- the worst decisions make the best mistakes -

- the worst decisions make the best mistakes -
A life story, about bad decisions, mistakes, and lessons learned. Sometimes life doesn't go the way you want it - but it's always for a good cause.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mistake #6: Putting it in reverse

"You said: I know that this will hurt, but if I don't break your heart things will just get worse." (Relient K)

It was going on two weeks of staying at Eric's. Which was so great. It made me feel so much better that I knew I had someone to count on. And that I didn't have to go back to living with Mrs. Bitch.

Speaking of which, Liz was really pissed at me. She had called me one night to tell me not to come back - to pick up my things when I had the chance and, pretty much, GTFO. I had told her to go fuck herself, actually. I would find my own place eventually.

I had been looking. The only places that I had found were grungy and in awful parts of the city. I had decided to wait a little longer. Meanwhile, I had Eric.

The fact that we had had sex... that was hard for me to wrap my head around. It was something I had told myself I'd never do with him. And then... it just happened. It wasn't that I was unhappy about it, although, I felt a little disgusted with myself that I would let down my own morals and boundaries for a guy. But, it was in the past now. What was I supposed to do about that? I had enough problems as it was.

And that brings up the next problem.

Yes. I had Eric.

But. I still hadn't told him anything. And I felt guilty.

Here he was, giving me a place to live - free of cost, FYI - and here I was: lying to him. At least, that's what it felt like to me. I felt like I had done terrible things, and that I needed to tell him. It would effect the way he felt about me, yes. But if he really loved me, he would do anything to stay with me.

I thought I knew him that well.

One night after work, I got a drive back with Simon again, and we talked things through. He was happy for me. As long as I was content with my situation, he would be supportive.

"Thanks for the drive, Simon. You know I appreciate it. And, thank you for cheering me up. You always seem to." I smiled at him before opening the door to the car, but he stopped me with his voice.

"Remember, whatever makes you happy, you should do. Don't think about anyone elses feelings, or their thoughts, or what their reaction would be to your decision because, in the end, it is your life. You make the decisions, and you experience it all. If you're not happy with your own life, how can you live a good life?"

I nod again, and thank him for the millionth time.

I run up the stairs, eager to get home to Eric, and also to sleep. Working while going to university, as I've said, is rough on the body. I was so exhausted that I didn't want to think.

I was definitely going to put off telling him about everything for another night.

But, as I came inside, Eric stood from the couch awkwardly, as if I had caught him doing something he wasn't supposed to. He looked like a child, ashamed.

"Ah, Kate. You're home."

I nod slowly, trying to encode this cryptic behavior. It was confusing me.

"Yes... I am. What's going on, Eric?" I place my hands on my hips.

"I, ah... we've got to talk." He said.

My mouth literally dropped to the floor.

Isn't that the girl's line? What the hell was going on?

"Alright..." I walk over to the couch, sitting. He decides to keep standing. "What do you wanna talk about...?" I ask, still completely dumbfounded.

"I can't do this anymore." He said, avoiding my eyes.

"What?" I ask, not clueing into his words at all.

"I'm breaking up with you." He made his best attempt at an angry face. I knew there was something up with this.

"No you're not." I say, being the stubborn person that I am. My eyebrows furrow as I stare at him. He's still awkwardly standing, looking down at his feet. "What the fuck, Eric?"

"I'm breaking up with you." He said again, as if I hadn't heard him the first time around.

"Yeah, I heard that. What do you mean, 'you're breaking up with me'? What the hell happened that made you decide this?" I ask, getting a little pissed off. More than usual. And it's not usual for me to get angry.

"I can't say." He said mysteriously.

"What the..." I trail off, my hands flying in the air. "Eric, you better fucking explain yourself to me right now. I want to know why you're breaking up with me."

"It's too complicated."

"Fuck you, it's too complicated."

He rubs the back of his neck, making a stressed face.

"If you really wanted to break up with me, there would be a reason." I say, throwing my hands up in the air appropriately.

"I do have a reason, Kate."

"Then tell me what the fuck it is."

There was a pause for a second.

"I know what you did."

And I froze.

I choked up.

"How?" I asked finally.

"That doesn't matter. All that matters right now is that I'm breaking up with you." He said, finally sitting on the coffee table. "Please, just pack your stuff and get out."

"I was going to tell you. I promise." I say, finally looking up at him. He was looking into my eyes now, and he looked hurt and sad. Of course.

"Yeah. Fucking right you were." He didn't say this angrily, but with sadness. And hesitation in every word. He was holding something back.

I took a moment. Then I spoke.

"And that's the only reason you're breaking up with me? Because I drank a little, and smoked a little?" I cross my arms over my chest, trying to fight back a little. I don't like to go down without a fight.

He paused, his mouth forming into a hard line. He shook his head.

"I don't want to talk to you anymore, Kate." He shook his head again. "Please, just leave."

Then it hit me.

I was stupid. I was an idiot.

I was losing my boyfriend because I decided that I would put off telling him about the things I had done. And now it was coming back to bite me in the ass.

