- 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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mistake #9: Surrender

"Time is only wasted, so why wait for eventually?" (Alicia Keys)

For the next few weeks I was busy - really busy. I had no idea why, but for some strange reason my shifts at Kieran's had multiplied, and I was getting a lot more hours. Not only that, but I had school work coming out the ass. It was exam time, before christmas break, so I had a lot on my plate.

Which meant - I had no time to be stressed.

It was kind of nice.

Christmas break came quicker than I had expected, and I was going home to visit with my family. My mother and my father had been divorced for years, and my father had remarried. My mom lived closer than my dad did, and I usually spent more time at mom's over christmas break. I don't know why, though. I was always closer with my father than with my mother.

Mom only lived about a half-hour from town which made it really easy to travel back to my apartment if I ever needed anything. The only problem was that I didn't drive... so I needed to find someone to take me everytime I was going to visit.

One day over the break, our family had sat down for a movie night, which we do often. Mom had rented a few movies we hadn't seen before, and we'd bought snacks and drinks.

We had started watching this one movie - and were about half-way through it - when the phone rang. And, I don't know about you... but my mother has this thing with answering the phone. Even if we're watching a movie, she has to answer it, like it might be some big important news or something.

It was for me.

I was confused... because I didn't know who it might be. It wasn't like I had any big plans, other than working in a few days. But. It caught me completely off guard.

I answered the phone.

"Hey, Kate?" a girl said on the other line.

"Alix?" I asked, confused out of my mind. "Are you calling from work... ?"

"Yeah. Uh." She paused awkwardly. "Can you talk to Simon?"

I paused this time.

"Does he need something? Why didn't he just call me himself?" I laughed slightly, not completely convinced that it was funny.

"Uh. Well. No." She seemed distracted. "Just.... uh. Talk to him. Distract him."

There was some jumbling noises, as if the phone was being passed around.

"Hello?" A very raspy voice said on the other end.

"Simon? Are you okay?"

"Uh. Fine. Just..." He trailed off. "Say something. Anything. Make me laugh."

He spoke quickly, in a hurry. I wondered if he had some axe murderer after him, and just -had- to call me to make sure I was okay. Scratch that thought.

"Well... I don't really know what to say..." I said, searching my mind desperately for words. I was so bad under pressure.


He sounded desperate.

"Uhh. Well. Obviously. I'm home now, at my mom's." I said stupidly. I sound so dumb sometimes. "It's movie night, so we rented a few... Pan's Labyrinth? Have you seen that one?"

I didn't wait for him to answer. All I could hear was his breathing on the other line.

"It's not too bad. It's extremely gorey, if you like that kind of stuff. I mean... I don't mind gore. I'm not a pansy, or anything." I laughed awkwardly. "It's a little depressing, though, so... not really a happy-go-lucky kinda movie, you get me?"

There was silence for a few moments, the steady beat of my heart loud in my ears.

"Thank you."

"What are you thanking me for?" I asked, still slightly confused, but also feeling slightly strange. I really didn't understand what was going on.

"I'm... sorry for bothering you."

"Simon. Wait. What happened?" I asked again. Still with the questions.

"I'm alright. My ex... just is a pain in the ass. She was really starting to aggravate me, so... I needed to calm down." He paused for a moment. "You seemed to do that pretty well."

"Well. Good. I'm glad I was some sort of help." I smiled on the phone, although I knew he couldn't see it. I'm sure he could hear it in my voice, though.

He put Alix back on the phone.

"What was that all about?" I asked her. Obviously I wasn't going to take Simon's word for it that he was okay.

She let out a long, stressful breath.

"Long story short? Sarah came into work tonight with a bunch of Simon's friends... I guess they still all hang out. Anyways. They had all been drinking. Sarah decided to kiss Greg on the lips... right in front of him. Simon freaked... yelled at her for a bit, made a big scene, so I made him stop and come back to sit in the staff room to calm himself. He nearly punched me right in the face! I was so nervous. I tried to calm him down... I just..."

"He tried to punch you? What?" I was appalled.

"Well. He looked like he was going to punch me in the face... but he punched the cupboard beside my face. There's a giant dent.... yeah. It's all a little messed up." She sounded a little shaken up.

