- Ok, so now things are getting to get a little bit weird! I wasn't expecting him to go there, but...
...Let me just try to write this in a way that'll make sense!
JIMMY CAME TO MY FUCKING JOB TODAY!!!!
Alright, maybe that was a bit dramatic on my end. But...seriously! What the HELL????
I woke up this morning and my mom was kinda rambling on and on about Mr. Franks
fixing up something else in the house that was falling apart. Which, I mean...whatever. You know? I'm just not interested in some guy fixing stuff. Who cares? I didn't even know that we had that much stuff that was broken. So, the mere mention of Mr. Franks' name is more of an annoyance than anything else. But I didn't think much of it. My mom was getting hours of manual labor for free. She was never asked to pay a dime for all the hard work he put in. That's cool. I didn't see a need to fret over it the way she did though. You know? He comes over, and things that didn't work before work now. Good for him. It's not like I look up at the sky and thank God for his role in our lives or anything. It's not like my dad couldn't fix it if he was here. He just...he isn't. So...whatever.
I feel so WEIRD about his presence in my mother's life all of a sudden. I really do. What's that about?
Anyway, so I go to work today, thinking everything was going to be normal. It was a little busier than usual, but someone called Dizzy in to help out for a few extra hours on his paycheck. Which is cool. Dizzy always makes the day a little brighter. Robin was working the same shift that I was, but he's been so down in the dumps lately that I've honestly run out of cheerful things to say to him. I mean, it doesn't bother me really to hear about it, but sometimes...you just have to let sad people be sad for a little while. It's a part of the process, you know? Better that than have them constantly avoiding whatever it is they need to deal with. We made small talk for a while. I said hi, he said hi...then I asked him what's new...and he let out this long and heavy sigh.
Here we go again.
Robin's like, "Every time I'm alone in the house, I realize just how quiet it is. You don't know how many times I look at my phone and find the few pictures I have of AJ, or just stare at his phone number and wish I had the nerve to call him." I grunted and rolled my eyes, but Robin was like, "I know, Billy. Ok? It's not an emotional hang up anymore, I promise. I just...I miss the feeling of being in love with someone. Or at least in lust. I miss being held, and kissed, and made to feel sexy and important. Sometimes I just want to call him up and set up a date so I can wrap myself up in that lie again. If only for a little while. Does that make any sense?"
I'd be lying if I said that it didn't. Hell, if I had to be honest, it was that very feeling that had ME falling into AJ's trap...TWICE! And the second time, I knew better! So, I was like, "Yeah, I guess. But...Robin, dude...he's NO good for you. He's no good for anybody. He's actually paying for the evil things he did to you right now. For tearing your heart apart the way he did. What better time is there for you to just...move on and put that whole mess behind you? Am I right?"
Robin didn't look very convinced, but he nodded slowly anyway. He says, "I really didn't want to start all over again, Billy. It hurts. All he had to do was love me back, and he didn't...and it hurts."
I'm like, "Yeah, I know the feeling. Just, don't waste your time letting him back into your life just so he can 'use' you again. You know what he's like, and I highly doubt that's ever going to change."
That's when Robin looked at me and said, "You did, though. Right? You changed."
The question kinda caught me off guard, to be honest. And I paused for a moment to ask myself...'Did I?'
Before I could answer, I heard Dizzy call out to me from the register. He's like, "Yo, 'Billy-Dog'..." and then pointed me out to the boy standing right in front of him. He's like, "Right back there. Cool?"
I didn't even need him to fully turn around to know that it was Jimmy LaPlane standing there at the front of the store. At first, I was a little shocked to see him there, but that feeling quickly soured and turned into a thickening sense of utter frustration as I gradually came to realize what he was doing there.
With a smile, Jimmy practically skipped his way over to us, his eyes focused on me with the kind of infatuated intensity that I had been hoping to evade for a while longer until he came to his senses. Immediately he was like, "S'up, Billy! Hehehe, long time no see!"
