Friday, April 6, 2012

Picking Up the Pieces

 Here is something else I was suddenly inspired to start writing.  I apologize for any and all mistakes, I am rather terrible at self editing, especially comma usage.  As can be seen in the previous sentence. Again, I am very new at this so any feedback would be wonderful! and without further adu Picking Up the Pieces:

I HAVE a theory that every beautiful person has to have a friend, a less beautiful homely friend to always be there to assure them of their beauty and perfection. I, unfortunately, have been that friend for my whole life. I have gotten used to it over the years. But it doesn’t lessen the sting every time someone fawns and tells me how it must be wonderful to have such a beautiful man for a best friend. It hurts almost as much as it hurts to pick up the pieces each time he participates in his little experiments. And that’s how he always phrases it. No matter the gender, “I could be persuaded to participate in a little experiment.” He's that insecure. That screwed to hell. But I am always there to pick up the pieces.

I had missed the original proposition but I could imagine it. When Peter came laughing into our tiny student loft I knew it had happened again. He glowed, even more beautifully than usual.

“Oh Jax, his accent is perfection.” If it were a movie Peter would have twirled and fallen onto his four poster bed covered in decorative throw pillows. Fortunately this was not a movie, unfortunately it did not make Peter's false happiness any less sickening.

“I'm so glad for you.” My voice was flat, I knew it was and I knew I should try harder to be happy for him, but I couldn't even though this time could be the time it worked out. The time that the experiment didn’t end up with Peter falling in love and whoever realizing that the ball of energy and broken glass was so not worth the (supposedly) great sex.

“Why can't you be happy for me?” He's still smiling, but a bit less brilliantly. It's still better than any smile anyone normal would ever dream of having.

“I am, I just don’t want you to get hurt. I don’t think jumping into things has worked for you in the past so maybe taking it slow once wouldn't-”

“Just cause you're a little prude that can't ever let loose doesn't mean that I can't ever have a relationship!” Oh now he isn’t smiling. But even mad Peter looks pretty good. He doesn't get blotchy like most people, or cry like I do. It's really the worst thing that could happen.

“Sorry just saying.” Peter stomps across the loft and begins furiously texting. I can only imagine it is his new amazing love interest. I hope it doesn’t last too long. The longer it lasts the longer Peter is sad, and even though he can somehow sob and look good doing it, I cant stand it when he is miserable. Even if he is an idiot that should realize that he does the same thing each time.

It is amazing that Peter can still love with the wholeheartedly abandon that he does. His mother died a few years ago, well she killed herself. And ever since then his father blames him for everything. His little brother does everything his father does, and recently that has been ignoring Peter unless calling him a dirty whore or other worse things, always Peter shrugged it off. He still insisted on going home and sent his brother presents. He paid for his own college and half of the loft. He didn’t seem to mind that his family was completely alienated from him. But I knew that it bothers him. He had loved his mother with all his heart and he had been the one to find her, wrists slit in the bathtub. There had been no note.

I thought maybe that was why he had so many partners, but even before his mom died Peter had bed rather free with his affections. It had gotten worse, after, but a lot worse. I almost wrote it off as a part of his personality, but each time it ended he was so hurt.


“Jax, you cannot believe what Marc got me!” So that was his name. Over the past month I had learned that this new experiment was an exchange student from France, that he had a wicked accent. I had also learned many things about his anatomy that I had not needed or wanted to know, but up until this point I had not known his name. I hadn’t particularly wanted to know, and I don’t think Peter was a eager to share this Marc with me as he had been to share many of the others, until now at least.

“I have no idea.” Peter held up a necklace. It was really pretty, but looked like something you would most likely get a girl. Not that I had anything against pretty things, it was just that it was a very fine chain, and on it was a tiny fleur de lis with a tiny heart shaped red stone in the center.

“Very pretty.” Peter's face dropped.

“You don’t like it.”

“I told you, I think it's pretty. Plus it doesn’t matter what I think. It's yours from Marc. It has nothing to do with me.” Peter looked a bit pissed at me. I didn’t understand. What did he want me to say.

“Why do you hate Marc so much?”

“I don’t hate him.” Now I was getting upset, how was this my fault, all I was doing was writing my essay for English class that was due tomorrow, I still had a page and a half to write and the whole 20 to edit. “I don’t even know him, I didn’t know his name till two minutes ago. Why do you care so much what I think? You are going to date who you want, and I’m not going to interfere until you get dumped and come crawling back crying. That’s how it's always been what makes you think it will all change now? ” I could feel the tears tickling the back of my throat. Peter looked stunned.

“You really think that's going to happen?” He spoke softly. I shook my head and sniffed. I really didn’t want to do this right now.

“It's pretty. I’m happy for you.” I tried to go back to my essay but I could tell Peter was still looking at me. I wondered what he was thinking. If he was thinking.

“I've been stupid before. But Marc is different. Really, I think I love him.” I turned to look. Peter was back to glowing, “I think he loves me too. He is so nice to me, he makes me feel so safe and
looked after. He never makes me feel dumb or like a slut.” Peter's eyes focus on me and for a moment I feel like the worst scum that has ever walked the earth.

“Peter-” He doesn't let me finish.

“Not that you meant to. But, Jax, sometimes I wonder if you like people at all, you never date you don’t have any friends-”

“I like you-”

“And whenever I go out with someone you look at me each time I come home like you are trying to guess what we did, trying to see if I have some stray semen in my hair.” I flinch- ick, but then I cant help but look up at Peter's hair, luckily the only thinks I can see are perfectly sun gilded locks tousled by the wind. “Have you even been on a date? Are you straight? Gay? Asexual?” I stare at him. My supposed best friend.

