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OVER - a memoir.

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OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:07 pm

Image










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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:08 pm

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. —Emily Brontë

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:09 pm

MERCURY










1.

There she was. With one thumb in the waist of her short skirt, she stood there leading to one side. Some pretty, olive skinned, green-eyed girl that everyone else loved. For lack of a better term, the queen bee.

I turned to my cousin and said, “Hey, what do you think of her?”

He said something like, “Hell yeah, man. Get that.”

I looked at her again.

“Okay.”

If I could get to this girl, I’d be on top.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:10 pm

2.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

“My name’s Aten.”

“I’m Ione.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:10 pm

3.

He was the boy from Missouri—a tiny town, diners and windmills, cracked asphalt and pocket-sized lawns. He was tall, with dimples and eyes so pale that they were uncanny. A child who played video games before he could read. A teenager who was captain of the basketball team. A young man who dreamed of power. A familiar stranger.

Once we collided, we couldn’t stop.

“I hope,” I said to him, on a lazy Sunday, “I hope you know I’m not one of those girls who just drip all over you.”

He paused. “What do I have to do to make you one of those girls?”

“Well, you could buy me a plane ticket around the world. You could make a million bucks, donate it to charity, cure poverty and AIDS, end the wars… and maybe I’d think about it. I’d probably still not be one of those girls, but at least you did a lot of good.”

A laugh. “That’s a lot of work for a ‘maybe’.”

“See, the thing is, to be one of those girls would be placing myself below you. I have way too much pride for that.”

“Well, what if we liked each other as equals?”

“Sounds like a deal.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:11 pm

4.

I think we just talked about everything and nothing. We just talked. We couldn’t shut up.

She was from Cape Town—blue harbour straight out of a dream, droughts straight out of a nightmare. For whatever reason, we got into an argument on how to pronounce the word curtsies. She sent me an audio clip of her saying it and then trailing off, just talking about nothing.

I listened to that audio clip a scary number of times.

I memorized it.

She was different from other people I had ever talked to. Our minds were racing against each other, and I was surprised that for the first time, someone was keeping up with me.

I actually liked this girl.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:12 pm

5.

When I realized that he felt like home, my body seemed to wake from a deep, deep sleep.

“I want to sit on a rooftop with you,” I told him. The sun was slowly rising. “With blankets, and coffee, and I want to sketch you.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:12 pm

6.

I made a joke. She laughed.

“I love you.”

I said, “I love you too.”

She stopped. “Wait, what? Really? Oh my gosh.”

I thought this was very funny and I even laugh about it now. After that day, we told each other I love you all the time.

Did we really mean it?

She was still kind of confused from her past relationships, I think. Me? I said it at a time when I didn’t know what I was saying.

But I did know that she was something special to me.

I graduated that May and even during the summer I would set my alarm and wake up at 7 AM. I’d roll out of bed, still half asleep, and drag my blanket and pillow to the computer in the living room. I would log on to tell her good afternoon, since it would be time for her to have lunch in Cape Town, then fall back to sleep on the floor. I scared my parents for a while. Anyone who knows me knows that I won’t wake up for anything or anyone.

That’s how I knew I felt something for her.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:13 pm

7.

He asked for a funny photograph. I sent it. I was laughing when I did, but he grew quiet.

“Aside from the funniness of that picture… that’s a really beautiful picture of you.”

I didn’t know what to say. Then,

“I want you to learn something. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are a lot of things you don’t know you are. You are great. I love you. I don’t really know why, but I like loving you.”

I fell asleep that night, and the distance felt a little smaller, a little sweeter.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:14 pm

8.

I’m up at the gym shooting baskets. If you get this message, it means you aren’t sleeping. Go back to sleep, beautiful.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:14 pm

9.

It was 3 AM here, the night of his graduation party. His family was over, and he soon had them crowded around the computer. His aunt teased him about having the wedding in South Africa.

