This morning at 7 a.m. before Calum or the other boys (our room mates/his band mates) were even awake, I packed up my things. I took as much clothes as I could and stuffed them in my suitcases. I'm leaving. I thought about it all last night, crying over a boy who was in the next room crying over what he'd done. As I was quietly moving myself and my luggage to my pick-up truck, I saw Calum sleeping soundly with the birthday present I'd just given him last week tucked in his arms under the blanket. It was a big Stitch doll from Lilo and Stitch; he told me he carried it in his car when he left the house and I never believed him but he'd always take pictures of him with it in different places to prove it to me. I just shook my head at the once-happy memories and made my way out.
I sit here on a park swing with my green beanie on, just looking at the mulch below my feet. It's been two hours since I left his house. I'm not insensitive; I wrote Calum a note that's on the dresser. It's on top of the folded clothes of his he'd always let me wear--his "Polaroid" shirt, black & red hoodie, and black beanie along with other loose T-shirts. Nothing made me happier than wearing one of his clothing items. I just couldn't take any of it with me; it wouldn't have made me happy to wear them unless he was there to cuddle me with it.
The note just simply explained how I couldn't forgive him for what he'd done at the moment. In time, of course, I will forgive him. I just need time to figure out whether we should be together or not. For now, I'll be staying with my best friend. He knows where she lives, but I wrote in the note that he isn't welcomed there right now.
My thoughts are invaded by someone speaking to me. "You did that on our first date, you know?" the male voice from behind me says.
I turn around to see Calum. I just stare at him. He's wearing the Polaroid shirt and beanie I left him with. My heart wrenched at the memories.
"Did what?" I say, thinking that I should just let him talk to me and have small talk right before I leave.
He half smiles at my voice. "That," he says, pointing at me. "You tucked your knees up to your chest because you were nervous at McDonald's."
Calum comes around and sits on the tire swing across from me, not swinging.
I look back down at the ground, too nervous to look at him, too afraid to cry because I know I won't stop until I fall asleep.
"On February 9th, we were at McDonald's and when you walked in to look for me, you stumbled," he says, chuckling. "You were trying to impress me with high heels and a mini-skirt even though I told you to wear your simplest clothes; you had second thoughts on your outfit anyway so you brought a change of clothes in your bag."
Calum pauses and kicks at the dirt.
"When I saw you, I didn't like all what you were wearing. I mean, yeah, haha, it was sexy but . . . too much," he tells me. "When you changed into your high-tops and band t-shirt with skinny jeans, you looked so much more beautiful than ever. I remember the Pierce The Veil shirt you had on with your Spiderman-designed shoes. I liked you in that. When we were eating our chicken nuggets, you were scared to actually eat in front of me so you did that... You tucked your legs up. You didn't want to seem greedy or like a big-eater, so I shoved basically all of food in my mouth and you laughed so hard you were tearing up. You were eating regularly by then and by our sixteenth date on March 29th, I figured out you didn't like to eat, that you were anorexic. It broke my heart, really."
Calum pauses again, this time for a minute or two.
"I helped you eat more and be healthy and you are and you are perfect. Then, when you moved in with me six months later because of your stupid family situation on September 21st, I discovered your cuts and I- remember that picture we took?"
He gives me time to answer, and I guess he sees me nod because he continues:
"That's my favorite picture. It always will be my favorite picture."
He goes on and describes how we took it, just like I was thinking about this last night. My tears slowly fall down the silent path on my cheeks at the thought of losing the only thing I could call home, the only thing that was mine.
". . . and I wouldn't trade that picture for anything. That moment was captured, the moment I knew you were mine and we need and should be together. I'd seen you smile and cry so many times that I swear both your smile and your sad-faces will always be in my mind whenever I'm either happy or sad. And I remembered how one night last year we stayed up and talked about how many kids we want to have and where we'd want to live when . . ."
I noticed Calum got choked up. I hadn't notice he's crying, though, I was too caught up in my tears. I look up to see Calum's face wet with sadness. He's looking up at me. He just wipes away the tears and comes over to my swing. My breath hitches at his touch I missed last night. I was cold in our bed with no one to hold. There was an empty spot beside me where he should have been, just like there was an empty spot in my heart that he warmed up.
Calum hands me his black & red hoodie he brought and places it in my lap. "Come back," he says. "Don't leave. We can get through this. We've been married for three years and I'm not letting you take off that ring. You're mine and three years ago in four days from today, you agreed that I'm yours."
We stare at each other for a bit, neither of us knowing what to do. I take his hoodie and bring it over my head and slide it down my body. When my head pops out, I see Calum standing in front of me, smiling with his face tear-stained as well as mine. Cal picks me up and spins me around just like he did on the sixteenth date we had. He kisses me like there's no one else to kiss in the world. As he sets me on my feet, my hands become tangled in his hair, just like when we first got together. The good days, the good memories are back.
Calum brings me to my truck and I sit in the passenger seat. He turns on the vehicle and we start heading home. I can't believe he remembered all the dates of the dates we had. I didn't know he knew that much about our relationship. I'm glad he does because now I know I'm not letting him take off his ring. I know how much dedication he puts into this.