The truth is I miss you so
And I’m tired
I should not have let you go…
And I crawl back into your open arms…
As days pass on of emotion attacks in fifth period, the day I had been waiting for has finally come. I was resting my head on my desk after an easy Economics test when out of nowhere, I heard a strange sniffle. I figure it’s just someone with allergies so I ignore it. The sniffle goes off again but it was no allergy sniffle. Slowly I pick my head up from the desk and look over my shoulder. Water drops stained his notebook paper. His cheeks turned burnt red. Was he actually crying? Was it his turn to break down? My jaw collapsed in disbelief. What do I say? How do I react?
“You ok kiddo?” I blinked in amazement.
Just hearing “kiddo” made him cry even harder. The class looked at us in the awe of his breakdown. A friend of mine mouthed, “OH MY GOD.” from across the classroom. I asked the teacher if I could take him out into the hallway so he could calm down. There he sat, against the wall, covering his face, sobbing. I stood shell shocked, wondering what memory crossed his mind. I reached out to touch him but pulled away. He never helped me so why should I?
“Here. Take the box of tissues.” I dropped them at his side. He didn’t even flinch. To see him this way made me want to scoop him up in my arms and hold him until he got himself back together. What would be the point in doing all of that when he never showed that he cared I was hurting? He was trying to be a hardass towards me so it was my turn to do the same. Reluctantly, I went back inside the classroom, crushed like a baby under an elephant’s foot.
Xavier’s mamma’s boy condition was dead on strong in the beginning. It felt as if we really weren’t in a relationship. Each day was a different excuse and his mom was right there, feeding them to him on a spoon. Ugh I can hear her and her whiny accented voice saying, “Niño, tell that negrá you gotta clean. Niño, tell that negrá that you’re going shopping with me. Niño, niño, niño.” And it was like that every day. Getting Xavier to hang out with me was like fishing. You sit out with your line in the water, bait hooked. You wait for hours for a bite. Wait through the hot days. Wait through the cold days. The rainy days. Finally, after your butt hurts from sitting there forever, something tugs at your line. You reel and reel and reel. Pull, pull, pull! Reel! C’mon reel! Oh my God! It’s a big one! Your line soars into the air but you can’t see it cuz the sun is bright and praising you because you finally got one. Your line comes down and with one hand, you catch an empty line. The bait’s gone. Now your shoulders kind of sag and you want to give up hope. What you really do is put bait back on your hook and cast your line again and think this time, you’ll get the big one.
I told him all the time, “Kiddo, your mamma doesn’t wasn’t us to be together. Every time you try to go out with me, your mom has an excuse for you not to.”
He never believed me. “Man, you’re just buggin. Tomorrow we’ll hang.” But did we? Nope. Xavier was trapped in this world that his mother made and could never see outside of it. I didn’t go out of my way to break him of her spell purposely but I’m glad that it was me to help him realize his mother was still sheltering the shit out of him. I love Xavier, maybe not as much as his mom does but I was close behind her. I wanted to have him too; she was just not willing to share.
About fifteen minutes later, Xavier came back into the classroom looking like Rudolph. I couldn’t look at him, didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. My eyes stayed at the wall.
“Don’t you worry about me.” He whispered in my ear. He sounded irritated and annoyed. He plopped back down in his desk with a sniffle and worked until the bell rang. What the fuck! How dare he?! This little shit needs to get over himself! When the bell rang, he tried to rush past me. I caught hold of his backpack and jerked his ass around to look him dead square in the face. See what the fuck I had to say.
“Listen here jackass! Why would you tell me that?! I worry about you every second of the day! It seems as if you’re the one who doesn’t worry about anything! Don’t ever come at me like that ever again because you don’t know shit! ” I pushed past him out the door and was swallowed by the moving bodies going to their next class. There was so much more I wanted to say but I was too angry. It would have been pointless anyways.
