Run Away

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Seth eventually kicks the
flu, or whatever it was that
he’d been sick with for so long,
and we go back to our usual
habit of being together
nearly twenty-four seven.
He's started driving me to
and from school again, walks
me to my classes, complains at
lunch about how much schoolwork
he's missed being sick.
I struggle to find time to
spend with Nat without his
knowing, which finally has been
reduced to Skype calls and
long strings of texts after
I've gotten home at night.

I don't know how I would
hold on without her.
I can't tell her everything, but
she does what she can to
lift my spirits after a long day
of Seth dragging me around,
forcing me into a life that
I didn't really want.
Even though I don't think she
understands the full extent of
my exhaustion and frustration,
she tries her best.
It's all I can ask for
from the girl who's supposed
to be my best friend.

But somehow, she still
manages to surprise me.
“You're doing awful,”
she tells me one night, after
I'd told her for the tenth time
that I'm doing just fine, thanks
for asking. Her
worried face peers back
at me from the screen
of my laptop;the worry
in her expression pulls at
something in my chest,
makes it constrict uncomfortably,
as if something deep inside me
knows what's about to happen
before even I do.
“Look, Matty, I can tell.
You might not think so, but
I've been watching for
a while now, and you just
keep getting worse and worse.”
She stops, takes in
a deep breath, as though
she's steeling herself
for something.
“I know you won't
want to hear this, but...
I think you should break
up with Seth.”

I know she's probably just
trying to help, but no,
I don't want to hear it.
To break up with Seth would
be to lose a friend, to lose
someone who's understood me
when no one else has.
Even if it's gotten a little
weird between us lately, I
don't want to ruin all the
good that we have
between us.
But even so…
Is that all I
think of him as?
A friend?
Even now, I can't think
of him as I should think of
someone I've been dating
for a few months - and
I still don't even know
if I love him.
It's indisputable that I
want to, but wanting
and reality are two
completely different things.

I don't know what I'm
supposed to do.
I don't want to
break up with him, but
a little piece of me knows
that I can't continue on
in this life he's practically
plotted out for me.
Maybe Natalia's right.
Maybe I should
break up with him.

But “I don't know,”
is all I can say to her.
It still feels as though
breaking up with Seth
would be the same as
giving in to… This, whatever
it is that I feel for Nat.
And I can't give in, not
when it's so wrong and
so much harm could come
from thinking that it's okay.
Just look at what happened
with Thias when those rumors
about him being gay went
around our school.
It would be worse, because
the rumors would be true,
and I could never live with all
the stares and murmurs that
would follow me everywhere.
I can't.
I won't.
So I don't know
what I should do.

Part of me just
wants to curl up
and pretend this year
had never happened
to me.

“Think about it,”
Nat tells me after a
length of silence has
passed between us,
long and uncomfortable.
“Like, really think
about it, because I
can’t stand to see you
like this, Matty.
You should be happier.”
She stops for a moment,
looks down at her lap,
then at something offscreen.
In the background, I can
see the deep purple
of her bedspread, bright in
the relative darkness
of her room.
I can't help but wish
that I was there with her.
“You deserve someone,”
she says at last,
“who treats you right -
someone way better
than Seth ever could be.”

Long after we hang up
and I go to bed, I lay
and stare up at the ceiling,
as if it will have some
sort of answer to
all of my questions.
There is only one person I
can think of who would be
better for me than Seth,
someone who knows me
almost as well as I know
myself, who has the power
to take anything and make
it so much better.
There is only one person
I would ever want to be with -
but she is the one person
I can't have, so
what's the point?

It's not fair, is it,
this wishing against
the world, against how
everything is and always
has been, wanting what I
can't want and hoping for what
I will never have. It hurts
too much - but then again,
what doesn't?
I should love him, and
I shouldn't love her, but
that's not how it's
ended up, so what
can I do?

Well, I can cry - so
that’s what I do,
softly into my pillow
until I fall asleep at last,
wondering all the while
how I'm supposed to
fix my life when all
I want to do is
run away
from it.

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Slightly shorter chapter, but upcoming chapters will be longer, I promise. Maybe too long. Idk. It will be wonderful, just y'all wait. Wonderful and angsty.

I keep saying that, I know, but it's true. So sue me lmao.

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