I was losing the one person who took me in when I had nowhere to go.

I was losing the person I loved.

A tear fell from my cheek, and it hit my jeans. I nodded to him, but didn't look up.

"I'll get my stuff out by the end of the week, I promise. In the meantime, I'll find somewhere else to stay." I said, my voice shaky. He clenched his jaw, and shook his head for the millionth time.

I got up from the couch, grabbed a suitcase, and started shoving clothing into it messily. Eric sat on the coffee table like an idiot. I cried more. When I was finished, I went to the door, opening it loudly. Suddenly Eric turned and looked at me.

"I'm sorry."

And that was all he said.

I suppose I should have seen it coming. I suppose I should have predicted that I would get into some sort of shit with my own actions. I always do. And yet, at the same time of being sad about it, I was relieved. I was happy. I was ready for something different and for something new.

I was grateful for the things I had experienced with him. And the lessons I had (hopefully) learned. I knew there were more to come. And of course, more stupid decisions and mistakes and discoveries and thoughts. There always would be. This was me: Kate Abbott.

It was the end of the beginning. But the beginning was never over.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What if I wanted to break??

"Here's a marker. Here's my naked skin; our exhibit 'A'. Put a small 'X' where I lost my way." (The Weakerthans)

The next day went as followed.


I jumped out of bed the next morning, after talking to Eric, feeling completely refreshed, and happy. I felt this calm I couldn't explain to myself. Instead of questioning it, I accepted it.

I grabbed a pair of blue jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and some crazy frog patterned socks and underwear, then had a quick shower. I wrapped my hair up in a giant, oversized yellow towel, and headed to the kitchen for a glass of orange juice. I don't eat breakfast in the morning usually - it makes me feel gross.

Liz is sitting at the table in our small, cramped kitchen, reading a newspaper. She glanced up at me briefly before looking back to her paper. She didn't look impressed.

"Hey Liz." I say, trying to be friendly. Also, I wanted to figure out what the hell was up her ass.

"Hey, Kate." She sipped at a mug of coffee, I can only guess, and flipped the page of her newspaper. "Did you get that lit' assignment finished?" She said after a brief moment.

Oh God. Oh shit. I think.

"Not completely. Did you?" After working part-time, having issues, and being depressed, it's a little hard to remember university. Especially finishing assignments on time. I was going to be in big trouble. "I could probably use a little more work on it." I lie. "Did you want to get together second class to work on it?"

Liz is definitely my perfectionist roommate. She's the one who always has her work done on time, and likes a clean apartment, and gets the best marks in class. She also doesn't really have much of a social life. So that would explain everything.
She shakes her head.

"Sorry, Kate. I've got other plans." I frown. Well, I suppose she's allowed to have a social life if she wanted one. I didn't really care.

"Oh. Alright then." I lean up against the counter, sipping at my orange juice awkwardly. "I guess I can do it on my own then."

I laugh awkwardly.

"Although, without you're help I might be helpless."

"I'm sure you'll find someone else to help you out with that." She glares up at me from the table.

Uh oh.

"Was that supposed to be some sort of cryptic hint? You're going to have to spell it out to me, Liz." I say cautiously.

"I know." Was all she said. I pale slightly.

"You know what?"

"Are you that dense, Kate? Seriously."

She scoffs at me, throwing her paper down on the table.

"How... how did you find out?" I ask, completely dumbfounded.

"How could I not, Kate? You came home last night, and talked on the phone for hours, giggling like a five year old. It's not like I can sleep when you're blabbering with that loud mouth of yours anyways."

I am shocked. Yet again.

"You... you could have told me if I was being too loud." That was all I could say to her.

She scoffs again, getting up from the table.

"I can't believe you. I can't believe that you would go behind my back and do something like this."

I shake my head slowly.

"It's not like I did something bad, Liz. I got back together with Eric. Is that so bad?" I place my hands on my hips defiantly.

"How is that good? He's a terrible guy. You know he's still cheating on you." She crosses her arms over her chest. One step ahead of me, always.

"Okay. That's enough."

I had had enough of this bullshit. This anger for no reason. The controlling, selfish, childish, annoying tendencies. I wasn't going to take this from her anymore. I was going to stand up for myself.

"What the fuck do you want from me, Liz? Really though. All the fuck you do is sit here and bitch at me about how much of an idiot I am, and what stupid decisions I make, and how I'm an awful student, an awful friend, and an awful roommate. Where does that become right? Where the fuck did you come from that you feel you can boss me around, and control my life?

"I am a grown woman. I make my own decisions. I decide what's best for me. I can deal with my own shit. And for fuck's sake! I know I'm a failure. Isn't it enough for me to know, or do you have to fucking remind me every five seconds of my life?

"When did becoming my friend mean controlling my every move, and becoming my mother? Jesus. When did it stop being supportive, and fun, and sticking up for me when I need you? Or even giving a shit about my problems, instead of turning them into your own? Seriously. I'd like to know what the fuck is wrong with you." I breathed a sigh of relief, finally getting it all off my chest.