When I come here, it reminds me of so many things. The park was the place for me and Xavier to play. They had an open field where a small organization held soccer games for the little kids in the area. Just looking at the field brought back so many images:
We laid in the short grass, exhausted from playing tag. We were like little kids who had huge crushes on each other. He wrapped his thick arms around me like a huge soft blanket. I cuddled deep into his chest, burying my face into his scent. It had been six months since we started dating and his mom didn’t know we were celebrating our month-a-versary at the park. She wouldn’t have let him if she knew. I knew I loved Xavier, deeply, and would jump off a forty story building for him but we hadn’t gotten there yet, vocally. Physically, our actions would tell how much we loved each other. Him just holding me, I could tell he loved me to the same degree I loved him. I wanted to tell him everything and I was going to do it tonight. The crickets were chirping peacefully in the woods behind us and the park was like Heaven. Xavier was singing a lullaby in Spanish and meekly I was falling asleep. The day seemed perfect and oh so pretty. My spirits were soaring above the clouds. I wanted to live and die in this moment.
“Xavier,” I began, “you make me feel like an angel.”
His chest rose, ready for a huge sigh. “Pony, you are an angel.”
I giggle, “Only because of you. You do things to me I can’t explain. I wish I could explain. I guess my vocabulary isn’t so big.”
“Your vocabulary doesn’t have to be big to tell me how you feel. Just say it.”
There was my chance. This is where I have to tell him. I sat up to make sure he could see what I was saying to him. “I love you kiddo. I love you so much it seems as if I don’t love you enough.”
He squeezed me. “Oh Persephone. I love you too. God I love you so. It’s wild. I ache for you.”
That’s when the background music picked up. The violins and harps sing a song of discovery. The discovery of love. The cameras zoom out putting the scene of the park into panoramic view then zooms into the night sky, capturing the one twinkling star. End scene.
I hated the way he pretended he didn’t care that we were broken up. I would stand in the hallways and watch him socialize with his friends or random people. Sometimes it seemed as if he was just beaming, like nothing else mattered in his world. He was always overdramatically laughing, as if it was all for show, to prove to everyone he wasn’t fazed. “HAHAHAHAHAHAAA! LOOK AT ME! OVER MY EX! SO DAMN HAPPY!” Fucker…I would think how could he act so normal? My friends could just look at me and could tell I was rotting away on the inside but no not X. X was great! I hated him for acting like nothing bothered him. We were perfect together. We were one of those puzzles that were five hundred pieces and when you put them all together, we made a beautiful scene. So many damn memories. She was the reason we broke up.
We were chillin in his compact room that could hold only his tiny twin bed, a three shelf bookcase and dresser. We laid in his bed, running our fingers in each other’s hair, adoring one another. Our relationship had just hit the climax and we dizzily were coming off. That was when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Love had totally won us over.
“You’re beautiful.” He murmured.
My heart fluttered like a butterfly bats its wings. “Not as beautiful as you.”
It was the kind of love that made you feel good. The world could be ending but you wouldn’t care because you loved each other. As long as we had each other we were in complete nirvana. But then came that nagging voice,
“Por que? Por que?” I cried. “Why now Xavier?”
“Sh sh.” He kissed me to shut me up. “No worries mi amor.”
Enter Xavier’s mom. She could have been no taller than four eight with her hair in a bob. Her wardrobe consisted of nothing but floral print blouses and long peasant skirts in every damn color. She wasn’t fat nor was she skinny, just an awkward pudgy woman with long narrow, boney fingers with long nails. She had fairer skin compared to Daniella and Xavier and looked very young, not a wrinkle or line in her face but always had a scowl. Never knew if that woman smiled. She was scowling when she said, “Nino, I want her out of here.” she demanded, pointing her scrawny finger at me.
X stood, trying to escort his mom out of his room while trying to shush her. It didn’t work, well, it never works. “Mama, go to bed. Nothing is going on here. Go to bed.”
I sat up on my elbows in the bed, watching her try to dodge her way around X to yell at me, not at him. Her index finger kept pointing at me as if she wanted it to be a wand to cast a horrible spell on me. “No! She has to go. I don’t want you to see her ever again. I’m serious!”
