Dancing with someone you love isn't fair if they don't love you back.
| The room is quiet, too quiet that a rock could shift an inch and everyone would hear it. Everyone being me and Mari, it seems. The room cleared out just a moment ago. Young adults aged 18-25 rushing out the doors to watch the fireworks setting off as the clock struck midnight for the new year. Oh, it's new years, but you knew that already, right?
Back to the main scene, I stand against the pillar directly adjacent from Mari's location, that being on the floor near the front door of the house. She doesn't move, not in the slightest. Her long red dress spreads out like a drink spill on the floor and the make-up on her face is distressed. I want to say something. I cant stop thinking that same line over and over again. It repeats rather than developing a useful thought to be heard. My mind is chasing a sentence to speak but all I find is emptiness. I thought if i came out here, it would work. Taking her somewhere she could be comfortable with, it seemed like the right move. I've spent the last few years that felt like millennia trying to be close to her physically and emotionally, and now seconds feel like eternity. Maybe i should just leave. Yeah. Maybe. It would probably be best if I just leave her alone.
Her body begins to twitch awkwardly, but repeatedly. At first it seemed to be seizures, but I began to hear a faint grunt. Then another. She moves slightly, her hands cover her face. Her grunts turn to weeps. I hear it loud as ever. There's no mistaking it. She's crying. She's..... Crying......
My heart begins to burn. Who am I to look at her, as her best friend and not do anything? I want to help her.
What if it's too obvious? What if it seems like I only want to help her to selfishly swoon her my way? I want to help her.
What if after all this, she still doesn't like me? What if in the end, she will never love me? Why do I care? Why? I just want to HELP HER.
My heart burns like corrupted fire. Each weep I hear begins to tear away at my stoic mortality. My questions are endless and the answers aren't there. There are no answers. Only more questions. Only more pain. That's all there is. Maybe I will never be the one for her. She will just fall in love with someone else and no matter how much I love her, it's going to end the same. My failure. My heartbreak. It's connected in an endless loop that only continues until it all explodes in front of me.
I can't do this anymore.
I can't let this continue.
One more day, one more hour is too long for me. I came this far, I fought with myself for so long hoping that I can come to a sane conclusion as to who she is. Is she my friend? My lover? What even will she be in the future? Who will I become if she's not there? No. The questions are irrelevant. There are no answers, except for the ones I make myself. I don't care who Mari is, all I know is, for the last 8 years, she's changed my world. She has been an influence from afar and now she's right here. I can't cry anymore about what she is to me, because she is my everything. Mari is my answer. Her existence is what keeps me going. I can't lose her. Period. It's my chance to pay her back and be her answer. Whether love or not, hell or high water, I just want to be there. Just this once, in person. I want her to be okay. Because she is one of my reasons for living.
She may not feel the same, but that's okay. I have to live with my answer. That's all I can do, for her.
I take one step, I reach out my nervous hand. The fire in my heart is raging. I can do this.
I make the second step, I open my mouth. I don't know what to say, but I have to say something.
My next step connects, I'm 4 paces away and my throat gets caught. I feel jagged. I'm not saying anything.
The fourth step plants. My tongue goes numb. My jaw shuts in terror of the moment and I feel weightless.
Step five. My conscious is fading. My heart thumps too fast. I don't know what's going on. I can't see.
Step six. I can touch her. Just tap her shoulder. Do something. Anything. Please.
Everything goes black. The room goes black. The air grows cool. and my eyes close. I begin to fall. Endlessly. The air starts to rush through my body and along my face. The fast, cool air begins to burn my skin. Where am I going? Where am I going?
The air moves so quick, i lose my breath. I try to scream for help, I yell at the top of my vocal chords, yet not even a whisper escapes. I can feel the panic and fear rushing my veins. I don't know what to do. I try to scream so loudly but it's not working. Someone please, stop me from falling. PLEASE. HELP ME.
I suddenly awake, my eyes snap open and i rush to a seated position. My breathing is heavy and fast. I look down at my body; my clothes from last night are still on. My awkward skinny tie is loose and my white button up shirt is stained along the abdomen with what smells like stale chocolate. My skinny black pants are rugged and wrinkled however my dark dress shoes seem to be intact.
I look around and notice I'm on the floor exactly where I fell. A few inches away from the front door of the house. The door seemed bigger from the seated position, It's wide frame and large stained glass middle piece was quite large for any ordinary suburbian household. The sun shined through the glass and was a few inches from my face.
I looked down the living room hall and found the owner of the home, my friend Dustin, exiting the bathroom. "Good morning dude, how was the floor?" He says jokingly with a smirk.
"My head hurts and I feel gross. I don't remember what exactly happened." I tried to put the pieces of last night together, but nothing seemed to give me any picture.
"Well you were definitely up past your bed time. You stood against the wall for like the last half hour before walking over to the door and fainting. I would've helped you, but I was busy with Amanda, you feel?" He says with bravado.
I could smell the bullcrap oozing from his mouth the second it opened. He's a full foot shorter than my six foot five frame, and Amanda is nearly my height. I wouldn't disagree with him if it weren't for the fact I heard Amanda last week admit to hating shorter men than her (that's a story for another day). I'll let his weak lie slide this time. "So what happened last night? You good?" He says snapping me out of my thought.
I try to put everything together, "I don't know, I was walking around talking or something and I heard something break. I looked over to the front door thinking it was broken. Next thing I know I see Mari sitting there and I-"
"MarI! Where's Mari? Did you see her leave?"
"Woah woah woah there dude, slow down. Who?" His face turns to one of bewilderment.
"What do you mean who? Mari! She was on the floor, crying or something and I.... I just-" My heart starts to hurt. I remember everything now. The pain is worse than ever before. I didn't help her.
"Bro, I didn't invite no Mari to the party. You must be confused." His eyes show concern. What's going on?
"What do you mean? Mariella? You don't know her?"
"Mariella? From our history class in high school?" I nod my head at his question, unsure of how he could forget someone so obvious.
"YES! That's the one!" It seems he must've missed her. I know he didn't invite her, but I did make her presence known. He was probably too drunk to remember.
"Wait, are you sure? I was joking man."
"Uh, yeah. I invited her dude. Sorry, I probably should've asked. I hope it wasn't too much of an issue."
His face then turned to absolute confusion. He took a step back and pointed a finger in my direction.
"Dude, are you positive? Mariella Jones?"
"Yes! How many times do I have to tell you?"
"I don't think you're okay man. You need some help." He says.
Now I'm the confused one. I need help? Really? I mean, I have some anxiety and depression issues, but I feel like I'm coming out of my shell. Besides, what does that have to do with this? Is it really a problem that I brought her to the party? She's such a calm person, even he knows this. She doesn't drink nor does she smoke, she doesn't have any drama problems, so what's the problem? "What do you mean? I didn't think it was a problem. I'm sorry if I overstepped any boundaries." I tried to patch things up quickly, maybe he'll accept an apology. It's the best I can do right now unfortunately with the headache and the neck pain. Yet, despite this, his expression doesn't change. It intensifies.
"That's not the issue, man." Dustin seems upset, but slightly more concerned with each word that he speaks.
"Then what's wrong?" I ask, more confused than ever. Dustin steps forward and puts his hand on my shoulder. He calmly replies with a mourning tone.
"Mariella has been dead. For 2 years."