Then came the fire. Her eyes burned angrily. Her hands were clenched into white knuckled fists.

"You think I'm being unreasonable? When was the last time you asked me how I was, or even bothered to hang out with me? We're roommates, Kate.

"And, fuck you. Don't you dare talk to me like that. I'm the only one around here who gives a shit about your well being, and this is how you treat me? I'm the only one who tries to help you, and this is how I get repaid? Well for god's sake. I'm not helping you anymore."

"Helping me?" I come back with. "Really. That was helping?"

"Yes, it was helping, Kate!" She fumed. "I heard some bad things about him, and I was trying to warn you. Isn't that what you would do for me?"

"Yes. I would. But I would leave it at that, and not get mad at you for staying with him. Fuck, I wouldn't force you into making decisions that you didn't want to make."

"Yeah, I should've rephrased that. Of course you wouldn't do that for me. You don't do a fucking thing for me!" She yelled, her hands flying in the air.

"Oh. I'm sure I'm the bad guy in all of this, then." I shake my head. "You know what hurts me the most, though? Through this all... I've been happy. Eric makes me happy. I would be happy for you if you were goddamned happy."

"I am happy for you." She said quietly.

"No. No you're not."

And I walked out.

I grabbed my coat from the hook by the door, and my purse lying on the floor next to it, and slammed the door behind me. I took the stairs down because I had no patience for the elevator, and ran outside into the cold winter air, my breath coming out in clouds.

Taking a deep breath, I headed to school for the day.

Classes flew by. My mind was elsewhere. At lunch break, I went to my locker to put away some binders. As I was unlocking it, slowly putting in the combination by memory, someone snaked their arms around my waist, and nuzzled into my neck. I laughed, and turned my head slightly.

"Hey, Eric."

"Hey, sweetheart."

I turned in his embrace so we were facing each other. He kissed me briefly on the lips, before proceeding to cover my face in them. I laughed again.

"Eric, Eric. Please! I need to talk to you." I said, still laughing. "I'm serious!"

"Oh, come on. I haven't seen you in like a week. Am I not allowed to love you?"

I laughed again, and shook my head.

"I have something serious to ask you." I said, placing my hands on his forearms gently.

I had it all planned out in my head.

"Okay." He gestured with his hand for us to walk, and I nodded, shutting my locker quickly and taking up his hand gratefully. "Go ahead."

"Liz and I got in a fight this morning." Eric sighed, looking at me with a frown.

"What about this time?"

I glared at him, as if to say, DUH.

"Seriously?" He asked.

"Yes. But that's not the point." I said, taking a deep breath as we headed for the library. Our favorite place on campus. "I'm kinda not really in the mood to like, ever see her again. So... would you mind if I came to your place for a while?"

He looked surprised at first, stopping in his tracks to stare at me. Then he broke out into a wry grin.

"Of course you can. Sweetheart, you can come for as long as you want."

I gave him a peck on the cheek.

"Thanks, hun. I appreciate it." I sighed, feeling a weight lift from my shoulders.

"Don't mention it."

In the back of my mind, I had a little flag going off. But I decided to ignore it. It wasn't important enough for the moment. At least, I hoped it wasn't.

I was so relieved that Eric was going to let me stay at his place for a few days that it didn't even occur to me that this would be the first time I'd ever stayed the night. And how long would this be for? I had no idea. Would I even go back to my old apartment? Would I have to get a new one?

I wasn't liking this train of thought.

Eric and I walked over to his apartment after school, which wasn't very far.

After we had watched some weird art/postmodern movie, and I had cleaned up after dinner, I sat back down on Eric's couch/bed, and cuddled up into his side again. He had his glasses on, which was definitely a turn-on for me, and had his head buried in research papers. His feet were propped up on the coffee table, and he was scribbling away on a notepad. I smiled, my subconcious taking over.

He glanced up at me briefly, and did a double take, the corner of his mouth quirking up mischieviously. He raised his eyebrows at me.

"What are you looking at?"

"Isn't it obvious?" I bit the bottom of my lip, scooting closer to him. "What are you working on?" I ask, looking down at his mess.

"Just some paper for soc'. It's frustrating me." He sighed exasperatedly.

I look up at him, my eyes sparkling, and laugh softly.

He looks back at me, his hand brushing a stray hair from my face. I smile slowly as he moves slowly towards me. As his lips touch mine, I shiver, chills from my spine to my toes, and lean into the kiss more intimately. He pulls me closer, and as the kiss deepens, his tongue finds it's way into my mouth.

I can see where this is going.

But, I don't stop it.

I let it happen.

Eric never finished his research paper.

Mistake #5: Dispute vs. Desire

“Could I forget about the way it feels to touch you? Or all about the good things that we’ve been through?” (Carrie Underwood)

I got inside my apartment, after thanking Simon for the drive and the advice, leaning against the door after unlocking it, and sighing heavily. I threw my clothes in the same heap I'd been collecting for weeks, and sat on my bed.

