- There are times when your parents conveniently 'forget' that you're more than just their property. Times when they think they can put their foot down and act like they OWN you, instead of treating you like a person with thoghts and feelings of his own. It's like...what once started out as a humble request for a favor, suddenly becomes a 'do it or else' situation, and it's just not FAIR!
I don't know WHY my mother thought it was ok to have Mr. Franks come over here today without asking me first! What the hell for??? I told her that Jimmy was in the friggin' HOSPITAL and that Sam and I were going up there to check on him today. I could barely sleep last night, worrying about whether this was something really serious or not. She's like, "Please, Billy? It won't be all day. He's going to fix the central air conditioning and when he's done, you can go out and have the rest of the day to yourself."
I'm like, "The rest of the day? It's my Summer vacation. I have the day off from work. Why can't Mr. Franks come over here on the weekend or something when YOU'RE here to watch him?"
She's all like, "Billy, I need you to give me a break here, alright? I'm going to be late for work. He'll be here around eleven. Just let him in the house, you know where the tools are, although he's probably going to bring his own, and just keep him company for a little while. Then you can go see Jimmy, and I hope your friend is doing alright."
But I said, "No. I'm not staying here. Why didn't you tell me this ahead of time? I've got important stuff to do too, you know?"
Her voice got that demanding tone it always gets when she's frustrated, and she says, "Billy...Mr. Franks will be here at eleven. This isn't up for discussion. Do as I ask."
I mumbled, "This is some bullshit..."
She snapped back with, "What? EXCUSE me? I don't want any more lip from you, young man! Do you hear me?" I rolled my eyes but I didn't let her see me. She got louder, saying, "Do you hear me? Let me know that I'm making myself clear."
I groaned, "Fine. Whatever." It was the only resistance I could really put up against her. It's hard to argue with someone who's been bossing you around since the day you were born. You get mad, but you just have to swallow it for fear of getting into some serious trouble. I wish she didn't have that power over me. I can't wait until I get my OWN house someday!
I called Sam to tell him that I couldn't leave the house until after Mr. Franks was finished invading my life...again! Sam was like, "What the hell? Why didn't you tell your mom that Jimmy was in the hospital?"
I'm like, "I DID! She doesn't care. She basically just ordered me to stay put and that was that."
Sam was like, "Well, you know how to get there and everything, right?" I told him I did, and he said, "Just catch the first bus over there when you can. I've gotta go see what the hell happened. This is driving me crazy." I would MUCH rather have us go together, but he promised me he'd stick around and wait for me to get there. So...at least that's something.
I know that I was furious at Jimmy for constantly yelling at me and making me out to be the heartless human being...but I would never wish him any harm. Not ever.
I really hope he's ok.
Mr. Franks was nearly 25 minutes late, and I swear that my stomach muscles tightened up with rage when I heard the doorbell ring. I was sooooo mad! It's just rude for him to pop up at my front door whenever he feels like it. Ugh!
He smiled at me with his stupid moustached face, and he's like, "Billy, my man! How are ya, bud?"
I'm not his bud, or his man...plus he's late. So I'm just like, "Fine. Thanks. The tools are in the kitchen junk drawer over there if you need a hammer or a screwdriver or anything."
He's like, "No need. I brought my own." Of course he did. I was actually just going to watch some TV or something until he was done, but nooooo...he has to chit chat. He says, "It's a good thing you guys are getting this fixed before the end of Summer. That's when it gets REALLY hot. We're looking at a couple of ninety degree days next week alone."
Sighhhh...why can't he just...? Arrrrgh!!!
Defeated, I was like, "Yeah. I guess so..." And that trapped me into one of the most boring conversations that you can have with an adult in a five minute period. Less talk. More work. I've seriously had to get out of that house. Sam was almost certainly at the hospital already.
That's when Mr. Franks said something that grabbed my attention when I least expected it to. He's like, "Say, I'm sorry that I didn't give you much warning about me coming over today. Your mom and I were talking over lunch yesterday and she said she wanted to get it fixed as soon as possible. I figured, I had some free time so I offered to do it today. I'm sure you want to get out and enjoy the sunshine." I don't think it really registered at first. I almost had to question if I even heard the words at all. And then he just casually keeps on talking as if it was no big deal. He's like, "I think I see what the problem is here. I'm going to have to go out back and see if maybe get to the outdoor filter. Check to see if you have any loose wires or anything going on..."
I'm like, "Wait...what did you say?"
Mr. Franks replied, "The outdoor filter. Sometimes if you've got a loose wire or something, the fan doesn't work like it's supposed to..."
I'm like, "No, no...not that part. You said...wait, you and my mom went out to lunch yesterday?" What the fuck?
