I had been dating this guy for a couple months after a serious boyfriend and I had broken up. I instantly liked him the moment I saw him saunter into my Spanish 1 class. There weren’t many guys I had found attractive living on campus so as soon as I saw him, I knew he must lived off campus somewhere. I knew I had to pounce immediately. He was my type in so many ways and I thought things would really work out until one night I was over at his apartment. It was a typical night at his house just chillin watchin tv, my sister was hanging out with his roommate, everything was relatively normal. All of a sudden he goes on this rant about how he can’t be with me, his emotional baggage blah blah blah eventually I had to stop listening. This is all bullshit. No warning signs. No nothing so how the hell could he just drop this bomb on me?! I was already pretty fuckin fragile from hearing my ex fucked a friend of mine and now there’s this. Fuckin awesome. He kept apologizing saying how great I was, his “ideal girl” all of that doesn’t fuckin matter dude you’re breaking up with me! It was a little cold…he needed to say what he needed and that was that. I couldn’t believe…eventually enough was enough. His roommate drove my sister and I back to campus. I cried hysterically; I decided to put my all into this guy after the shit I went through with my ex. I mustered up what was left of my love and gave it to him just to get dumped due to some old shit. Fuck this guy. That little piece of my heart shattered. For a long while, I would just cry randomly. Hated to go to class and see him. The worst tension ever.
I couldn’t be any more indifferent about the news: you are moving out of the state of Texas. Glad you’re getting the further the fuck away from me. And you can be surrounded by more white bitches from California since that’s your thing…you fucked Kelli (white girl from Cali) and your recent ex (white girl from Cali) so I hope you enjoy yourself. As much as I would like to wish something bad upon you, I really wish you the best so you can just stay there. Don’t come back. Knowing the possibility that I may never have to see you again really excites me. I can now go hang out with your friends without worrying about running into you or you being there. Relief.
I thought our second chance would be successful. I was living in this fantasy land of past memories and revisiting the man that you once were but the second chance taught me that you are not who I remembered. Or I was just that delusional back then. That in love with you to ignore your true self. Maybe just too young and too busy getting over my first love. And the sex really wasn’t all that great after all. We were, indeed, great friends that’s for sure but I think our love has expired. I feel we’re officially done this time.
Since I am such a boring lame person, I hope you forget me. I don’t care if you’ll “always love me” all those things you’ve said to me made me not love you anymore. Good bye. Good riddance.
Twiddling. Freaking the fuck out. I shouldn’t be here…nah not now. Not ever. Fuck…me. This wasn’t what I planned nothing I even imagined as I was on my way up here. You were not apart of the plan. This was not. Fidgeting. Anticipation is a motherfucker. Nah this is anxiousness. I’m ballsy but him…this. I look over my shoulder towards his closet door. The fuck is taking him so long? There is nothing that important in his damn closet. Face forward. Focus. There’s a photo on his desk. Can’t quite make out what it is exactly. How old was he — the click from the door opening breaks my concentration. He struts out, grinning, staring at my bare back. From my peripheral, I see his fingers twitch eagerly. No turning. No running. We’re here.
My track history when it came to relationships was never great. Mostly had relationships last a couple of weeks or months before they would collapse due to unstable foundation. Each time I would fool myself into believing, “Hey this dude…is legit.” But reality would set in and burn it down in a fiery haze. I would get up, dust away the ashes and give it another go. Relationships that is. I really felt like I had it in the bag when I met him. Xavier. Beautiful brown eyes, very built body and always brought me a huge package, if you know what I’m sayin. He was also very witty, charming, clever and sarcastic. He was into a lot of punk but was also into heavy metal and was very outdoorsy. My kind of guy. Un problemo: MAMMA’S BOY! To the T and it drove me mad. No matter the day or the time, he couldn’t make time for me. The beginning of our relationship was strictly through the phone, no dates. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pry him away from his house. I could be stark naked, talking the best dirty talk I could imagine and he wouldn’t budge. I’d call him and say:
“How about a movie?”
“No mom is making me a sweater.”
Dead silence. No words could form from the bit of shock I was put into. I tried to make sure he couldn’t hear me gag by pushing the receiver away from my face. Eventually I had to pull myself together.
“Oh? Erm…wow uh…what does that have to do with the movies kiddo?”
