He stormed out, and as the door slammed, a small piece of my mural cracked from the wall and fell to the ground, shattering into hundreds of pieces. I stood speechless and breathless.
Memories of how we came to be flooded my mind. I remembered the first day I saw him, the first time we touched just by chance, the first time the touch was purposeful, so many firsts that were meaningless but everything to me. This relationship had been developing for years, ever since I was first his student at 15, to when he was finally interested in me at 17, until now, the end, while I’m 20. Five years of being obsessed with him, five years of him being my inspiration.
That first day- God, I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone again whom I could be so immediately enthralled with. He shook all of the student’s hands as they filed into the classroom; I noted everything about him in that moment- strong handshake, hazel eyes, Greek nose, thin lips, and black hair. I must have stood a moment too long because he patted me on the back, “get along, now,” he said. Embarrassment consumed me and my face turned bright red, I murmured a silent “sorry” and sat down alone in the front corner of the room.
Pieces of conversations through the years went through my thoughts like clouds, so beautiful but without substance. Comments from him on my artwork, “beautiful work, Delilah. Stunning detail.” “This piece is really from your heart. I can feel it.” Comments on me, “Oh, Del, such beautiful work from such a beautiful girl.” And when things were getting a little out of hand, “I shouldn’t be talking to you about this.” That last statement sparked us, I think. It made my palms sweat and butterflies beat against my rib cage. How long could we go without talking about it? If we didn’t talk about it, maybe it wouldn’t exist.
A phone call cut through my reminiscence. The ringtone was all too familiar. A small portion of me told me to ‘ignore it, he hurt you, he doesn’t deserve your time.’ The greater part of me was too weak to fight, “Hello? Gavin, I-“
“No, Del, let me talk. I’m sorry. Things have been really stressful lately. You know I didn’t mean it, I love you,” four lies in a row. Gavin, you’re not sorry, your life is pretty low-key right now, you did mean the things you said to me, and you don’t love me. You’re just afraid of what I’ll do now that I’m certain of these things.
But once again I couldn’t speak the things I knew I should say, “It’s okay. I love you too.”