"You're okay?"

"Yeah, Kate. I'm fine. Thanks."

"It's the least I can do to help out. Jeeze, I didn't realize that -that- was what was going on!"

She laughed a little on the other line.

"Yeah. Drama central up here! Sorry for bothering you."

"I'm really glad you did." I smiled, and shook my head.

"Have fun at home, see you when you get back."

"Thanks Alix. Bye."

After hanging up the phone, I felt happy. Maybe I shouldn't have been happy, but I was. I had helped out without even knowing it. And maybe... just maybe, I didn't have to give up on Simon yet. Maybe he might just come around.

I know. Giving up on my awesome plans? On my independence? I do that a lot. I'm an idiot.

But really, who doesn't surrender to affection?

There are a lot of lonely people out there. And I'm one of them.

Surrender was easy. Surrender was safe. Surrender was a terrible idea.

And I let it happen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I don't want to need at all.

"Let's take away all of our senses and if we still feel then maybe it wasn't so worthless." (Anon.)

My shift started, and I definitely wasn't in the mood to work. After the conversation I just had, you can't blame me. I tried not to spend too much time around him. But the worst part was trying to act like everything was okay. I'm okay at lieing, but not at hiding my feelings. Especially not that.

I'm so easy to read, I'm an open book.

A lot of people noticed.

Automatically, Alix came up to me and asked me what was up - and I had to tell her everything. Everything about our conversation, and our friendship. She was surprised.

On the other hand... John wasn't. And he told me, again, to watch my back. I shrugged it off.

"How can you like... Simon? I mean... no offense or anything. But he's like, totally not my type." Alix said, wrinkling her nose. She was adorable.

"Yeah. Weird. You like Simon." John said. "I'm not surprised though."

"Why?" I asked John.

"Just... seems like something you would do." He laughed awkwardly.

I quirked a brow. Really. I didn't think I was -that- predictable.

John lifted his hands in defeat.

"I didn't mean that as an insult! Jeeze. Don't give me the glare of death, there, Kate."

Alix and I laughed.

"Well. No need to worry about it, I guess." I said, very unimpressed. "He won't do anything about it." I lowered my voice talking about it. "He said it'd be like betraying Eric or something. So I just have to suck it up and try to get over him, I guess." I shrugged.

The rest of the night went awfully slow. I was sent home early, which was great because then I could refuse a ride home with Simon. I wasn't exactly in the mood to see him, you know? I kind of just wanted my alone time. I was also worried that I might start moping and simmering again. And god knows I didn't want to do that again.

As I walked home, the quiet of the winter surrounded me. The cold air nipped at my nose and my fingertips, and tiny flakes sprinkled from the sky like confetti. It was almost calming.

And I realized one of those little simple things of life. People worry too much. They stress out and they forget the simple pleasures of life - like the smell of freshly mowed grass on a sunny summer day. Or the beauty of the night sky, a shooting star soaring across, lighting up the darkness. The snow falling on a dark, cold night - peaceful, beautiful, and calming.

It was nice to just stop... and see the world. Shut my brain off. Look around me. Watch the earth, nature, and the simplicity of it all. And realize how small my problems really were.

I shook my head, and walked the rest of the way home, kicking off my snowy shoes in the entryway of the attic apartment, and went to the kitchen to boil the kettle. I needed tea. It was my new addiction.

As I was steeping a large mug of chai-green tea, my roommate Celestine walked into the kitchen. I didn't know her that well, but she was always so cheerful and friendly towards me. I smiled a big, surprisingly happy smile at her. She smiled back, and said with that cute little accent:

"Hello, Kate. How are you?"

I kinda shrugged. "Not really the best. But, trying to keep positive. What about you?"

She sighed, her breath blowing her curly bangs away from her face.

"So stressed. Teaching down here is a lot of work." She giggled femininely. "But I enjoy it. It keeps me busy!"

I nodded at her, suddenly at a loss of words.

"Hey, listen. I was wondering..." She started slowly, her cheeks blushing a little pink color. "A few of my friends and me are going out to a cute little pub down the street. I wondered if you wanted to come?"

I smiled at her, but shook my head.