He says, "Yeah. Sure. Well, it was more like a soup and salad kind of deal, but technically, it was food consumed during lunch time. Not far from the job."
I can't tell you how queasy I felt, at that very moment. It actually felt like my stomach had twisted itself in a tight knot and I could almost 'taste' the fury of it in the back of my throat. What...in the name of all that is holy...made this fucking STRANGER think it was ok to sit down and have lunch with my MOM??? For what reason? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't she mention that? What the FUCK is going on here???
Mr. Franks actually says to me, "Say, it's a great little hole in the wall. Good food. Nice atmosphere. Maybe we can all go there and hang out together some time. Just the three of us."
There was this instant 'disruption' in my very thought process surrounding this particular idea. I couldn't tell if I was genuinely confused by what was allegedly going on here, or if I just blocked it out because I really really didn't want to know. I didn't even answer him. I just walked away, feeling like my stomach was full of pointy rocks. What does he mean, 'just the three of us'? Why? He's supposed to fix a few things around the house and then just vanish into the wind. That's it. If getting rid of him is just a matter of me calling my DAD and asking him how to fix things myself around the house, then I'll do it. No reason for me to have to let some other guy in the house and take it upon himself to start taking my mom out to lunch. Whatever that means.
I couldn't get rid of him fast enough today, and when he was finished and everything was working again, I just kept telling him that I had some place to be and that it was really important so I had to leave. I'm pretty sure that he took the hint, and I wasn't really trying to be rude to the guy...but I can't say that I was being too friendly either. Make no mistake, I don't plan to encourage Mr. Franks to make himself a recurring character around this house. He fixed some stuff, and we're thankful for the help...but he can go back to his own life now. No need to loiter around our doorstep for much longer.
Anyway, that weirdness aside, I hopped on the bus and made my way out to the local hospital. I can't even describe what was going through my mind...nibbling at my fingernails...wanting the bus to hurry up and slow down at the same time. What was I going to see? What was I going to say? Why did you do this, Jimmy? WHY???
Then...I actually got there, and the door to Jimmy's room was open. I walked in, and Jimmy was actually standing up and looking out of his hospital room window, with Sam sitting in a chair beside his bed, fiddling with the remote for the TV. Everything was just so...so 'casual'. What the heck was going on here?
When I walked into the room, Jimmy's expression darkened almost immediately. But Sam tossed the remote aside and gave me a grin. Sam's like, "Dude! You made it! It's about time. I was almost thinking you weren't gonna drop by."
Jimmy turned back towards the window, and I was a bit confused when I asked, "So...what happened? What...what is this all about?"
Sam says, "It's ok. This ol' goofball hurt himself doing something stupid. Hehehe! He's alright, though. He should be home as early as tomorrow."
I looked over at Jimmy, and saw that he had a cast on his right arm, and a bump on his head. I couldn't really tell if I was relieved or not. I asked, "Is that true?"
Jimmy turned around slowly, and wow...if glances could kill...
He's like, "I was cleaning something at the top of the basement steps...I fell."
I don't know why I felt so frustrated by that. Maybe it's because I was so emotionally drained by the idea of Jimmy hurting himself because of what I said to him that I found it insulting that he would let either one of us think the worst for so long.
I said, "That's it? I thought you were hurt, Jimmy..."
He's like, "I am hurt." I could hear the frustration in his voice too. He could barely look me in the eye.
I'm like, "I thought you were really hurt! I thought that...that maybe you..."
The room fell silent, but Jimmy turned and said, "What? You thought I took a razor to my wrists again? Is that it?" I didn't want to answer, but he said, "I see. So that's all I've got to do to get your attention these days? Thanks. I'll keep that in mind."
Feeling the tension practically choking all three of us at that moment, Sam decided to get up out of his seat and said, "Ummm...you know...I think I'm going to grab a snack or something from the cafeteria. Maybe you two should talk." He gave me a comforting pat on the shoulder, and he closed the door behind him when he left.
So, there we were...just Jimmy and me. Face to face.
After a long silence, I tried to make amends by saying, "For what it's worth...I'm glad you're ok, Jimmy."
He's like, "It's not worth much of anything. Trust me. But thanks for at least 'pretending' to care."
I'm like, "I'm trying to be a friend, here!"
He snaps back with, "We're not friends, Billy. You don't give a shit about me."
I asked, "How the hell can you SAY that after all we've been through together???"
And he's like, "All we've been through together didn't get you to LOVE me! So who the fuck CARES???"
I almost got upset and started to yell back at him, but...I didn't. I could already see Jimmy's eyes starting to get all misty, his bottom lip quivering as he turned back towards the window to secretly wipe his eyes.
