I looked up from my book. You hadn’t come in yet. I looked down at my book again and continued doodling.
My classmates were prancing about. The end of the term was near and we were in the I-miss-you-already phase. Not you and me – everyone else.
It was one of the last times I’d see you, one of the last times we’d be in the same room. And it felt like a relief, only not so much.
There were days when you’d refuse to acknowledge my answers, refuse to give my views a vent and leave me fuming in my brain. Films weren’t why I was here. I had been vocal when I told you that, and I had decided not to regret it. You’d snap into my trances and expect me to welcome you, and should I not – you’d spoil the evening and weeks by acting like a mule. I hadn’t much of a voice, and no way to know how to react to the gooseflesh when you’d shut the noise from the world and stare into my mind. You made my ordinary existence which I loved so much, erupt with flames.
I hated you and I wanted you to evaporate. I hated how you made me the reason of excruciatingly long silences in a classroom of enthusiastic students who wouldn’t dare refer to us even in the most casual times. I wanted to raise my voice and say, “fuck you, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU” to you. But I knew that all my rage would disappear the minute I opened my mouth to push you against the wall and injure your power. I knew you were looking for the chance to see me fail and that you would relish my stumbling.
I knew the minute I said, “Fuck you,” I’d want to.
A table. Dimly lit room. Banter and distance. You nonchalantly ask me why I’m quiet. “Oh she’s probably not feeling well,” comes the well-informed response of a girl who reads neither my stories nor my mind. You mouth an ‘oh’, and smile. I want to walk out of the room. I’m tired of this battle. I’m tired of being held captive.
Those narrow eyes and the chiseled face that read out the verses. They all saw that. It was 35 minutes of each of my synapses quitting on me. Minutes of never looking the same.
Didn’t you see? Why didn’t you feel as ashamed? Why doesn’t your face leave my mind? Why do you exist in words I never would have used?
Why didn’t you say my name? Why didn’t I resolve to pretend that it wasn’t me?
Why weren’t we a morning class?
That tenderness when you knew I would break. Why. WHY?
We weren’t a fantasy – we were a nightmare.
You should leave, I tell you – in a crammed auto, in an elevator, in a classroom.
You read my mind and avert your eyes. You stay there and you leave.
And I follow.