"Maybe not tonight. I've got quite a bit of homework. But... definitely another time! I'd like to hang out with you."

She nodded sadly, but smiled.

"Okay. That is fine. I will come find you next time!!"

After she walked back into her room, I went to mine and locked the door, and curled up in bed with a big comfy blanket, and pulled out a book.

I wasn't going to worry about these feelings anymore. I was going to let them stay or leave. Whatever they wanted to do. I hated those conflicting feelings: being terrified and excited at the same time. Terrified that it might not happen, and excited of the chance that it would. It was time to just stop stressing - stop thinking about it.

In someone's own special words: I was just going to 'go with the flow'.

Sometimes... in certain situations, only... it works.

In this case, it kind of did.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mistake #8: Terrified & Excited

"We'll take a ride, just us alone. We'll find our answers on the road." (Goot)

Days went by. I sat and moped and simmered and sat. My feelings congealed and collected and overflowed. My thoughts didn't get anywhere. My brain was a jumbled mess of emotion.

All the things that I told myself - all the things that I tried to say to myself - didn't work. Everything I thought might help my problem only made it worse.

Okay. So I had a major crush on Simon.

Was there anything really -wrong- with that?

Maybe he didn't know. Maybe he was oblivious.

Maybe he did know.

Maybe he didn't feel the same way.

I told my brain to shut the fuck up.

I felt as though I was going to explode. As if all this feeling would drive me to the point of extinction. I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't know how to make a decision. Although, you all know me and decisions.

I was absolutely confused.

After about ten cups of green tea, and one hundred laps around my dorm-room style bedroom, I decided instead of moping and simmering that I would take action (in order for me to even make this decision I had to slap myself around a bit). And even after convincing myself what to do, I had to tell my stomach to stop flip-flopping all over the place when I got to work that night.

It was awful.

I walked in the doors, waving half-heartedly to the people on staff that night. It was supper-time, but it was also a tuesday night, so we didn't have much business. The few regulars in for a coffee, or a bite to eat. There were even a few loners at the bar, drinking their troubles away. I could relate - I would rather be doing that then confronting them.

Total random thought: isn't it funny how most people would rather run away from their problems than deal with them? It's almost easier to leave them all behind, and have a fresh start somewhere else with someone else. And here I was - me!! The one who makes all the mistakes? Yeah. That's me. Interesting, isn't it? That one of my decisions actually made sense?

It wasn't that I had made the right decision, either. I mean, who can really tell at the time of the decision making, right? And, really, are there any right-and-wrong decisions? Either way, you change something in your life - some aspect of your being - and, it will therefore change your future. Whatever you decide will impact what happens later on in your life.

That makes you wonder. What would have happened if I hadn't made that decision?

What would have happened if I had chosen not to tell Simon my feelings?

It probably wouldn't have made much a difference, really. This was a minor decision in my life. And one, that maybe in the long run, would have changed my life a lot. But I had decided that I liked Simon. And I wanted to become more than friends with him. I wish I had known him as well as I thought I had. But we'll get into that later on, I promise.

He saw me immediately as I came back into the kitchen. I looked up at him timidly. He smiled that wry grin of his, and my heart played tricks on me. I tried smiling back.

"Hey, Kate." He said as he wiped his hands on a cloth, and set it back on the counter.

"Simon." I nodded once. He furrowed his brows.

"What's up? Is there something wrong?" He closed the distance between us, and brushed a stray hair away from my face. I closed my eyes and tried not to breathe. Wow. Just wow.

"Uhh. Well. We need to talk."

He only nodded, not stepping away from me.

"Outside. Alone." I said awkwardly, avoiding his gaze.

"Sure. Yeah."

He followed me outside, and sat on one of the empty crates. I stood. I couldn't stand to sit. I was too nervous. And I needed to pace.

He watched as I walked back and forth, never looking at him.

"You seem so worked up." He said, amusement hiding in his eyes. I wanted to glare at him, but didn't dare look over there. Instead I crossed my arms, and kept walking.

"Listen. Simon." I said, ignoring his comment. "I... this is going to be hard for me to say to you. So... just bare with me." He just nodded.

I took a deep, -deep- breath.

"So. I've been thinking a lot lately. And... I'm not sure if you've noticed. But I've been acting a lot differently in front of you..."

