I threw myself on to the couch, exhausted. I was finally done setting up the old stereo my family had when I was a kid. After a day of moving furniture, installing lightbulbs, and dusting out old books, there were only a few boxes left to unpack: clothes, shoes, and other trinkets I never had the time (or guts) to part with.
I looked down on my shirt and saw that it was stained a dark gray color around the neckline where I usually wiped my sweaty and dirty face with all day. I took off my shirt and threw it on the floor. And because I’m a lazy person, I used my foot to drag down the stand fan a little bit closer to the couch and footsied the control buttons, switching it from 1 to 3.
Clad only in my worn out bra, I grabbed the stereo remote and hit a few buttons that would play the Lana del Rey CD already stored inside. I sat up on the couch and dragged the box with the word ‘MISC’ written on the side.
I was immediately greeted with photobooth photos from the numerous 18th birthdays I’ve attended. I flipped through the stack, taking in the faces of the people I almost never get to see anymore. How can it only be ten years after high school graduation and less than five years after college? It’s bizarre.
My heart skipped a beat when I came across our picture. It was from that concert we attended just because it was free. I studied my past self: thinner, making wacky faces, and rocking a prop fedora. It was weird looking at our happy and carefree faces totally unaware that it’s only the start of a doomed friendship.
And you! You always liked making stoic faces at the camera. If you weren’t doing that you were making this face that is only funny purely because of the reason that your expression looks so grotesque.
I suddenly had this mental image of my younger self laughing at your expression a little too loudly. I fought the urge to slap myself on the head repeatedly. I was a stupid, obnoxious girl back then. I wanted you to like me back so bad, it’s embarrassing just to think about it.
I put back the photos in the box and searched the couch for my phone. Scrolling down my contact list, I tried to come up with a good reason to text you. You gave me your number after three bottles of beer and a long conversation about “how’s life” during that night we had dinner. You told me to “text you if I needed anything or if I just wanted to”.
It was a sweet and genuine gesture. I could tell from the earnest look in your eyes and the way you grabbed my phone and saved your name in all caps. It was like you saying “Hey, I’m sorry if I disappeared on you like that. I’d like to make it up to you.” only you were saying different words.
Two years after that dinner, I still haven’t texted you. Blame my overthinking and overanalyzing brain. What would it mean if I did? What would you think it’d mean? Was everything that happened between us water under the bridge? I was terrified with what I would realize about myself. Was I still in love with you or are these just regular leftover feelings? Can we really just be friends? All of these questions always cross my mind whenever my finger hovers over your name on my phone.
One of the reasons why I also never texted you is because I always had bad experiences with seemingly random texting people from my past. I did it on a quite regular basis to my high school ex. There was a time when I texted her more than after a year of our break-up, inviting her to hang out at the mall nearby her house. She declined with a lame excuse about still being in school. Obviously, she thought: What the fuck is this crazy bitch up to now? I am THIS close to getting a restraining order! Little did she know, I already made the 30 minute trip to the mall, dressed in cute shorts and a nice top. That was the moment when I thought that I was really going cuckoo crazy stalker over her. Luckily, I wasn’t. (Or maybe I did, I’ll never know)
Hey, it’s me. Are you free this Saturday?
I took a deep breath and hit send. I threw my phone on the couch and willed myself not to stare at it while waiting for a reply.
I held my breath as I typed out:
Nothing. I just moved to a new apartment and I think it’s near your house. I’m not sure.
I’ll be there.
I let out a loud sigh of relief. I hit the power button on my stereo and stood up. My heart and brain were so consumed with feeling and thinking that I did this kind of robotic walk towards the bathroom. Get it together, man.
Fuck, I hope he doesn’t think I moved here just to be closer to him. That will be fucking creepy.
Took you long enough to text me. See you Saturday. 🙂
Also, text me your address. 🙂
How is it that after years of no contact, two smiley faces from you could still put a huge goofy smile on my face?
God, I’m so screwed.
Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Serial Killer III Today, imagine you work in a place where you manage lost or forgotten items. What might you find in the pile? For those participating in our serial challenge, reflect on the theme of “lost and found,” too.
This story takes place two years after that serendipitous reunion. This turned out to be very wordy, I don’t know why. I just felt like rambling on an on about the whole details about the house and small anecdotes about character’s past. Believe me, I tried to make this shorter. I deleted a whole paragraph (which I thought was pretty awesomely well-written) wherein the character explained why she always wanted to live alone. 😦
This is actually the weakest post of the entire series in my opinion. It’s just so hard to tie things up nicely. 😦
Also, I just discovered how awesome Lana del Rey is and I CAN’T BELIEVE I NEVER LISTENED TO HER ALBUMS BEFORE 😥