With a sigh that I was hoping could take the anger out of my voice...I was like, "Jimmy...let's not do this, ok? I came here because I was really worried about you. I don't want to fight."
With a sniffle, Jimmy said, "I don't know if I want you here right now...or if I just want you to go away. I don't know what I want anymore."
I said, "I can go if you want. I'll understand."
Jimmy turned to face me again, and I don't think he cared if I saw his tears or not. He's like, "Why can't you stop being perfect, Billy? Why can't you just be somebody worthy of my utter hatred for once?" With a soft sob, he said, "You ruined me. Did you know that? You were everything that I ever wanted, and you snatched that away from me. And now I don't think I'll ever feel the same way about another boy ever again. I don't...I don't have a future without you in it. Do you understand that?" It broke my heart to see more tears roll down his cheeks, and he says, "I used to write your name in my notebooks in Junior High. Did you know that? I'd just...stare at you...and I'd write 'Billy Chase, Billy Chase, Billy Chase' over and over again. Thinking that, if I could only concentrate hard enough, I could get you to fall in love with me. Nobody ever fascinated me like that before. Not ever. When I was at my lowest point...the idea that I might one day get you to love me made waking up in the morning worthwhile. And then...somewhere along the way, I lost all hope for that. And I hurt myself. I hurt myself because I didn't want to live a life where I knew that I'd have to basically win the lottery to be lucky enough to get a boy who might be 'second best'. Who settles for somebody lesser than Billy Chase and can actually say they're happy about it?"
Feeling a little ashamed, I strained my voice to say, "Jimmy, I never meant to..."
But he stopped me. He's like, "I feel like something is DEAD inside me, Billy. I keep trying to shake it and wake it up...but it just lies there. Still. I don't know what to do." Jimmy's tears got worse, and when I stepped towards him, he quickly moved away from me, pressing his back up against the window. He sobbed, "I gave you everything that I had, Billy...and you'd still rather love...him! WHY???"
I felt a tear drip from my right eye, and I said, "I don't know, Jimmy. Ok? It's not something that I did to HURT you. I just...I can't help it, ok? Brandon is just...he's..."
Jimmy didn't wait for me to finish. He's just like, "Get out."
I'm like, "Jimmy...come on..."
But he got louder, and he said, "GET OUT!!! I don't need your pity or your bullshit excuses! You ruined my fucking life! And now you wanna come here and rub my nose in it by pretending to be the 'good guy' in all this? FUCK YOU!!! Get out!!! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!!!"
I wiped my eyes, and suddenly felt humiliated for ever stepping foot inside the walls of this hospital. I just turned tail and ran. I opened the door, and saw a nurse coming towards Jimmy's room to see what was wrong. I quickly lowered my head and wiped my eyes free of tears, and just...I just left. As always, my very presence there only made things worse.
I should have stayed away. I should stop caring long enough for him to just...forget about me.
Sam did catch me before I left the building, telling me to hold up until he said goodbye to Jimmy and came to catch the bus home with me, but...standing there in that hallway, trying my best not to cry...it just made me feel like shit. I thought about how HAPPY Jimmy was to just be my friend, much less my boyfriend. He felt so privileged. He was full of so much JOY! He was my very first kiss. Ever. When I decided to hook up with Jimmy LaPlane...I REALLY thought that was what I wanted at the time. He loved me with everything that he had to give, and if I could just find it within me to love him back...I could spend the rest of my life happy. Loved. Protected. Appreciated for everything that I am.
But the truth is...there was a missing piece between us. Something that should bond us...but seemed to be absent. A piece that fits better between me and Brandon than anyone else in this world. How can I ignore that just to make Jimmy happy? I'll spend the rest of my days feeling like I'm missing the love I deserve, just so I can satisfy someone who's giving me the love I should want. I don't know...maybe love and confusion are two sides of the same coin. Maybe it's supposed to be that way.
Sam and I barely talked about Jimmy's reaction at all. A nasty bump on the head and a hairline fracture in his forearm. Nothing major. Nowhere NEAR as serious as I thought it would be. But as much as I care about him...I can't force myself to love him. Not the way he wants me to. And I'm starting to think that this is going to be a giant wall between us from now on. I mean, can we even be friends again after this? Did I spoil it all by being horny? Desperate for affection? Who knows?
Only time will tell, I guess...
Anyway, I'm going to lay down for a bit. My mom asked a few questions about Mr. Frank's visit today, and commented on how good the air conditioning felt...but I couldn't help but to look at her with a suspicious eye. Every word she said about him, I felt like squinting my eyes to find some deeper meaning in the phrases she used. The thing about moms...they own you. You can't just outright accuse them of something until you know it's true. But I'm going to be keeping a much closer eye on this situation from now on. That, I can guarantee.
I'll write more later.
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