“How can you not know?”

“Do you know?” Now he doesn’t seem angry. I’m not either, and I don’t know how to answer, so I don’t. I go back to my essay and hope that this is one of those things that fade into the places between memories never to be seen again.

The morning dawned all too early, I found that the essay I had unhappily finished was actually supposed to be 25 pages and had to stay up all night to finish it. Peter had also stayed up all night, but talking to Marc, though the conversation had, luckily, stayed in the pg-13 range, it had also been sickeningly sweet and very distracting. The good thing was that Peter did see to have forgiven me.

“Come have lunch with Marc and me!” he had exclaimed over breakfast. “Then you can see that it is different with him, then you can be happy again.” Peter was so happy about his perceived solution I couldn’t say no. Anyway what was an hour, when they broke up I would have days of Peter telling me how sorry he was and how he should have listened. I could stand one hour hearing how wonderful he was. Or so I thought. After English I headed to the cafe Peter had told me to meet them at and seated myself at one of the outside tables and sipped a juice. I was still tired from my all-nigher but coffee didn’t seem like the best idea before the coming ordeal.

“This is Marc!” Peter spoke from behind me. I jumped completely startled. I didn’t remember the daydream I had been having, but it had been a nice one.

“Bonjour!” said Marc. It seemed a bit forced to me. He spoke perfect English, I had heard it, and I knew that most people didn’t use such formal greetings with peers, even in France.

“Hi, I’m Jackson, I’ve heard lots about you.” I tried to smile. But I’m sure it came off as a bit fake. Whatever we could both be fake, just as long as Peter bought it.

“You are very pretty, you together are a pretty pair.” Marc stepped back and pushed Peter gently so our faces were close together.

“What do you mean?” I asked, no one had ever said I was pretty, it was ridiculous, especially next to Peter.

“Yes, together you are quite pretty.” Marc smiled. I think it is because your dark hair makes Peter's hair look more blond and less brown, yes. You are close in height and build. You would look good together, do you want to have a trois with us, Peter and I?” Marc asked.

“What?” I asked I was pretty sure I knew what he meant but-

“Three, three of us together, in bed, loving, menage? A threesome?”

“We could have out own little experiment,” laughed Peter “it would be like always, only you would be there.” His eyes lit up. I couldn’t imagine this was happening. I would think it was a nightmare, but I don’t think my mind could come up with something so twisted.

“You seem to be forgetting, that each time you have an experiment, I end up holding you when you cry.” It was a mean thing to say, and Peter looked devastated. But I was sick of this I wasn’t going to be pulled into one of these sick games. I couldn’t be one of the throw away notches, an experience to be remembered and recorded in The Journal. No, I couldn’t do this anymore.

“Peter, I don’t think that would be a good idea. I know it wouldn’t be a good idea.” Peter looked a bit sad, he was probably making excuses for me in his head. I would surely be hearing about this later. I pushed my chair back, I didn’t like the way Marc was still looking at me. “I still have a lot of work to do-” Peter was disappointed that I wasn't even willing to stay to lunch. But after that little conversation I didn’t think it would be that good of an idea. Plus I needed some sleep.

“I can't believe you didn’t even give him a chance. I really Jax, he was just being nice.” The door banged open and Peter swirled in, well walked. It just seemed like he swirled because of the mass of bags he carried. “We went shopping and he even made me pick you out things. You have to come look.” I didn’t want anything that Marc bought. Even if Peter picked it out.

“Peter, you know that really isn’t-”

“Jax, when are you going to stop being a dick?” I stared at him. Peter and I had been friends forever. We had never really fought but I could tell Peter wasn’t just irritated. He wasn’t just playing. He wasn’t going to pass this off later as tiredness. “Don’t look at me like that Jackson. You know you are being an idiot. Just because the stick up your ass is starting to hurt doesn’t have anything to do with me. I could care less that you are so far in the closet you might as well be in Narnia. It doesn’t mean I want to be. Just because you think anything other than straight missionary with the lights off is gross doesn’t mean the rest of the world is stuck on the Mayflower with you. Oh are you going to cry now? Might as well, maybe that should be your hint you aren’t as straight as the dry spaghetti you are so eager to impersonate.” I did feel like crying. This is what I got for trying to protect my best friend. What could I say to such an attack. Where could I go, what could I do?

“Standing there like a fish out of water really isn’t that attractive Jackson. You are always so bitter about your looks. You aren’t even ugly, you could get a date if you pulled out the stick and maybe smiled once in a while.” Peter didn’t seem angry anymore. He had turned to his bags and was digging through looking for something. He smiled cruelly and held up a small silver object. “Even Marc could tell how tightly wound you are, in the ten minutes he met you. Found something to loosen you up, even just a bit.” It must have been some sort of plug or vibrator. I couldn’t take it. How could Peter be so mean? Deliberately cruel? I picked up my keys and left the room. Walked down the stairs to the street and along the sidewalk. I didn’t know where I was going except away. Peter and I had never fought, at least not like this. What was it about Marc that made Peter so different? Was I wrong? Maybe this time really was different.

The tears hadn’t fallen, and for that I was grateful. I supposed their glassy redness made me look a bit high, but better high than the numb desolation I was feeling. Peter was the only friend I really had. It was the reason I was still friends with him, the reason I always waited for him to come back after his relationships, even if he ignored me for months. Honestly I was just as messed up as he was. I wandered up the third floor in the library. It was one of the most beautiful places on campus, a great place to think. I settled on one of the window seats and watched the trees outside the window, and finally the tears began to fall. 


I have also been thinking of maybe, maybe making a lit account, but haven't due to all the drama that seems to be going on- worth it or now? Opinions? 

No comments:

Post a Comment