Friday, June 20, 2008

Goodbye G

What couple picks a break up song for “their song”? Perhaps I should have seen it for a sign? But we loved it. Every time the song would come up we’d turn our speakers as loud as they’d go and sing along like idiots. We thought it was funny. It was unique. It was us.

Girl you know we belong together
I have no time for you to be playing
With my heart like this
You’ll be mine forever baby, you just see

We belong together

And you that I’m right
Why do you play with my head,
Why do you play with my mind?

I knew something was up by the third time you hit rewind on the cassette tape playing in my car. We were sitting in the parking lot behind a Hollywood Video. I had driven you back to your car which had been parked there earlier prior to yet another beginning-of-summer party. We had just ended our junior year of High School and were giddy with the feeling of FINALLY being seniors. High School was almost over and we were invincible that summer. Parties and beach bonfires, crazy car races through back roads in the dark and way, way too much cheap beer. But on this night, instead of just hopping out of my car with a quick “later” and that famous grin… you lingered. We talked about our mutual friends, about our plans for the coming summer, about music.

Said we’d be forever
Said it’d never die
How could you love me and leave me
And never say good-bye?

“This is my favorite Boys II Men song” you said as you reached over to rewind the song the first time. As it happened to be one of MY favorite songs also I consented to listening to it through a second time. While the first time the song played we had laughed and joked together, the second time we were silent.

Girl I can’t sleep at night
without holding you tight
Girl, each time I try
I just break down and cry
Pain in my head
oh I’d rather be dead
Spinnin’ around and around

“What ever happened to us last summer?” Though you asked this question softly and seemingly out of left field I knew instantly what you were referring to. The previous year, our sophomore year, we had a class together. We quickly went from casual acquaintances, friends of friends, to constant companions. We would sit together in the back of our chemistry class, cracking jokes and goofing off, we would skip class together and hang out in the parking lot (you were older and already had your driver’s license), we would seek each other out at lunch, you attended your first ever school sporting event because I invited you to watch me cheer. Once your mom let you drive me home when she came in the car to get you after school. I remember that, her sitting in the back seat and us in the front, feeling so grown up.

Girl, I know you really love me,
You just don’t realize
You’ve never been there before
It’s only your first time

Although we’ve come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

Everyone thought we liked each other that year. Honestly on my end I just saw you as a friend, my buddy, we had good times together. You made me laugh. But when anyone asked us if we were “together” we would just laugh. No way. Just friends. I guess we were an anomaly, a teenage girl and a teenage boy who could hang out without the complications of hormones. In our last day of regular classes, before finals and freedom of summertime, you came running up to me in the hall before class. There was a big party that night, some classmate’s parents were going to be out of town and the requisite cheap beer and stolen alcohol from someone’s parents had been procured. Would I go with you? You always had this charming grin. But back then I was a “good girl” and I didn’t make too many appearances on the party scene. And I had plans already for that night. I told you I’d see. We exchanged phone numbers. I remember thinking it was odd that I hadn’t had your phone number before.

Maybe I’ll forgive you, hmm
Maybe you’ll try
We should be happy together
Forever, you and I

I never called. You never called. We went on with our separate summer plans. Mine was full of church retreats, mission trips, cheerleading camp and countless movie nights. Yours was filled with parties, under-age drinking and too many lazy days by the pool. When we met up again in the fall for the beginning of our junior year I remember being jealous of your summer. The restrictions of trying to be what everyone wanted me to be were getting hard to bear. I was ready to let my hair down. Neither of us mentioned the fact that I had blown you off, though I hadn’t forgotten. To be honest I had started to doubt your sincerity when you told people we were just friends and nothing more. I wasn’t sure how to deal with the knowledge that you wanted to be more, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be more. That night in the car I knew it for a fact.

Girl, you love me again like you loved me before
This time I want you to love me much more
This time instead just come to my bed
And baby just don’t let me, don’t let me down

“I’m not sure what happened I guess. Maybe it wasn’t our time?” I tried to make it into a joke but my heart was beating so hard I was sure you could hear it. You reached over and hit the button to rewind the song once more – I thought a fourth time listening to the same song was a little excessive but I didn’t say anything. In fact, I think I was holding my breath. “Is now our time?” Something in that fourth repetition, or maybe the slight delay in my answer, gave you the courage you’d been searching for and you leaned in and kissed me. It wasn’t a great kiss, I can admit that now. But it was sweet and you were so earnest. I liked you so much. By the end of that night the kissing was better and we had pretty much established ourselves as a new couple.

