Feelings have a funny way
Of distorting themselves to my eye.
When I look in the red mirror
They change so rapidly
That I am in flames,
Forcing them away from myself.
When I look in the blue mirror
They float around my head,
Weighed down by emotions
That cause them to drag.
It is only when I look in the clear mirror,
The mirror you reflect into my eyes,
That I can truly see
What is real.
College was getting in the way of my personal life. I was hardly seeing him at all. I often had to get to college early in the mornings, and stay late for evening classes. We were seeing each other three times a week, if that. And it wasn’t enough. I wanted to see him every day. I never wanted to leave him. But I was away from him more than I was with him.
We didn’t even have the weekends together anymore, as I had work, and then after that we both had a lot of work to do. We had mock exams coming up and I had to revise for them, despite not being able to see him. I kept trying to convince myself that it would all be okay, that it would be worth it for the future. Once this was out of the way then I would have all the time in the world to be with him. It was hard to convince myself of something I wasn’t entirely sure of though.
We had argued the day before, over something so trivial, yet it hurt me to talk to him like that. I was annoyed at how little we saw each other, and he was annoyed at how much I was doing for college. But I couldn’t give any of it up, even though I tried. It was almost like he was blaming me for us not seeing each other. I knew he wasn’t, as that was not like him at all, but I still felt it. I decided that I needed to make more of an effort to see him more, so he would stop feeling like I was possibly avoiding him, or trying to spend a lesser amount of time with him. The time we liked to spend with each other was excessive in any other person’s eyes, but I did not want it to be anything less.
Two weeks later I had not seen as much of him as I had anticipated. Our conversations on the phone were gradually being cut down, despite our efforts to communicate for longer, and we had no time to see each other outside of college apart from when we were walking down to get the bus. I had felt a lot lower than I usually did. The work was getting to me, as was the lack of communication. I needed to see him, for longer. I needed more intense moments between the both of us. Not short intense moments, but times where we had each other to ourselves for the whole day, with no interruptions or disruptions.
When I met him at the bus stop in the morning he seemed sad. He walked off the bus not in his usual lively way ,but more withdrawn, and slow. Like he was not fully there. I walked towards him and wrapped my arms around him.
I looked up at him, genuinely concerned. “Please, what’s wrong?”
“Look, it’s nothing. Let’s just walk.”
We walked in silence until we had got about halfway up to his college. Hating the silence, I felt compelled to interrupt it. “Please tell me what’s wrong. Obviously something is. You haven’t talked to me for the whole way up here.”
“Look, I...It doesn’t matter.”
“Yes it does! Why won’t you tell me?”
I interrupted him. “Do you not trust me or something?”
“...Of course I do. I just...I don’t know.”
Something inside me was beginning to feel heated. I wanted to stop myself, but I could not help getting angry at what he was saying. From what I could make of it, he was annoyed at me, for something I had done, but refused to tell me. So either he was being stupid or he didn’t trust me. Or I really was that bad a partner to him that he couldn’t even admit it. Either way, it didn’t look good.
“Well, you obviously don’t if you can’t tell me. Can you really not talk to me? I thought people in relationships were supposed to be able to talk to each other about anything.”
“They can, and I can...”
“Well why won’t you tell me then? I tell you everything! I’ve never refused to tell you something, so why are you now?”
“Look, just listen. Stop getting angry with me. You haven’t even heard what I have to say yet.”
“Well it’s a bit hard when you won’t tell me.” My tone was too harsh, but I couldn’t stop. He had no right to say that with what he had said before. I was angry with him, properly angry, for the first time since we had got together.
“Well tell me then!”
“Fine.” He stopped walking, and took a deep breath. Turning to face me, he spoke again. “Look, I just feel like, well...like you’re not making any effort to see me.”
“Well...I don’t know, it’s just...you’re always busy, and we never see each other any more...I want to see you all the time, but I can’t because you’re always doing something else.”
“Wait a minute. You’re saying this is my fault?” Any control that I had before was slipping away from me rapidly.
“Well...I’ve tried, okay?”
“You actually think this is my fault, don’t you? You seriously believe that I’m avoiding you?”
“Well, not avoiding me as such, just that...that you don’t want to see me anymore. That you don’t feel the same way as before. You know, like you used to.”
“Stop. Of course I feel the same way. I probably would’ve mentioned it by now if I didn’t. Seriously. Why are you blaming me for all this? You just spent the entire walk up here ignoring me!”
“I’m sorry, okay? I just feel like I’m making all the effort, and getting nothing back from it.”
“What do you want me to do then?” I honestly didn’t know what he was trying to say. I hoped to god that he was not going to suggest what I thought he was. “What am I supposed to do? What do you want to do?”
“Look, I’m not going to break up with you, if that’s what you’re implying. I don’t want that. I just think that it’s not working like this. You need to make more of an effort with it.”
“Listen to what you’re saying! I can’t believe you’re blaming all of this on me! Just...forget it. I’ll talk to you when you stop acting like such an idiot.”
I turned round, and started walking away. He just stood there, watching me as I gradually faded into the distance. He didn’t say anything. I kept up my angry facade until I had turned round the corner, and then I stopped, leant against the wall, and threw my bag down on the floor. Why was I such an idiot? Why did I always mess everything up? I hit the wall in my exasperation, grazing my knuckles against the coarse texture of the bricks. I needed to sort this out, before I destroyed it for good.
I phoned him later that night. I was shaking as I held the receiver to my ear, scared about what he was going to say to me. What would result from the events of today. I had spent the day at college unable to focus on my work, staring out of the window instead, wondering why I had done what I did. Why I always messed everything up. It was all my fault. He wasn’t acting like an idiot like I said he was. I had been too harsh with him, not giving him a chance to fully explain. And then I had just left him there. Left him there with me portrayed in such a negative light, his thoughts most probably circling round that one idea. That one idea of solitude, of separation. That one idea that I almost certainly never wanted to come true.
When he picked up the phone I was almost in tears.
“Look, I’m really sorry. I’ve acted like such an idiot today, and these past few weeks. I really am sorry.”
“Please...Believe me. I know you think I’m not worth it and you probably want to get out of this mess as quickly as possible, but I didn’t mean to act like I did. I really didn’t.” I wiped my face dry of the few tears falling from my eyes, and cleared my throat. “I’m sorry.”
“Are you crying?” I didn’t answer him. “Please, stop apologising. It was all my fault. I shouldn’t have accused you like that. You have been making an effort, I just haven’t realised it.”
Hearing him apologise set me off again. “It’s my fault! Not yours. You haven’t done anything wrong. I can understand why you said it.”
“No. I made a mistake, okay? I don’t ever want to lose you, no matter what. I will try harder so that we can keep this working.”
“...I will too. I will make sure that we spend as much time together as possible. Because that’s what I want. I just want you. Nothing else matters to me.”
“Don’t give up everything though. Please.”
“I’m sorry for being such a failure to you.”
“You haven’t been! Seriously, you haven’t. You are amazing. You’re everything to me, so don’t ever say that you’re a failure, because I’ve never seen you as one, and I doubt I ever will.”
“You’re crazy, you know.” He laughed slightly, the first positive reaction of his I had heard in the phone call so far. “I love you.”
“I love you too. I’m sorry for arguing with you.”
“I am too. Thank you for being an amazing girlfriend. Because you are, you know. Even if you don’t think you are.”
“You are more amazing. Trust me, I’m not. I love you so much, but I have to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”
“Yes. I love you too, night.”