Chapter 23 The wishes (2)

268K 11.3K 12.6K


Summer began. My granddad got me an internship at a physics lab at a nearby university, where he worked as a physics professor before he retired. I played with lasers and radiofrequencies all day. It was fun and strangely calming, just like my rehabilitation program. I could almost jog again too.

As my knee got better, everything got better. My mood and my relationship especially. I met with Leslie everyday, and the days stretched on peacefully, laced with the silky sound of violin. I enjoyed the routineness of it all, and I liked knowing my daily agenda and following through with punctuality.

The only complaint I had was I wanted to see my friends badly. Every time I tried to go out without her, she would come up with some sudden emergency, mostly stomachache or that she was a wreck about playing on stage. There seemed to be an unspoken rule that because she took care of me, the time had come for me to reciprocate.

I could live without all the things you did for me.

I never asked for it.

You forced your help on me, and now you want me to pay you back with my freedom.

This is a relationship not a debt. Do you want me to like you or to owe you?

These interchangeable thoughts would chase around my head like dark shadows, one running after the other until they almost reached my mouth, and then I would swallow the words back down. I didn't want to be a jerk, and Leslie was too fragile.

She had the silent ability of making me feel like the worst boyfriend in the world. She could accuse me in such a gentle, reasonable tone that honestly I wasn't sure it qualified as accusation.

I hadn't seen Janet in a very long time. Janet and Leslie didn't mix well together. My girlfriend didn't appreciate the fact that my best friend was a girl, and my best friend thought my girlfriend was emotionally abusing me. I steered away from Janet, ironically because I feared she was right.

One evening when Leslie was practicing in her bedroom, I called Janet.

"Hi! What a pleasant surprise!" She sounded like she was chewing something. "I don't see you at all anymore."

"I know. What are you doing?"

"I'm with Carmen, Nick and Alan having some fries. I think Alan is only here to get close to Carmen. He's been trying all summer," she said. "How are you? Everything okay over there at Carnegie Hall?"

"Don't say I told you so, but you're right. I feel a little smothered."

"Is that Leslie playing violin in the background?"

"Yes, but I escaped to the living room so I can call you." I laughed wryly. "That sounds so crazy. I mean, just to make a phone call."

"You remind me of the writer in Misery," she said, referring to the psychological thriller by Stephen King. "You know under all the caring pretense, she's just happy to hold you captive. But at least you have Tchaikovsky to listen to."

I groaned. "I don't hate violin, but two minutes into it I forget the title already. By the way, she wrote me a song yesterday. No wait, I think it's called a piece."

She laughed for a good five seconds.

"Am I a bad boyfriend if I don't particularly appreciate it? She could've copied it off Beethoven and I'd never know."

"Hey, I wrote a song for you too and you weren't touched either."

"J, you didn't write a song for me. You wrote a song about me, along with the rest of the basketball team. I think I was the seventh supporting actor."

Kissing Is the Easy PartRead this story for FREE!