Although we’ve come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
Come to the end of the roadStill I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

“I wanted it to be that song” you said, for our first kiss. “I’ll forgive you for taking so long to come around” you said. There was an emotion in your voice when you said that last bit about forgiving me; it was a little bit angry, a little disdainful. I should have paid more attention to it but I was caught up in the excitement of it all. Soon we were joined at the hip. It was like the before only better. We laughed together, we learned together, we loved together. Almost from the beginning there was talk of forever. What are the odds of high school sweethearts ending up together? Something like one in a million I’m sure. We were sure we were destined to be that one. It was our senior year and we were on top of the world.

Girl I’m here for you
All those times of night when you just hurt me
And just run out with that other fella
Baby I knew about it, I just didn’t care
You just don’t understand how much I love you do you?
I’m here for you

We weren’t without our dramas though. That first year was wonderful. At some point in that first year you surprised me with a trip to a local jeweler. You wanted me to have a ring. Something to wear that indicated I was yours. It was a placeholder you said, for the wedding band I’d one day wear. We asked the girl at the store what the stone was for June, the month we counted as the start of our relationship. She told us it was a ruby and so we selected the daintiest ruby and diamond channel set band. I waited outside while you paid so I could manage some element of surprise for the gift I basically picked out. I learned after a few months of wearing the ring that June’s stone is a pearl and that July’s stone is the ruby. I never told you we had been wrong, I don’t know if you even know now, but rubies became our thing. I wore a red dress to the prom that year because of it. For my birthday a few years later you gave me ruby stud earrings.

I’m not out to go out and cheat on you all night
Just like you did baby but that’s all right
Hey, I love you anyway
And I’m still gonna be here for you ’till my dying day baby
Right now, I’m just in so much pain baby
Coz you just won’t come back to me
Will you? just come back to me

Your ring was stolen. Along with the earrings and pretty much every other piece of jewelry I owned. I hadn’t worn it in years. I slipped it off that night after I caught you with your hands all over some girl at my friend’s birthday party. Even though we held on to our sham of a relationship for three months after that I think I finally knew that this time, when you humiliated me in front of all of my friends, that it would be over for good. But even though things ended badly for us I still have a soft spot in my memory for all the good times we had. And I thought I would always have that ring as a reminder of how much you loved me then, how naive and young we were and how much hope there was behind that gesture. I’m sorry that it is gone. Given that we have not remained friends I feel like my last link to you is gone and with it my last link to the girl I used to be.

Yes baby my heart is lonely
My heart hurts baby
Yes I feel pain too
Baby please
This time instead just come to my bed
And baby just don’t let me go

Do you remember those trips we would take to Don Pedro with your cousins? I remember cruising the lake at sunset, blaring Bonny M (you and your crazy Euro pop music) and drinking beers your cousins were nice enough to not notice we had pilfered from their cooler. I remember waking up in a tent that was easily 100 degrees and running laughing to jump in the lake to cool off. I remember teasing you about pitching it the night before in the darkness, choosing the flat spot in the open over the slightly rocky spot in the shade because you were too lazy to move a few rocks. I remember racing your cousin on her jet ski and how I was terrified of going that fast. You promised me I’d be safe, but then I wasn’t… my first and only concussion. Do you know that I still refuse to ride on a jet ski to this day? Your legacy. I remember trips to your god father’s cabin on Clear Lake. The night we thought it would be fun to try tequila shooters and I tried out my culinary skills by cooking you dinner. You never liked my cooking. Did you know that I started a catering company? And that people now rave about my cooking?

Although we’ve come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

I knew there were other girls. I ignored the nasty looks from the girl you had a crush on in high school. You were too foolish to realize she only wanted you then because you had decided to stop mooning after her and had found a new girlfriend. Did you know how much you hurt me every time you said how beautiful she was? How much it stung when you would compare me to her and I always came up lacking? I don’t know if you two routinely snuck around behind my back or if it was just that one night I followed you two from your friend’s pool into the main house and saw you close his sister’s bedroom door. I was so young then and I had no idea people could hurt that much. I knew about a few other girls too, the older sister of a classmate and a girl from your night school college program. I also know how many girls you made up. Did you like hurting me? You were jealous. At first I was flattered. Then annoyed. Then angry at the injustice of you, the unfaithful one, being jealous of me, the faithful one.

(a cappella)
Although we’ve come to the end of the road

Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

When people ask, I tell them I was with my high school sweetheart for almost five years. In reality we were officially together for four years and eight months, though the last three months we hardly spoke. We broke up three times before the final time. If you subtract the time we spent apart during break ups I imagine we were really only “together” for four years. But those four years, which spanned the ages of 17 to 21, were a time when I really grew into my own. I laid the foundations to become the woman I am today and for your part in the process I will always be grateful.



Liz said...

.....and good riddance. I am sorry you ever had to endure him. To this day if I come across him, I swear I would knock him out cold.

Melina said...

Beautiful post about a not so beautiful thing.

On another note, I didn't know you started a catering company either!?! when did this happen?