I knew what I was going to do.

I picked up the phone, and dialed his number.

"Hey," I said when he answered the phone.

"Kate," His voice smiled as he did. "Hey."

There was silence.

"I really miss you." I tell him.

"I miss you too." He said quietly. I could tell he meant it, but my voice got ahead of my mind.


"Yeah, really. I'm miserable without you, Kate." He didn't even sound 'dissappointed' anymore. My emotions melted as I slumped back into the bed, grinning like a little school girl.

And this is where everything changed.

Everything that I had figured out in my mind, all the decisions I had just made minutes before fell to the ground like glass, shattering to a million pieces.

I knew doing what was right was the -right- thing to do. But, what about me? Where did I get happiness from all of this? What if I really did miss him, and want him back? What if this was all mixed up in my head, and -this- was the right thing to do?

Instead of listening to honor, I listened to desire.

And this is where I end up making the wrong decision. Didn't I mention something like that?

"Why aren't we together right now?" He didn't say anything. "I mean... it makes sense. If we're both miserable without each other. If we still love each other. What's holding us back, you know?"

"That's true."

I continued, going on a tangent.

"You know, this whole week's purpose was to determine whether I could do it without you. Whether being broken up was a good idea, or whether it would just make me unhappy. I mean. I did it, without my life being a total mess. But I missed you every minute of everyday." I sighed.

Then I continued.

"To tell you the truth, I was going to break up with you tonight. End it all now." I took a deep breath, trying not to pause for too long. "But, now that you're here, talking to me, it's a whole different story. It's like all my decisions melted into the cracks. Everything I thought I wanted wasn't anything I wanted at all." I paused briefly again. "I want you. That's what I want."

He didn't say anything. He sounded too quiet.

"Maybe we should get back together. What do you think?"

"I don't know." He told me after a moment of hesitation. "Do you think we should?"

"We could give it a second chance. We could try again. It wouldn't hurt, would it?"

He was silent for a minute.

"Okay. Let's try again, then." He said casually.

I smiled widely.


All my emotions spilled over the cup, and now I was left to clean up the mess.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened had I not made this decision. Desire overrules everything. I guess I'll never know.

"You can paint over any mistake, but you can't remove the orignal thing." (Anon.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mistake #4: Rules were meant to be broken.

"Tonight, feel stronger. Goodbye tonight." (Anon.)

I went into work on Monday night, feeling like shit. There was really no reason – I wasn’t hungover. I just felt like an emotional pile of shit.

I sat in the staff room, reading ‘Summer Sisters’ by Judy Blume, while listening to my mp3 player. It was quiet back there that night. Not really a busy night for us. Supper rush would probably be the busiest we’d get. My mind was racing, like it always does. And this time, I was trying not to listen to it.

It was telling me things I didn’t want to hear.

That I had to tell him.

It was a stupid thought. It would be a stupid thing to do, but if I wanted to get back together with him, which is what I thought I wanted that day, then I had to be completely honest. No matter how much I wanted to keep it all a secret, I didn’t want it leaking out and getting around to Eric. That would be worse than having to tell him myself.

I had to stop thinking about it for two seconds before I drove myself insane. So, I stopped concentrating on my thoughts, and lost myself in my book.

I heard distant mumbling, and Shauna came back into the staff room, which if I didn’t mention before acts as a sort of storage area as well. She was searching for something while muttering to herself.

“Are you talking to yourself?” I asked, turning my music off at the same time.

“Yep.” She said proudly, a grin pulling up the corner of her mouth. “I always do.” She found what she was looking for, and turned the corner, leaving me alone once again. I shook my head, chuckling to myself.

I was early for work. I checked the clock: I had fifteen minutes left. For some reason, I always showed up early for work. I guess I had nothing better to do at home.

Just when I was getting back into my book, John walked through the back door – a very happy looking John. He strutted back, his signature sideways baseball cap barely even lying on his head, and I smiled up at him. I couldn’t help it.

“Oh, hey.” He said, giving me a smug nod.

“Hey, John.” I said.


Okay, so maybe it was going to get a little awkward back here. I didn’t know if he remembered the other night, but I sure did. I remembered it clear as day. It wasn’t that I was ashamed; it was that I knew it was a terrible thing for me to have done. Maybe that’s what being ashamed is, but at least I knew I wasn’t sorry for doing it.

“I should get changed.” I said just to break the awkward silence, and stood from the chair I had been in, picking up my shirt and apron, and walking towards the bathroom door.

He sighed.

“Kate,” He started slowly. “I’m sorry about the other night.” He leaned up against the wall.

“I’m not.” I stated. It shocked me when the words spilled out of my mouth. Even I hadn't known about these feelings before admitting them. John looked just as shocked.

“Really?” Then he smiled, the warmth spreading through my heart as I watched him from the bathroom doorway.

I nodded.

As he stepped closer, I knew what was about to happen. I couldn’t help getting this little twinge in my stomach – butterflies. His face was so close to mine, and his arms reached around my waist. Our bodies touched in every possible way. His lips descended onto mine, pulling me into a deeper kiss than the night before. I held my breath as we kissed, not wanting the moment to end.

