Angie, the weak
This post comes from a young writer who wanted to be credited as Cincinatti. It is a very unusual story of young love, and rather long, but well worth the time it takes to read.
I was a freshman in high school when I first met her. We both came from very dysfunctional families, complete with workaholic fathers and 3AM shouting matches and/or beatings from our mothers. Her sister was always recovering from her last abortion and I was always being subjected to emergency prayer sessions, in which some stranger I’d never met would pray in tongues while holding my reluctant hand. We hated ourselves about as much as our mothers hated us. She was always crying, shoplifting, or shouting obscenities at passing cars. I was always depressed, drunk, or high (all three during most weekends or holidays). When we met, we instantly felt a bond and became very close friends.
She wasn’t at all physically attractive. Her face was heavily pock-marked and greasy, her hair was as unkempt as a lion’s mane and ten times frizzier. Her teeth were as big as a horse’s and she spoke in a loud, abrasive voice that sounded like the braying of a donkey. But I loved her all the more for it. She had a tenderness about her that I admired. Most days, seeing her was the only thing that could make me feel even remotely happy. She made me feel needed. She was always confiding in me, and I was more than happy to offer her advice when she asked for it. She would bury her face in my neck and whimper when she’d sense I was upset. I spent a long time wishing I’d have made a move back then. Kissed her, confessed my feelings…something. But I still hadn’t come to terms with my being bisexual, and I tried very hard to ignore and repress my feelings.
We drifted apart for the summer of that year. I had hoped to simply forget her forever, or at least that my feelings for her would go placid and lukewarm, and that we could keep enjoying a platonic friendship. When we became reacquainted, I discovered that she had gotten herself a boyfriend. He lived in Texas, and they’d met online through AOL. I let an audible snort escape when she told me, which she politely ignored. Her boyfriend was an asshole, and the only reason they seemed to have been drawn to each other was the fact that both of them were equally dysfunctional. I wanted to say, “What about me? I’m drunk everyday. I’ve tried to off myself. And I’m right here next to you!” Their relationship certainly wasn’t healthy. Eric, her online and over-the-phone boyfriend, took full advantage of her gentle and timid nature. It was fascinatingly disturbing how he could control her from a thousand miles away. He would tell her that she was a worthless piece of shit, and that she couldn’t leave the house. And she wouldn’t. She’d lock up in her room for days, just because he told her to. He once convinced her to send him a tape of herself masturbating, which he later leaked all over the internet.
A few months into the school year, Angie got stoned behind the gym with me and told me that she had a crush on me. She also told me that we couldn’t see each other anymore. I was crushed.
We didn’t run into each other for years after that. She purposely avoided me and I spent most of my time trying to ruin my own life. I dropped out of high school after a two-month stint in a psychiatric ward, and it seemed enough things had happened to where I could have easily forgotten her for good. But then she called me and ruined all the progress I’d made at diluting her existence with booze and pills. When she offered to take me out for lunch, I immediately accepted.
At the dingy, crowded Denny’s that we chose as our meeting place, she told me that Eric was long gone, and also about how sorry she was for having left things with me. She said that she was too ashamed of herself before today to contact me. I forgave her even before she asked me to. As she went on talking about how her life had been going, and how much she’d missed me over the years, I felt the love for her rekindling. I was finally ready to actually be with her and I started imagining what a romance between us could be like. I was giddy. But then she informed me that her new boyfriend, Andy, was a much better match for her. And that the two of them would be joining the marines together, to “take the system down from the inside,” as socialists. She didn’t seem to really know what she meant by that, or even what socialism was. When I asked her to explain further, she told me that Andy could explain it better than she could.
It was then that I realized what it was that had drawn me to her in the first place. She always agreed with me on everything without a second thought. She was always listening and complying. She was like a hand puppet. Angie never stood up for herself, because she didn’t know how she felt about anything. And though I didn’t realize it back when we’d first met, I liked it. I liked that she was always asking me for guidance and doing or thinking whatever I said was right, and at the time I really needed to be in control of something. Feeling sick to my stomach, I excused myself and walked out of the diner, and her life, forever.
Filed under: stories of heartbreak | 1 Comment