In lieu of pain

There are lots of ways to to deal with pain. Some people scream, some people cry, some people get angry and fight and argue, some people play relentless pong or gently tickle the piano until the feeling washes away. The question is do they work?
And maybe the bigger question for our still-spinning protagonist is how can you start life at sixteen years old, with nothing but fuzzy memories of the past year and a nice pair of new shoes?


4. The Office and Affairs of Love-the awkward bits

 It wasn't like it was a sex based relationship, because it wasn't. It wasn't a blind date either, or anything like that. There wasn't even an official asking out. It just kind of happened.

 We did a lot of facebook messaging, and in fact the first conversation we ever had was "Hey, really sorry I was sick on you, I only just remembered...:/ x" which went onto Hobbit based discussion, which at first was all we ever discussed. He always just cheered me up. And first it would just be a quick exchange; " I LEFT MY SCHOOLBAG IN MUSIC AND NOW I HAVE NOTHING TO DO" 
"AHAHHAHA SILLY BO" ect. ect. ect. and it was just nice; at school we hung out mainly with Trix and Lexy, who were a lot more conversational, so we didn't talk all that much. The first memory I have of us together was at a Lord of the Rings marathon (a very nerdy first memory I know), but it was sweet. I don't have the time to explain the ins and outs of everything that happened and if I did it wouldn't really be of interest to anyone. But there are just a few memories, such as this one, which deserve to be remembered because in my mind, they were the earthly portrayal of all things beautiful. The kind of thing that makes me realize how ungrateful it is to expect a heaven after such an amazing life. The kind of moment I used to think only happened to "special" people, and only happened once in a lifetime. But these, these moments, plural, happened to me, thereby disproving everything I've ever believed about the narcissism and hyperbole surrounding perfection. I didn't ask for them, I didn't really do anything to deserve them, but they happened and they were real.

 I was actually pretty upset and, well, really overemotional by the end of the extended cut of the Return of the King. We'd been watching since two o clock in the afternoon and now it was four in the morning and I was watching everyone say goodbye to their friends for the last time. And it wasn't because their friends were leaving forever, that was an idea I was starting to get used to. It wasn't even just because they were saying such beautiful goodbyes, because I was brilliant at goodbyes. It was for two reasons. One was because they were getting to say goodbye, and the other, somewhat more unlikely, was how lucky they were never to see each other again. That they were in receipt of fond farewells. Because I had to see Beth five days a week for the next eighteen months before we could tumble swiftly out of each others lives for good, and even after all that time, not only was I not going to be missed, but I would never get a goodbye. I wouldn't really get a chance to say it, wouldn't hear it back, wouldn't get a last lingering hug, nothing. This was such a painful thought, especially at four in the morning with poignant music in the background.

 We've been sitting on Beth's bedroom carpet for a while now, talking about the future. We won't always be as close, sure, we'll go to uni and make new friends. But we'll come home for the holidays, we'll travel on trains and buses and planes and see each other that way. It all seems perfectly fine. Why wouldn't it be? But somehow I can't believe her. I can never believe her. “Listen!” she's exclaiming, tears in her eyes. “I'm NEVER going to leave you! Never! It won't ever happen, you don't ever need to worry about that, it's just in your mind.”

I'm never going to leave you.
I'm never going to leave you.


I'm still shaking, still reeling from her rejection. I was right, I had always been right. My paranoia, my depression, it was all for real. I couldn't trust my eyes, my ears, just my poor little messed up mind. Swinging my legs over the banister, I have to do what it wants. And what have I got to lose?

 I can't cope with this kind of pain anymore. It hurts SO MUCH, I can't imagine a way to deal with it, to make it go away. Sensing my almost silent sobs, Trix calls to me and raises her arms, but she's lying the other side of Bo, flat on her back so I lean across to fall into her comforting arms. She's saying such nice things but I can't trust her, not really. I want to believe them. I want to believe them so bad. Was there anything wrong with kidding myself though. Really. Just for a little while?
 We were all tired and hyper, and made some kind of "best friends forever pact" I knew better than to believe but enjoyed the idea of. We started off by all holding hands with each other (or the nearest two possible), and we were lined up, me, Lexy, Bo, Trix, so I had Lex and Bo. And after a few minutes of idly holding there, Lexy let go and for reasons I didn't understand, Bo didn't. He slowly started stroking my hands, and I did back, and it felt happy and natural. Eventually we persuaded Lexy to move so we were next to each other, and we held hands, just lay there and held hands as we fell asleep. And as I woke up, about an hour later, I saw he was still sleeping. And our hands were still entwined. And that is a feeling I will never forget.
Falling asleep holding someone's hand is the safest feeling in the world. Because even when you're eyes are closed, you know you're not alone.


 Now we weren't going out at that point. And we never had a first date exactly. But we talked on Facebook a lot, and I remember my heart skipping waiting for a response, if he put a kiss, all the sweet things he said. He just seemed so perfect. I remember smiling ear to ear when we suggested we have a "get together", and when we met at Starbucks that afternoon. I spend half my life in that place so I knew that the only table left was wobbly, I just didn't think to point it out, I propped it up with my foot so it was balanced as I put my drink down and sipped enough that it wouldn't spill. And then when he came and put his latte down it instantly tipped everywhere and he looked really embarrassed and I smiled. Everything felt natural. Later, having moved to the more comfy armchairs, he came and perched on the arm of mine and put his arm around me, so I grabbed for his hand.

 I didn't exactly ask him out as such. But later, as there was a momentary lull in the conversation, I suddenly thought. I could do it. I could do it couldn't I? I did have a lot to lose. But everything seemed to have been so fantastic so far. Maybe it would work, maybe. Maybe he could say yes.
"Are we going out...?"

"Could do.."


As we were leaving, I kissed his cheek. "Shall we kiss properly?" he said.

And we did, closed mouth but romantic, and it was PERFECT.



 I remember the music concert, when everything was all new and exciting. Giggling and smiling. I watched him play drums in his band from the lighting box, up in the ceiling. It was amazing. It was beautiful. And as my (stupid) choral part finished, we ran off into the empty distant school alone. We went to a lot of places around the school trying to be alone for five minutes and teachers kept coming out and it was awkward and embarrassing and perfectly imperfect. 
We first made out hiding in a doorway in the arts department. He stopped the kiss fairly early, saying he needed to breathe, clearly not realizing it was possible to take breaths during, and that made me smile because he wasn't the IMAGE OF PERFECTION. He was my perfect. He was perfect for me. And I didn't have to try and be anything I wasn't for him. I just...I just felt comfortable and more myself than ever before.



And there aren't any flashbacks to ruin my perfect moment with Bo, and perhaps he's the one thing that can stop the pain. Perhaps he is the answer.



I spent Christmas Eve and Boxing day with him, I spent so much time with with him and we never got tired. Of each other. When we got tired of..well being awake, we snuggled up together and went to sleep.


And I will never forget his face as he fell asleep. The perfect, long, dark eyelashes fluttering. The little smile, a tiny bit smaller than his normal beautiful smile but even more stunning. So perfectly sweet, so perfectly him, so perfectly MINE.


He was my rock, and I felt like I was falling in love.


Maybe it was time to trust again.

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