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07/01 Direct Link
I should be feeling more than this - my heart should be tearing out of my chest, staining this v-neck and rampaging off in search of revenge.

But it's not. It's not at all.

Instead, my mind has slowed significantly. It processes the superficial, and it knows to roll its eyes at his attempted humor across the desk from me, but it can't handle much else.

Their questions keep coming. But answers? Those have ceased to exist because the situation continues to change, too fast, leaving me in the dust.

Covered with these walls, though, even that dust doesn't hurt me.
07/02 Direct Link

7/3 - He wants me to feel safe while all of my friends are in my life. My translation? He wants me to feel safe when I’m completely honest and vulnerable with the people who can hurt me the most.

I’ve never done that. I’ve never considered being comfortable with that, much less moving anywhere near the actual act. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself or with my friends. The agony that would surely follow… it would destroy me.

He’s hoping for the impossible, thinking I can change. Now I have to be the one to disappoint him. 

07/03 Direct Link

Today was another Garrett day. Only this time, I was completely unfeeling. I’ve now gotten to gamble more times than he ever did, and I truly believe that I don’t deserve that right. But these walls… they’re making this a thoughtless situation where I don’t have to worry myself with the trivial idea of agonizing pain. When, in all honesty, I should be crying myself to sleep right now, feeling as though my heart has been punched through my chest yet again. But I’m listening to Wicked and I’m completely numb. Surely there’s a happy medium somewhere for me. 

07/04 Direct Link

Lingering here would be acceptable. Remaining here, surrounded by my family – where the blanket smells like Grandma and Good Morning America acts as background noise – would be more than bearable. There’s no stress here, no commitments, no walls necessary, because the topics only reach as deep as soap dispensers. We’re fighting over bathroom order rather than fighting to remain vulnerable; we’re talking casinos instead of relationships; we’re accepting the silence rather than forcing ourselves to fill it with meaningless chatter. There is no excitement in this existence, but there is safety. And with safety, I can always find some form of happiness.

07/05 Direct Link
For once, the words reassure me. 

For the first time in a long time, words that are meant to comfort actually do their job. The doubting voices in my head quiet long enough for these soothing sounds to smooth over the jagged edges that were forced out of the darkness. 

It took hours and hours of picking and pulling to reach this point - and that time was painful for all involved - but it was worth it. 

The words have finally reached me. They forced themselves through the fog and are now a part of this.

I want it to last.
07/06 Direct Link

Taking out the trash was interesting tonight. For once, my over reactive imagination didn’t lead to the shadows becoming serial killers or the squeak of a shoe resembling the scrape of a knife, straight out of the movies. The darkness instead heard my pleas for a murderer – for someone who could take the responsibility out of my hands and control the unforeseeable future. Fear completely evaporated, replaced by a yearning for some sort of fluctuation in my agony. “Make it physical. Make this happen to someone else. Allow me a moment of peacefulness without the ghost of this lurking below."

07/07 Direct Link
Sleep was kind enough to bring some relief to this terror and pain.

But those hours didn't take it all away - didn't do what I've come to expect of them. I know this because, at this very moment, my stomach is in knots and my heart is nonexistent. The physical ailments of these thoughts continue expanding through me. 

Were my pleas answered? Was this turned physical? I can handle physical. I can always handle physical. But the phantom in my chest proves my pleas were ignored...

Dealing with pain shouldn't be this hard. This shouldn't exist for an almost-college freshman. Shouldn't.
07/08 Direct Link
He needs to know he's loved by me - that though we've each changed and our relationship has changed significantly, he's still loved. And I do. I will always love, trust, believe in, and listen to him. 

But the desire to pull away has been strong inside of me for weeks now. After all of this pain though - both his and mine - one thing has become clear: pulling away only hurts everybody involved in an irreparable manner.

Simplicity has long eluded us. 

Forgive us, but we're writers. Nothing can be simple. The more complex, the better, in the end. 
07/09 Direct Link
Doubting his arrival has left my stomach empty, feeling as though it could drop to the floor any second now. This is unprecedented between us; I've doubted before, but never on such a seemingly small level. But, honestly, the odds of this happening as we planned? None in favor of a continued Us.

The doubts eat away what hope he had instilled through guilt - such a strange juxtaposition of emotions that I can hardly believe it actually worked. This moment is passing, though, and the hollow part of me is dropping to the ground, weighed down by potential hurt.
07/10 Direct Link
I'm sick and tired of having to write about the some old things. My walls are constantly in question, my relationships are constantly nearing rocky waters, and my nights pass, full of unfulfilled wishes.

Today, though, is about more. It's his birthday. It's the day that belongs to him. He would have been twenty-two years old. 

It's a cause for celebration, but I spent part of my night crying at the cemetery. It's a day for friends and family, but I'll be flying across the nation surrounded by near strangers. 

