I awoke in Jack’s arms, on his couch. I lifted my head and saw that he was awake. “How long have you been awake?” I asked him. “A while, I could sit like this forever” He said. “Thanks for this, for last night” I said. There was a big smile on his face. “No problem.” He said. “Mind if I take a shower?” I asked. “Go ahead” He allowed me to get up. I walked through his apartment to the bathroom, locking the door behind me. ‘What am I doing here, this isn’t a good situation, he loves me, he thinks I am vulnerable, and he is doing everything right, I can’t do anything with him, he loves me, I don’t love him…how…how can I explain this to john. Will I explain this to him, WHAT THE FUCK!’ I thought, pacing back and forth in his small bathroom. I got undressed and stepped into the shower, cleaning myself quickly. I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. God…it’s a week before I go home, I cant be around Jack and I can’t be around Samantha…why am I in this mess…FUCK! I washed up, and cut off the water, grabbing a towel. Dried off, I redressed and opened the door.
I walked into the apartment. I didn’t see Jack, I could escape. There was a note on the door.
Went to get some things, I’ll be back soon, don’t worry I will solve everything when I come back
‘Oh god’ I though, wondering what it was he was going to do to ‘solve our situation’. It didn’t say when he would be back. I couldn’t leave now could I? I had to stay and see what he would do. I sat on the couch, and turned on the TV. I couldn’t understand much of what was being said, but it was my futile attempt to pass the time. I waited an hour. How long will he be gone? I scrounged up some food to hold me over. I watched TV, contemplating everything.
I love John, that I know. I think I love Samantha. No. I do love Samantha. I know she has to feel something towards me, it isn’t just physical, it can’t be. Jack loves me, and now he is going to “solve” our situation. I think I am cheating. I am falling in love, I can’t do that. I mean, even if she does love me…what do we do. Do I stay with both of them. Could I be shared between them. Maybe she would love John too. Maybe the three of us would all love each other, and we could all get married. Well maybe not officially. I think that is probably every man’s dream. But no, I don’t think we could do that. Doing porn is one thing, but there is no precedent for something like that. I want to have kids, what would we tell them, you have two mommies and a daddy. What about our parents, what about neighbors. God it would be a nightmare. We could keep it secret, like tell people that she is my sister that lives with us. Could I share John with another woman though? We know we can share each other temporarily, for fun. But in love…that’s different. What the fuck am I going to do. This could…will effect the rest of my and john’s life. What if he doesn’t approve of me loving her. What if we break up over this. I have taken for granted that we will marry and have kids. I mean, the only certainty I really have is that I love him. Without that…without that I have nothing. I wish I had never come here.
The hours passed excruciatingly slow as I burned through endless scenarios and contingencies. I kept coming back to one and only one thing for sure. I love John, he loves me. Jack finally came back, I heard his key unlocking the door. I got up and walked to open the door. Jack opened the door before I got there. “Here” he said, extending his hand with a small box. I stopped in my tracks. “What is it?” I asked, not wanting to know. “Take it” He persisted. I took it from him, and opened the box to reveal a gold ring. “What is it?” I asked, wanting to know if this was an engagement ring, hoping against that. “Its…a ring” He said, wondering why I didn’t know what it was. “Jack…you know I have a boyfriend, I love him, I can’t accept this.” I said, trying not to crush him to bad. “You have a boyfriend?” He asked me, sincerely. “Yes, I told you many times” I said, getting somewhat mad. ‘What the hell?’ I thought to myself. “But you said he didn’t love you back” He protested. “What!” I said, trying to get to the root of this, and I had to suppress my anger from surfacing and making this all worse. “You said last night” He defended himself again. I suddenly realized. “NO, I said Samantha doesn’t love me, I wasn’t talking about John” I tried to clear it all up. He was visibly crushed on the inside. “…But…well why can you love another person than John, but you won’t let yourself love me.” He said, getting angry with me. “That’s different” I said, walking past him and to the door. “Wait!” He said insistently behind me, but I went right out the door, shutting it behind me, running down the stairs to avoid him catching me.
I ran half way, walked the rest to the dorm. The Sun was about to set, and the clouds were overcoming the skies. I opened the door into the dorm, the other girls were in the living room, giving me weird looks. I can’t deal with them now. Sam was not among them. I walked into our room, and she was sitting on her bed reading. I sat down on my bed. Sam looked over at me. “Are you alright Holly?” She asked. “No. I’m not!” I snapped at her. “Holly…there isn’t anything either of us can do about this” Sam said. “Yes there is, you can be true to yourself, true to me, and let your feelings do what they want, I know you feel something for me, why wont you love me!” I spouted out quickly, standing up. Sam sighed. “Holly…your making me sad, I can’t help you. I don’t love you like that…you have to understand and respect that. I don’t want to hurt you, but I can’t help you.” She said. The pause continued.
The irony suddenly hit me. I was in both roles at the same time. I was the wanted that didn’t love in return, and the one that wanted and their love wasn’t returned. I was playing both parts, and I still didn’t see the other point of view when I was in the opposite situation. I couldn’t sympathize with Jack, I couldn’t understand why he was doing this when I was with him. But then I couldn’t understand how Sam could be so cold and block her feeling when I was with her. The truth was I didn’t love Jack, Sam didn’t love me. That was that. There was no changing, no fixing that, we had no control. You don’t choose who you love. The realization of the moment faded. I knew how she felt, I knew how he felt. Yet, I still couldn’t turn my back on my feeling for her. I felt obligated to continue.
