Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Step Five: Getting Over It

“Well come on,” Hailey says as she pulls me out of the bedroom and into the living room, “it’s time to mourn.”

She turns on the TV to some random show, the voices blending with ours as we talked. We completely avoid the glowing screen as we talk through mouths full of candy.

After a few minutes, hands already sticky and tongues a brownish color from the artificially coloring, I got up and ran, powered by the sugar, into the kitchen. I open the refrigerator and take out the wine and then rummage through the freezer for the tubs of ice cream.

I take all the ice cream in my arms and take to the living room. Not before balancing the ice cream that I was holding in one arm on my knee and reaching into the drawer I grasp hold of cool metal. Spoons.

I take then in my hand and run, still hyper from the candy back into the living room. Everything seemed to be moving faster, like my life was a movie and someone had just pressed fast forward.

I dumped the Ice cream on the coffee table, along with the spoons and then go back into the kitchen. I take the wine, which I left on the counter and, stupidly, try and pull out the cork with my bare hands. After many sugar fuelled tries I gave up and found the bottle opener.

I screw it in and pull with all the strength my scrawny arms contained. Then the cork pops off. I toss the opener and cork onto the counter and rush back into my living room. I toss myself onto the couch and take a large sip of wine. I take the bottle from my lips and offer it to Hailey.

“No thanks, I’m good.”

I take another sip and I feel the alcohol work its magic and the energy the candy gave me was gone and I slowly began to relax.

I reach for a hand full of gummy worms when Hailey breaks the silence.

“So Peyton… who was this guy anyway?” She asked through heaping spoonfuls of rocky road ice cream.

“Don’t you remember Jordan?” I ask, I swallow the candy letting the artificial sour taste burn my tongue and throat.

She shakes her head, hair from her loose bun cascading around her face, as rocky road ice cream drips from the sides of her mouth.

“You met him before we started going out. When you took me out to that club, to help me get over…um… Martin… no—Marc… no…. Matt—yes Matt!”

Sometimes it was so hard to keep all these names straight in my head. If I had a dollar for every boyfriend whose name I mixed up with an old boyfriends I could retire.

“The guy that you left with!?” She exclaimed, she was in such a state of shock that she dropped her spoon in the tub of melting ice cream. The impact of the spoon sent some of the ice cream flying onto her face. “I thought he was just a fling! You know that bad things happen when you try and have a relationship with a fling!”

“I know I said that Hailey, but he wasn’t. After we left he took me to this little diner. We ordered coffee and we sat and talked for hours. He was so sweet to me; I just had to go out with him.” I said with a sigh as I think about out time together. More tears begin to form in my eyes now that I know that I will never have a moment like that again.

I picked up the wine bottle again and began to drink, hoping that the alcohol would stop the tears. I suddenly felt so hopeless, so alone. My heart was empty and I felt like no one could fill the void of my many heartbreaks. Then I felt Hailey’s hand on my shoulder. It felt like at that moment she had read my mine. I looked at her and our eyes locked.

“Everything’s gonna be okay Peyton. I promise.” Right then and there I knew that Hailey was the greatest friend a girl like me could ask for. She was so good and so amazing, I felt like I was her daughter and she was my mother, but in reality she was just a great person, and an even better friend. I trusted her and I knew that everything really was going to work out.

I didn’t need the seriousness of this moment anymore; I knew I was safe, protected; now it was time to have fun. I reached into a bowl and coiled my fingers around the candy, M&M’s; I picked up the chocolate and threw them at Hailey. At that moment the two of us burst out laughing. I was too busy clutching my sides to notice her retaliation when she threw gummy worms at me.

In a fit of laughter we both race to either side of my couch, the tension disappearing from the room. We each grab handfuls of candy left and right dodging whatever we could. Thorough out the fight our laughter never ceased. We were having too much of a good time to notice the mess we had made.

Exhausted Hailey and I flopped down onto the couch, both of us admitting defeat. We laid there in silence, catching our breath and then I examined the apartment. There was sugar and candy cascaded over the floor, there were crushed M&M’s everywhere and gummy candy squished, by our feet, onto the hard wood floor. There was even some sort of chocolate on the ceiling.

If that wasn’t messy enough the whole apartment was covered in a thin layer of sugar. Suddenly the room became silent, even the TV had shut itself off. Hailey and I examined the mess and then broke out into yet another fit of laughter. We laughed and laughed until oddly enough, Hailey began to cry.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, the hilarity of the situation escaping my mind. The only thing on my mind was the concern I had for my friend.

“I don’t…know…its just….so…so,” she chokes out, between laughs.

“So what, so what!?” I asked, worried that something really could be wrong.

“Funny!” She spat out through more laughter.

Step Four: Salvation

Hailey came racing back to the car with two Louis Vuitton suitcases it tow. She pushes them into the back of the car.

“Peyton, Peyton, snap out of it!” She shouts, snapping her fingers in my face, bringing me back to reality.

“What… wha… hey Hail, your back!” I say happily, brushing the old memories from my mind.