“I should, ahh, really get changed now.” I said, looking at the clock again, feeling a little light headed, and looking down the hallway, paranoid someone would walk down and see. Of course, I didn't want to get caught.

As I closed the bathroom door, I thought of something I hadn’t before.

“Hey John,” I yelled through the door. “Don’t you have a girlfriend?” Stupid me. Facepalm.

There was a pause, and I heard him draw a slow breath.

“Yeah,” He said slowly. “About that. We’re kind of in a fight.” I could hear him rummaging around in his bag for something. “Don’t you have a boyfriend?”


“We’re kind of on a break.” I stepped out of the bathroom, smoothing my apron out instinctively. John was staring straight at me.

“See?” He said, coming closer to me again. “We’re not technically breaking the rules.” He kissed me again, quicker this time, and went to the bathroom behind me.

That depended on what you considered the rules to be.

In my eyes, technically, we were breaking all the rules.

I thought about what Eric would think if I told him that I had kissed John. He wouldn’t be pleased at all. He might not even consider getting back together with me. That was what I wanted, wasn’t it?

Maybe I would leave that part out.

At least I wouldn’t be completely lying to him.

Simon offered to drive me home again that night. I accepted. Every moment I spent with him, I felt lighter and happier. He helped me with all and any of my problems. He always had something wise to tell me. I felt comfortable around him.

Maybe I thought he could help me with my decisions.

"I'm having a hard time making this decision." I said, after explaining the rest of the situation. He had heard most of it anyways, thanks to my constant blabbering at work.

Simon didn't say a thing. He concentrated on the road.

"You know, it's like... one part of me tells me that I love him, and that I wanna be with him." I stop, and I stare out the window, watching the buildings blurr by in the night. "Another part of me wants to listen to everyone, and end it."

Simon nods, still oh so silent.

"But then, the complications arise." I sigh, continuing. "If I break it off with him for good... what if I hate myself? What if I really do love him, and I'd miss him too much? What if I can never get him back? And then, if I get back together with him, all my friends and my family will be upset with me. I might even lose some of my closest friends."

Simon nods again, and breathes in as if he is about to say something important.

"If those friends would leave you over a guy, they're not friends at all. And, if you two are meant to be together, don't you think that fate will bring you back to each other?" He chuckled slightly, still watching the road. "Not that I believe in that shit anyways. But I thought you did."

I nod.

"Everything will be okay. You just have to let things happen. Relax."

I look at my hands.


He looks at me now, concern on his face.

"What if everything isn't going to be okay?"

"What are you talking about, Kate?" He pulled up outside my apartment, but he didn't make an attempt to get me out of his car. Instead, he turned the car off, and swiveled in the carseat to face me. I had his full attention.

"I did some pretty terrible things, okay?" I was really upset. My voice quivered.

He just watched me closely.

"I went out with Alix and her friends the other night... and we went to a party."

I paused, hoping he would get the hint. He didn't. "Do you know what that means? I drank alcohol! I smoked marijuana, and tobacco! I did things that I've never done before, and obviously now Eric will hate me!"

There was silence in the car.

Suddenly, Simon burst into uncontrolled laughter.

I was insulted.

"What? I'm serious! Don't laugh at me!"

He tried to control his laughter, taking deep breaths, and wiping his eyes instinctively.

"I'm sorry..."

I shake my head.

"So. Your concern is that, if you get back together with Eric, he'll find out about this... 'bad stuff' you've been doing, and be angry with you?" He concluded.

"No. He definitely wouldn't be angry. He'd be 'dissappointed'." I mocked him slightly. "My concern is, that if we get back together, I'll feel so guilty about doing all this stuff, that I'll have to tell him. My concious is being an idiot, and doesn't want to tell him lies." Of course I would leave the part about John out. I didn't exactly want everyone to know about that.

Simon nods again, now.

There's silence again for a while. I look out the window again.

"You seem like the type of girl to be pretty honorable." He looked at me again, staring deep into my eyes with his own dark hazel ones. "The type of girl to want to do the 'right' thing, instead of doing something for your own sake."

I snort, nodding slowly.

"Then, it's up to you whether you can live with what you've done, or if you have to spill the secret to stay with someone."

I nodded slowly. Simon always knew what to say.

I knew what I had to do, then. And it wasn't something I was particularily happy with.

I knew I had to tell Liz that if she was unhappy with me for any reason, that she can fuck off. It's childish to get mad at someone for making decisions that were theirs to make in the first place. If she was supposed to be my friend, then she should start acting like one; not like my fucking mother. God knew I didn't need another one of those.

I knew I had to tell John that we shouldn't be screwing around with each other. It would be damaging for our current relationships (if you could even call mine that at this point), and definitely not an 'honorable' thing to do. I would just have to tell him we would have to settle with being friends.

I knew I had to stop smoking cigarettes. And marijuana. It wasn't safe to keep doing them. Especially with certain people watching me like hawks.

