If I Could Find You Now Things Would Get Better
My morning's not even over yet and I already feel like crap again.
Mike. Mike, Mike, friggen Mike.
I met him in homeroom this morning, like I did everyday. We chatted a little bit about why I wasn't there, just catching up on missed things. Then, just to ask to be sure, I checked about us going laser tagging on the 11th. He played coy, saying he should be open. That didn't bother me that much, but the conversation following it did.
"Just, like I said before, don't take it the wrong way," Mike warned, staring at me. "I don't want to getting the wrong impression or taking something from it that's not there."
I nodded. "Yeah, I know. I know it's not a date, because if it was, you wouldn't have said yes. Right?"
He sat there for a second, silent. "Yeah, you're right."
That bugged me. I frowned, stood up and recited the pledge, ignoring Mike's glances at me during the moment of silence. We sat down, and Mike kept on staring. "What's with the dejected look?"
"I just don't understand why you won't go for something as simple as a non-committal date."
He sighed. "Because three reasons. One- I dated you for eleven months, and I've made my choice on you based on that. Two- you'd take the wrong feelings from a date, and don't lie and say you wouldn't. And three- well, I kinda want to just use you for physical reasons."
I balked. Did he just say that? "You mean sex."
"I can tell you this, Mike. I wouldn't take the wrong feelings from a non-committal date, you'll just have to trust me on that. Those eleven months, well, a good portion of them was a hard time in my life, so it's not fair to judge me on that. And even if you did just use me for sex, I'd probably do the same in the end, too."
The last part was a blatant lie, but I'd rehearsed conviction in the bathroom mirror for over three months now, so my parents would never learn how upset or bothered by something I truly was. For the first time ever, Mike believed it too.
Still, he shook his head. "You're a friend, Liv. I don't take friends out on dates."
"What harm would it do?" I asked, keeping calm, not a tear in sight. I was damn proud of myself. "It could go over well."
He shook his head. "You'd end up taking it the wrong way, just like the sex would, too."
I sat there for a moment, quiet in thought. I kept the same determined expression in my eyes, making sure he knew I was being (or at least he thought) honest and truthful. "I can't show you I wouldn't get attached, you'd just have to take my word for it."
That was the end of our conversation, and I haven't spoken to him since. It's awkward. I hurt, feel like I've been cut by a knife, sliced down the middle and everyone sees me bleeding. I like him, I really do, and I'm trying to keep my head high above the waters, but slowly I'm drowning, sinking into the abyss below me, ready to swallow me whole.
The rest of the day moved slow, almost like time didn't want me to move past my sorrow. I sloshed through the class periods one by one, the same empty expression in my eyes.
11th period came around, and I groaned. There was no way I wanted to see Mike right now, not a chance. Yet five minutes later we were walking alone to the computer lab, Mike's arms around me in a half-hug while I shivered uncontrollably in the freezing temperatures of the school.
We got into the computer lab, and I sat down on a chair, starting up a computer, Mike sitting on the ledge behind me. While the computer slowly loaded (they're old macs) I complained about being cold. At once Mike wrapped his arms around me and nuzzled his head into my neck, staying there. I wrapped my arms over his, taking in his warmth with pleasure, resting my head against his.
A minute passed before Mike was whispering in my ear. "You still like me, just as much like before."
We broke apart, Mike giving me a second to log into the computer. Clicking the enter key, I turned back to face him. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"It's why I don't want to do any of this with you, because you'll expect what we used to have. You'll want what we used to have together."
I shook my head, oblivious to the computer having loaded behind me. "No, that's not true. I don't want that anymore." I held up a hand, brushing his cheek to silence his opened mouth. "I know if I had something with you that it wouldn't be the same as it used to. We're two different people now, older, more mature. I wouldn't expect you to call me every day, hang on the phone with me for hours, do something with me every weekend. That's not what I want. I know you have a life, that I have a life, and that can't be changed. We just don't have the time we used to, and I understand that. I want someone who can have a life while I have mine, and meet me somewhere in the middle."
He seemed to regard me for a moment, probably confused by the sincerity in my eyes, my tone. I'd been practicing this for weeks, like everything else. You have more time than you think you do when you no longer have a counter part to think about. "I'm just afraid I'd end up using you. I can't guarantee I'd ever feel the same, Liv. I'm mainly just attracted to, well, you." He gestured to my body, as if to explain the obvious.
I laughed; I had to. He really thought he was the only one would could pull that card? "Mike, you wouldn't be using me. I want this. If I want it, how is it called 'being used'?"
He gave me no answer. Something told me he just was afraid of becoming attatched again. I directed my attention to the computer, where I completed a small test in fifteen minutes.
He must of been thinking; his lips were pursed, eyebrows bunched together. "It would be hard," he started, catching me off guard. I'd thought he was done talking about it for the day. "And we really wouldn't be able to see much of each other."
"Well, we could," I began after thinking for a moment. "You could always come over to my house and hang out a lot, as a cover."
He laughed. "Yeah, no."
"It's not like my parents hate you."
"Really?" That caught his attention. "Your father doesn't want to gut me like a fish?"
"Actually, no, he doesn't." I was being honest. "It's my mother who wanted to give you the third degree. She always said if we ever got back together she'd rip you a new one, but I told her she wasn't allowed to do that."
He laughed, grinning like a fool as he clicked a button on my computer, bringing up another test I had to do.
A thought came to mind. "What about your parents? Do they ever talk about me?"
Wow, that was fast. I managed a small laugh. "What do they say?"
He mumbled something incoherent. I nudged him, pouting. "C'mon, tell me. What do they say? Does your mother talk about me?"
He nodded, just slightly. "They mention you occasionally." I had the feeling, judging by his tone, it was more than occasionally. "They... thought you were crazy."
So it did have something to do with his parents. Huh. "Knew it." I sang, turning to the computer and starting my test.
More time passed. Once more he spoke up, startling me from my quiet exam, focusing on the keys of the piano in front of me and the notes coming from the headphones. "It would be a lot of work." He was still on the topic? Damn, I was good.
I nodded, staring at the screen. "Yes, Mike, we've been over this."
His voice was suddenly closer, right behind my ear. "It wouldn't be so bad once you got a car."
I turned around again, his face too close. Remnants of my dream shot to the front of my brain, the image of myself pinned against the wall by his body too much. I leaned forward and kissed his lips. It was the shortest peck of my life. His lips were just like I remembered; soft, lush, almost too good to exist.
He pulled back rapidly, looking at me with a mix of shock and curiousity. "No, Liv. Not here."
I pouted. "Awww, c'mon."
He sat there, looking at me. "I'll think about it." A small, little smile danced on his lips.
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