'I think we'd be good together'....
Hehehe, that's what Brody said to me. Like....out loud. Like...to my face.
'I think we'd be good together'....
I kept playing it in my head over and over again. Wondering if I missed something. If I misinterpreted his intentions somewhere along the way. But I couldn't find a single flaw in his delivery of that one line. That single sentence.
'I think we'd be good together'....
God, there it goes again! That 'love' sensation. Hehehe...it kind of tickles inside. You know? Thinking about him saying that to me. To ME...and nobody else. I was so floored by the idea that I didn't know what to do with myself. Was this even real? Please, let this be real!
Brody just asked me...if we could be...
Hehehe, oh God! I'm almost giggling just< I>thinking it to myself! He asked me...if he and I could be together. Like...together together! And maybe that sounds minor to some people, but for me? This was an< I>unprecedented event! I was loved by the single most amazing person that I have ever known. Loved< I>beyond my many flaws. Loved beyond my faults and my insecurities and my attempts to keep him at arms length. Loved...even when most people would have gotten annoyed and angry and stopped wanting to be around me at all. It's a total departure from everything I've ever experienced before. I have no idea what to do with this feeling. It's pretty scary when I stop and think about it.
I just...I feel so out of my comfort zone right now. I know I should just sit back and enjoy it, but I can't help but to wonder...why me? Why now, after all this time, did I suddenly get such an amazing gift in my life?
When you grow up the way I did...emotions just don't work the same way as they do for everybody else. They don't always have a sense of 'stability' when it comes to truly feeling much of anything. All of your joy, your love, your anger, your hurt...it's magnified a billion times over. It becomes so intense sometimes that it swings out of control at a moment's notice and you don't know if you're going to be able to handle it at all. I try. Lord knows that I've had enough practice. But...sometimes, an emotion catches you off guard...and it can be more painful, more damaging, than anything you've ever been prepared for. It wipes you out completely.
It was a fear of that loss of control, that sudden sucker punch to the heart, that kept my defenses up for so long when it came to the idea of Brody giving a damn about a worthless nobody like me. There were many times when I was convinced that I wasn't worth it. But he said it. He really came right out and told me that he wanted to try...being a couple. With me. Me, above all others. He loves ME.
What a world. Right?
I was sitting in my next period class, and I swear that my whole body went numb whenever I thought of his smile. It was sudden. It was strange. And I should have expected all this from the events that had been leading up to this one special moment, but...still, it just couldn't sink in all the way. Something inside of me just couldn't accept it, no matter how hard I tried.
And believe me...I was REALLY trying!
I wanted it to be 'ok'. I wanted to believe that after sooooo long, after so many years in pain, looking for some kind of escape, that the boy of my dreams would suddenly just 'pop up' out of nowhere and actually tell me that he loved me. Actually loved me. For no reason other than he found a light in me that I never even knew was there until he brought it out of me. For me...loving somebody is easy. I've got enough love to give the whole world if they needed it. But having somebody love me back with the same intensity was the Holy Grail of my existence. I wasn't ready for it. Not in the least.
I wanted to put on my blindfold, fall backward...and trust that Brody's pure expression of love and affection would catch me.
But I couldn't. My brain just wasn't wired that way, I guess. It's been a long time since I've had to use my natural instincts for anything other than keeping secrets and ensuring my very 'survival' at home. This is unexplored territory for me. And despite the seductive allure of the ultimate treasure ahead of me...
...I couldn't shake the feeling that it was more a deluson than a possibility. I wish I could enjoy this as much as I should be enjoying this. I'm trying, Brody. For you, sweetie...I'm really trying to believe that something like this could be real. It may take me some time...but eventually my screwed up brain will finally let me know, once and for all...that 'we'll be good together'.
One day, it'll feel normal. I promise.
I kept smiling during all of my classes. Nearly giggling out loud to myself from the silly notion of me being...in a 'relationship'. Hehehe! That's just crazy! I mean, isn't it? I have a boyfriend! Right now...somewhere in this very building...is a super CUTE guy who considers himself my boyfriend!
Like...I could walk up to any random person in the hall and say, "Hey, this is Brody. He's my< I>boyfriend." Hehehe, you know?
"Yes. Table for two, please. For me and my boyfriend, Brody."
"What? You want my hot naked body? Psh! Sorry, dude! You're too late! I've got a boyfriend now! His name is Brody! Have you met him?"
Wow...I swear, I could do this all day. It's fun.
As I sat in my English class, probably grinning from ear to ear and staring off into space, thoughts of Brody's smile kept all of the bad things far far away from me. All of them. He protected me. He's the only one who could ever accomplish that. The only boy alive that could make life such a dazzling experience, day in and day out.
It was a purely unintentional look around the room that got me to notice that Mr. Raffe was giving me a stern look from the front of the room. It probably bugged him something awful to see me sitting over here 'happy' for a change. The class was silently working on a short writing exercise, and I had only taken a few moments to daydream about the love of my life, center of my world. But judging from his expression, I was sure that he'd be picking on me again the moment he called for 'pens down' so he could check our work.
And there was a time when that would have worried and agitated me to no end. There was a time when I would have quickly straightened up my act and tried to force myself back to work. Just for his benefit. Just to shove myself back into his tiny work box and not make any waves. But not today.
Today...I had a boyfriend! Hehehe!
As long as I had someone who truly loved me, someone who wasn't ashamed to tell me so every time he got the chance...I was bulletproof. I could handle anything life had to throw at me. So Mr. Raffe was going to have to work pretty damn hard to get my temper activated today. I was too happy to really care.
