where are you going?


i stopped by her friend's house to pick her up. i did an amazing job parallel parking right in front of the apartment. all the kids in the apartment stopped to look at my great parallel parking job. they saw me struggle to get out - the space was so tight. i gave the two cars some love taps, and i eventually wheeled my way out of there. the kids applauded. "you rock!" one said. i smiled and waved. they looked young and hopeful in their dresses and slacks. i didn't feel like i was cool enough to hang out with them.

"where are they going?" "they're going dancing," she said. "why don't you go with them?" "because we're going to your friend's party," she said. "we don't have to." "you already told them we're going, so let's go." it was quiet for a while. i drove and drove, not exactly knowing where this was coming from. then, my mood just soured. "i don't want to go anymore. i'll just drop you off with them, and i'll go home. call me when you're ready." "no," she said. "it'd be awkward. i've already told them goodbye, and that we were going to this party, so let's just go to the party." i didn't want her to win, and i obviously wasn't going to have a good time at the party after this conversation, so i just drove home.

"what are you doing?" she demanded. "i'm taking us home." "why?" "because i don't want to go to the party anymore." "you already told them you're coming!" "so what?" "so, you're being rude." "i don't care." i really didn't. we sat in silence. "what's your problem?" "nothing. nothing." she got out of the car. "where are you going?" no answer. i worried about her. we didn't exactly live in the best part of town. we lived in the part of town where people would yell expletives at each other in the street. i took my cue. i was now one of them, after all. "fuck you!" she turned around, her eyes bulging. she didn't say anything. she turned around, and just kept walking. but this time, faster.

i thought about going inside. it could be nice and warm inside. but then i thought about her all alone in the bad part of town. i pictured her and her throat slashed, or else a small wound in the dome, smoke emanating from her flesh. i couldn't just let her walk out into the night. i got in my car and started driving. i had to find her, or else she'd be dead. i wished that i was dead. i found her, and i called to her from the window. "get in," i said. "i'm sorry," i said. nothing. she just kept walking. i drove on the opposite side of the street, onto the sidewalk. "get in," i pleaded. "please." after a few minutes of this, she got in.

we drove back to the apartment in silence. i didn't know what to say. we sat on the couch in silence. both of us knew then that it was over. i couldn't tell what was gonna be worse: losing her, or being all alone again. i tried to say little things like, "what's wrong?" and "why'd you do that?" she wouldn't answer. she'd just look away, or she might glance at me and say nothing. "please talk to me," i said. "just say something. anything." i couldn't take it anymore. i felt at that moment a great tragedy. i understood why everyday normal people sometimes made the headlines. "FUCK!" i screamed. i jumped up off the couch, and i grabbed what i could find - my wallet - and i threw it with all my might against the bedroom door. i screamed again. i wanted god to hear me.

i stormed into the bathroom, and i looked at myself. i was a pathetic sight. i hated myself. i had only fooled myself up until that point that i might actually be a good person. i wanted to explode, or melt, or have some sort of failure in my brain or in my heart. i just wanted to pass out and forget that i was alive. i went back into the other room, and she was just standing there, hand over her mouth, crying. i sat back down on the couch. "i don't want to be like this," i said. i said it again. i just looked up, and hoped that she would sit down next to me, maybe tell me that life wasn't going to be one awful and lonely mess.

but she didn't. she fucking didn't.

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