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click click of an outdated phone line and a blue-faced boy swinging from a rope. “I think I might be—” “Don’t say it,” he said to me as we lied in the back of his car with blankets and pillows and, of course, Twizzlers and Mike & Ikes. In love with you. “Why can’t I say it?” I asked him. I was confused. And hurt. “We’ve been seeing each other for six months.” “Just—don’t say it. Not yet. Please.” His eyes found mine in the dark. They didn’t look away until I answered. “Okay.” I ripped the blankets off and stepped out of the car. “Where are you going?” He opened the door. “Home.” “Why?” “I need some time alone.” “Let me at least drive you back, then.” “No.” I was mad, my nostrils were flaring and my chest had tightened. Why didn’t he want me to say it? Didn’t he love me back? “Okay.” “Don’t call me.” “Okay.” He didn’t call me for two months. And I was too stubborn to call him first. Still, every day I put aside fifteen packs of Mike & Ikes and seven packs of Twizzlers in case he ever showed up. “It’s okay to be angry at him,” the bald man says again. But I’m not angry. I wish I were. It would be easier. But I’m not. All I am is sad. Sadness is something I have underestimated. It can dig at your life and flip you over. It can bury you in dirt and have you gasping for air, at the same time making sure that no one can hear your screams. I have been sad for the past two months. “I know.” “Are you sure?” the bald man says. I should probably start referring to him as a doctor, but seeing a doctor implies that some part of you is sick. I don’t want to be sick. Isaac was sick. I didn’t know. “Yes,” I say. He hadn’t come to the theater for a week and a half now. I called him on all of my breaks, and finally, after the third time, he picked up. “I’m sorry, Marie, I just don’t feel well. Can we do a rain check on our date?” “Sure,” I said. He did sound under the weather. And we did have a first and second date already, so he had to like me, right? Or else we wouldn’t have even gone on a second date. We ended up painting pottery for our first date, and seeing

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HALIKIAS

Profile for Oakland Arts Review

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4  

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4