Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our Story Pt 5.

That moment came as soon as I stepped off the airplane and down into the terminal. There he was with all of my friends. I finally felt lighter than a balloon, for the first time in months. He was right there, and it was like my mind had been wiped clean of all the months I had been away. I got in the car with my friends and we went to Lewisburg for dinner at my Grammy's. Before dinner, we all went down to the park.
Not too much happened that first day. He wore my hoodie around all day(which was zebra striped, had a fur lined hood, and was way too small on him) which I thought was really cute. Grammy made my friends and I a delicious lasagna dinner, and we gorged ourselves. We went upstairs to digest, and all dog piled onto a bed, he laid close to me which I thought was note-worthy. It almost irritated me, I could tell he liked me. It was finally to the point that it was obvious to me like it had never been before. A veil had been lifted, and I was finally able to see. Or perhaps he just couldn't hide it anymore. Maybe he didn't want to. Either way it felt like my life no longer depended on if he loved me or not. It didn't.
Later that night there was a bonfire at Rachel's house, and we all sat around the fire. It was so nice to be back with all my friends, under that never ending starry sky. Alaska felt like a million miles away, and I felt strange that I was feeling so mentally distance as well as physically. The night before I'd been bawling my eyes out for leaving Josh, and now I was feeling the urge to be close to Jared. How could my heart be so fickle? I was beating myself up again as I watched the flames dance.
Suddenly Jared and Mike got up, and walked to the edge of the field, because Mike had talked about how scary and exciting it was to run in the dark. I took off after them, my mind under that spell that commanded I stay by his side no matter where he went. Mark, set, GO, and we were off running through the harvested corn field. It was terrifying and exciting. I tripped over a few leftover corn stalks, and slowed down for fear I might actually fall. They left me in the dust. I watched for a moment, then they slowed and Jared laid down in the dirt.
I trotted over to him and Mike headed back to the bonfire. He was wearing a long black peacoat, and he opened one side and invited me to lay down with him. I obliged, still under his spell. I didn't want to think anymore, I just wanted to do, and being with him felt so right. He wrapped his coat around me as he felt me shivering in the cold. I laid my head on his chest, and we gazed at the milky way above us. While he was cracking his cool outwardly through his body language, his lips were still sealed. I think he was afraid to admit it to himself still. Afraid to love me for fear of getting hurt either by the distance, or by just allowing me to hold his heart in his hands. So we shivered together in silence for a while before deciding to go back to the fire.
A day or so later, I went to visit my friends in school. It was really silly, and I ended up answering a thousand stupid questions about Alaska("Do you live in igloos?" No. "Do you ride polar bears?" Seriously? "Do you have a penguin as a pet?" Okay penguins don't live north of the equator...). After that, I went back to Lewisburg with Grammy, and somehow got in touch with Dan. He drove himself and Jared over and we went to subway. Jared, Mike and Rachel had earlier claimed that they'd become vegetarians, yet here was Jared ordering the meatiest sub possible. I took pictures as evidence and teased him mercilessly. Then we went to visit Jared's mom, who was moving out of her apartment. I was shy and quiet, but so excited to finally meet the women who'd im'ed me so long ago of her approval. After that we went back to my Grammy's and sat in Dan's parked car and took a million ridiculous photos together. 
Towards the end of the week, I went to hang out with Mike, Rachel, and Jared. We went out to Fazoli's for dinner, and afterwards went to a field to play hide and seek. Of course there were teams because it was pitch black outside, and of course it was Mike and Rachel vs Jared and I. We ran out to hide first, and I clung to him for fear of what might be hiding in the darkness.
Mike and Rachel counted loudly in unison and we ran around blindly looking for a spot to hide. I was pretty petrified and was clinging tightly to Jared. He dove into some brush and we crouched, waiting. We were completely still, I was too scared to move much, and I think he was really into the game. They stopped counting and the roar of silence filled the air. I was suddenly too aware of how close we were, holding onto each other in the bushes. My mind was whirring. I turned to look at him and he looked at me too. For a moment I was thought he was going to kiss me, and part of me wanted this, and part chastised myself for even thinking it.
Just in time Mike and Rachel's tread was snapping brush in front of us. Our eyes had adjusted enough to faintly make out their outline as they walked right past us. They wondered around for a moment, Rachel whispering about how she couldn't see and how creepy it was out here at night. Closer they came again, and all of a sudden Rachel startled some birds out of some bushes around us. Screams of bloody murder came from her and I, and that was the end of that game.
We headed back to Rachel's house, and they decided to play music in the field of her backyard. They jammed for a little while, then we headed inside to Rachel's room. I went up into the loft to look at the old pictures she had up on her wall, and Jared followed me. They laid down on her bed below then turned out the light. We sat down on the couch, opposite ends. My mind was racing again, I knew the inevitable was going to happen.