My heart sank as his genuinely bright smile forced its way down my throat, eagerly searching for a means of prying my heart open again. I stumbled for words at first, then managed to work up a halfhearted smile and ask, "Jimmy? Uhhh...wow. Dude, what are you doing here?"
He grinned and said, "I dunno. I just felt like coming to the mall today. I figured I'd stop by and see if you wereworking. And, look...here you are. Hehehe, lucky me, right?"
Trying not to show my aggravation, I was just like, "Jimmy...you can't just swing by my job any time you feel like it, ok?"
He just grins, like, "Well, sure, I can! You work at the mall. Hehehe, you're not banning me from the mall, are you?" I think he could see the look in my eyes, even if I tried to hide it on my face. His smile dimmed a little bit and he asked me, "Billy? What's wrong?"
I rolled my eyes and I said, "Just...you're not supposed to be here. Ok?"
His smile had all but disappeared at this point, and he's like, "Why not?" I didn't answer him because I wasn't trying to be mean, I just don't like being cornered like this. Jimmy says, "What did I do?"
I'm like, "Nothing, Jimmy..."
He says, "I wanted to see you, that's all. I tried to send you a couple of messages about hanging out some time, but you never answer me. So, I figured...maybe you were just working all the time. Maybe you didn't get a chance to talk to me, so I came down here to make things easier for you." Already, he sounded hurt. "Don't you want to talk to me anymore?"
I'm like, "I didn't say that." But as the friction between us became a bit more evident, I noticed that a few other people in the store were beginning to notice the potential drama unfolding around them and began to stare. A few of my co-workers included. I didn't want to make a scene.
Jimmy sulked slightly, saying, "You can just tell me to get lost if you...want me to stop calling you." He was already getting misty eyed, and I wasn't even trying to mistreat him.
I don't know why I said it, or what purpose I thought it was going to serve, but I told Jimmy, "No. Dude, no way. Just...look, I'll call you later on, ok? I can't really talk here." WHY did I say that??? Maybe it's just the curse of a sympathetic heart and the sad fact that I can't stand to see Jimmy's heart break, right in front of me. And maybe that's mixed with the horror of having him possibly break down into another full blown fit right here in the middle of the store if I reject him. I'm still finding random stuff from the time he ransacked my room in an unstoppable rage. I can't have that happen here. Not on my very first Summer job!
Jimmy whimpered, "You promise? Because...I'm not trying to bother you, Billy, I just...I miss you, ok?" I saw him wipe one of his eyes and mentally kick himself for messing up again. "This was stupid. I shouldn't have come here today."
I'm like, "It's ok, Jimmy, I just need a little warning next time, that's all. Alright?"
He lowered his head, mumbling, "You HATE me now, don't you? I'm such an asshole..."
I'm like, "You're NOT an asshole. See, Jimmy? This is why we need to let things chill for a while. I mean, do you hear what I'm saying?"
When Jimmy's eyes met mine after that statement, it was like both of our hearts broke simultaneously. Just for entirely different reasons. I'm not sure if he was ignoring the comment completely, or if he suddenly felt the message sinking in and deliberately denied it the proper access needed for him to accept it. He just let his shoulders sink and said, "I should go. I think I'm just...yeah...I'm gonna go. I still hope you'll call me later, but...I need to go."
Arrrgh! It's almost like he's drawing me back in to a mess that I don't want to be in by making me spare his feelings and reaffirm his affections by trying to make him feel better. It's not fair. And maybe that's my punishment for taking advantage of such a fragile heart in the first place, but practically 'stalking' me at work is where I draw the line. That's not cool.
There was a moment where I thought to myself, 'Hey! I know how to start the process of digging myself out of this emotional love hole!' And I waved for Robin to come over and meet Jimmy, face to face. Jimmy's really cute, and he's looking for somebody. Robin's really cute, and he's looking for somebody too. I know Robin seemed to be a bit interested in Trace the last time he was here in the store, but I can't even guarantee him that Trace is GAY, much less interested. Still...two cute boys in the market for love and friendship? What could go wrong, right?
