The boy I loved for a little while was a soundtrack.
The songs that assembled the soundtrack, were a combination of country and soft rock. He had a crush on the cowboy ideology. And he will probably always see himself as the lone ranger at the end of the comic strip, whistling his way out of the town, into yet another sunset.
Small Town Boy - Dustin Lynch
He’s not the first boy I’ve loved, and will defiantly not be the last. To use the word love is even a bit dramatic, but it’s my blog, so screw you. He will always in some little way be the sunrise, every country song and cheap rum. A short story to tell.
I liked the way he asked me about myself. Like I was some mystery he couldn’t quite figure out. A puzzle with pieces missing. He put his arm around me one 2 AM night, he was drunk, and I was intrigued. My friend told me to go home, but his sweater smelled like an adventure. So we walked the lakefront and back together. I liked the way my hand fit into his, maybe that was where one of the puzzle pieces had been hiding. We talked about the world until the sun came up to tell us to go to sleep, then he walked me to my work. Suddenly, I felt like he and I were in on a secret the world was wishing it knew.
Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington
One night, I had no way home. He drove his own car, so I spent the night working up the guts to ask him for a ride. That night I turned down three other offers first, because I only wanted to drive with him.
That was the start of the soundtrack speeding up and it all started with one lonely text. I had been drowning in my empty blankets. It’s all very ‘extra’, but I think my soul is constantly reaching out between my ribs trying to find anyone it can hold onto. That night, had been particularly bad. Loneliness was standing, dressed in his usual shadowy attire, next to my pillow. He never says anything, just stands there and doesn’t let me fall asleep.
On a fluke I texted the only person I could think to text. We kept it light but that text was the start of fast cars and 4AM nights. We would drive along roads that I had never seen in the darkness. We would talk about nothing and everything, then suddenly I would be telling him things I had never told anyone.
His car was a place that loneliness couldn’t catch me.
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
The next few weeks felt like I hit the pause button on my own existence. A suspended reality. Nothing existed outside of that car. When we were driving, I didn’t have to think, and I’m always thinking. The faster he drove, the slower the hyperactive waterwheel, that is my mind, would turn. In his car, at 4AM I could pretend I was happy. I could pretend I was content.
But of course, the sun always comes up.
In the daylight, I had to still be the me I know I’m meant to be. The me I’m meant to be, needs eight hours of sleep every night, so she can work, write and workout the next day. The me I’m supposed to be is stuck in the fast lane and can’t change gears. The me I’m supposed to be isn’t lonely, because she is content to be her own friend as well as others. The me I’m supposed to be, would not settle.
The boy I loved for a little while also had a girlfriend.
I’m not a thief. I don’t steal. But I did steal him from her, even if I didn’t mean to. We kissed in the moonlight on my friends kitchen floor. Me and the boy, not me and the boy’s girlfriend. The night had begun with half a bottle of Malibu. The liquor on my lips lead me to that little bit of bravery I can never reach, which ended in me skinny dipping. Now, a few gulps later he was kissing me.
And let me be clear, he was kissing me. I asked him if this was what he really wanted, my slightly shaky hand covering my own mouth like a child who has seen something she shouldn’t have. He kissed me again.
I should have probably told him to stop more firmly, or gotten up and walked away, but eighteen is a year of adventures and this was territory I had never explored before. My skin felt safe under his, and that was enough for me.
It happened once more, this time with no alcohol to use as an excuse. No validation, an action that we both could no longer excuse.
I am still grateful for the boy I loved for a little bit, because he let me tell him the stories that I hadn’t even been brave enough to tell myself. He let me talk as fast as the waterwheel, over chicken nuggets and mayo. He let me explain myself, to myself as well as to somebody else.
He taught me that it’s okay to embrace the 2AM club and spend far to many days yearning for 4AM mornings. Sometimes it’s okay not to always think. Sometimes it’s okay to go a little crazy. Sometimes it’s okay to deliberately make mistakes, even though you know you’re smart enough to see the future of that mistake.
Because, the moments in-between each of our mistakes are the moments when we truely get to live life in it’s full technicolour detonation.
But he also taught me that I deserve more.
I deserve more than guilty, kitchen floor kisses. I deserve more than secrets and lies and stealing those who are not our own, away from another person. I’m not a thief, and he turned me into one, which is unforgivable.
No matter how intimate loneliness and I get, I refuse to fall into whoever’s arms I can, simply because I’m to tired of being by myself.
I want to say thank you, to the boy I loved for a little bit, because he let me become just the dream that could never come true.