He nodded again.

"It's because... well. You know. You've been so great to me these past few months. And you've driven me home from work multiple times. And you've talked with me, and let me vent to you about my problems, and given me some really good advice. And you've been a friend to me. And that's something that... I really needed. As much as I have friends - I do! I really do - they're just not as good as you've been to me. And... well."

He stopped me.

"I know. I know what you're saying."

I stood there, deadpanned.

"You... know?"

Okay. Maybe I had been the oblivious one. He wasn't being all cocky and smiling at me because he thought it was funny that I was all worked up. It was because he had known all along my feelings towards him. He had known. And I thought - oh, yeah, he'll totally know what the hell all these signs mean - but I didn't think that he would actually figure it out. Was I really that dense?

"Yeah. I do. I've known this whole time."

"You... have?"

God. Punch me in the face, please.

He got up from his crate, and came towards me. He was so close to me that I could smell his cologne. So close that I could feel his warmth. So close... that he placed his hand on my hip, his touch sending chills all the way up my spine. I looked up into his eyes, our noses almost touching.

"I feel the same way, Kate. And... actually," He laughed sadly. "I'm surprised you didn't notice. Because, I've liked you for a while. But."

I let out a breath I hadn't known I was holding.

"I knew there was going to be a 'but'."

His hand slid off my hip, and he backed away from me slowly, the warmth leaving from my skin. I was sad it was gone, but I didn't touch him.

"We just got out of serious relationships."

I nodded, waiting for him to finish.

"Mine... of a long, long time. Yours. Well. Of almost a long time. But..." He trailed off for a second, shaking his head. "Technically. You've been broken up with Eric for like, a few weeks? And me... about a month. Don't you think I'm just a rebound on you? Or... you're just a rebound on me?"

I frowned at him.

"No. You wouldn't be a rebound."

"How do you know?"

I sighed exasperatedly. "Because I just know, okay? Like... I don't know how to explain it. I know you wouldn't be a rebound. You're not just a crush. I... really like you, okay?"

He nodded again. But he didn't seem convinced.

"There's something else, isn't there?" I asked, clearly not happy how this conversation was going.

"Eric. He and I... we're pretty good friends, you know?"

I nodded again. "Yeah. You guys are friends."

"I... I don't know if I could do that to him. You know. It's like, a guy-rule. Don't date your friend's ex. It's like... a terrible thing to do. I don't want to hurt him. It would be like betraying him."

"I... I guess I understand." I swallowed hard.

He came closer again. I inhaled sharply.

He kissed my forehead.

I think my heart stopped beating.

"I'm sorry, Kate. But... we can't do this now."

I nodded stupidly.

He walked back inside.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm there - where are you?

"Take me away where the bright lights don't shine,
Where darkness engulfs, where it surrounds.
Where we can sit, and sink into the earth,
Hoping that we'll melt all of our troubles into the soil.
Let me touch my lips with yours, soft and sultry.
You can take my hand and we'll gaze at the sky;
The only light in this run down place.

Take me away where the ocean is endless.
Where we can bury our toes into the sand and salt.
Where the water aches in my bones and
The waves spray me with cold wetness.
I hope that you'll laugh when we carefully
Walk down the beach and I press my lips against your cheek.

Take me away: driving in your car,
The music so loud I can't concentrate -
But I don't need to, because
In that moment, I'm there."
(I'm there - where are you? - m. blaxland)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Phase Two: The Nightmare --- Mistake #7: Two and two together

“And I’ll say he never hurt me, and look at it as learning…” (Silverstein)

Everyone found out within weeks. And I hadn't told anyone. It was rapid fire
gossip, as if everyone had magically figured it out. I guess it wasn't that hard.

I was pretty mopey at first. The week after Eric and I had spoken for the last time, I sat at home and didn't talk to anyone. I was a hermit. I went to work, but wasn't all there mentally. One day, I even took a bath, and I just sat in the water, and bawled my eyes out. I don't know what came over me.

It's not like breaking up with Eric was a big deal - it wasn't like he had impacted me that much. I was over the relationship within that week. I guess it was just a shock that he had done the breaking up, and not me. I was ready - I had it all planned out. And he just changed everything that I thought I had figured out. Things seemed to go that way with Eric.