“I Love you Sam, I love you” I said, strongly then weakly. “Holly. There isn’t anything I can do about that, and you know it. You have to let it go” She said. Samantha stood up and met me in between our beds. Sam took my hands into hers gently, looked me right in the eyes. “Let go” Sam whispered. I looked back into her eyes, mine tearing up. “Let go” She whispered again. I tried to suppress the tears so I could speak. “But I …” Samantha cut me off. “Let go” she said at normal volume. I sniffled. I stared into her eyes. Wanting her, wanting to be with her, wanting to be closer to her. Wanting. I breathed in, obviously preparing to say something. Trying to make my final stand, my last shot. I barely moved my lips before she cut me off. “LET GO!” Samantha yelled right in my face.
My whole body felt dead. Like I had no spirit, no soul, no energy. My hands fell from hers. The tears came again as I walked away from her, not turning back. I walked out the door, the tears overcoming me. I didn’t even look at the other girls. I leaned against the front door sobbing. I think I was waiting for her, but she didn’t come.
I opened the door and walked out without looking. As I closed the door behind me I ran into someone. I looked up, wiping away some tears to see Jack looking back at me. “Holly please” He said. I walked past him towards the stairs, sobbing still. I tried to run faster than him, but he caught up to me at the bottom of the stairs. Jack put one arm around my shoulder and he stood beside me as I walked to the door. “Holly…please” he pleaded again as we both pushed open the door. The sun had set and the clouds were pouring rain down on the streets. This didn’t stop me though. I kept walking, hoping he would take the hint. The tears and sniffles kept me from speaking. The rain soaked my clothes almost instantly. My hair was running into my face, dripping cold water over my now freezing body. The only warmth was Jack’s arm still on my shoulder. “Holly...I love you” He continued to comfort me. Even though I now fully understood what he was feeling, having gone through it just a few minutes before, it still caused my sobs to increase.
Finally Jack stopped trying to keep up with me, and gently grabbed my shoulders with both hands, forcing me to look at him. His palms were on my shoulders, his eyes before mine. “Holly! I love you!” He said. He started to cry for the first time that I had seen. “I love you” he repeated, weakly, the sadness overcoming his voice, cracking it. The rain continued to pour over us both, our clothes soaking wet. We stood on the sidewalk, crying staring into each others weeping eyes. I decided I had to let him go, he had to let go. Samantha did it to me by telling me to let go. I thought that was pretty cold. I had to do it better than Samantha did.
I suddenly sprung forward, our bodies colliding as I wrapped my arms around him, and he embraced me back. I wanted this moment to last a little while, so that he could always remember this. I was about to tell him to let go, somehow, I had to tell him to move on. But he spoke first. “Come with me…Come back with me Holly” He said. I was stunned. I had to tell him and now he was making it worse. “Come back with me and live with me…” He paused waiting for a response. He knew I would object that I had a boyfriend. “Look…Last night I thought you had broken up with your boyfriend, that was just a misunderstanding. But I went all night and all morning thinking what we could be. What we could be together. I want you to move back with me, marry me, live with me, grow old with me.” He said, putting all his hopes, his dreams, his desires out in the air. I had to admire him in that moment, he had courage. You had to give him that. I wish I could have made him happy. But I couldn’t.
I slowly pulled back from his embrace. His hands fell to his sides, in disbelief, he knew I was about to reject him. “Come with me” He said, barely restraining the tears. I slowly turned my head side to side, signaling no. I thought he was going to collapse to the ground. But he surprised me. Jack suddenly lost the tears and shouted without compromise in his voice “WHY NOT!”. I stared into his eyes, knowing I would never look into his eyes again. I knew I had to do something strong. He was coming on stronger and stronger. I had to end his hopes, it was the only thing I could do. “BECAUSE I DON’T LOVE YOU!” I screamed back, and stormed past him into the street. I didn’t want to look back. Halfway across the street I couldn’t hold back. I stopped and turned around. He was still facing toward the building, as he had before I left. I stood in the middle of the street, the rain still pounding down. He stood there unmoving. He dropped to his knees, and doubled over, holding himself up with his hands. He cried loudly, sobbing as loud as was possible. I was tempted to walk back and comfort him. I didn’t loathe Jack, but I didn’t love him. I could never be less than a lover to him. I couldn’t help him, he had to go through this alone. I sincerely hoped that he would find love someday…it just wouldn’t be today. I turned around and walked to the other side of the street, not looking back now. I walked, not looking up, not going anywhere. I wandered aimlessly in the cold drenching streets. I was shivering uncontrollably, the tears had stopped but were still fresh and more were still poised to be unleashed.
At some point I stopped. I didn’t know where I was, but I stopped and leaned against a dripping brick wall. The tears overcame me again, and I slid down the wall till I was sitting against it. I was sobbing, it was pouring, cold and dark. I just want this to be over. I just want to be with John. I cheated on him…I cried more. I cheated on him, I don’t deserve him. But if I cheated on him…maybe he cheated on me. Maybe I’ll go home in a week and we will just be over. The end. All I want out of life is love. I had it. Had I lost it…lost it forever?