Sunday, July 29, 2012
i hope you see
ph: joshua whitelaw
She’s the only antidepressant to have ever worked, for however brief a time.
A life spent wallowing in self-loathing and bleeding wrists because it was the only thing I was good at. The only thing the bullies said I was good at. I was always on the outer at school, never truly engaged in the social aspect of life, just there to be a helping hand to friends by listening and helping solve their problems and be dubbed ‘a nice guy’ whilst they went and flirted and laughed and gossiped and fulfilled their lives. I was never happy. I was oh so jealous of my better looking counterparts, how they had everything handed to them on shiny plates. I watched love flourish but never took part and I was green with envy. It was brutal watching what I want pass me by, but severe depression and chronic antidepressant consumption froze my tongue.
It was at university I learned of non-reciprocal love. I fell head over heels in love with the girl who is now one of my best friends. I loved her more than life but she resigned me to the friend zone and it stung more than anything. My face is still salted when I remember and I still feel the odd pang of jealousy when I see her kiss her boyfriend or watch her smile as his face greets her touch screen. I’ve had people tell me that we would have been perfect together and that I should have pursued her. I take this with appreciation and offence, which is a strange feeling to say the least. But I have stuffed my feelings for her down too far to ever want to see them again. I already hurt too much as it is.
Anyway, she arrived in a flurry of gorgeous red hair and pale skin and we awkwardly acknowledged one another, she too was at school but she was as shy as I was and thus we had never spoken. Quiet, reserved, petite and quirky, she spoke softly and gave nods to indie fashion. I congratulated her on her acceptance into university and she proposed that we catch up some time. No preconceptions or anticipations, I accepted.
The day we saw one another again in the corner of a quaint little café was the first time in my life I’d could ever truly say I was happy. Her life was wrought with struggle, self-hate and depression. Liberation washed over me and we bonded over our mutual traits. She was me. And I loved the view for the first time. We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting about a scarily large number of commonalities, tottering around campus talking about indie bands and cruelty and animal rights and blueberries. This will come off as stupid, childish and naïve but I was in love with this girl, despite our short time together. I had forgotten the previous yet still fresh hurt of a love unconsummated and her voice funneled honey into my veins; everything she said made perfect sense, I could relate and didn’t have to posture to feel at ease. I left her with a warm smile, an exchanged phone number and a promise to meet again soon. We did, many times, chatting, empathising, trading mixtapes, laughing, professing our mutual feelings for one another, I fell asleep on her and listened to her quickening heartbeat; it screamed of a nascent relationship. Reciprocity was amazing. She gave incentive to what has otherwise been a pathetic existence and it validated all the hurt. I was fucking happy and I was for you.
A month or so later, she told me she was seeing someone who she is now in a relationship with. She said she really liked me but nothing could eventuate. It was as blunt as that. I cried and shook and vomited and bled into the basin. My stomach was in my chest and my heart was in my mouth. She told me she wasn’t entirely sure how she felt for him, yet flirts with him in a public forum. She tells me she still likes me a lot, and she also flirts with me still (of which she admits to doing). I don’t want to bury my love for her but I cannot deal with the awkward and ultimately unfair ambiguity anymore. I hope you see me whilst I’m still here. I love you.