I should have told you I loved you. I should have held you. I should have kissed away your tears and asked for you back. But I didn't. I said something about how I felt left out and alone and needed friends. It was a lie. I needed you. We didn't settle anything that night. I hoped I would get another chance, but I knew I wouldn't.
I went to my room and lay on my bed. I stayed there for weeks. I couldn't go to class, because I would see you. I couldn't go eat, because I would hear your voice in the next hall. Eventually, I moved home because every time I saw you with someone, I was jealous and defeated; every time you spoke to me, I wanted to grab you and kiss you but knew it was past that; every time you reached out to me, I knew I had blown it.
It took me almost a year to get over you. What should have been a one year anniversary was for me a painful reminder of what I had lost. Two years later I still felt depressed if I looked at your picture. Only now, after three years have passed, can I even talk about it, wonder what you are doing without me, and not be tortured by the could-have-beens.
I did love you, much more than you think I did. It might have been young and naive, but it was love nonetheless. All that is past and gone now, but we will always have our memories, however short and sweet they might be.
I will always think of you. I will remember our long rides to the middle of nowhere, an excuse to smoke cigarettes that was a veiled excuse to be with one another. I will remember how we dented my car hood that night under the Texas stars. I will remember the first movie we went to see and how awkward I felt. I will remember kissing you at IHOP, then kissing you more in our secret spot. I will remember how I held you as you slept, or pretended to sleep, on that late drive back from San Antonio. There are a thousand other memories, still as vivid as the day they happened, that I will always treasure.
But the time has long passed to say the things I wish I would have said. That flame has been extinguished, that life choked out. I hope you can forgive me, and whoever you find makes you happier than I did.