And one of the hardest things I knew I had to do.

I had to tell Eric that I didn't think we should be together, despite my now even larger desire to discard that idea. I knew I wasn't ready for certain things with him, and that would be a struggle for him in the first place.

I knew I loved him.

But it was a choice between honoring him, honoring myself, or honoring what's right. And, in my heart, I knew I had to do what was right.

I hate decisions. If you can't tell.

And I always turn out making the wrong ones.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mistake #3: Accomplished; four out of four.

“Isn’t it weird how so much insanity could end up improving my life?” (Anon.)

I wasn’t even quite sure if I’d made up my mind about him or not. I didn’t know if my missing him was real, or if it was just missing being ‘with someone’. Everything was usually fine, until I was alone in my room at night. That urge to cut was stronger than ever. But, I had told myself that I was going to try to stop. For my own health, at least. I didn’t actually want to die.

I weighed my options.

If I got back together with him, it would probably make me happy – because I was sure I loved him. To an extent, at least. Remember, I was still new to this whole relationship thing. I didn’t know the amount of love someone could feel for someone; hadn’t even touched it. I was extremely naive back then.

But, also, if I got back together with him, everyone who told me to break up with him in the first place would hate me… potentially. Liz especially.

Liz didn’t particularly like Eric. And she loved to gossip, which didn’t help. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Liz, and she’s extremely smart. But, her hobby is getting into everyone’s business, and she believed everything she heard. There were many occasions that we fought over my relationship with Eric. Most of them went a little like this:

Liz: You saw the picture, right? How could you not believe that he is cheating on you?

Me: I don’t believe it. He told me where he was going and what he was doing that night. He told me he hardly got any sleep that night, and went home early to sleep in his own bed. It was the school’s sleepover.

Liz: That doesn’t excuse him from doing anything. It doesn’t prove that he didn’t do anything either.

Me: I know he wouldn’t do anything, though, Liz.

Liz: Why can’t you just listen to me for once!

Me: I do listen to you. I just don’t believe everything I hear.

Liz: You should believe me, I’m your best friend.

Liz could be unhappy with me all she wanted. I would just tell her that if she wasn’t happy when I was happy, she wasn’t a friend at all. If she was going to be unhappy for decisions that were mine to make, then she could go to hell. She didn’t control my life, and she wasn’t my goddamned mother.

Our fights never got us anywhere. They always ended up with her upset and me wondering if she was a true friend or not.

But I did find myself wondering: would he ever cheat on me?

I didn’t ever confess to anyone that I worried about these things. Especially with all of the friends he had of the female variety. I worried about it a lot. (I worry on a regular basis, probably 90% of the time)

I was insecure. Who wasn’t? Of course it made me jealous when he hung out with other girls instead of me. There were times he would blow off plans with me to do something with one of his other friends. I don’t know why I didn’t see these signs sooner – blinking brightly into my face. I truly was a dumbass back then.

I always wondered why he chose me to be his “labeled” girlfriend when he could have any girl he wanted. It was one of my main insecurities.

After worrying all night about what my decision would be, and still not coming up with a conclusion, I got a phone call. It was Alix.

“Hey darlin’! It’s my party tonight. You wanna come out?” She said excitedly.

I smiled into the receiver.

“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Meet you in an hour?”

“See you soon.”

It was a Saturday night, for God’s sake. It would be fun to get out for once – do some much needed socialization, along with maybe not moping around at home for once.

I met Alix at the park downtown. It was one of the best walking places, with a little duck pond. But I had also heard that it was one of the main places underage teens came to drink. She was standing in a group of her friends, probably four at the most.

I waved.

Alix was standing, huddled into a warm circle, wearing the biggest fur coat I’d ever seen. The hood was pulled up over her face, and she was doing the ‘cold’ dance.

Tony and Chris stood on either sides of her. Tony, I didn’t recognize. He had a cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth provocatively. Chris worked with Alix and I at the bar. He had a giant duffel bag on his shoulder. And Leslie, who stood beside Tony, had her hands stuffed into her pockets. She was one of Alix’s close friends, and I’d only met her a few times. As I walked up, Alix flung herself at Chris. Leslie looked at me with an exasperated expression. I giggled quietly and stood between Leslie and Chris, completing our little circle.

“You two are kidding yourselves.” She said, crossing her arms over her chest.

“What are you talking about?” Alix said innocently, as she released Chris from her embrace. Tony handed his pack of smokes over to Chris, who took one and lit it, sharing it with Alix, and handing the pack over to Leslie.

“Why are you not dating?” She asked.

Tony laughed stupidly.

“That’s so fucking dumb.” He said. I never really understood what he meant by that.

“Shut up, Tony!” Leslie punched him lightly in the shoulder, and he rubbed it, giving Leslie an irritated glare. She returned it with an equally aggravated grimace.

Leslie offered the half-smoked cigarrette to me, and I shook my head.

“Don’t smoke?” She asked.

“Not yet.” I said playfully.