“Guess what… I’m sleeping over!” She says with a grin as she puts the keys in the ignition, starts the car, and pulls away from her apartment.

“But what about Tommy and Jammer, those boys can’t take care of themselves.” I ask, Tommy was Hailey’s husband and ‘Jammer,’ was the nickname I had for Hailey’s five year old son, James.

“They will be fine, they’re going to a baseball game tonight anyway, and they can survive without me for a while.”

“Okay, so sleepover at my house, just like high school!”

“Yep! Just like high school!” Jessica says as we turn the corner and drive down the block. She turns into the parking garage and parks the car.

I head to the trunk and unload all the groceries I could carry. Jessica struggles to pull her suitcases from the back seat of her tiny BMW but eventually she gets them both out. She grabs the grocery bags I couldn’t carry and we walk to the elevator. We take the elevator up a floor and walked down the short corridor to my apartment. We struggled to get through the doorway and into my kitchen, but after a lot of work and dropping a lot of things, we made it.

I drop the bags on the kitchen table with a huff. Jessica drops her few grocery bags next to mine and goes to put her suitcases in my room. I find the ice cream and throw them into my over crowded freezer. I shove the door close, hoping that the door will stay closed. I open a cabinet and took out all the bowls I could find and lined them up on my counter. I looked at the pile of grocery bags, a feeling of fear entering my heart when I think about the mess that Hailey and I were about to make. I shove my hand into the pile and pull out the first bag I touch. I open it and spill its sugary contents into one of the many vacant bowls. I repeat the process until all that was left was empty bags and bowls filled with candy. I take the empty bags and recycle them, because I am eco friendly.

Hailey walks out of my room and into the living room wearing a silk tank-top and matching silk pajama pants. Hailey always needed to look good, being a store owner she was always on-top of the latest trends, even the messy knot of curly hair on top of her head looked good. I on the other hand didn’t especially care weather my pants were Gucci or Gaucho (even though I have never worn either pair in my LIFE). I would always put effort into what I wore… when I left the house, but when I was at home alone I didn’t care what I looked like.

Hailey ran into the kitchen and picked up a couple of bowls. Trying her best to keep from dropping any she slowly walked into the living room and placed them on the coffee table. I did the same; we repeated this process a few times, without dropping anything, until all the bowls had been transferred from the counter to the coffee table.

“Let me go change, and we can start” I said as I ran into my bedroom. I was in and out in less than a minute.

“Peyton. What the HELL are you wearing!?” Hailey asks as I immerge wearing a dark side of the moon t-shirt; which I got at a dark side of the moon concert with Devon, and a pair of blue flannel sorts.

“My pajamas…?” I respond, confused by the anger in her voice.

“No, no you are not! I remember that shirt from sophomore year! SOPHOMORE YEAR!” Hailey shouts, she doesn’t approve of me wearing last season’s clothes, and she defiantly does not approve of me wearing clothes that I got in high-school. Mainly because I still fit in mine and she doesn’t.

“Take it off!” She says, her voice stern, I could taste the anger in her words.

“What …?” I asked dazed and confused, I didn’t think I had done anything wrong.

“I said, take it off.”

I’m in so much shock to keep it on so, I take it off. I’m standing in the middle of my living room, with my best friend, in a bra and flannel pajama shorts. This is an awkward situation at best. Hailey hold out her hand.

“Give it to me,” she says her voice stern. She looks me in the eyes and I feel a sudden pain, her anger is radiating toward me.

“N… n…. NO!” I can feel my knuckles turn white as I clutch the shirt to my chest with all my strength. This shirt held some of my best memories. The good times I had with Devon, how happy he made me, how good it felt to be around him. But it also held some of the worst. The memories of the pain he put me through, the suffering, and then finally the heartbreak. He was the reason I gave up on love, and this shirt was a constant reminder of that.

“Peyton, give it to me,” I could hear the threatening tone in Hailey’s voice. Which is why I took a step forward, and then another, until all I had to do was stretch out my arms, and the shirt would be in Hailey’s hands. I slowly extended my shaking arms to give her the shirt. But before I knew it Hailey had grabbed it from my paralyzed hands. She dashed into the kitchen, found a pair of scissors and cut the shirt in half. Then, she broke my heart. She threw it in the trash.

I couldn’t do anything, not speak, not move, and worst of all… I couldn’t cry. Amazingly enough, there was one thing I could do, and I did it. I gave up.

Hailey walked over to me, and placed her hand on my shoulder. She looked into my eyes and said, her voice soothing like a lullaby, “Peyt, you can’t hold on to your past, Devon is gone, and he’s never coming back. If I’m going to help you, you’re gonna have to let go.”

I did what she said. I closed my eyes, and let go. I let Hailey direct me, I could feel her, but not see. My vision was gone. I could hear her open a drawer, and feel her pulling a t-shirt over my head. She moved my arms into the sleeves and then directed me to my bed. Then, everything is gone.

I open my eyes to the sound of papers moving, pages turning. My vision had returned. I turned my head and I saw Hailey looking through my notebook. The one that I hid in my nightstand, the one that contained every detail of every heartbreak.

