In. Out. In. Out.
I shut my eyes and kept breathing deeply as I sat in my mom’s old rusty Ford Taurus. His family hated Ford’s, I reminisced sweetly. The memory calmed my nerves more than the stupid breathing exercises did.
I opened my hazel eyes and looked at his house. The house I used to call a shelter, a getaway, and my second home. If I looked hard enough I could make out little silent ghosts of the past in his backyard. The number was so overwhelming, many of them overlapping the other, but none of them were aware of the other.
I blinked away the new spring of tears lining my charcoal black eyelid. “It’s now or never,” I mumbled. I opened the heavy door and as soon as my flip-flopped foot touched the ground my heart started pounding. A large snare drum replaced my heartbeat echoing in my ears and neck. Though it was a beautiful seventy-five degrees I started spouting sweat. My breathing was labored, raspy, and rattling with every sharp forced breath.
“It will get better when you actually knock,” I coached myself. I was here now. It would look strange if I just left. All the convincing wasn’t to get my feet moving, it was to get myself to calm down. I didn’t have to tell my feet to move, they naturally started walking toward the concrete steps. They just went into the habit of being at ease with my second home; they didn’t know to be afraid of my once called safe haven. They so badly wanted to join in with the ghosts that still played over and over again.
I saw them swimming in his blow up pool just floating in silence or sitting around his fire pit with his whole family and close neighbors laughing and having a good time. Or the one time that I volunteered to carry in firewood for him even though I knew his parents would be aggravated with my assistance. My favorite was the one where they are lying on their backs in the grass, staring at the supposed to be night sky. They didn’t have a fear or negative feeling in the world. They didn’t even flinch when the past or present continuously stepped on them. All they cared about is sharing the beauty of the starry night together. It was his first time actually stopping and looking at the world in another angle. I showed him that angle, I told myself. And I answered myself with a smile that was quickly erased when the reality of here and now hit me. These memories are going to stay just memories and eventually fade away. We will no longer make new memories together. It’s over. We are over. That happy couple cuddling and pointing at the stars have no idea what will happen in a little over six months. They have no idea they will become strangers after those two words are said. Enjoy yourselves, I tell them even though I know they can’t hear me.
What am I even doing here? What was the point of this? Do I want to dig up old feelings for the second time? Do I want to see all of their reactions when they see me? What am I expecting a welcome home party? I dumped him; he didn’t dump me this time. For all I know they could hate me. I allowed the icy cold rush of the questions to freeze random lobes of my brain.
Three more steps.
I was face to face with the same old screen door that has always been here as far as I know. Nostalgia leaked throughout my veins. I tried to tell myself it is just a door, but it isn’t just a door. I was through that door two hundred or more times.
Quickly, I rapped on the door. I withdrew my hand as if the glass bit me. The snare drum intensified, my ear drums throbbing with the wait.
Will they be pleasantly surprised or just surprised, I wondered.
In my defense, though, I tried getting a hold of him for months, but he never answered me.
Why can’t I just let the past die? Is it worth coming here for a dumb seven dollar necklace? Will they think of this as a pitiful excuse? I don’t even want the stupid broken thing, but it’s the last thing I have here. As soon as it is transferred from their hand to mine, I no longer have any business here. I don’t want to say goodbye…
I stood there waiting patiently. I contemplated knocking again when they didn’t answer. I also knew this could be the sign I’ve been waiting for to turn around and forget about it all.
No matter how much I wanted to be able to cry and leave, I couldn’t. My feet were firmly planted. Roots anchored deep into the stone cold porch.
I knocked again, only a bit louder. I didn’t have to wait long before I heard footsteps.
“Please don’t be him,” I pleadingly prayed.
The door rattled as he or she undid the series of locks. Unknowingly, I held my breath. The significantly large wooden door squealed as it revealed his mother. I breathed a sigh of relief though I wasn’t anywhere near relaxed.
I watched her face for any sign of, well, any emotion. When she saw who it was recognition erased her old face replacing it with widened eyes and a smile to take away her scowl.
She opened the blurry screen door as if she was welcoming an old friend, and in a way I suppose she was. “Hi, Sweetie, How have you been?”
I should never have came here, I thought knowing I was one hundred percent right. I should never have awakened the past.
Written by: glassdoll411