I hated her when she left that night. Hated her as much as I had ever believed I loved her. How dare she show up unannounced, in the middle of the night? How could she stand there and look me in the eyes, saying she loved me when I knew she had slept with my best friend after I left? How could she act like she still cared for me when I was…well, I had gained a lot of weight, my hair was short, I looked…awful. Dammit, I hated her for seeing me at that moment. Why didn’t she warn me??
Yes, I know, she had explained that she hadn’t even been sure her grandparents would bring her until they pulled up in the parking lot, but that was no fucking excuse. She could have told me she MIGHT get to come see me….Maybe I could have been better prepared, could have been dressed better; could have done something other than lock the door to my room and refuse to open it. She had absolutely humiliated me – in my own damn house! While she was knocking on the door, trying to convince me to open it – “I’ve only got ten fucking minutes, Christopher! You know Gramp. If he says ten minutes, that’s all there is!! C’mon, baby! Open the door!!! PLEASE!’ – he could hear her sister and his younger brother laughing their heads off at the top of the stairs. Laughing at me and calling me a jerk….So finally I had to open it, I suppose. It was a mistake, though.
It really was her. My God, she was beautiful to me! With her blonde hair and hazel eyes, eyes that could cut right through me, she made me want to weep. She looked like an angel, fallen from God’s own Heaven. What was she doing here in the den of the devil? No matter how hard I tried I could not get over what appeared to be the iniquity between us. She deserved way better than me. And what a liar she was!! She opened her arms to me, she said she loved me, just as she always had. She kissed me without hesitation. Jezebel. Whore. Liar. It wasn’t possible that she could still love me. I was ugly and country and…and she looked, compared to me, like a fashion model. No, she didn’t love me. She was just being kind to me because she felt pity for me…Wasn’t that how it was?
When her grandfather began to honk the horn and then yelled for her – he really did mean it when he said “ten minutes, Rose” – she had held me as close to her as she could, her lips seeking mine. The feel of her mouth against mine nearly knocked me to my knees and I began kissing her back, almost brutally. It took a moment for me to realize that she was crying, deep, gut-wrenching sobs. I stepped back, thinking she was crying because she had realized she no longer loved me. I pushed her away and told her to go. She stood there, wringing her hands, glancing out the window to where her grandparents waited impatiently, the back at me. Was that longing I saw on her face? No, couldn’t be.
“Go, Rose. Just go.” I nearly shouted at her.
She cried harder, putting her hands over her eyes, her shoulders heaving. “But…” she whispered.
“Go. Don’t make Gramp mad.” I knew I sounded sarcastic, but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want her pity, her fake love, her…lies.
“I don’t understand, Christopher…” she wept. “I did everything I could to get here to you, to see you, to tell you…”
“Tell me what? That you don’t love me? Thanks. I needed to hear that.” Ew, the sarcasm was really flowing now.
She had the nerve to look offended, the whore. “Go!” This time I shouted at her.
She looked at me a moment more, then spun around and ran from my room. The last thing I saw was her blonde hair following her around the corner of my door jamb – then I heard her feet running down the stairs.
Her sister and my brother weren’t laughing now. Her sister, Steph, stepped into my doorway, looked at me in disgust, and said, “You’re a jerk! Why’d you make her cry??”
My brother, Wayne, stood behind her and looked just as appalled. I slammed the door shut on them both.
I watched from my bedroom window as Rose climbed into the backseat of her grandparents car, followed by Stephanie. I saw her grandmother (I had once really loved that woman, too), reach back and hug her before glancing out the car window at our house.
I watched out the window long after their red taillights had disappeared from sight.
God, I hated her. Bitch. Liar. Whore. Cheater…
Another part of my brain asked an interesting question, though: if she didn’t care about you, then why did she ask her grandparents (beg them, if she were to be believed) to go two hundred miles out of their way to bring her to see him?
I had no answer to that.
Was it possible I was wrong about her, that she DID love me after all?? Had I just blown off the only girl I could ever love?
I flung myself down on my bed and cried. Like a little girl. Believeing, somehow, that my mistake had not been opening the door, but in letting her leave through it.