Though it was the witching hour, I remember it being evening. A spring evening, and my kitchen was filled with the scent of alcohol and plates of cake, with video game music and shoes scattered across the living room floor.

I was there, on his graduation night, and I wondered if he knew how much I adored him.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:14 pm

10.

“Ione—”

The morning was quiet, hazy blue. The hum of the computer was comforting, a coffee mug, a few pens.

“When I was half awake, half asleep last night, I was thinking. If anything ever happened and we weren’t together in the end and you were getting married to some other guy, I would hug him and cry with him.”

Knees to chest, I curled up on the leather seat, watched the words appear. Magic, perhaps.

“I would love him because he loved you and you were going to be happy.”

Silence. A slow reel and I straightened, leaned forward: “I honestly don’t know how I could look that man in the eye and not remember you.”

A prophecy and a curse, my hands moving of their own accord.

“Our silly dreams about taking over the world, and having a little girl that looked more like me but a little like you, and eating macadamia nuts in palaces… and I just wonder how I could tell him I loved him without remembering every single time that I told you I loved you.”

In the tiny recesses of time, a strange thing happened.

“Ione… I’m still new to this crying thing. How do you stop?”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:07 am

11.

I wasn’t using Ione to make it big. I was with her because I wanted to be. We had a good summer of just talking. Talking about everything, learning about each other. All we had was text, but we didn’t care.

She sent me a letter that summer.

It was short. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but it was more or less a love-letter. In the envelope was a bracelet. Her mother had given her this bracelet and she loved it.

She sent it to me saying that it was her promise to me and that she would be there to have it back some day.

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:07 am

12.

Happy Birthday, beautiful!

I know who you are, Aten. I know what I know and I see what I see and that is you.

You are a drop of freedom. You are 2 AMs on autumn nights and vanilla sunrises. You are a cup of coffee and slices of French toast. You are tickle fights that end in patchwork quilts and Disney movies. You are train tracks and bus stops. You are a voice, a tear, a laugh, a whisper, a yell on your front lawn and I love you.

Here, my heart. Please don’t break this.


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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:07 am

13.

Ione, I promise—no, I swear—that I’ll never leave you. You’ll have to leave me. And I’ll never hurt you.

I swear.


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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:07 am

14.

He might have grinned.

“I’ve already proven that I can talk people into loving me, you weak-minded fool.”

I paused. Then, I laughed.

“I’ve already proven that I can lie, and lie well.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:08 am

15.

“If I ever tell you I hate you, if I ever tell you to get out of my life, I am lying through every tooth I have.”

“Me too, Ione.”

“You definitely owe me a fancy dinner.”

“Fine, fine. How about a lifetime of fancy dinners?”

“I’ll have to think about it.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:08 am

16.

“Is something going on?”

“Ione!”

His sunshine was too bright, manufactured. Mirrors still reflect light, when exposed to the sun.

“I keep having bad dreams about you.”

He was silent. Then all zoomed in at a mortifying rate, the screen a little too sharp, the letters a little too big—

“Aten… I don’t know how long we are supposed to last.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:09 am

17.

And if you have nothing to say to me—

I remember sitting in the University library, afraid to dial because I did not know how I could handle another ditched call, another answering-machine greeting. But I did, anyway. And he? He would never be there. Even when he came back, he wasn’t there.

He had thrown the world we had built into chaos, and all I could sputter were a few measly, hateful nouns.

Spring curled from the crevices of the city, buried our ill-gotten promises under newborn buds. A season of mockery, our star-crossed dreams torn by Aten’s own disdain, his downward gaze that was always oddly cold, oddly reptilian—

The afternoon it died, I met someone else. And I remember when he told me, a few weeks after, what his first impression of me was. “I walked into the room,” he said, “And I saw this girl with amazing eyes. But they were sad, and her face was blank. She needed somebody to tell her she was beautiful.”

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Re: OVER - a memoir.

Post by Eri » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:09 am

18.

I forgot about Ione. I seriously forgot about her.

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