So, I'm like, "JIMMY! Dude, this is my friend, Robin! Robin, have you met Jimmy before?" I smiled and tried to put a little bit of energy into my little matchmaking venture, hoping to generate a little bit of excitement between them.
Well, that was a major fail on my part.
Robin peeked around me and mumbled, "Hey, Jimmy." No real joy to be had in that greeting, believe me.
But I was really surprised when Jimmy peeked around too and said, "Hey, Robin. So...you work here now, too?"
Robin was like, "Yeah. Just for the Summer so far, but if I can keep up with my homework and stuff, I might be able to stay on a few days a week."
A little confused, I asked, "Wait...you guys already know each other?"
Both of them blushed for a moment. But not in that cute and giggly kinda way. This was more like...shame, mixed with guilt, mixed with...more shame and more guilt.
Jimmy muttered, "Yeah. I guess you could say that."
Robin soon added, "Let's just say that we both know AJ...and leave it at that."
Ok...so, maybe that was a BIG mistake on my part.
The way Jimmy looked at me, I half expected the tears to start falling right away. He knew exactly what I was doing, even if I had NO idea that he and Robin had already met before today. He looked SO betrayed! And when I looked back at Robin, he looked even more distraught and ten times lonelier than he did before.
Robin just said, "I've gotta finish up some stuff in my aisle so I can go on break. Nice seeing you, Jimmy." Then he turned and walked away from us. Rather quickly, I might add. As if that could make things any less awkward.
I didn't turn back until Jimmy's watery eyes focused on me and he said, "I'm leaving. Sorry for ruining your day at work." And he turned to walk away from me in the other direction before I could even call out to him to come back. Soooo...Jimmy's angry at me for trying to push him off on another boy, when all he wanted to do was come and see me. And Robin is angry with me because I basically just shoved his happy times with AJ and his harem of hot boys to use and abuse as he saw fit right back in his face. I'd say that was a major fail indeed, wouldn't you?
I had been moping around for about 5 minutes in the store, not really talking to anybody outside of giving the store's customers a sad and minimal effort to help them find what they were looking for, and that's when Dizzy called me up to the front counter for a moment.
I thought he was going to just give me another few baskets of merchandise to put out on the sales floor, but instead, I saw those soft eyes look right at me, and he smiled as he raised an eyebrow to get me to take notice. When I asked what was going on, he said, "Boy trouble, huh?"
It was a comment that I wasn't really prepared for, and my initial reaction, without even thinking about it, was, "Huh? No. No, honestly. That guy was just a friend of mine, and things got weird...it's just a mess."
Dizzy grinned, and said, "Don't lie to me, Baby Boy. I've done the relationship soap opera a few times myself, you know? And I know an 'Ex' when I see one. Believe me." I felt a bit exposed. Maybe even a bit embarrassed. But Dizzy cheered me up by telling me, "I've seen that same wounded, puppy dog, look a bunch of times before. Just lets me know that you're one heck of a hard habit to break. Hehehe!"
I lowered my voice to a near whisper, afraid of spreading my problems out to anyone who might be eavesdropping, but thankful that I had someone to talk to. I was like, "I'm trying really really hard to just end things and move on, you know? I've got somebody special in my life now, and I don't want to drag him behind and make him feel worse about it. I want to make a clean break of it also he can move on too. Just, I don't know, Dizz...how do I do that without hurting him?"
Dizzy simply said, "You can't." Then started changing the register tape in his register. He was like, "You can try all you want to make things easier to take, or try to come up with some strategy that'll make the pain a little less traumatic...but at the end of the day, you've got to realize that it's better to just rip off the band aid and get it over with. Sometimes it's better that way."
I was surprised by the answer, and told him, "Nooooo...I don't think that would be a good idea in this case. Jimmy can be...complicated. I might have to handle things delicately."