Because he had also kicked me out, I had very little time to find a new place. And because school had already started up, and it was mid-semester, there weren't very many places up for rent.

I ended up with a small, dingy apartment, shared with two other women. And I say women because they were both older than me. I was just turning nineteen at the time. One of the ladies had just moved from China, and was middle aged. She was a scientist. And also spoke very loud Mandarin-Chinese at all hours of the night -and- morning. We didn't speak much. She was pretty shy around me.

The other roommate was from France, and she was closer to my age - she was in her early twenties. And at first, as I said, I didn't really talk to anyone or go out anywhere. I was a hermit. But, as I lived there for longer periods of time, we talked more, and became pretty good friends.

Meanwhile, the apartment was a sketch place. I was paying a pretty damn good price for it, because it was within walking distance of my school, and I had gotten it at such short notice. But. It was dirty. There was no living space. The bedrooms looked like dorm rooms. The kitchen was the size of a small hallway. The bathroom had mold growing in it. The landlord was also a real jerk. But, what can you expect for so cheap in a city?

It was all I could do. I was just glad I -sorta- had my own place. Finally.

One night, I had accepted a drive home from Simon, once again.

It was like I was in elementary school all over again.

Of course we talked. I told him all about what had happened. He didn't have an opinion, this time.

I couldn't look him in the eye.

"Are you sure you're okay?" He asked me, leaning over in his seat to stare at me, making me even more uncomfortable. I didn't look in his general direction.

"Yeah. Just... the break up. I'm taking it a lot rougher than I thought." I lied.

"Well, if you're sure that's all that's wrong." He didn't stop staring. "You know. Sarah and I broke up, too."

This caught my attention. I looked up at him abruptly, and immediately regretted it.

He looked over at me. His eyes pierced into mine.

"Things just weren't going well. She... well... she did some things to me that I'm not too happy to talk about." He ducked his head, fiddling with his fingers. I watched them, as if expecting them to do something interesting.

"I... I'm sorry to hear that." I really wasn't. My insides were jumping around excitedly. I told them to stop. It was making me nervous.

"Thanks. I appreciate it." He said to me, smiling so that the side of his mouth curved up playfully. It made my heart skip a beat. So I stopped looking.

We had stopped in front of my new apartment. We always just sat outside and talked - finshed our conversation. He didn't mind. I sure did, at this point.

"Thanks for the drive." I said without lifting my eyes towards him. "I should go inside."

And then. He took his hand, and placed his fingers lightly on my chin, and pulled it upwards so I would look at him. My cheeks blazed up, fiery hot. If he didn't notice that -or- any of the other signs, he was sure oblivious. He could put two and two together. He could probably figure it out.

"If you need anything... you have my number. Give me a call. Or message me." He looked at me with intense attention. Those all-knowing eyes. I looked downwards. "I know what you're going through. I want to help you, Kate."

Even the way he said my name-

I nodded.

"Thanks. I will. See you later, Simon." I stepped out of the car carefully, and practically ran into my apartment. I didn't know what to do.

Obviously, I had a giant crush on Simon. Why wouldn't I? He was there for me. He was being a great friend, someone I could tell anything to, and not expecting anything back. He was the only guy I could trust. He was one of my best friends at the time.

But, god. What were the consequences? As I knew so far, we had both just gotten out of serious relationships. Eric and I had been together for over a half a year. Simon and Sarah had been together for almost two years. They were getting very serious. And even if she had hurt him badly - however she had done so - he still probably had feelings for her. What did that mean for me?

And what was I going to do about it?

I didn't have the guts to tell him yet. I mean. Jeeze. Things with Eric had just happened. He had initiated everything. I had just sat there and 'acted pretty'. I didn't know how to start relationships. I didn't know anything - I was so fucking naiive.

Not to mention, it was a bad idea, so close to breaking up with our exes.

And. Also. Eric and Simon were pretty good friends. How would that effect their relationship?

I wanted so much to not care about it all.

But I wasn't the selfish type. I couldn't just set everything aside for myself. As much as I wanted to.

As much as I desired Simon. I couldn't do it.

Not yet.