Written for Charlie

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

An infinite knot twists in the hollow of my stomach, a thousand splashes of technicolor fly across the peripheral of my vision, my head is spinning, heart is racing.

Last night, we texted our I love yous and reminded each other how little the distance meant to our love.

And now, underneath the mercy of the bright hot sun and my eyes squinting at the glare of my phone, I thought I read that she couldn’t do this anymore. I ran like a madman across the field of dirt towards the shade. I hear blood in my ears and the erratic pounding within my chest.

“I know what we have is special, I know what we have is worth fighting for…”

I couldn’t bring myself to trust my eyes, to trust what I was reading.

“Every day I keep worrying that maybe your pale blue eyes are following a girl that’s hotter and prettier than I am. Every night while I’m minding my own goddamn books my thoughts drift to you and suddenly I worry if you’re studying for your courses at all.”

“Not a single person in my family, not my sister nor my cousins, not even our house helpers know and aren’t supposed to know about us. I worry the day will come when my sister decides to rummage through my closet and find the teddy bear you gave me for my birthday. I worry the striking moment will arrive when my mom finally finds out that the flowers on the vases sitting in the living room are gifts from you. Why can’t I be allowed to cherish what I value — your love?”

“I hate worrying Charlie, I hate the sick anxiety of it, I don’t wanna feel this way, and I’m sorry if that sounds selfish but that’s the truth.”

The message dragged on for ten more excruciating lines.

“Isn’t love supposed to make you smile, to inspire you to become the better person? When we were still in high school, I’d only have to reach for your face and the feelings — that shock wave of feelings would all come rushing back to me. I know that loving comes with its own battles but since we’ve both gone our separate ways I’ve stopped seeing how it matters to keep fighting anymore.”

“You were the right person at the wrong time. I love you, Charlie.”

No. No, no, no, no.

I found myself shaking my head, convincing myself it was a joke. Eleanor and her sadistic sense of humor. Fuck no, she wouldn’t do this to me.

But I could feel it sinking in. Sinking under my skin, seeping into my blood vessels, entering my blood stream and filling up the entirety of me. It was the truth — I was a pathetic little deer trying to remain oblivious to the barrel of a shotgun while my hunter moves in to pull the trigger.