“Well I want to be here when she finishes. She’s just about done. How about a little later?”
Really? I had to wait for his mom to get done knitting a damn sweater?! Wasn’t he my boyfriend? Couldn’t I get some damn alone time for fucksake? No of course not. I would just have to wait like always.
Grunt. “If you insist.” I slammed my phone onto my desk.
Exactly. Things like that attached him to his mom. The sweaters she would make him were always nice and cute like the ones you’d buy from Express or see in a damn department store…I don’t know how she does it…but that’s not the point though. The point is he ditches me so his mom can make him sweaters. I have a job, a good one at that. I can buy him sweaters. Wait a minute. Why am I trippin? It’s a damn sweater. Ugh. Mamma’s boy. For Mother’s Day, he sings “Mamma” by Boys II Men for her and the whole family. It’s a tradition. There are at least ten VHS tapes from over the years of him singing the same damn song. Let me tell ya, when you look like Xavier, big, thick and fine, you couldn’t even imagine he was a mamma’s boy.
I met Xavier Hernandez at Warped Tour when The Sounds were up on stage jammin out. I was dancing with some girls in the pit, singing along to her sweet voice, when he came along trying to dance with us. As he approached, he blocked out the sun. I shaded my eyes as I looked over at this statuesque man. About six foot three, he wore a very vintage Blink 182 shirt and cargo shorts. He couldn’t dance for shit. If I had to describe what I was seeing, it was an offbeat skip hop jump knee slapping maneuver. To stop the embarrassment he was enduring, I grabbed his hips and made him gyrate with the beat.
“Like this kiddo.” I laugh.
When I knew he had gotten it down to a science, I let him go and danced with my friends again. I clearly didn’t have the time to “talk” to a boy who could not find a simple beat, although he was insanely hot. One of the girls pushed me and said,
“You were totally groovin with that dude.” “Groovin” was the new word for flirt.
I burrowed my eyebrows. “Shutup! I was not!” Even though I sort of was…
“Gah! You totally were!” said the girl to my right.
I smiled, busted. “Hm, ok maybe I was. But he couldn’t dance! It drove me nuts how his hips were totally off with the music.”
The other girls looked at each other from the corner of their eyes.
“Girlie, you’re weird…but great at the same time.”
“Hm, I think I’ll take that as a compliment.” We all laughed and danced until their set was over.
While I had a small window until the next band came on, I stood along the back fence that separates the bands on tour from the festival, trying to sneak a peek at Steve, the guitarist from New Found Glory. I thought maybe if I flashed him, I could hang out with him. Call it typical groupie shit if you want but I knew what I had to do to have a real conversation with someone I adored. No sex was going to happen. There were tons of guys wearing black backward caps, but none of them looked like Steve. I wasn’t going to give up until I spotted him.
“Hey!” someone shouted from a distance. “Hey!” I didn’t turn because I figured they were calling for someone else.
“Hey!” the voice was getting closer. “What are you doing?”
Uh oh! I figured it was security. I backed away from the fence with my hands up, as if the police was going to arrest me.
“Ah I’m doing nothing.” I turn, ready to be busted but it was him, the kid who couldn’t dance.
“Oi…,” I sighed as I put my hand over my heart, “I thought you were security.”
“So you were doing something bad? Like I expected.”
“Well, nooo–I was trying to see Steve of New Found Glory.”
I looked at him skeptically. “So what?”
“Well as we guy bands know, girls hang around after the set to kiss ass so they can hang with the band or get laid. Now what’s your story Dancing Queen?”
I smirked. Dancing Queen?
“Ok so the plan was to look for Steve, get his attention, give him a look at the goods and hopefully hear him say, ‘Wanna chill wit me?’ and I’ll say, very nonchalant, ‘Sure.’ The end.”
He applauded my story as I took a bow. “Nice plan. How would you like it if I told you I know an easier way to get backstage?”
Was he expecting me to flash him? I barely knew the kid. All I know is he can’t dance!
“Woah dude, I’m not flashing you.”
He suddenly pulled out a backstage pass from behind his back and dangled it before my eyes. My jaw dropped and my stomach swallowed my heart.
“Get out!” I punched his arm. “Get out!”
He cracked up. “C’mon. I’ll introduce you to some bands you might like.”
We hung out the rest of the day, backstage with all sorts of bands and I didn’t have to flash or kiss anyone. It was great. The conversations were real. The kid would tell everyone the story of him busting me by the fence, trying to sleaze my way in. The guys thought it was hilarious but brave I would go to such lengths just to chit chat with the bands at Warped Tour. I would shrug it off like it was nothing while giving him the skank eye for blabbing. We walked Reliant Park until dark. All of the excitement had died and was gone with the wind. Reliant Park was completely empty. The only noises were the cars zooming by on 610.
As we strolled along, I say, “All of this and I don’t even know your name.”
He looks down at his feet as he kicks paper cups on the ground. “Should I tell you? Maybe you should tell me yours first.”
I roll my eyes. “My name is Persephone. Friends call me Pony.” I held out my hand, “Nice to meet you, ‘your name here’.”
“Xavier. Friends call me a lot of things. Some nice, some mean but you can call me whatever you want.”
There was a light twinkle in his eye as if he met the girl of his dreams. I hope she isn’t like me because I can be a nightmare. I couldn’t help but be drawn into him.
“Alright kiddo. I’ll remember that.” We shake. His grip is firm. I bite my lip.
We had a good thing. Three years. A fun and loving three years. Even though his mamma got in the way, always dissing me in Spanish. Negrà niña this. Negrà niña that. Xavier always told me to ignore it but the parents have to like me. It was hard but I put up with it anyway just because I loved Xavier a lot. I put a lot into the relationship and so did he. But his mom always tried to poison him with bullshit. I remember when:
“Come inside and chill for a while.”
We stood on his Spanish style porch. I hesitated a bit because I knew his madre couldn’t stand me. I wasn’t ready to walk into the lion’s den, especially when this wasn’t on the itinerary for the day. He extended his hand, asking me to take it. All I could focus on was all the noise coming from the windows. Her voice was the loudest…
“I don’t know kiddo. Your mamma…”
“Don’t worry about her. I just want to enjoy your company. You’re here for me, not my mamma.”
He flurried his fingers, asking again for my hand. We locked knuckles tightly as we went inside. His house was decorated in paper flowers and little ladies with floral skirts. I could smell fajitas cooking from the backyard. The paint was soft with brown and beige and the furniture seemed like no other antique. I ran my fingers over the soft wood of the table, making waves. I had never been inside his home before. I tried to observe as much as possible, like his baby pictures along the mantle of their fire place, how warm the room felt, and the smell of antique furniture that had been passed down.
“Xavier, Xavier!” shouted a little girl with a sea of midnight hair flowing down her back. Her skin was like bronze and the short white summer dress made her glow. She flew into the room on air, like a tiny angle.
“Good evening.” He greeted to her as he swept her into his embrace. They held a short conversation amongst each other in Spanish, talking about how their days went and such. He noticed her looking over his shoulder at me. “Daniella, this is Persephone. You can call her Pony if you like.”
She giggled, “Pony,” with delight. She was as precious as a doll. Her energy was contagious with a smile that could burn out the sun. I shook her little hand.
“Hi Daniella. I’m Pony.”
She giggled again. “Hi Pony.”
“Xavier!” boomed his mother from the kitchen. Daniella’s spirit washed away as a lump developed in my throat. It was like she had a sixth sense; she always knew when I was close. It made her spidey senses tingle. We all looked towards the kitchen to see a few cousins peak down the hall, mumbling about my presence in the house.
“Watch Daniella for me.” he rested his brown hand on my shoulder. The lump dissolved away.
I looked down at his sweet baby sister who was staring up at with her cat-like eyes. They were wide and light brown. I love that she and X had similar facial features. I adored their eyes, round with long lashes…she was waiting for me to make my move but I felt too awkward in the house. “So Daniella, what do you want to do?”
She shrugged shyly. “I don’t know. Do you wanna go outside and meet my abuelo? He’d like you.”
“Oh you think so? This I gotta see.”
She took my hand and led me through a white sheet that took us to a small backyard. They covered a small picnic table with a hot red table cloth, lined with red pepper lights. On top, it was covered with all sorts of Hispanic plates. Some I recognized and some I didn’t. All of Xavier’s little cousins were running around, laughing and playing tag. It was like a breath of fresh air, watching Xavier’s large family. I had never seen so much love and goodness, not even in my own family. It absolutely made my heart soar.
“Persephone.” Daniella called. I looked over to see this handsome, youthful man sitting at the head of all the organized chaos that was this party. When he smiled, he looked twenty-two. He was about as dark as me, like milk chocolate, with dark brown curls gelled on his head. He wore a black short sleeved silk button shirt. He even has a small diamond stud in his left ear. No greys. He left a few top buttons undone to show a little chest. Xavier’s abuelo was too fly…and he knew it.
“Abuelo, this is Persephone.” She introduced me to her grandfather. I was in complete awe. Grandfather? No way… His wrinkly hand reached over to touch mine and when our palms met, it was like shaking hands full of rose petals.
“Hello. How are you? Are you Daniella’s babysitter?” he chuckled with a thick Spanish accent.
“No,” I laugh, “I’m Xavier’s girlfriend.”
He then patted my hand, in a comforting way but also supporting as if he knew everything from that one sentence.
“Hey, you ready to go?”
Xavier looked as if he had just got into a fight. His cheeks were a little pink with his hair tussled about. He narrowed his eyes back towards the house. I’m sure she laid into him quite nicely about me being amongst her family. I wasn’t ready to leave yet we just got to the good part. His abuelo still held my hand and I wanted to meet more of his family.
“Are you ok?”
I knew he got into it real bad with his mom because he’s never brought me to his house and the woman couldn’t stand me. I knew this was a bad idea but he was so determined to bring me here. He clearly paid the price.
He rolled his eyes. “Yeah. C’mon.”
But I couldn’t pry myself away from his abuelo but he looked terrible and needed some sort of comfort. Daniella whispered something in his ear. He nodded, kissed my hand with a smile and said,
“Persephone, Ud. es una señora muy bonìta. Xavier es afortunado tenerle .”
I smiled from ear to ear. Thank God my dad made me learn Spanish or I would’ve never known that his grandfather paid me a compliment. I wanted to blush. It made my night.
“Gracìas señor. Ud. es un hombre muy hermoso. Reunion do Niza ud. Bueños noches .”
Xavier jerked me away in a hurry to leave. There was urgency in his movements and before we could hit the door, his mom bellowed again. His arms dropped with a groan.
“What?” he asked while turning.
“Y dondé usted le píensa va?”
“I’m taking Persephone home, mamma.”
Defiantly, she turned back into the kitchen, saying stuff about me under her breath. Xavier mumbled “give me a break” under his.
Once we were at my house, I asked, “Why keep this up if it stresses you so?”
He was exhausted, trying to keep his eyes open. He’ll drive himself off the road in this condition.
“Because I love you so much and I’m not going to let her get in between us. She tries to control everything I do but this, I won’t let her control.”
I reached for X’s hand. “Kiddo, come stay the night. You can’t drive home like this. Look at you, you’re sleeping.”
“I’m not sleeping Pony. I just need to rest a bit.” But of course his eyes are closed.
“Please come lay down inside. Just for a few minutes, por favor?”
He thought it was cute when I spoke Spanish to him. He turned to look deeply into my eyes. He knew they meant please.
“Fine mi amor. If you insist.”
What I loved the most about my dad is when he knows that Xavier needs to stay a while, he knows it’s because of his mother. I let Xavier sleep for a couple hours while I sat in the closet to write. It was the greatest place to do so and I could always get it done there. I wrote about Xavier and his skin color. It was so beautiful. It was the color of fall, when everything is golden and copper. That’s what his color reminded me of. When I got done, I turned on a little Bright Eyes and watched him sleep for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe I fell in love with a nondancer. I love to dance. Dancing was my thing and I dance everywhere but here is this great guy and I’m dead crazy in love with him. I ran my fingers over his lips. His eyes fluttered open like new birth.
“What time is it?” he moaned into the pillow.
I glanced over towards the clock. “Eleven. You need to go huh?”
The bed groaned as he sat up. “Yeah. Mi madre will kill me if I don’t.”
I sighed. I wish his mom wouldn’t hold such a grudge. I absolutely did nothing to that woman. When I think how much she hates me, I get so enraged. I was always so nice to her and I got diddly squat in return. What did I do to deserve this? Be black? I walked him to the car, watching him yawn and rub his eyes. I took his hand from his eye and began to kiss his knuckles. I hated to see him leave. I wish he could stay with me forever so I could just look at his gorgeous self.
“Night Pony. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Ok kiddo. I love you with all my corazon.”
Xavier’s smile twinkled like the night sky. “I love you too. More than the stars.” We kissed each other silly.
But that was then. Then when everything was fresh. Here it is, present day. Another boring day in Economics. All the memories did come flowing back like birds flying in from the north. And to make matters worse, he sat behind me, where he worked. Of course I did not. I couldn’t block feelings and thoughts by working. A lot of the time they took over. I would excuse myself to the bathroom and sob in the stall. Sometimes someone will come check on me. I’d let them comfort me. A lot of the time I’d tell them to leave me alone. When I came back to class, he’d look at me with those beautiful brown eyes. They spoke something different every day in Spanish. I blink, understanding. Those were the only words exchanged. Xavier always stayed clear of me. His wind smelled of his sweet cologne every time he walked by. It made me ache. Ache everyday.
The class was uber quiet today. I tapped a beat on my desk to annoy the teacher. After a few minutes or so, a few people were bobbin their heads along to it. Someone started humming a song that went along to the beat. The whole class was rockin, except Xavier.
“Excuse me but I’m trying to work.”
The jam session came to a halt. I looked over my shoulder and shot him a smug look.
“Oh! Excuse me!”
That was how he treated me now. Absolute crap. The next day at school, we had an assembly. I wandered behind the group of mindless idiots as we walked to the auditorium. Xavier and his friends weren’t too far ahead. Occasionally their necks would turn to look at me and laugh. And each time they did, my heart sunk lower and lower into my soul. Sade’s “Cherry Pie” began to play loudly in my head. I felt bold to say something but just when I was about to open my mouth, Xavier turned and looked me over longer than usual.
I mouthed, “What?”
He shook his head sadly and turned away.
“Ugh damn.” I stomped. Here came another memory:
Xavier and I had been dating for a couple months. He was in his prime of being a mamma’s boy. We went to a party a friend of his was throwing and they were playing some bangin music. Completely off the hook. As soon as we hit the door, I was swept onto the dance floor by some friends. The whole night I shook my thang until it was impossible to shake it anymore than I already had. A dude I had never seen before danced behind me the entire time. I didn’t pay him any mind because the floor was pretty packed so I figured he was just there. I continued to dance. So did he. Little did I know, the guy was trying to groove with me and someone ran off to tell Xavier. He watched and was pretty well convinced. I felt him looking at me so I returned the favor by looking back. He was very disappointed. “What?” I lipped. He shook his head and walked away. He never told me what happened so I asked the host. When I heard what people were telling Xavier, I began to understand the situation and why he could be upset but why couldn’t he just tell me himself? I went to ask Xavier again but he wouldn’t answer. Just shook his head. He still, to this day, remembers the party.
The assembly turned out to be a perfect waste of the period. I picked and bit at my nails as I watched Xavier joke with his friends. The more I watched, the colder and lonelier I felt. Nothing felt right anymore. I felt as if I was drifting off in space while Xavier was partying up on Earth, being all warm and happy. “Whoohoo! Party over here ain’t nothin over there!” Yeah that’s where I am, “over there.”
NOTE: I used google translate for the Spanish which I know isn’t probably perfect.
I’m yours forever will you love me when I’m gone
Brandon Boyd Incubus “Admiration”
sweetness tastes like sour patch kids
reminds me of a smoke filled room glistening with stars
sometimes i wish we could runaway to mars
life on earth is too suffocating
you make me
& when you lay wit me i feel you in my bone marrow
your waist so tiny & narrow
wrap you up in my limbs like a mother holding a child to be rid of its tears
you wiped them away even when they were full of my mistakes…
“you are my entity…when i think of you i forget to breathe”
How do we forget? You know what we really want to forget
I feel like the memories we want to cherish fickle
And the ones we hate always find a way to stay
How do we forget?
Where is the article, the advice
On how to forget pain
If I could…
You’d be a blank slate
No trace of your existence
No I wouldn’t miss you
In my dreams, my thoughts
How do we forget?