Dizzy said, "Is that because you think he can't take the pain of having his heart broken...or because you don't think you can take the pain of feeling guilty about it? There's a difference, you know?" As much as I wanted to be insulted by the idea and reject it, outright, without even thinking about it...a large part of me wondered if she...sorry, 'he'...had a significant point. Dizzy smirked and said, "It's a noble thing, Billy...you wanting to be the good guy no matter what. But the truth of the matter is...everybody wants to have life go their way 100% of the time, and they never want to hear the word 'no'. It's not your fault for going after what you want instead of dedicating your life to being a part of their delusion."
Looking down at my shoelaces, I said, "I just feel so bad about it though. Sometimes, it feels like no matter what I do with my life, I'm pissing off more people than I please. And I can't understand why." Oh God...am I turning into Robin now? I just read what I wrote in this book, and realized that I'M the sad storm cloud of misery that I was JUST complaining about above! Ugh! I'm like, "I want to be happy. ME! But every time I try, I feel like I'm doing it at somebody else's expense."
Dizzy stepped forward and gave me a loving hug around the shoulders. He said, "That's because you care, Billy. And that's a good thing. I don't know what happened in your life that detached you from your ego at such a young age, but....whatever you do, DON'T fix it! Hehehe, it makes you a very special person indeed." When I tried to ask what he meant by that, Dizzy just smiled and said, "One day, you'll learn that 'living for you' isn't as much of a sin as you may think it is. Do good things for the people who are willing to return the favor. You'd be a saint to do even a little bit more. You're responsible for finding your own happiness, bud. And it's not an easy task. It takes time and effort and energy. I've seen you with Brandon...and I don't think I've ever seen a bigger smile on another boy's face than I did that night when you threw caution to the wind and kissed him in front of everybody! Hehehe! That's what you want, right? Isn't it?"
When I didn't answer, Dizzy poked me with his finger. Hard. So, I'm like, "YES! Hehehe! Quit it!"
He said, "Alright then. You've got a chance to have REAL love and joy in your life. it's the Holy Grail of our existence. And you're willing to give that up over how somebody else feels? That's bullshit. Striving to live the best life you can doesn't make you a monster."
I sighed out loud and said, "It does in this case..."
But Dizzy just told me, "No, it doesn't. You can't live your life putting everybody else's needs before your own. Because you'll never ever get to 'you', doing it that way. Trust me, I know." Then our conversation pretty much ended with him saying, "If you want to do your friend, Jimmy, the biggest favor ever? Just tell him that you're not interested, let it hurt, and then let him heal. Get the fuck out of his way so he can find somebody who really wants to love him for who he is. He deserves it. We all do. K?"
I smiled, and Dizzy gave me another hug before shoving a basket in my chest and telling me to put the new product out before he kicked my ass. But I could hear Dizzy sniffle. Just slightly, but I heard it. And I smirked, saying, "You're such a pussy..." And then I left, because he might have hit me with some sort of blunt object. Hehehe!
So that's where I am now. My best friend, Sam, is telling me to leave it alone until it passes over, and my friend, Dizzy, is telling me to let it burn and make him suffer until he detaches from me completely. I think...I think I might side with Dizzy on this one. Because it's true. I did try to avoid the unpleasantness of having Jimmy flip out on me again and cry tears of despair at my feet...but that was more about me than it was about him. The whole reason that this fiasco got out of control in the first place was because I didn't just TALK to him. Just...talk, you know?
Sam will prolly get pissed at me for diving back into this again, but I just want to fix this and be done with it. I want to move forward. I want Jimmy to move forward. The sooner, the better. It NEVER should have gotten this far.
Anyway, I'm sooooo tired right now. I'd call Jimmy right now, but that was going to be a loooong conversation, and I'm already starting to nod off. So, I just wrote to Brandon instead. Just to tell him that I loved him with all my heart, that I was thinking about him, and that I hope we can get together soon. Every thought I have of that boy makes me smile. And the more I spend time thinking of my boyfriend, the more I realize that I've never had a love like this in my life before. I'm not giving him up for anything. Not for ANYTHING!
Ok, bed time. I'll write more later. Hopefully, it'll be all good stuff. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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