Some times life makes about as much sense as a muddled mixed up dream. Same could be said for our emotions. Just about the time you think you have them figured out, a curve-ball out of left field beams you up side the head, successfully taking all logic with it. When this moment occurs, it is not only confusing, but shocking as well. It can leave you utterly speechless and completely ashamed of what you may find yourself feeling.
I wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. My attempts thus far had been squashed, before I ever a chance to say anything, and I had not gathered the needed nerve to try again. Instead, I sat motionless on the bed, faking my best smile.
The girls and I were overseeing Fern as she slipped into Gramma Olivine’s wedding dress. For some reason she was awfully intent on wearing it. It was beautiful, there was not doubt about it, but I couldn’t help but feel there was an ulterior motive to her desire to don the fifty year old gown.
“Oh, I do love this green.” Fern beamed as Saph zipped up the back of the dress. She turned to survey herself in front of the mirror. The dress swished across the carpet as she walked closer to the dresser, dragging the fabric as she went.
Still completely preoccupied with my own thoughts, I missed almost the entire conversation that followed. It wasn’t until Midna poked me in the side of my ribs, that I even realized both Fern and Saph were staring at me, waiting for me to say something. My eyes shot wide open, but I had no idea what to say.
“Could you repeat that?” I finally mumbled.
“We asked what you thought about combining the mint and irish green?”
I threw them both a confused sideways glance as I shrugged my shoulders. “Why are you asking me? You know I am like the most fashionably challenged being in the room here.”
“We know that.” Midna chided. “That’s why we asked. If you liked it, then we would know it was a bad idea.”
“Very funny.” I grumbled, slumping back onto bed.
“Midna, don’t.” Sapphire snapped.
“Don’t tease her like that.”
“Aww she knows I am just teasing. Right sis?”
But I didn’t reply, I had already drifted back to my daydream. Someone I never expected to be a part of my thought process, was now taking up permanent residence, and not like he had before. No, the anger and the frustration I had always associated with Disco was gone, and in it’s place was something new entirely. Did I actually miss him?
“Huh?” Again I was abruptly yanked back to reality.
“Girl. Seriously. what is going on with you?” Midna’s voice no longer laden with her usual mocking tone, sounded extremely serious.
“I…just have a lot-”
“A lot on my mind. You keep saying that, but you never tell us what it is. What are you hiding Lil?”
I looked around the room, but refused to make eye contact with anyone directly. I felt my cheeks blush and my throat was suddenly bone dry.
“It’s Disco isn’t?” Saph guessed a little too perfectly.
I shook my head immediately and probably a little too quickly shouted. “No!”
“You sure about that?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Well you better be, your time is running out, you know?”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Disco is leaving Lil.”
“Yes. So if there is something you need to talk to him about, you had better do it before next Thursday.”
I stood from the bed, and headed out the bedroom door. “It’s not Disco.”
The door shut behind me and I stood staring down the hallway. It wasn’t Disco. It couldn’t be. He was the thorn in my side. The one who had always found a way to rain all over my parade. My sworn enemy, the one who had made me cry more times than I cared to count. So how was it, that since his leave, I found myself missing him more and more. It wasn’t the jokes or biting comments, no I was perfectly content without those. What I missed was his presence. I wasn’t even sure how it was possible, but every time I turned around, I was either hoping for him to walk around the corner, or wasting my time wondering what he was doing. I had reprimanded myself countless times for my foolish wanderings. I was the one who had demanded our permanent separation after all.
But I was stubborn, and refused to agree with any part of my revelation. My pride was causing my heart to ache, but I still rejected the notion. There was no way I was going to admit to him or anyone, that I felt a thing. If I could just hold out till he packed up his things and left, then I could get started working on getting past any of the remaining affections that had recently cropped up.
It was all for the best, and I knew it. I still had my doubts that his confession was completely heartfelt, but then the other part of me couldn’t help but wonder if it had been, what could that mean for us a couple? I piffed loudly. Us a couple? No way in berry’s blazes would that be happening…
An inner struggle was waging war in my head. Maybe I should just call him, I thought to myself. Even going as far to pull my phone from my pocket. I stared blankly at the buttons. He was leaving, if I had something to say, maybe this was the best time to do it. But what did I want to say? I was still clueless. I dialed his number, but instead of pushing the talk button, I just stared at the screen until it darkened once again. No. This is not happening. I informed myself.
Still clutching the phone, I dialed another number instead. Two rings later, the soothing voice of Chestnut could be heard on the line.
“Lil? Hey you! What is going on?”
“Everything is fine. I was actually calling to see if you wanted to grab some lunch?”
“That’s sounds great?! Where did you want to go?”
“I was thinking the Esplanade?”
“Perfect. Meet you there?”
“See you there in about 20 minutes.”
I hung up the phone, and felt a tiny reprieve as I did so. Lunch with Chessie was always good for my well being.
I started for the front door and called out to anyone who might have been in earshot. “I am going out! Be back later!”
The only voice to reply back was Dad. “Have fun!”
