I think about this a lot, maybe too much…I’m not sure. I feel like it needs to be in words, in some place other than my head. Maybe then I can make sense of it. If it even needs making sense of.
So there used to be a girl I liked, I know… isn’t there always, isn’t that always the case… It must have been five years ago now, maybe six at a push. It sounds like a long time, but it really doesn’t feel it. Though, in some respects, looking back at who I was then and comparing to the person I am today – there’s a huge difference. One, on most days I try to regard in a positive light.
One of the biggest remembrances about that time, is the endless list of things I regret not doing, or not saying. Or the people I didn’t converse with, interact with in any way – I suppose this part hasn’t really changed.
I would have been fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen. You know how it is when you’re that age.The world is a seemingly mightily complex place, one we never seem to quite fit into, one which is always against us. Of course, some of these things never change. We just become more accepting of them. More accepting of ourselves, insecurities included. My anxieties at that point were fairly awful. I didn’t understand it like I do now. I didn’t really even know it could be categorised as Social Anxiety Disorder, (I never like putting names to things.) I wondered why I was so different, why I couldn’t fit in with all my classmates, why I couldn’t act upon any feelings I might have had towards anyone.
So, this girl. She was sweet. She was mysterious in a way I still can’t understand. She was really the only girl I could talk to. The only girl I’ve ever talked to, despite all the years passing. In honesty, she is the only person I’ve ever felt something even resembling love towards. Or maybe it wasn’t love… I have no reference point after all. But it was something.
I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t say anything to her. I couldn’t even let her know how I felt.
This was the most painful thing. It was agonising just sitting by and watching time pass.
I once went to a party, she was there too. It was an outdoor type of affair, on a farm, with a bonfire, some music… all under eighteen. I suppose if you live in the country you’ll know exactly what I mean. Call it a barn-party if you want… with a field in lieu of a barn.
I’ll keep it short. As far as I remember, as much as I have let myself remember – I think there was some form of reciprocation, and the very least she knew how I felt. I had a habit – or maybe a slip-up – of not hiding it. The whole school knew. Of course they did. Despite the anxiety, it didn’t really bother me, it felt good. Anyway, the party. There were a few moments where – looking back – I feel as though she was asking, covertly indicating that she might just feel the same way. It killed me. It really did. I was powerless to even ask.
My anxiety prevented anything.
Maybe half an hour later… she was with another guy. And that was that. Me and a friend made the half-drunken decision to walk 12 miles home at three in the morning. I think it’s fair to say that I had enough reflection time. And yet, my reflection only consisted of pain, of wishing things were different. The feelings never went away, they don’t just do that. They simply became more complex, more irrational. And the self-loathing grew with every lesson we were together. Two years passed, and we went to different schools. I stumbled across her a few times, we exchanged smiles and hellos – nothing more. It’s funny how time has such power to change things, feelings, perceptions of people.
I’m still young. I know that.
I’ve tried to de-construct things in my head, too many times to remember. I know that’s not the right thing to do. Yet, I can’t seem to get away from the past, away from the things I’ve never done, away from the heartache I’ve never experienced. It haunts me. Corrodes my feelings.
Though I always manage to harbour hope for the future. Now I can see that.