Xavier’s jaw hit the ground. My heart stopped beating. The world stopped turning.
“WHAT?!” we say in unison.
“No more of this. It has gone on for too long.”
Too long? What she thought she had so much control over Xavier that she could stop his relationships? I sure as hell wasn’t having it. I got off the bed to really get a good look at this crazy person messing up my nirvana. She stood in the doorway, huffing and puffing. I couldn’t believe this woman.
“Woah wait a minute. Are you serious? You think you’re going to break us up?”
She looked over to Xavier and said to him in Spanish, “You shut her mouth.”
“Look, I can understand you ok? And I’m not going to shut my mouth. No one can make me shutup. Let me tell you one thing, you may control everything in Xavier’s life but you most definitely do not control us. This is ours, not yours so back off.”
Bile developed in my throat as I came to a close of my little speech. Xavier had covered his face out of embarrassment. I was a little surprised myself because I have never talked to anyone’s mom like that but she pushed me and I was tired of her acting as if I was invisible. I felt like someone needed to take a serious stand against her. Mentally I prepped myself for a physical fight but was also hoping it wouldn’t have to go that far. My stance didn’t help. I apparently looked like I was ready for her to take a swing. It only created a monster.
“GET OUT!” She spat through her teeth, seething at me.
I sucked in my pride and said, “Fine. If it will shut you up.”
Xavier became alert, grabbing my arm, begging me to stay in Spanish. “Mi amor, oh, mi amor por favor!”
I couldn’t stay. I almost started to cry the more and more he begged. He fell to his knees, rubbing his tears into my forearm. Please stop baby. X just let me leave with some sort of damn pride.
“Kiddo, stop!” I rip my arm from his grasp. “You obey your mama. She’ll regret this one day.” I grabbed his autumn face and kissed him goodbye. “I still have your love. Forever and always. I love you with all my corazon.”
A final tear rolled down his face but before it could fall off his chin, I caught it with my thumb.
“I love you too. More than the stars,” he whispered, “More than life itself. You are my everything Persephone, you are my life.”
It all hurt too much. Pain was eating away at my body, my ego telling me to hurry and walk out. Get away. Xavier took hold of my hands. They felt just like his abuelo’s.
I choked up a bit, biting back all the tears and whimpers that wanted to flow from inside of me. “You just stay where you are ok? I’ll be back. Don’t you fret.”
And that was it. Three years and nothing more. My cheeks stained with the filth of that wretched woman. And those stains are still around, just camouflaged. Xavier, to me, was more than life. He was my Heaven on Earth. The only thing that got me by in life. I could give a shit about everything but I wouldn’t let myself do that because of him. He radiated purity like the sun. He made love grand. Xavier Hernandez is love. And love is what I needed to live again because without it, I’m six feet underground.
I stared up into the sky, letting the tears run down the sides of my face. My lungs were looking for air; remembering that night knocked the air out of me once again. It was one of the worst times in my life. I couldn’t stop the pain. I can only feel an empty ache in my chest. It seems so easy just to give up when I felt like it really was the end for him and me. Something is starting to tell me otherwise…just don’t know what it is yet…
I stormed out, tearing my hands away from him. I damn near knocked his mother to the floor, partially on accident. I mean she was standing in my way. Once I was a few feet away from his house on the sidewalk, I collapsed, losing all control. I was howling in pain. I masked the shouts with my hand so no one would come out to see what was wrong. I had no idea how I was going to make it home blinded by the tears. I felt for my phone and speed dialed my dad. When he gave up on trying understanding my blubbering, he flew to get me. All I could think was how I just wanted my life to end. I couldn’t believe it was all over with just two words. She just ruined my life! Fuck being melodramatic I mean it all! There was no other person in the world I have ever felt this passionately for just to have them torn away from me! That fuckin bitch! Oh my God that bitch…but the words couldn’t escape. My dad’s car came to a screeching halt next to the curb.