“You will by the end of the night.” She said, grinning wickedly at me under the light of a streetlamp.

“Let’s just go.” Chris blurted out. “I just wanna get drunk.”

As we walked into the woods, Chris and Alix opened a Colt, and were drinking straight from the bottle. It was a peaceful night – silent, almost. I enjoyed the cool air against my warmth, and followed the others wherever they went.

We found a couple of rocks, and decided to sit. Alix offered me the bottle.

Again, I shook my head.

“I’m not drinking.” I told her. She looked at me as if I was insane.

“Why not?”

“I just… I can’t. It’s wrong.” It was a stupid reason, I know. But it’s the only one I could come up with at the time. Like I said. I was extremely naive. And inexperienced.

I would never have even dreamt of drinking alcohol before. I mean, yes, I worked in a bar. But that doesn’t mean that I drank, too. Plus, Eric – who hated drinking, smoking, and most of all, drugs – would most likely kill me if he knew that I had gone out with friends who were going to do all of the above, let alone me doing them, too. Even though, we weren’t exactly what you would call a couple at the moment.

“Someone please convince Kate to drink.” Alix blurted out to the others. “What’s the point of coming if you’re not going to party with me? I invited you, remember?” She grinned at me mischievously.

“Come on, Katie,” Chris said with his baby face. I always loved that face.

“I’m sorry guys. I just can’t do it.” My vocabulary was awfully small that night.

“Don’t be a baby.” Leslie told me.

“I’m not!” I defend myself. I really felt as though I was more mature than the rest of these teens.

“You’re still the ‘Good Little Christian Girl’, eh Katie?” Chris teased.

Chris knew me for a little longer than the rest of the group, and knew quite a bit of my history. He knew that my mother was so called ‘religious’ and that I once was. I used to go on mission trips during the summer. And, he was right. I was pretty much the stereotype: the good little Christian girl. But, that was over four years ago. I had changed. And, I happen to take that as a big insult. Just because I was religious doesn’t mean that I still am.

“I am not a Christian.” I sighed. “Fine, you know what? Give me that bottle."

Someone handed over a bottle hesitantly – I don’t even know what it was, but it sure was strong – and I took a long swig of it before handing it back. I heard a daring ‘woo!’, and grimaced. Disgusting.

They were shocked.

“She’s not so good after all.” Tony observed. “Man, this girl’s awesome!”

I smiled.

“Go Katie!” Chris hugged me, and I shook my head.

“There’s a lot you guys don’t know about me.” I say proudly. And it’s true.

After that first drink, it was like a waterfall. The night seemed to get a little fuzzy. I guess that's what being drunk was supposed to feel like.

And then.

Leslie took out a baggy.

“Anyone got any papers?” She asked, probably louder than necessary. Tony shook his head, and started to complain. “Well, how the fuck are we going to smoke it?”

“Cans. Anybody got a can?” Chris asked. Someone handed him an empty cola can, and he took out his pocketknife from the duffel that was still hanging from his shoulder. He carefully poked a hole in the side, on the part that had the ‘o’, and they creatively created a bong.

“Hey, Katie, you going to try?” All of them looked at me expectantly. Sadly, this was my first time trying marijuana, too. Hey, I wasn’t a very experienced teenager, okay? And now that I was on my own, and potentially single, who gave a flying fuck? Plus, it wasn’t like I didn’t want to. I was ready for adventure – to be spontaneous and try new exciting and thrilling things.

“Yeah, baby!” Tony yelled.

Alix told him to shut up.

“We’re not being that loud, Alix,” I said.

“Someone’s going to hear you! Shut up!!” She whispered fiercely.

We began to walk through the paths in the dark, the woods a close blanket of warmth around us. The nights just seemed to be getting colder and colder.

“I want to go to Caleb’s.” Leslie said, more to herself than to us.

“Who the fuck is Caleb?” Alix asked Tony.

“I don’t fucking know. He’s having a party tonight.” He answered.

Alix turned back to Leslie, and laughed.

“You just want to see your man!”

“Well, duh, Alix. I haven’t gotten laid in like five days.” She said matter-of-factly.

Suddenly, Chris stopped us, his hands extended forward. We went silent.

“Alix, you’re drunk. It’s a bad idea.” Apparently, we had to cross town in order to get to this ‘Caleb’ what’s-his-name’s house, and there was definitely a chance of getting caught by the police for public drunkenness. “We’d definitely get caught.”

“What’s it matter? You’re always getting caught.” She told him back, a childish whine in her voice.

“It doesn’t matter. Your parents would murder you. Mine don’t give a fuck.”

Alix gave Chris her best sooky face, and he shook his head.

“No. We’re not going.”

“But, I told John I’d see him there!!” Alix moaned again. John seemed to know every single thing that walked and had breasts. As you can probably tell by now, he got around.

Chris sighed.

“Fine. We’ll go. But if we get caught, you can’t say I never told you so.”

“Whatever!” Alix said as she grabbed his hand and pulled him down the street. We all had to run to keep up with them.