When I looked down at my notebook, and my ink pen hit that paper...the words flowed forth as naturally and effortlessly as the waters of a babbling brook. Brody had broken down the walls I set up to keep my 'happy' mask in place for the people around me, and my insecurities hadn't found a way to build it back up just yet. Not to any strength, at least. I was sure that life wouldn't be all giggles and gumdrops for long...but for now? For now, I was going to bask in every last minute of illuminated bliss that this liberating sensation could provide me. Because...well....you know...
Me and Brody...
...We're good together. Hehehe! Sorry. Too much?
Mr. Raffe handed back some of our work from yesterday as we turned in our current projects. I didn't even have to turn it over to know what to expect. More garbage. More unfair comparisons. More complaints. Can't I just write my stories in my own way? I know the lesson plan and the strict guidelines set by the shadowed masters of creative fiction, but...sometimes I just want to have fun, you know? I want to relax, and focus, and let my personal expression flow naturally without me trying to put up all of these maze-like walls of literary mechanics for my imagination to struggle trying to get through. I just want to pour my whole heart into something that I love. This is what I do. Even more than that...this is who I am.
It's like...'deal with it', you know?
You would think that Mr. Raffe, as a supposedly 'creative' person himself, would respect something like that on some level. But he didn't. Not one bit.
Still...like I said, I didn't really get upset. I just...figured I'd keep doing my thing until he was forced to recognize it for what it was. 'My own thing'.
Something was changing in me. Something that let me know that everything isn't always my fault. Everything isn't always because I'm not good enough, or didn't work hard enough, or because I was the one that screwed up somewhere along the line. If I have Brody's love as any kind of example...then I'm perfect JUST the way I am. And no amount of heartless punishment from Mr. Raffe and his fucked up treatment can ever take that away from me. Everybody may not love or appreciate me for who I am...but that doesn't mean it's because I'm not worth it. It just means that we're not on the same page. And I'm ok with that. As long as my page is just as important as all the others...we don't have to be the same. How boring would life be if we were?
When the bell rang to end the class, I noticed Mr. Raffe looking for me in the crowd of dispersing students. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me, but I could almost see a certain smug look on his face when our eyes connected. A satisfied smirk that made him seem proud for doing what he could to hurt me with his recent remarks.
But I didn't hold my head down this time. And I didn't look away. Instead, I gave him a big grin. "See you tomorrow, Mr. Raffe." I said, and it was like all the joy was instantly drained right out of his face. Hehehe, and that made me walk just a little bit taller as I left that classroom today. His assault didn't have the power to penetrate. His criticism didn't bring me down. In fact...it just came off as sad, knowing that he had nothing better to do than target me and try to stop me from feeling good about myself. All this time, I was letting someone else control me without having my best interests at heart. And I let him. Well, no more of that. No more.
Bulletproof. I think I'm going to like this.
I think that I was able to keep myself well balanced throughout the rest of my day, dreamy glances and all...until school ended.
I think I've gotten so used to grabbing my stuff and running home right after school every day, that seeing Brody waiting by my locker at the end of the day always threw me off track. When I asked him how the heck he was able to do that whenever he felt like it, he replied, "My last period class is, like...right down the hall. There's no way that you could beat me here without ditching."
Wow, how I loved to see that boy smile. "Well, that definitely qualifies as cheating." I said, hiding my blush behind my open locker door. "So what's up?"
"I was just feeling a little friendly today, that's all. I thought I might walk you home."
I was able to keep myself from gasping loud enough for him to hear me, but I think he saw the look on my face anyway. I said, "Wait...you want to walk me home?"
"Well...walk home with you, yeah. I mean, that's alright, isn't it?"
NO! No, that's not alright! My...my dad...my house...
"Um, no. Dude, seriously, that's ok. You don't have to walk me home. I'll be fine."
"Hehehe, I know that I don't HAVE to walk you home. I just...I..." Brody looked around for a second or two as the halls were filling up with more students, and lowered his voice to smile and say, "...I just missed you. I was thinking about you, and I thought we could spend some time together."
You see? It's not cool for him to be able to do this to me so easily! Now I'm so giddy and ready to burst that I can barely stand on my own two feet. I was weak in the knees, dizzy in the head, to the point where I found myself using my locker for support to keep me from sliding down into a heap of infatuated 'goo' right there on the floor.
I said, "That...would be awesome, Brody. It's just..." Did I even have an excuse? No. No I did not. "...I should really be going. I've gotta get home."
"Cool. Well, I'm ready to go if you are." He grinned.
"No. I mean...I should go...but you still don't have to walk with me."
"I know. But I'm gonna walk with you anyway. So there." He giggled. Awww, why didn't he understand?
"No, you look..." He said, pointing his finger at me, "Day after day, I watch you run out of here like your sneakers were on fire, and you never tell anybody why. Maybe Sam and Adam let you get away with that, but I happen to like being around you to the point of obsession. And there's nothing that you can do to stop me from following you home on a public street short of breaking my legs...which I'm pretty sure is illegal." He gave me a poke in the side, saying, "SO...you can either let me walk with you, side by side, like a normal person...or you can have me trail behind you like some kind of perverted creeper without us talking at all. It's up to you."
Considering the fact that I didn't really have the opportunity to actually 'run' home and even less time to argue about it, I just grunted and told him, "Alright fine. Just...we've gotta go now, ok?"
"The only thing keeping us here is your overly enthusiastic reaction to the idea of spending time with me." He teased.
"I'm sorry. Hehehe, I just...I usually walk alone after school."
"Old tradition, gone. New tradition begins. Let's go." He closed my locker for me and even put the lock back on it for me. I don't know why I thought that was so cute, but....hehehe...everything my boyfriend does is cute. Everything.
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