“Oh Pony! My poor baby what happened?!” he sprinted over to my side. Another howl escaped from my stomach as I shook my head. The bitch! The bitch took my heart away! I wanted to scream. He helped me into the car. We took off and never looked back.
I lay in my father’s lap as we sit on the couch. He runs his fingers through my hair as I watch SLC Punk. I’m trying anything to keep my mind off what just happened but of course, everything was reminding me of him. I hadn’t slept a wink last night after what happened. I stayed up all night writing poem after poem until my hand cramped up around eight a.m. Most of the poems consisted of my hate for his mother and how I was ready to die but once I got all of the crazed emotions down on paper, all that was left was emptiness. Emptiness turned into ache. Ache turned into numbness. That was my current state. Numbness. No dish in the world my dad could slave over would fill this void in my insides. He highly believed in comfort food. He spent all morning cooking waffles, pancakes, eggs, grits and bacon to please me, which I all ate but I felt like it just evaporated once in my stomach. He even made me a mimosa. I cracked up when he sat it next to my plate. I think he was glad to know that I could still laugh. I was too but still…Xavier and I no longer remain…
* * *
Xavier could hear his own heart crack and shatter to rigged pieces. He looked up to his mom who stood, arms folded with the biggest shit eating grin as if she was proud of what she just destroyed. He couldn’t believe this was his own mother. She just ruined the greatest thing had in his life and was insanely happy about it. He no longer recognized the person in front of him.
“One day, you’ll thank me mijo.” She chuckled.
Xavier was past the point of pissed off. He wanted to lash out at this monster before him. But he had to remember that it was his mom and he can’t disrespect her.
“Mama…please go away.” He began to cry again. “Just…get out. PLEASE!” he screams. She jumps, startled by the sheer volume of his voice. She did not argue, just slowly retreated and closed the door behind her. Xavier slowly folded his legs in towards his chest. He cried into his knees the rest of the night. The next morning, he was woken by his abuelo. He had fallen asleep on the floor by the foot of his bed with his comforter blanketing him. His abuelo sat on the floor next to him, looking on with deep concern. Abuelo licked his thumb to wipe away the dry tears from X’s cheek bone. He didn’t flinch or push him away. He needed to feel some affection, some compassion. They didn’t speak, just sat there, giving our relationship a moment of silence. Abuelo was waiting for Xavier to say anything, just a single word. He noticed that Xavier was staring at the door. He glances towards that direction.
“¿Qué buscas en[SRS1]?” he asked as he looked back to Xavier. X eyes his abuelo then eyes the door again. He parts his lips to speak but closes them, hesitant of what to say. “Mira no tienes que hablar conmigo si no quiere[SRS2] .”
Xavier doesn’t stir. He continues to lie there, staring at the door. And Abuelo just sits, looking over his grandson. He was hoping he wasn’t working on being a mute due to the pain, heartache, he was dealing with. The only way to deal with this was by talking and he will sit here forever if he has to until X speaks to him. He just wanted to know what he was thinking about. He was so very scared for him. Abuelo already had a stern talk with his daughter, ashamed at what she has done and how she didn’t feel one drop of guilt for Xavier. She wasn’t right. He felt that she lost sight of herself and what was important to her son, his happiness. This was selfish of her. Since this wasn’t what she wanted, she couldn’t let Xavier have it. Really it’s not about her. Why couldn’t she see that?! Xavier sits up, still looking at the door. He uses his comforter as a tissue. He begins to pout, as if he’s realizing again what happened last night and wants to cry but instead he says,
“Ella me ha jodido[SRS3] .” His eyes well up as he tries to fight back a sob. His abuelo reaches for his hand but Xavier retreats, shaking his head. “Por favor, no me toques ahora[SRS4] .”
“Nieto, sólo estoy intentando darle el confort que usted necesita derecho ahora. Déjame[SRS5] .”