I wish all I had to worry about was present shopping.
07/11 Direct Link
He loomed over us all, a force to be reckoned with on every level. The stark contrast between his color and the pale marble made his influence all the more shocking. (Jefferson)

The sprawled nature of this area made for disgusting irony, considering his physical condition - but the strength of the words and the statues exhibited his power amongst weaknesses. (FDR)

His color blended into that of his surroundings - a testament, perhaps, to his support of looking past color and into the actual person. He was imposing, yes, but so beautiful that his presence was comforting rather than terrifying. (Lincoln)
07/12 Direct Link
Restrictions kept me from the sunrise, and heat may cut this short, but I'm still in love here. I'm still fascinated by the sound of the Amtrak going by, wheels screeching for attention, still falling for memorial after memorial, still meeting new people and letting the moment carry us, usually laughing until we cry. There are feelings being revealed here - there are walls that are slowly falling due to this environment - and i'm shocked and proud to say that this is enjoyable for me. This will come to an end, too soon, but hope fills me for the return to KC.
07/13 Direct Link
7/10 - Bittersweet isn't the right word for this - this "leaving for an all-expense week-long paid trip to DC on what should have been Garrett's 22nd birthday." Sad could work, but I currently feel a sense of, not indifference, but neutrality.

(Look there, visible problems when the writer can't choose words.)

The feeling on the plane, though, is one of safety and comfort for me, which is reassuring and calming these ragged nerves. I want the week to be over now, while wanting it to last forever. But that wish can't come true.

August. Just wait for August to get here.
07/14 Direct Link
7/12 - The stillness in the air is partially due to humidity and partially due to the state of this early morning in a business city. But the terrace stays here, supporting my writing habits and offering alone time for the writer-kid from Missouri. This is good for me. 

The unknown lies ahead of me - a question mark for the rest of the day as well as the remainder of the week. And, for the first time in too long, I'm running straight towards it and refusing to shy away. This is good for me.
07/15 Direct Link
This will ruin us.

Ignorance will face anger, and gossip will join with blindness to create such a complex situation that even We can't talk our way out. The deepness will soon be viciously slaughtered - replaced, instead, by that superficial relationship I swore to never again call Ours. 

And I can blame him, yes. I can blame him for not trusting me and for getting lost in his own confusion. For demanding a straight answer when I'm never privy to his. For committing these treasonous acts when I'm nowhere near home to protect my family.

This will ruin us.
07/16 Direct Link
Did you get all you needed from me? Is that the reason we now have to work for momentary happiness? You reached your pre-set quota of new friends and new relationships and now you're doing your best to strike me from the records?

I've seen this all before. I've just never been vulnerable in the situation. But this time around? I could be ruined. So the pretending begins again.
 
And you have this Other, anyways. You have one to turn to, pine for, miss, and enjoy the company of. 

Why would you want me around any longer?
07/17 Direct Link
And now, whenever the words "Take it or leave it" fly from this mouth, it is truth. There are no longer any hopes for a future because of those other words.

Never before has that description been used; never before was that even considered. It's painful to hear, especially from one who knows so much. With all of this rattling inside, how can I - of all people - be considered selfish. Hours and hours have been spent with his problems. Reassuring him and protecting him from the realities he is unaware of. 

The moment I'm gone, that will all destroy him.
07/18 Direct Link
The inequality of it all has finally hit: I needed him, but he never needed me. That fact created an impossible-to-maintain balance of power that always favored him - and now he has cashed in every chip that imbalance handed him. 

He's up by many, being tipped by others for performing far more taunts and tricks than I dreamed of, and committing crimes that inspire followers while I do my best to quietly stand by until enough time passes and it's My Departure.

I was stupid. 
I let myself get attached. Never, never, never.

Never again.
07/19 Direct Link
He seemed to have expected more from her. Acting as though her words were proof that she had disappointed his every dream for her future, he condemned those who aided the act, never blaming her directly... But she still knew. 

She knew because the shortness of his statements created an environment of parenting. (Like she was a child who, due to her youth, couldn't possibly feel some sense of remorse and shame for her previous actions without prompting.) She knew because he dropped the topic as quickly as possible and won't speak of it again.

Excuse me, Sir, but she's not a child.
07/20 Direct Link
8/4 - His self-confidence is lacking, yes, but she can see his simplistically happy smile even now. He considers himself lesser than that beautiful other, never realizing he was a part of her life first. He thinks too much about the small things, analyzing to the point of insanity - a terrible trait they share, but one she will never own up to. His base of support is vast (as far as she can tell) and yet he seems to always have something to talk about, something to figure out, something pressing to ponder.

But for right now... It's perfect. He's happy. He is.
07/21 Direct Link
The drinks were welcome to flow and the beat was a craved presence, but those others? Those with histories of failures and complications, with interlaced hands, regardless of physical distance, the presence of onlookers, or the feel of the situation, with contagious crooked grins, with hands that caused more hurt than happiness - those were unwanted.