The party was thick and crowded. The atmosphere smelled like alcohol and hormones. Leslie had vanished with her boyfriend, and the rest of the gang had gone to smoke another joint with some friends. I sat on the couch next to a couple who were too busy with each other to even give notice to me. Parties really weren’t my thing.

Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned.

“What’s up?” John asked me as he made his way around the couch and sat next to me – closer than usual.

“Hey, John. I’m good, you?” I lied.

He turned his whole body so he was facing me.

“Tell me the truth. You hate parties.” Somehow, John could always tell.

“You’re right.” I grinned. “How do you know?”

He tapped his head, indicating his brain.

“I just know.”

Then, he raised his eyebrows, took my arm, and dragged me from the couch.

“Where are you taking me?”

“I need a smoke.” He answered quickly. I followed like an obedient dog. He sat on the deck railing, and I decide to sit next to him, despite my fear of heights.

“You smoke?” I ask, surprised.

“I don’t.” He said as he searched through his coat pocket. “You want one?” I laughed at him, and nodded.

“We can share.” I say as I’ve seated myself comfortably. He takes out a cigarette, lights it, takes a drag, and passes it to me.

“Thanks.” I hear myself say.

We sat there for quite a while, enjoying the night, staring into the night sky, and smoking. John’s presence was calming, and relaxed. I liked it.

He seemed so comfortable with me – not like he usually is. I mean, we’re friends at work, but I can’t seem to picture us together, as a couple.

“Is there something on your mind?” I ask, and immediately after, I feel dumb for saying anything. I just wanted to know why he was looking at me so intently.

Before I could take back what I said, he said to me:

“I really want to kiss you right now.”

His dark brown eyes pierced into my own on an intimate level. My heart sped, and I stared back at him with a crazy, spontaneous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Do it.” I said to him, surprisingly.

And then, he leaned in.

And his soft lips met mine.

It wasn’t a peck, and it wasn’t a French kiss. But it was a long, lingering, melt your knees kiss that made me feel slightly dizzy. He smiled when we parted, then cocked his head to the side, watching my reaction.

His head turned toward the street, and he took another drag out of the never-ending cigarette.

“I like you, Kate.”

“Huh?” I said, still feeling a little dumbfounded. I mentally kicked myself. Why was he making me choke up?

“More than as a friend. I’ve liked you for a while.” He turned his face toward me, and smirked.

“Are you serious?”

It hit me like a brick wall.

“Yeah.” His fingers reached up to caress my cheek, and pull my chin toward him, our lips meeting again – this time a little more intimately. I paused for a second after the kiss, and looked him square in the eyes.

“I think I like you, too.” I blushed, but in the darkness you wouldn’t be able to tell a difference.

I wasn’t lying about liking John, either. There had always been some sort of attraction to him.

Alix showed up at that exact moment (nice timing, girl), and told me we were leaving. Chris happened to be in trouble with a couple of guys, and was going to get battered if we didn’t bolt.

So, we did.

Once we made it to Leslie’s house, we sat on the deck and passed smokes around in a circle. I hugged them both, thanking them for the night out, and started my long walk home.

While walking home, I replayed the night in my head, and realized that I had completed four things my (ex?)boyfriend had specifically told me not to do. I felt very accomplished.

And if that wasn’t enough drama for the night, as I was walking home, my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID: Eric. Of course.

I answered it anyways, sighing as I picked up.


“Hey.” He sounded pretty sad.

“Why are you calling?” I asked. I heard him catch his breath on the other end.

“I, uh, I just wanted to hear your voice.”

I paused. This wasn’t supposed to be happening, but it was slightly comforting to have someone to talk to while walking home at night in the dark.

“Okay. You might be somewhat useful.” I stated. “I’m walking home in the dark, and it’s sort of creepy. If you just talk about something…”

“I love you.” He interrupted.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

He had finally said those three words.

Had it taken our break up for him to realize his feelings for me?

I shook my head, only to myself. It took a lot of courage to turn him down.

“Eric… you know that technically we’re still not together anymore… you can’t just say things like that.”

“I know.” He said guiltily. I could practically feel his shame through the phone. It made me want to comfort him. “I’m sorry. I’ll let you go.” I began to hang up the phone, but his voice caught my heart.

“Kate,” He breathed.

I waited for his response, trying not to breathe.

“I meant what I said. I… I love you. Too much, tonight.”

Maybe he really was being sincere, and that night I believed it. He sounded so upset, that after I hung up the phone, it took all my strength not to burst into tears as I walked down the street. I felt like I had done the right thing, taking a break with him, but after talking to him, it made me love him even more (if that’s even possible). It made me realize how much, at that moment, I wanted to be with him.

I still didn’t know what the right decision was. But, all I could think about was if there was still a chance for us.

“Sometimes you hung up the phone and felt the bruising of your own heart. It hurt now and it would hurt more later. The conversation was too unsatisfying to continue, and yet you couldn’t stand for it to end. You wanted to throw the phone and also yourself against the wall.” (Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood)