I am sitting down at my desk. It is 7 pm. There is a red lamp next to these pieces of paper. The walls around me are pink. I had to pay for that lamp. I had to pay to get my walls painted. Even though I am now only 17, I get good money at the printing firm where I work. My parents have said to me so many times that no matter what I want in life, I have to work for it. That is the strategy I used when I tried to get my red and pink room. It is also one of the two strategies I am using in our current situation.
The other one is this – the situation which gets the most people the most happiness is the one I will choose.
The purpose of this letter is to essentially work out what the hell just happened in my life and what happens now.
Matthew James Hollingsworth
You are an interesting person. I feel that right now I should say something like “you are the best person I have ever met”. I could easily do so, but I want to remain objective. I won’t be able to, but I’ll try.
We met one year ago. It was the holidays, and our mutual friend, Jasmine, and I were joking that unless we got a man to hang out with, we would turn lesbian for each other. She said she had some hot guy friends, and I finally convinced her to get us all to meet up.
We went bowling. Jasmine and I were there, and you were there. Jasmine asked you to invite another guy friend, and you invited Bob. Us four were there. Just some stupid teenagers having fun. When I saw you with your Che’ Guevara shirt, ripped jeans and grey cardigan, I thought you looked cool – it was counter-cultural, but not to the point of selling your individuality to punks or Goths or whatever.
You were hot and funny and cool, and you seemed nice enough. Bob was also there – he had much more bland clothing on. A plain shirt and short jeans. However, over lunch, his bland clothes were clearly not representative of his radical views on things.
By the time lunch came around though, one thing was apparent – Bob liked Jasmine.
It was clear to you. It was clear to me. It was clear to Jasmine. He was talking to me and you the same way, but not Jasmine. When she bowled a gutter ball or missed all the pins, he would only encourage her, and tell her it is ok. I remember you and I sharing jokes privately about Bob’s not so subtle yet gentlemanly technique.
Over lunch, we talked a bit, and Bob mentioned the fact that he was an anarchist and he was into things like violent revolution. You didn’t really say much except for “I agree” to some points, and occasionally made the odd witty remark.
The day ended. We all exchanged numbers, and it was clear that we all got on well.
I know that I just sort of dragged on and on there about the day, but it was so I could show you how I felt about you that day – you were cute, funny, cool, not so good in conversations, and you were willing to make fun of other people to some extent if it turned the attention to you.
While I didn’t think all this so precisely as I walked away, I kept a diary, so I was able to catalogue my thoughts that night.
We all went out as a group after that many times. Picnics, shopping, or the movies, we always had a good time. Bob always managed to somehow sit close to Jasmine, or when we split up as a group to go shopping or whatever, he would go with her. You later told me that you arranged a lot of that to get them together because Bob clearly wasn’t “smooth with the ladies”. With those two practically an item though, it left us two.
We were fine just being friends, and it remained that way for about a month after we met.
One day, you asked me out. It was after a pretty long MSN conversation in which we essentially talked about Bob and Jasmine, and moved onto ourselves. We both didn’t really see anything stopping us, so we just went for it.
I guess by modern standards, we took things slowly. I have only been in one other relationship with a guy, and we took things slowly then as well, even though we didn’t go out for long. I always loved having you in my bed. We would just hug and kiss and touch each other’s bodies, but in a romantic way, not a sexual way. We would listen to slow Bloc Party songs as it rained outside. It was all so perfect, and I soon began to fall for you. I remember I used to sometimes fall asleep with your hand in my hair. You would often capitalise on the situation and draw on my face with texta. It was funny and cute, and all those nice things.
You with your Che’ shirt and ripped jeans, seemed so perfect. I was rich and my parents were right-winged. It was all like a modern day version of that movie The Notebook. You were just so strong and could deal with almost anything. You were so set with your socialist ways and I needed that strength. I was raised “traditionally” as my parents would say, so I was always told I needed a man to be my rock.
You were so affectionate as well – most guys, they would be all annoying and stuff and just feel me up. But you, you were different. You put so much effort and emphasis into each kiss, and each one was always special.
You Matt, were the first, and so far only person I have fallen in love with.
And so things continued. We went out as a group of four less and less, and the two of us saw each other more and more. It was all going well.
Then, I had my birthday party.
It was a fun party. You met my friends, and you were nice to them. Alcohol was available though, and you were drinking a fair bit. You said it was only to make it easier for you to talk to my friends because you were bad in conversations and meeting people.
However, you did something that you shouldn’t have. You were on the dance floor, carving it up, with all eyes on you. Bob was nearby, and it was only a matter of time.
9, 8, 7…
You were dancing, and he came close to you.
6, 5, 4…
You nudged him and apologised, but he said it was his fault for being in the way.
3, 2, 1…
You said he didn’t need to be sorry, because he was so sexy.
You kissed him. Jesus, you did more than kiss him. You made-out with him and virtually molested him. He managed to push you away eventually, and you fell over, laughing your drunken ass off. As you began to get up, you looked at me with my party hat on and over-sized novelty “Birthday Girl” badge on.
And you kept laughing.
I was heartbroken. You acted so immature, so ape-like, and you cheated on me. I ran away, tears in my eyes, and went into my bedroom.
I didn’t leave for 24 hours. Jasmine said that the party died down pretty quickly after your incident, and people left.
Before that night, I didn’t know you were bisexual. Bob talked to me for a bit, and he said he didn’t know either. He said he was straight and he didn’t enjoy what happened at all, and he was sorry.
You sent me a few text messages, talking about the science of alcohol, or relative morality, or other stuff I didn’t care about, and I didn’t reply.
But then, a week later, I got that message in the mail you sent. It was written on expensive paper and had 5 words on it.
I’M SORRY. I LOVE YOU
I talked to you gradually again, and in two or so weeks, you came to my house. We talked a lot about what happened, and you said you were sorry and would do anything to make it up to me. Just to hurt you, I asked if you would break up with me and never talk to me again if that’s what I wanted.
And you began to cry.
It was the first time I’d ever seen you hurt, and it was pretty intense. You, Mr. Strong, Mr. Perfect, Mr. Change-the-World, began to cry over me.
And then you said yes, you would.
I felt nothing but love for you at that moment. I kissed you more passionately than I had ever done in my life.
That night, we made love for the first time.
After this, we were so nice to each other. We had all the time in the world, and were the perfect couple. I felt that no matter what happened in my life, you would be there to support me.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you”. ~ African Proverb.
When Jasmine invited the four of us over to her house, it was odd. We hadn’t done anything as a group since who-knows-when, and never done anything at her house. We all knew something was up.
She told us to sit on her bed.
She stood up, and told us to listen.
She came out of the closet. She was a lesbian.
Jasmine, who I knew since primary school, was a gay woman.
That’s why she never truly got with Bob.
When she and I were joking about becoming lesbians a year ago, I never suspected there was a hidden meaning in what she said.
But that isn’t what sucked.
Here is what sucked.
She loved me.
Here’s what sucked more.
I loved you, and not her. Jesus, I’m straight. How could I have loved her?
She said that after you and I made up, I was talking to about you more and more to her. I didn’t really notice, but I guess I wouldn’t have.
She said she couldn’t stand it – always being jealous of you, while having to put up with Bob.
No matter how strong your shield is, your back is always vulnerable.
Casualties x 1.
She said she was depressed about not being loved by me. She said she was pissed of that you got further with the same sex while already in a relationship than she had in her whole life.
Casualties x 2.
She said that she had never told me about her lesbianism because she knew I wouldn’t talk to her if I knew she liked me in that way. When she said that, I stayed silent.
Casualties x 3.
However, she said that ever since I went out with you, she started feeling depressed, and since we made up, she had suicidal thoughts.
Casualties x 4.
Everyone hurt by their own actions.
With her speech over, no-one said anything. We just all left one by one. Bob. You. Me.
Well Matt, that brings us to where we are now. The way I see it, my dilemma goes like this:
Jasmine loves me, but is depressed because I will never love her.
I can stay with you if I want. But if I do, Jasmine will be driven further over the edge, and sooner or later kill herself. She is seriously depressed, and would do it.
Matt, I love you more than anything, but I wouldn’t be able to cope with her blood on my hands.
The alternative is that I break up with you, and we all remain friends.
This won’t work either though. She will still see me and always know that I can’t be with her, and she will feel depressed.
There needs to be something which takes me out of the equation.
The answer – I run away.
I guess it is sort of ironic – you are the main reason this problem arose, yet when it comes down to it, I am the only one who can do anything to fix it.
I will go somewhere. Maybe Brisbane. I have never been there, and the beaches look nice.
Matt, I am leaving this whole messed up situation. I know you will understand.
Matt, when you get up in the morning and find this note on your table, you will cry the same tears you cried a month ago before made love for the first time.
Matt, I will always love you. Maybe one day, things will change and we can be together. But that might not happen.
To that cute kid with the Che’ shirt and ripped jeans who is bad in conversations,
I’M SORRY. I LOVE YOU
Remember, if you want to find me, don’t look in the phonebook.
Look in your heart.
P.S. Sorry about my tears smudging the words.