It's Nothing

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The next day, I can
almost pretend that
nothing had happened,
and the day after,
and the day after that -
except that just seeing Seth
strikes a spear of guilt
into my heart, and even
the very mention of Natalia
makes my face heat up with…
Embarrassment?
Fear?
I'm not really sure, but
it's sort of terrifying.
The weird way that my
heart clenches and my
pulse quickens when I
catch sight of her in the
halls at school doesn't
help anything, either.

But at some point
in the weeks following, I
find that it
doesn't really matter
quite as much as my
boyfriend's current behavior does.
If I'd thought that Seth
had acted weird before, he
really is acting strangely now.
He barely lets me
out of his sight
these days.
He's taken to driving me
home from school, even
though we haven't gotten
too much snow this year
and I'm perfectly fine
with walking with my siblings.
He doesn't want me
to catch a cold, he says -
but that doesn't explain
why he feels the need to
walk me to my classes
most of the day, too.
It's not that cold
inside the school building...

And then there's the fact
that he won't stop
texting and calling me,
asking what I'm doing
as if he needs to know
every other second.
I think I'm on the
phone with him more
often than not
outside of school.
Mom in particular doesn't seem
so happy with that, especially
when my phone goes off
a hundred times during
dinner with calls from him.

“It's nice that you
have someone like him,”
she told me one night,
“but you need to
tell him not to call
during dinner -
you know how your
father and I feel about
spending it together
as a family.”
She stressed that last word
as if I needed reminding,
which I didn't.
I already know, but
it's not my fault that
Seth doesn't, and still
doesn't seem to understand
no matter how many times
I tell him I can't
talk to him during meals.

I should consider
myself lucky, I guess,
that I have a boyfriend
like him -
but it still seems that
with every day that
goes by, I wonder
more and more how I
came to be in this predicament.
I mean, he's…
nice, right? A he isn't
that bad, even if he's
acted a little
paranoid recently.
We've been dating for
what, almost three
months now?
I shouldn't worry about
stupid things like this.
It'll work out, I'm sure,
just like everything
else has seemed to.

Well, almost everything.
He's gotten even worse
on the subject of Natalia,
and has even gone so far
as to yell at me when
I accidentally brought her up
in conversation one time.
I mean, he apologized
right after, but he
obviously still doesn't
think much of her.
I can't help but wonder
what happened between them
to make him hate her
so much.

Natalia herself isn't
very much better.
Seth rarely ever
leaves me alone at school,
but on the off chance that
I do get to talk to her,
she seems to think
just as badly of him
as he does of her,
and so refuses
to talk to me
about him.
That's usually in home ec,
though we switched partners
at the beginning of
the new semester, so
we don't have reason to
talk as often as I'd like.

I shouldn't want to
talk to her, though,
not since I realized these
illicit feelings that
I have for her.
Ever since I woke up
the morning after that,
I've decided that I will
be a good girlfriend for
Seth above all else -
my own feelings be damned,
for lack of a better word.
This obviously isn't something
that should happen, is it?
I mean, what are the odds
that Natalia would feel
the same way?
And I'm already dating Seth,
so it wouldn't be fair
to him for me to
feel like this about
someone else -
about another girl, especially.

I'm not a lesbian,
I'd told myself that night.
I can't be -
it's just not right.
What will everyone else
think of me -
my family, my friends,
people at school...

No one at school really
pays much attention to me,
of course, but I
can imagine the
hayday they'd have if
anyone found out that
I feel anything stronger than
normal friendship for
someone of the same
sex as me.
Our school is built upon
a sturdy foundation
of gossips and other
nosy people, the kind
that pounce on
rumors and truths alike
and won't put them to rest
until they have something
even juicier to work with.
I have a feeling that
most of them will end up
working for tabloids someday.
For now, their nosiness
doesn't really work
in my favor.

But even worse than that,
what will my parents think?
Or Euni, or Thias -
or Seth, who is the one
I'm supposed to feel
like this about?
Or even Natalia -
what would happen to
our friendship if that
little detail were to
somehow slip loose?
So no, I can't allow
myself to say it's true.
Even if it is, by
some weird quirk of chance,
it would ruin everything;
I'm completely
sure of it.

So compared to
the possibility of that,
Seth acting strangely
is nothing.
Not talking to Natalia
as much as I'd like
is nothing.
The guilt that seems
to be eating me alive
is nothing -
because it could be
so much worse
than this, I'm convinced.
Anything is better
than losing everything,
hard as it may be
for now.

×

Yes, hello. It's been a while (like, nearly a year, Mack...) and I'm really sorry I haven't updated this story in a long time, but I've been super busy with college and- You know what, y'all already know my excuses. Screw it. I'm just gonna say that I'm going to make an effort to finish this story if it kills me because I feel bad for leaving it unfinished before. I just finished reading back through the parts leading up to this one and at least by my standards, they're really badly written, so I'm definitely gonna make an effort to rewrite it this summer when I'm less busy with school. Misalignment too, if all goes well. Here's to hoping.

Anyway, I'm done attention whoring for votes and stuff like I used to, so I hope you guys enjoy, and hopefully I'll have another part up tomorrow! c:

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