He laid down, and I stayed sitting, indignant. All of a sudden he pulled me to him, and I could not stop him because it was what I wanted. I was tired, I was weak, I was in love, I was in a different state, excuses excuses. He started to kiss me, and I was stunned. I didn't kiss back at first, but then I couldn't help myself. I kissed him back for a moment until the little wounded self from the summer screamed from the back of my mind. I snapped out of it and pushed him away and shook my head. That was all I could muster. Too many thoughts were crashing through my head for me to articulate anything to him, not to mention we'd never had a mature conversation about our feelings. I wanted to scream all my hurt from the summer at him. I wanted to scream “How could you?!”.
I think Mike called him down to leave then, and I got up to follow. For some reason they climbed through her window, maybe because they missed curfew like so many nights before. Rachel leaned out the window to kiss Mike goodbye. I became selfish, and I wanted to take back the life that was stolen from me. The life where this type of thing happened every weekend, because Jared was my boyfriend and I still lived in Lakengren. The life where he dried my tears when I got into fights with my family, and snuck to my window at night to steal a kiss. The life where he took me to prom and my mom took pictures of us in the front yard. The way things were supposed to be. I leaned out the window and kissed Jared like it was nothing I wasn't used to doing. Then they left.
Rachel and I climbed into bed and I started crying. I told her what had happened, and I told her about everything I was feeling. How I had a boyfriend and I was a terrible person, how I was still in love with Jared but he just kept me as a casual object he could pick up and put down whenever he pleased. She wiped my tears and assured me I wasn't a bad person. I was so mad at Jared that I tried to convinced myself I didn't love him anymore. How could I love him when he treated me this way, and made me fall under his spell.
It wasn't his fault though. While it wasn't fair of him to pick me up and put me down, I understand why he did it. He couldn't not love me when I was right there in front of him, and when I was gone, he just shut down so he wouldn't have to deal with the hurt of me being gone. He didn't know about Josh either. That would hurt him later, but he was still unaware that I had a boyfriend at that point.
The next morning the boys came back. I had showered and was hiding under the blankets, embarrassed to let Jared see my full blown curly hair. He curled up in bed with me though and insisted on how cute it was and how much he liked it. My anger at him was starting to melt away. Rachel and Mike went off to the living room, I'm sure she thought I wanted to talk to him, but of course I couldn't. We just laid there smiling at each other for a while, with me taking the ponytail out of his long hair and putting it around my wrist. Then I found a tangle of black string, and I don't know what possessed me, but I decided to tie it around his ring finger. He let me, watching me carefully wrap the long strand around and around. Just as I finished, Rachel burst into the room, and I turned around startled to her snapping a picture of us.
After that, we went to breakfast at the Eaton Place. We sat in the booth, me next to Jared and Mike next to Rachel in the dingy little diner. The guilt was pushing its way back into my mind, especially for putting a mock ring on his finger, and I was taking it out on Jared. Despite Rachel trying to tell me otherwise, I still felt like the scum of the earth, and I was blaming Jared for it. I was cold and distant, but I don't think he noticed.
We went to the fairfield mall to shop, and by the time we got there, my iciness had started to wear off. The only super notable thing I remember from the mall is the booth in the center, where Rachel bought a head massager. The man running it looked at Jared and I, and asked if I was his girlfriend. Without a moment of hesitation, Jared said “No”, and that was another bitter nail in the coffin I was prepared to bury our love in. He didn't look at me and smile, didn't think, didn't bother to lie to the man to be cute. Just flat out “no”. Didn't want to claim me. My heart felt broken all over again and I was back to being cold.
It was my last day in Ohio already, and we headed back to Lewisburg. We decided to walk around even though it was pretty cold out. There was another cemetery we explored, and then we went to the playground behind the local school I had once attended myself. We played in the field surrounding the school, inventing a war type of game that consisted of us throwing dirt clods attached to corn stalks at each other. The explosions of dirt looked pretty fantastic.
We got tired and headed back to my Grammy's, and on the walk back Jared wrapped his arm around me, his arm slipping up my coat and around my hip. Somehow, despite me feeling all the anger towards him earlier, I allowed it and even enjoyed it, though there was still the twinge of irritation. It was apparent in my mind that I only had a few hours left with him until I was to get on a plane back to Alaska.
When we got in there was a frenzy of picture taking, all four of us together on the couch. I had worn a long pink and purple scarf that I had knitted myself, and put it around Jared's neck. Right before we parted ways he plopped a black beanie he'd been wearing non stop since last summer on my head and hugged me goodbye. I watched their car fade into the distance, and I started to cry. That was it. After a roller coaster of emotions all week, he was gone again.