“No necesito ninguna comodidad puta[SRS6] !” he shouts then gasps, realizing he just cursed at his abuelo. “Dios mío…Soy abuelo so sorry! No quise decir a usted. Perdóname…Sólo quiero a mi novia nuevamente[SRS7] …”
“No, no está bien.” He shushes him. He reaches for Xavier’s hand and this time he allows him to hold it. It makes him release all the tears he was holding on to. Abuelo pulls Xavier into his embrace. He holds him tightly as X cries into his chest as he gently rocks him. He is almost brought to tears as he listens to X relieve his sorrow. It saddens and angers him all at once. He just can’t believe his daughter would let him endure all of this alone. What in the world is wrong with her?!
“¿Cómo podría ella hacer esto a mí? ¿Lo que ha poseído a herirme tan mal[SRS8] ?” Xavier asks into his chest.
Abuelo sighs, not sure how to answer because he was wondering the same. “Realmente no sé. No puedo entenderlo yo mismo Xavier. Pero sé que ella no se siente mal… no ni siquiera un poco[SRS9] .”
Xavier heaves a sigh. “No sé si voy a obtener nunca más este. Nunca me he sentido como este antes en mi vida! Todo duele y no puedo dejar de llorar… pensé que era todo un sueño. Esto no puede ser más… no como este. Necesito su espalda[SRS10] .” He is trying to put himself back together but when he gets the strength, the smallest recollection of last night breaks him down again. His abuelo couldn’t take any more of it. He needed to fix this for his grandson and he was going to accomplish just that. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Xavier happy again.
“Y vamos a…Voy a su espalda para usted[SRS11] .”
The door clicks open as Daniella peeks in. Xavier flies out of his Abuelo’s arms and uses his comforter to wipe his face again. Abuelo motions for Daniella to come in with a grin. She’s devastated to see her brother like this.
“Xavier what’s wrong?” she shyly asks. She had never seen him cry before.
“Dani,” his abuelo begins, “he’s just a little upset right now.” He is trying to warn her not to pry too much.
“Oh…” she looks back over to Xavier, who’s leaning against the foot of his bed, forcing a smile to his sister. He puts his arms out for a hug. She skips into his arms, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck. “It’s going to be ok Xavier. I love you. Abuelo loves you. Pony loves you.”
He chokes hearing my name. She has no idea what has happened and he wants it to stay that way. He buries his sea salt face into her hair and takes a deep breath. It’s his way of getting comfort from her without her knowing. She pulls away a little to kiss Xavier on the forehead. He laughs lightly, knowing she gets that from their abuelo. Next she pets his hair that’s wet from his tears away from his face and holds his head. She looks deeply into his eyes and says, “We both love Pony very much,” then leaves. He meets his abuelo’s gaze, shocked.
“She always knows the right things to say.” says his abuelo with a smile.
[SRS1]“What are you looking at?”
[SRS2]“look you do not have to talk to me if you do not want to”
[SRS3]“she has fucked me up.”
[SRS4]“please do not touch me right now.”
[SRS5]“Grandson, I am just trying to give you the comfort you need right now. Let me.”
[SRS6]“I don’t need any fuckin comfort!”
[SRS7]“Oh my god…I am so sorry grandfather! I did not mean to curse at you. Forgive me…I just want my girlfriend back….”
[SRS8]“how could she do this to me? what has possessed her to hurt me so badly?”
[SRS9]i really do not know. i cannot figure it out myself Xavier. but i know that she does not feel bad…not even a little bit.
[SRS10]“I do not know if I will ever get over this. I have never felt like this before in my life! Everything hurts and I cannot stop crying…I thought it was all a dream. This cannot be over…not like this. I need her back.”
[SRS11]“and we will…I’ll get her back for you.”
Does it ever scare you that this isn’t meant to be at all? Years of having each other just to end up possibly not having one another at all? I seriously can’t imagine a day where you’re not around at all. Or a day that I don’t talk to you. Seriously can’t fathom. But I guess that’s how it is with anyone you’ve been around a lot. One day you’ll have to lose someone and eventually you’ll get over it and go on with life.