After the Goodbye - Part 4

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One night, I dreamt of Alex. He was crying and I was trying my best to console him. But I couldn't do anything because I didn't know why he was crying. Finally, he told me, "I love you, Liam."

I woke up then and laid in bed for a while before grabbing my phone. It was 12:20 a.m. I opened Facebook and searched for his page. It was public. It had never been public. Alex, who in my dream had been crying and telling me he loved me, was cuddled up next to guys and girls in many of his photos. There was one guy in particular who appeared often. "Jay Stacks" was tagged practically everywhere. Backgrounds looked like a room, a car, a club, a restaurant. They looked like best friends. Alex looked happy.

One picture had them sitting on a bed and I wondered if Jay was his boyfriend. But there was nothing to indicate they were anything more than friends.

I scrolled Alex's wall to see what his posts looked like. Some were funny shared posts. Most were photos with friends, tagged with different Toronto locations. There was still no indication he was dating. There was one post that said, "You deserve someone who will love you purely, openly, and unconditionally" and I wondered who he was talking to. I fell back asleep with my phone still clutched in my hand.

I dreamt again, this time of Alex sitting beside a male friend, hugged up close to his arm. I stared at Alex, hoping he'd notice me. But he didn't. I had this feeling that he was purposefully ignoring me. I just knew. But I felt like I didn't have any place to call him out or even ask for his attention. I didn't deserve it. And then I was in class and everyone's photos were getting displayed except for mine.

When I woke up the next morning, I looked at my phone and saw Alex's page was still open. I cleared my history and exited out, swearing never to return.

That night, as I got into bed, Henri and Philippe whispered something to each other and then looked at me.

"Last night, you were crying," Phillippe said.

"What?" I asked.

Henri answered, "It was 12:06 and you were sobbing. We were afraid to wake you. Maybe you had a bad dream. Lavender is a good remedy for nightmares."

"Please get some lavender," Philippe said. "We don't mean to be rude, but it's disturbing our sleep."

I hated Henri and Philippe and wanted to give both of them each a good hook to the jaw. But instead of doing what Liam would do, I did what Alex would do. "If it's so disturbing to you, buy the lavender for me. Or buy ear plugs," I remarked, tossing my blanket over my head.

Saying that made me happy. But that happiness lasted a fleeting second...

**

I stared at the screen where my submission grade was in bold.

D.

I swear my heart stopped beating.

And then it became a jackhammer.

It wasn’t a passing grade. And with it, it was set in stone that I’d failed the course.

As my heart sped, my chest heaved.

I knew it. I was no good. The professor was incredibly tough. But I was the only one who wasn’t reaching their standards. I was the only one incompetent.

Deep breath. Deeper breath. I could hear them now. I could hear them loudly. I looked around the room and saw I was alone. There was no one to save me from dying. Even if my roommates were there, they’d probably just tell me my breathing, my dying was disturbing them. I looked at my hands and they were shaking.

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