It was almost a twenty minute walk into town, so I set out the moment I was off the phone. I could have taken my bike, but I preferred the walk. In fact I always had the greatest brainwaves on those walks. I had a fairly safe trail all mapped out as well, which is always a good thing when you live the brave and sometimes insane lifestyle of the shoeless.
Chessie was waiting patiently near the edge of grass as I walked up. By that point I was quite famished, seeing that breakfast had been a good 6 hours beforehand. Well, the only reason to go to the Esplanade was for their killer amazing pie, so we both ordered a slice and took a seat.
“So how are things?”
“Fine. How are you? Everything OK? What’s up?”
“Nothing is up. Why does something need to be up, for me to want to have lunch with my best friend.”
I could feel it as the words left my mouth, that I sounded more pathetic and wound up then ever. Chessie just smiled and took another bite of his pie. I tried my best to do the same, but part of me was secretly hoping he would inquire further. I had so much to say, but darn it all if I could get the words to come out.
“You aren’t fooling me Lil bug. We never go out for pie unless you are stressed. So, I will ask again. What’s wrong?”
I shoved another mouthful of the sugary, doughy heaven into my mouth and then pointed to my puffy cheeks, implying that sorry “I can’t talk now eating”. Chessie slid the plate away from me. “Boy trouble?”
I shook my head, and I tried to chew the horribly miscalculated large bite.
“You fell for him didn’t you? You love Disco?!”
“What?!” I coughed, almost choking on crust and filling. “That’s insane.”
“Not really? Chessie it’s Disco? I would rather cut off my left arm than do anything with that weasel.”
“Come on Lil. I swear sometimes you forget who I am. You and Disco have had this crazy weird relationship from the beginning. You liked him. Admit it.”
“I liked, not, like him.”
“I would check again if I were you, because I think somewhere along the way you crossed that fine line of love and hate. He sure did.”
I dropped my fork to the table, eying my plate. “You gonna give that back to me now?”
“Only if you tell me the truth.”
I uncrossed my legs and tried to reach over the table to my dish, but he slid it even further away. “Fine.” I growled. “I miss him. You happy? I miss seeing him, I miss being around him. I miss him. There I said it.”
Chessie slid the plate back over. “See, now was that so hard?”
“If you miss him, why not tell him.”
“You know, one day that stubborn streak of yours is going to make you miss out on something good. Not saying that, I think dating Disco is good, but if it would make you happy, then I am all for it, but only if he treats you right.”
“I am not dating Disco.”
“If you say so. Sure is weighing down on you, if you hadn’t noticed.”
I had noticed, but my silly pride, as usual, was doing it’s best to shrug it all away. I spent the next thirty minutes or so explaining, why Disco and I would be a terrible match. Chessie listened patiently, but I could sense he wasn’t buying it.
“Love is a funny thing Lil. You can’t change it or make it something it’s not, and feelings just don’t ‘go away’ either.” That was the last thing Chessie said before we parted ways. I hated to admit he could be onto something, and every time I heard the word love and Disco in the same sentence, my tummy did a flip flop.
I wasn’t sure what was worse. Me possibly having feelings for Disco, or me admitting those feelings. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. I was supposed to meet some tall, dark, mysterious and handsome man who would sweep my off my feet. Taking me to some far off land to live out our days making babies. Not falling for the boy I had always despised. How was it possible to rehash something so many times over and over again in my head. I begged my mind to think about something else for a change, but when the next thought popped through with Disco sitting front and center, I knew my head as well as my heart had officially betrayed me.
As usual though, I refused to give up without a fight. I would make it. All I had to do was hold out for four more days. Then he would be gone and I would be free. Funny how I thought I was free before. Oh I was such a fool.
The next morning, for the first time in a long time, I picked up a paint brush. I figured the best way to keep my brain occupied, was to immerse myself in something creative. I wasn’t very good, but I could see immediately how it could be quite soothing. I started spreading my emotions all over the canvas and it felt amazing. Plus I got to spend time with Mom, which I always loved.
Her playing and my brushstrokes, was just the right combination for me to disconnect from everything that had been weighing so heavily on my mind. She never did ask about my sudden interest in the arts and for that I was thankful. Kind of like Chessie, she knew me better than I knew myself half the time. In an odd way, she saw better than most people and she didn’t even need her eyes to do it.
When I wasn’t painting, I was hanging with the Dad and Prelude, watching whatever happened to be on the TV at the time. Not the most engaging shows, but it did the trick to help me tune out. Surprisingly enough, there was a lot of talk about the wedding. Never considered my Dad to be a wedding buff, but he did marry Mom after all.
“Oh if only you kids could have seen your mother on our wedding day. She never looked more beautiful. I watched her glide down the aisle and all I could think was, how could I get so lucky.”
I could hardly believe how touching his words were. I felt myself starting to tear up from the joy bubbling inside me. I had never really heard him gush before. Not to say that ‘I love you’ was a foreign phrase in our house, because it wasn’t, but this was different. You could hear the love in his voice. I felt a pang of jealousy. That was what I wanted. A love so pure and true that it made my children cry. Instead, I was crushing on my sister’s best friend, and loathing him the entire time. No doubt about it, I was a mess.