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Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.
She sighed. Her eyes bounced from the Mac’s screen in front of her to the outside of the café. Harvard Square bustled with its usual culprits of the young and the bright-eyed, along with the occasional sprinkle of the musician or artist. She checked her men’s size Omega watch, and sighed again. That person was late. That person. Had she already made up her mind to break it off? Again. How many times would they dance this number? Break up. Miss each other. Get together. Get on each other’s nerves. Break up. Repeat. It exhausted Trinity and this time she wanted it over forever, but each break up reminded her how hard it was to give up eight years of memories, most of them good, some painful, and a few unforgettable.
Suddenly the café turned stuffy, and she slid out of her bright blue blazer and put it behind her chair. She aired her oversized Black T-shirt with Twiggy’s face in white and tried hard to ignore the fact that it was a cherished gift from her soon-to-be ex. Why the hell had she put it on?
It struck that she hadn’t ordered anything for…that person. She reached for her wallet, but stopped with a hand halfway down the back pocket of her black skinny jeans. Why should she order the same medium coffee with double shots of espresso and regular soymilk as she always did? It would send the wrong message that everything was okay, normal when it wasn’t at all. Or would it? No, she wasn’t one for being mean. She left her seat and put the order in with an eye on her Mac.
As she waited, her soon-to-be ex walked into the café. A mixture of joy, pain, and tiredness spread all over Trinity, and she pushed a smile out her lips. Valerie walked over and gave her a tight hug. She let go before Trinity could kiss her on the cheek as always.
“Is that mine?” Valerie asked and pointed at the coffee mug sitting alone on the counter.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee made Trinity want another one. “Yeah.”
When they settled in their seats, she shut her laptop and put it back into her black leather satchel. She let her eyes wander over Valerie’s smooth light brown skin, hazel eyes, and long, curly hair that she lost her fingers in so many times. Her girlfriend’s lips were set in a straight line. She wore a black leather jacket on top of a low v-shirt. Her collarbone poked out with such boldness it made Trinity worry about whether Valerie attempted to lose weight again when it was not at all necessary.
Valerie lifted her mug with both hands and took a sip of her coffee. “So what’s up? You said you wanted to talk. I’m here. So, let’s talk.”
“No need to sound angry already,” Trinity said and cursed inwardly when she found her mug empty of coffee. She should have at least ordered a bag of dried apricots or something to keep her hands occupied for what she predicted would be another testy conversation.
“You’re right. I am angry. Because I know where this is going. I’d rather be at home, correcting papers.”
They stopped living together after their third break-up because they finally retired the dream that they would commit to each other. And yet, while Trinity dated other people during their break-ups, Valerie did not as if she knew they would eventually return to each other’s arms.
“I’m so sorry I’m making you angry.”
“No, don’t say that.” Valerie shook her head and curled her lips in a way that shrouded her beauty, but commanded attention. “Say ‘sorry’ one more time and I swear I will throw this coffee out the window.”
“That’s six dollars. And let’s not forget the cost of repairing that window. I’m not rich, ya know,” Trinity said in a weak attempt at a joke. She even threw in a genuine smile.
Valerie wasn’t biting. In fact, it had the opposite effect on her. She closed her hands into fists over the table and opened them again. She always did that before she landed a blow.
“That’s it. I know what you want, Trin. And you can have it because you know what? I want it too. I’m tired too. I get it. We’re done. For good this time.”
Doubtful, Trinity traced the outline of her jaw with her thumb. “Yes, we should be done, but it’s not that easy. We say we’re done and then, poof! We’re back together again.”
“Not this time. Let me save us some time. Good-bye. Thanks for the coffee.” She rose up to go, but Trinity caught her small hand.
The touch spiked her heartbeat and aroused memories. And like instinct, Trinity rubbed the back of Valerie’s hand in a circular motion. “Please, sit down and listen. ”
Valerie sat down and slowly retrieved her hand. She folded her arms across her chest and let her gaze wander out the window. The sunlight just had to kiss half her face and illuminate one eye, turning it into a small round whisky quartz.
“We need to stop doing this.”
“I know that already.”
“Please, let me finish.”
“Okay, go on.”
Now that she had Valerie’s attention, the words she had carefully put together last night in her head escaped her. She took a deep breath and hated the ache that gnawed at her stomach. Please don’t let me screw this up.
“Valerie, I feel that you continue to hold on to me because I’m the only girlfriend you’ve ever had. And you’re afraid to let go, but you have to. I also don’t think it’s fair to me that you’re still not open to your family and friends. That dinner last week with your family was—I’m so sorry to say—one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. I hated that I had to lie so much about myself and us. It made me sick. Sometimes, I wonder if you’ll ever be out. I’m not pressuring you or anything because I know it’s a very difficult and personal decision. But, if we are to grow into our true selves, we seriously need to give each other space. Or we’ll be locked in this unhealthy relationship based on lies and secrecy. And pain. I don’t want that. Do you understand?”
Trinity held her breath for Valerie’s response. She saw her ex-girlfriend’s lips quiver. Wait. Were those tears lining the bottom of her eyes? Shit. She reached for her hands, but Valerie stood up from her chair. It screeched as it scraped the ground.
“No, don’t even try. I never want to talk to your self-righteous ass ever again. How could you let those words come out of your mouth? You didn’t even ask to find out that I felt so horrible about that night too. And that I wanted to do something about it. To make things right.”
“Wait. I’m so sorry if what I said came out the wrong way. And I’m sorry—”
“NO! No no no no. Stop with the apologizing. Be my girlfriend for once, and not my freaking therapist!”
Everyone in the café turned their eyes on them. Trinity felt the blood and heat rush to her face. Before she could get over her embarrassment, Valerie was gone. She exhaled all the breath her lungs could expunge and leaned back into her chair. So, were they broken up or not? First, she says she never wants to talk to me again, and next says that I’m supposed to be her girlfriend. Which is it? Trinity rubbed her eyes with her forefingers. Had she trapped herself in some never ending circle? She hadn’t the heart to ignore Valerie if she happened to call again, or maybe she finally should. But how?
She checked her watch. The search for answers would have to come up another time. She had a meeting with a big potential client that she could not be late for. And getting there required taking the dreaded Green line. Mentally spent, Trinity gathered her satchel and blazer and walked out the café for the subway.
To be continued…
Adolescence 2.0 © 2013 C.S. Severe All Rights Reserved.
Adolescence 2.0 © 2013 C.S. Severe All Rights Reserved.