What Matters

I had a dream the other night that I was sitting in a dark room with Him, discussing anything and everything that went wrong. I'm not exactly sure why I was afraid ... I mean, this is what I always wanted but fear was a major part of my emotions.

Still, I had my arms crossed over my chest, my face fierce and my heart prepared to explain the truth.

“I never hated you.”

He stared back at me. His hauntingly beautiful green eyes piercing, that perfect set of lips … and the face that made it obvious he was dubious of every word I said.

“I … hated how you made me feel about myself.”

“You’re not supposed to care what other people think.”

“That doesn’t mean I don’t.” I snarled back and his lips twisted into a smile. He was pleased that I was irritated. I worked to control it, to push it into the farthest corner of my mind so it wouldn’t appear again.

He then crossed his arms to mock my motions; that grin still seated upon his lips. “Go on.”

I flushed and looked down into my lap. Uncrossing my arms and fidgeting with my brown curls, I continued in a whisper, “I was saying, I hated how you made me feel about myself. Like I wasn’t worth anything. Like it wouldn’t make a difference if I was there or not.” I threw my arms up as if that explained it all but we both knew it didn’t.

He leaned out of his position to rest his elbows on his knees. “Like a piece of sh*t.”

“But I’m not. I … you … you didn’t deserve me.”

“And yet …” he left that open-ended because we both knew the answer again. “Look at us now.”

“No.” I growled like the king of the jungle we went to visit for a field trip back when things weren’t complicated and middle school was what we lived for. But things changed. He changed and I changed. High school changed us. Tainted us.

“What? Why not? What now?” It felt like he could see right through me. He probably could.

“No.” I repeated, “I wanted … I want … you to feel as bad as I felt. You just don’t understand I guess.”

He laughed bitterly and shrugged, “I guess I don’t. But I mean, come on. We were friends. Stuff like that just doesn’t matter.”

“It mattered to me.” I cleared my throat, “It matters to me.”

He raised his eyebrows in that signature way and burst out laughing.

And then I was glaring, screaming at him. “It matters to me! What about you?!” But he disappeared into smoke and I woke up crying, clutching my sides into a much-needed self hug.

The End

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