Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Part At the End of August

We're driving home. It's been a long day – hiking, laughing, spending time with old friends. All of us are crammed into the huge car, Wine is driving. Your head is in my lap. Like everyone else in the car, you're fast asleep. I play with your hair, running my fingers through your brown curls. I trace your face. Eyes, nose. Lips.

You're perfect.

The song on the radio is from Wine's dressing room mix. I know it so well (but I like the live version better). But as I look down at you, cuddled up to me, it means so much more. You're there, in my lap. And you're not going anywhere. Nothing is going to happen to us.

We're together forever.

Someone Like You - Adele

I didn't know what to do with myself. She wasn't my girlfriend anymore, so I wasn't allowed to text her when I saw something that I thought she might like or when I thought of something I needed to tell her. I wasn't allowed to think about her, really. I needed to move on.

My parents didn't know that I had just ended a relationship. They hadn't been able to share the giddiness of our first kiss, the joy of the day we got together...and they couldn't be there to comfort me when my heart broke. They thought that I was acting so weird and upset because I was sad to leave my friends behind. Only partially true.

The drive to Utah was the most miserable twenty-six hours of my life. I texted everyone but her. Because I couldn't text her. But I didn't want to talk to everyone. I wanted to talk to her.

I wanted her to be happy. I knew that we had done the right thing.

Doricha and I had been dating for eight months when we started college. When we started dating we agreed that what would be best for both of us would be to break up when we started school. A clean break. So that there wouldn't be any cheating or lies or heartbreak or hurt. We would break up while we still loved each other so we would only have happy memories. And if we really missed each other that much maybe we would look at getting back together after a year.

But we were going to live the college life.

She was going to live the college life.

We talked about me finding a nice boy, settling down, raising a family. I guess I sort of believed it. I knew that it was best to just bury this part of myself. And someday I would meet someone who cared about me just as much as Doricha did. Who sacrificed as much of himself as she did for me, who did the little things that she did, who got that smile on his face. Like she did. That smile.

And I would be able to trust him as much as I had trusted her. I would be able to trust him enough to tell him about her. And he would hold me while I cried because I missed her so much. Because I never wanted to leave her, but I was trying to do what was best for everybody. For me. I was trying to do what was right. I was trying to be good. I was trying to be who I was supposed to be.

I was going to be the daughter my parents raised me to be. It wasn't going to be overnight. But someday there would be someone. And he would be able to be like her. He would be what she was to me. He would maybe start to fill to place she left.

And we would be happy for each other. She would be my maid of honor at my wedding. And I would just ignore it when we shared that look. That look that we shared so often. That look that meant "I wonder what you would do if I kissed you right now." Because that part of my life was over. Was supposed to be over.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Part Where I Came Out To Myself

It had been building for a long time. I kept ignoring it because this could not be real. I was a good kid. The worst thing I had ever done was have a boyfriend behind my parents' backs for six weeks when I was fifteen. Only bad kids had feelings like that. It was just temptation. Good people weren't gay, not even a little.

But sometimes I slipped. One night, my cousin and his wife and kids came to stay with us and slept in my room, so I went and stayed the night with a friend. Doricha and I stayed up all night talking, even though she had to go to summer school in the morning. We sat in the dark, me on my mattress on the floor and her in her bed. In the darkness, I couldn't stop myself from imagining what it would be like to kiss her and cuddle with her.

At one point I crawled up onto her bed with her. We were so close, we could have touched each other. It was dark, so she couldn't see me. Couldn't see me wanting to kiss her.

It wasn't long after that that I couldn't keep lying to myself.

I was in the shower. Totally alone. Naked and vulnerable. I mentally egged myself on. "Say it," I thought. "Just say it out loud. You know it's true."

"I'm..." I couldn't get the rest out.

"Say the word. Say what you are. You know what you are, it can't not be true. Just say it."

I could feel myself being ripped in two.

"Say the word," I thought to myself.

I couldn't do it. I could not say that I was that thing that I was so afraid of. That thing that would tear my family apart, I was sure.

"Then at least say the other part," I thought. "At least admit that."

My body ached from being torn apart. If I was crying, my tears were masked by the water from the showerhead. I put my hands over my face.

And I said it aloud. Said it over and over again. As soon as I said it, I knew it was true.

"I like Doricha."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Part With The Apartment On The Border

When we first got together, Doricha and I knew that we had no future. So we dreamed.

It started small. I'm pretty sure every couple has a little dream that's like, "Man, if we could just get a place of our own, we would be golden." And we were just the same way. We just wanted a little place of our own.

I remember one night in particular where it got really elaborate. We were just laying in bed together talking late into the night while we cuddled. 

I love doing that.

It's on the border of France and Spain, because I speak Spanish and she speaks French. In a town that's mostly not on the map, idyllic. It has a school that needs someone to teach all the performing arts, that's my job. And she composes brilliant things that sell for a bajillion dollars from our home.

It's always sunny and summer.

Our apartment is above a bakery, so when we wake up in the mornings we can smell fresh baked bread. We're friends with the baker, so at the end of the day he gives us the things that didn't sell that he can't save. And sometimes we sit and talk with him, because we really are friends.

I think he has a nice cute little wifey and some sweet little kiddies. And the whole town loves him because he's a phenomenal baker.

The apartment itself is, just like the town, perfect. Not so big that we lose each other in it. But not so small we're tripping over each other. Two bedroom, but one of the bedrooms is Doricha's office. Maybe her office is also the music room. Maybe we have a music room also.

Gorgeous kitchen. I don't like to cook, but she does. She follows about twelve food blogs. (That's not part of the fantasy. That's real.) And so we spent all the money from a big commission once upon a time getting us a fancy kitchen.

Our bedroom is my favorite part to imagine. It has a balcony with French doors. And I always picture these super cheesy white curtains that blow in the wind. Summer wind. We have a great big bed. So comfy. We blew our whole fortune on an expensive bed.

That apartment that we dreamed up has become a sort of mental escape. When I just can't take the real world anymore, I retreat to the apartment on the border and give it some furniture or decorate it a little.  And she is always there.