This is another one of my “scenes” or slices of life. It’s not related to my novel and is fiction. I think the idea came to me because I feel like there are so many girls out there who have no self-confidence, who have no self-worth and no matter how hard they try they can’t seem to stop feeling that way. And there are so many guys who wish their girls had self-confidence because I think they hope it can transform them. But does it really exist? Or is self-confidence truly an illusion? I don’t know the answer. What do you think?
I’m in my room. All alone. Rock music wailing, screaming, loud. I can’t handle the knowledge that you don’t want me. So I lie there on my bed, writing, head on my arms. I hate myself. I hate you. I hate everything and everyone. I feel ugly, I feel undesirable. Why can’t someone be interested in me? Why must I feel out of proportion? I dwell on that time I said, “Do you love me?” and you said no. Just no. Nothing else. My heart ruptured into a thousand tiny shards, shards that continue to gore me until this day. Then I think about what happened earlier today. Today when we’d been on and off for months.
Sitting in my car, in the driveway at your apartment, the sun shining off the rear view mirror, your hands gripped tightly in your lap. Clearly you are nervous. I sit, not sure what to say, not sure what to do. It seems we are at a crux. I want more. You are unresponsive. Finally you speak, quietly.
“We can’t do this anymore.”
I nod, more to myself than you. I knew this was coming. I knew you were flying away, melting away, leaving me alone, deciding I wasn’t the ‘one’ for you. Depression begins to gnaw at me. Its teeth barred, it begins to snarl, gouging my soul. I feel sick. You are so far away.
“I wanted more,” I said, unable to contain my voice. Unable to stop.
You pull back, mentally and physically, recoiling away from me. No more shared confidences, no more knowing smiles or shoulder to cry on. You are not willing to discuss this train of thought. Not willing to encourage, willing only to crush me.
“There’s someone else I’ve been seeing,” you say and startled I look over at you, to feel if this is the truth or a fabrication. Your eyes skitter away and then meet mine for an instant and I know. I know you’re telling the truth. There is someone else. There is another woman. I imagine her. Sexy, confidant, eager to please, everything I am not. I remember you telling me that my low self esteem was a turn off, a letdown. Disgusting. Tears flood my eyes, just shy of pouring over my cheeks. I can’t handle the truth. I want to hear lies. I want to hear things that you will never say. I’m used to the idea of you. I can’t let go of that image and start fresh. I don’t want to be alone.
We sit silently, staring ahead. You are waiting for me to digest this newest information. To start howling, to start thrashing myself like I usually do and unfortunately, I can only accommodate. I’m unable to do anything else. I’m predictable. Tears are cascading now, sobs on the edge of my consciousness, moving in for the kill. You will hate me more for this. I wish I didn’t have to make it ugly. I wish I could control my kicking and screaming, my thoughts of self hatred. Yet again, I’m not good enough. Yet again, I lose. The story of my life. I close my eyes. You reach over and pat my knee, clearly at a loss of what to do or say. Obviously you feel bad, but you are determined to end this thing.
I’m thinking, it’s because I’m not sexy enough. I know that when we were naked, I was ashamed, I was shy. When I look in the mirror I see someone other than the girl you see. I see someone unattractive, unappealing, not worthy of love. You see someone with low self worth, with absolutely zero confidence. Finally you sigh and get out of the car and the sobs assault me like a death threat. I want you. I want you to stay. I had feelings for you, deep cavernous feelings and now you are stepping away, away from my hideous wreck of a life, my self-image problems, my self-hate. I can’t stop being me. I can’t do it. I wish I could. I so want to.
You lean against the car, your arms crossed, waiting. Waiting for my breakdown, just like the last time you tried to end it. But I sit in the car, hands against the steering wheel, face red hot, tears spilling like polluted waterfalls. Pathetic I think. Pathetic and useless. I watch as you begin to walk away. Up the gravel walk, toward your front porch. A slow walk. A walk of someone who feels guilty, but relieved. I can’t breathe. The sobs are too much. I want to get out, to run to you, to ask you to stop, but of course you don’t stop. You open the door, you enter your house and you are gone. Gone, once and for all.
And still I sit there. Embodying the dejected crying girl, wretched, unable to control myself. I want to call back those days we had, before you found out about the real me. The days when I was able to hide. But those days are long gone, swallowed up in time, never to be seen from again. They live only in my memory and I know your memory is different, seeing a different girl and a different time and place. I captivated you once, just for a second. But my second is over now, so quickly the real me has been exposed.
So, I start the car, turning the key in the ignition. Trying to think about why I should need your approval to live. Why I should let you kick me down. Rejection, I think. This is my latest rejection. I can writhe inside this one for weeks. I can snivel, I can whimper, I can roll around, dirtying myself in despair. I can think about how I thought this one would work out.
I back out of the space, tears smearing my vision. As I’m about to pull out of the parking lot, another car enters. A girl at the wheel. Probably her. She looks confident, engaging. I imagine you with her. I shatter my own heart again and again. What is wrong with me? I’ve told you before that all women are crazy and insecure. But you don’t believe me. You believe in the illusion of the confidant independent woman. You are a fool in my estimation, a beautiful fool who has discarded me. You are living in a fantasy world populated by insecure women who are good at hiding it. My tears are plunging faster. My sobs strangle me and I gasp. In the rearview, I see the girl get out and walk to the apartment building. It’s her. I know it. I’m psychic.
My heart hurts I decide. I’m like a wounded animal, limping back to its lair to die. And so…somehow I got home. Somehow here I am. Writing, the music so loud I can’t hear anything else. I wallow. I drown. I am tragic. I am detonating with self hate.