“Give me that!” I shout as I lunge across my bed and snatch the book away from Hailey.

“Peyton those songs are amazing, when I read them I felt the emotion, and the passion. How come you never told me that you hurt this much?”

“I didn’t want to burden you; your life was going so great. You and Tommy were happier than ever and then when you had Jammer everything… everything just fell into place for you. I didn’t want you to know that my world was crashing down on me. These songs, there not that great, I just… I just write when I feel… I write when I feel.”

I knew what I was trying to say but the words wouldn’t come out. I was overrun with past emotions, I didn’t know if I could take it. I look around my room, trying my best to change the subject. I didn’t want to talk about this anymore then I had to.

“Hailey, its 6’oclock what the hell!?”

“Yeah… after I got rid of that shirt you kinda passed out… it was really weird actually…” She looks at me, grinning. I just shake my head, memories of the lost shirt spinning in my head.


Hailey leaves me in the car and runs into her apartment .I let my mind wander to Devon, my first love. We dated back in high school for almost two years. I think of all the good times and the time that he broke my heart.

I think of the day he asked me out. The 15th of December. I had just broken up with my very first real boyfriend. This was sophomore year, and I wasn’t very popular. Devon was my age, I met him through some afterschool activities. He would openly flirt with me and I would text him more then I would text my boyfriend at the time. So that day I broke up with my boyfriend in hopes that Devon would ask me out, a few hours later he did.

Eleven days later he told me that he loved me, and I realized that I loved him back. We were so happy for a while but then problems struck. A friend of mine had planted the idea in my head that Devon had feelings for Hailey. I confronted him about it and he told me that he didn’t but within a few days I heard a rumor that the two of them had hooked up before we started dating. I confronted Devon about that ad he told me that was untrue but that lead to weeks of trust issues. Not that I didn’t trust him, he didn’t trust that I trusted him.

We were always second guessing thing until one day he just stopped talking to me. The next day at school I confronted him and confessed my love and told him that I would do whatever it took to make things right. That led to months of being treated like a slave. Doing whatever Devon asked, going to where ever Devon wanted me to go, soon I had barley any friends because of Devon, but I still loved him.

He would always tell me I was beautiful and how happy I made him; and that made everything worthwhile. Our dates were always fun, even if we were doing something I hated Devon would always make up for it with a hot make-out session. I was happy, yet I wasn’t, when I was living for only one person, and that person was not I, I wasn’t truly living. That’s what the heartbreak Devon caused taught me.

Step Three: Mourning Preparatios

Hailey giggles as she jumps out of the car, “come on girl… let’s go!” I look out the window in the direction Hailey is running, were at a grocery store. She motions for me to follow her, I jump out of the car and run to her.

“Hail?” I ask running towards her.

“Don’t ask, come on.” She grabs me by the wrist and drags me into the store. She grabs a basket and runs to the freezer section, I follow her as fast as I can. She skids to a stop in front of the ice cream section. I run up behind her and she grabs a pint of chocolate ice cream.

“Hailey… what?” I ask as she grabs a pint of rocky road ice cream.

“Just a little morning, the best way to get over a guy!” She says as she grabs another pint of ice cream, this time cookie dough and tosses it in the basket along with the others.

“Well if we’re going to mourn, then were going to need a little of this too!” I lay my hands on a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream and throw it into the basket. I look up at Hailey and we both stop laughing, the few people walking by us give us strange looks which makes us laugh even more. Once we stop our eyes meet and a mischievous grin crosses her face and I knew we were thinking the same thing.

“CANDY!” We say simultaneously. I grab onto the basket handle and Hailey and I race through the store to the candy isle. We each grab one of every type of candy; sweet, salty, sour, anything that caught our eye. Next we raided the rest of the store; we got icing, sprinkles, whipped cream, cookie dough, and a bottle of wine. We run to the checkout counter, laughing. The man scanning our items keeps his head tilted down, doing his best not to laugh along with us. He finally scans our wine bottle and asks to see some ID. Hailey takes out her driver’s license and hands it to the man. He gives it a quick once-over and hands it back to Hailey. Our total was slightly less than $100. I reach into my purse for my wallet but Hailey stops me.

“It’s on me.”

I let Hailey take this one for me. You can’t get in the way of this girl and spending money. Hailey was a really successful business woman. She ran a chain of boutiques; she filled them with clothes designed by our good friend Penelope. She was off in Milan for the time being but she would be coming in to town for fashion week soon.

Not only was Hailey a great business woman but she was an amazing sales woman. She could sell anything to anyone. She once bought this man’s car and sold it back to his wife for almost twice the price.

I load the bags into the cart and walk hand in hand out of the store with my best friend. We load the bags into the trunk of her little blue convertible and begin the drive back to my apartment.

“Were going to make a quick stop before we head back to your place,” Hailey says, focusing on the busy streets.

“Where are we going?”

“I’m gonna need to pick up a few things,” she says as she turns the corner to her apartment. “Just wait here I’ll be right back.”