● A $50 American Express gift card from my "retirement party" at the Fairfield Inn last year. (I promptly spent it on a night out at Chunky's to see the terrible terrible Ghost Rider movie. No, I don't know why.)
● Pictures of Lauren. (Including two of the original four sticker pictures from the first night we met at Canobie, and this line and this line of photo booth photos from her visit a few years later.)
● A picture of a few of the Irish Chicks. (Which is which, I don't quite remember.)
● A bunch of old Valentine's and birthday cards from Leigh.
● The famed phone number of Nina Coppens, Cancer Survivor.
● An old favorite picture of me and Alton taken during Physics class with my Polaroid camera I loved for six months.
● And... an old notebook I used to write in while I worked at my afterschool job at Wal-Mart Pharmacy. Now, the beginning of this notebook is just notes about keeping the shelves stocked and a few weird games I'd play with myself to pass the time instead of working, but hidden in the middle was a list of hypothetical questions/thoughts (written in my intentionally extra-illegible secret code hand-writing) I wanted to ask/tell Alton at the time. Lauren expressed an interest in reading it when I told her about it, and I figured what the hell, I'll let the (LJ) world see.
Now, let me see if I can give this some context before you read it and say (as you will inevitably have to), "Wow, what a fucking psycho." I had wanted this girl for more than two years. Amazingly after two years of trying to trick her into loving me, something changed, and she decided (finally!) to reciprocate. I was very pleased with this arrangement. (Though I still berated her for not being as confident as I was in her declarations of love. Hey, I was hardcore.) That is until I heard rumors that she was seeing someone else too -- which were shortly thereafter confirmed -- and I was essentially dumped on Valentine's Day and given the instruction to "wait for her while she enjoyed just being 18."
What's written here was apparently written shortly after my discovery and release that Valentine's Day and while it is admittedly ridiculous, besides two of the statements (which I'll note), I still understand why I was thinking/feeling what I was. Oh, and just to note, somehow this girl still talks to me. In fact, I'm one of the few people from high school she still talks to. I'm invited to her wedding this summer.
I love you but I don't want to be with you? Why? Explain so I understand.
Were you going to tell me about John?
Why or why not? How can you say what you do to me and then pretend it means nothing?
What did I do wrong?
When was the last time you lied to me?
Why did you?
What is love to you?
Do I mean anything to you?
Do you understand how painful this is for me?
If you cared about me why would you do this?
If I am supposed to wait for you why can't you wait too?
What do you want from me now, future?
I heard "All of my Life." (Editor's Note: A song of ours. Obviously.)
My mom sucks. (Editor's Note: This is one of the ones that stood out to me. I don't ever remember specifically or explicitly hating my mom, but apparently on this day, I thought she sucked. I guess I have mommy issues.)
My life sucks. (Editor's Note: This I remember more clearly. Ha.)
Complications outmatch you. (Editor's Note: ????)
What was the surprise supposed to be?
Why didn't you do it?
What will it take to make you stop running?
Why should I wait?
What should you mean to me?
Why should you be any different than the rest of them?
Why am I such a punishment in your eyes?
How is it that you aren't able to have fun if you're with me?
Do you really think this [is] all about me wanting to be saved?
Are you a tease?
Am I a game?
Are you scared you're a game?
What is it that you really need to get through this?
What do you really feel?
Do what you feel, do not do what others think.
Miranda cried because my life is so fucking sad that I'm buying all this shit for someone who doesn't want me. (Editor's Note: Ha, some things never change.)
Do not end up with John at the Prom or I'm going to have to kill something. (Editor's Note: This was the other one I thought went a bit too far retrospectively. I don't remember killing anything -- though I did often take my emotional pain out on others -- and I don't have any specific memories of them at prom, but they must have been there together.)
Why can't you be grown up now?
Why do you have to be the child?
Again, I'm sorry for calling you "heartless fucking bitch." (Editor's Note: Hahahahahaha! Whoops!)
And I do and will always love you.
Why don't you wear the jewelry?
Don't want to be associated with me? Don't like it?
Am I wasting my time on you?
If you don't plan when the emotions will happen why do I have to wait until after high school?
Are you trying to make me insane?
What are you trying to do?
Have you sacrificed anything for me? (Editor's Note: "Self-sacrifice is the ultimate sign of affection." I'm 87% sure I made that up.)
Do you feel you don't need to?
Are you in control?
Your excuses keep changing, but they're all for the same thing... STOP RUNNING!
With all that I've asked there's only one question that still remains: "How's it going to end?" (Editor's Note: Truman Show rip-off.) Only you can decide.
I'm pretty sure I didn't ever ask her that list of questions (although I'm also sure some came up in conversation later), but just after this list of questions was a rough draft of a note that I may have given her eventually (I don't remember for sure), and as you can see, I was trying to write with a cooler head than I did with my scary list of questions:
Funny thing happened today: I started listening to the tape you made me and I realized all over again just how much you mean to me. I also realized you aren't ready for what I want. That card was great. I loved what it said, but in all honesty, you weren't ready to give it. I would love to have a card like that from you -- but not until you're ready. And as painful as a moment is without you, I know it brings me one moment closer to being with you forever. Like I said before, self-sacrifice is the ultimate sign of affection (Editor's Note: I knew it!) and you're worth every one of those painful moments and more. I will never pressure you again. Until you're ready, I hope you have fun "just being 18." However this all ends, I hope you find your happiness, and I also hope I will be a part of it.
And finally, also included in my Notebook of Doom, on a loose piece of ink-stained paper, this happy little story about an unnamed gent:
And tears fell from his eyes, like they so rarely did, as he thought of what should've been, what could have been, what he wanted so badly. Not a million tears for a million years could bring him that. He must forever be content with what was left for him. The scraps of life always waiting there so ready to be taken by him, but never what he yearned for. A fools worth of mistakes in his life... but the one thing he was sure of turned out to be a lie. You could argue that it was his fault. That his life ended with the obsession... but you could argue for a lot of things. Some say he never had the right to hope to begin with. Some say what goes around comes around. But when it comes right down to it, the only thing you can really say is: "That's life; deal with it."
And thus my happy adolescence ended. I hope you enjoyed reading all about it.
Oh, and on a totally unrelated note: You should rent both The Prestige and Stranger Than Fiction. They are excellent.