Their presence was condemned in her mind, though she barely dared to voice personal suspicions and worries. She dreaded the thought of losing herself while they were near, dreaded that sense of vulnerability the alcohol and music create, so long as they stood close.
07/22 Direct Link
Country music started us off, creating the opportunity to let loose while others were merely swaying to the beat. And then the location changed and the mood changed.

Drinks kept pouring all night long and the laughs mixed perfectly with the dancing. I let myself go, danced on multiple abnormal surfaces - including tables, bars, good friends, seat cushions, complete strangers - and opened myself up for a bartender pouring shots into a crowd. 

It was a fun night, to say the least, and the company managed to make me smile, despite all of the back story remaining.

Possibly a good sign.
07/23 Direct Link
This is a strange sensation, gathering together every essential part of my life so it can be packed up and moved hundreds of miles from the place I've called home for nearly nineteen years. There is, of course, uncontrolled excitement coursing through me with every item that is added to the stack; but I also feel unbelievable apprehension as the list grows longer and I realize just how different everything will soon be. I've seen my whole life change in an instant, and now I've seen the entirety of my dramatically different life gathered in a central location. This makes change seem easy.
07/24 Direct Link
His message came suddenly, with no provocation from me; simplistic in origin, it soon developed to include real topics. The conversation brought back memories of our easy-to-enjoy night spent wandering a foreign campus. 

I could feel myself waiting for his next response, excited to hear what this newcomer had to say. This feeling is evidence of what these next years will bring - of what opportunity this fall will create for me. It's a chance for newness and a completely fresh existence. I can start over completely and create a new identity for myself. I can leave behind everything.
07/25 Direct Link
8/4 - Please give her a moment because she can beat the clock and make time for the ones she loves most - she promised. Though the days do keep passing, with hours slipping away wasted, she will find a minute or two for you. The ones she always turned to, hugged, cried with, asked for help from - she will force one of these flying moments to pause, just long enough for a final hug and word of wisdom before the car's all packed and the horizon is the final destination for those three. One-way for one, and roundtrip for all others.
07/26 Direct Link
8/4 - She's excited. He's fearful. The roles are finally reversed.

But she feels none of the triumph she had hoped for - none of that ecstasy she had expected once her need for him in her every day had dissipated into a normal best-friendship. It's a sense of dread, instead, the planting of a small seed of doubt that was yet to be present.

If he, the one in the pair who always believed in this for the long term, is beginning to doubt... to fear... to question... What is she even left with? But, for now, it is bearable. For now.
07/27 Direct Link
28th: There is nothing here that I will miss. No one and no thing worth my thoughts or my tears. Our shared memories will fade from their simple minds, and I will learn to bear the constant presence of lost moments floating around my head.

There were hopes for this place - fleeting and intangible, yes, but still present. But they have dissipated even quicker than they appeared, leaving behind something more than empty but less than complete.

Resigned, now, to this Present without hopes or last wishes. But accustomed to the pressure that is, in turn, placed on my Tomorrow.
07/28 Direct Link
Seeing the end of a friendship coming for months is never a good sight. It's easy to try to save something that shouldn't be saved or invest yourself further to encourage them to do the same; but in the end, these instinctive actions only add to the ruining of your memories and the hurting of your heart,

She had those visions. She knew this was how it would all end. She just never knew exactly what the tipping point would be for her to embrace an end to it all...

Then she was ranked of lesser importance than a hello kiss. 
07/29 Direct Link
She was told of her "fascinating spirit," and (concrete proof that growth has occurred) accepted the raving compliment as truth without a moment of argument. "Fascinating" is acceptable; it's what she was striving for this time around. 

"Hardworking" was also spoken of, another on her list of what personality traits to highlight in this type of environment. It was followed by "joyful," "your constant smile," and "you just do what you're told, whether you enjoy the task or not."

She was told she made their jobs easier, a compliment of the highest degree. She will miss this. She will.
07/30 Direct Link
8/4 - And with that wished for future finally tangible - evident in suitcases, cleaning, laundry, packing - her present finally becomes important. Hugs are requested one moment and granted the next, for she has realized how rare they will soon be. Presents are less despised, as are vulnerability and trust. 

If they want it, she thinks, then let them have it. Her life will change in two weeks. Her existence will change in fourteen days. So, for now, she can bear the uncomfortable feeling of openness with those who have the power to destroy. Because she's moving on - they can't.
07/31 Direct Link
It's better now - easier to hear his voice and accept his presence without battle. The words have started flowing again, the something she missed most about this boy.

Because that's what he is: a boy. He'll remain here for another year, just as she was twelve months ago, physically stuck in a place he has mentally moved beyond. And he will change this year, whether he will ever admit it or not remains to be seen. Still, though, she agreed to that Very In The Future event, knowing it would set his mind at ease for at least a moment.