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I’m alone, again. I like to keep the lights off and the thermostat down to the coldest temperature because it reminds of winter. No one is ever alone in during the winter. So much togetherness and love during that time. My laptop has begun to overheat so I shut it down and push it to the side. There isn’t anything on tv at this point in the night, just pointless reality shows about fake loves and manufactured connections. At least they get to meet people though. For me the common room has become sort of a second home, well away from my dorm room. I like to come here late at night, plug up my laptop to the tv and watch straight 90’s tv shows for hours on end. I do it most nights, even on weekends. Everyone else goes out and has great times from what I hear but I don’t know how to get to that level. Maybe, somewhere, in an alternate universe I have friends and I go out places. Maybe in that world I look forward to going to football and basketball games, to leaving my room and actually eating out with friends. I don’t know. Hopefully something happens soon.  


The Matrix

I can remember writing about this on my tumblr some odd months ago. I think it was about the comparison of taste at waffle house during the early morning and the late night. Well, here I am, sitting alone at a waffle house at 9:30 pm. I could be at home watching some Martin reruns or hell, maybe even catching up on some much needed sleep. But that’s another universe, from another time, where I didn’t mess up. At this point there are two arrivals at my table, a stack of waffles and her. From the waffles I feel heat and warmth but from her it’s cold.
“Hey Dany”
“Could you not call me that?”
“Why can’t I call you that?”
“Cause you lost that privilege a long time ago Darius.”
I knew that sweet talking wouldn’t have worked. It worked the last time but the last time was supposed to be the last time we had this talk but here we are. I know how these things go. I crack a smile, laugh a little, talk about change and then enjoy the rest of the evening. I go to say something to get her laughing but before I even get off a word she does something I hate. She pulls out her phone and starts to text.
“Can we talk about this?”
“I mean, we already had this conversation like four times so I’ll just finish this conversation first. You know, they actually listen to me.”
After this is silence for about three minutes, each on accompanied by awkward glances and quiet eating. She’s finally done texting and looks at me with the same glance you give to a dog that’s just ransacked your entire house. I open my mouth to speak but she interrupts.
“What do you have to say this time? Did you already write your little speech down this time or are you gonna do it on the spot?”
She knows me too well but not well enough for me not to finesse this conversation back to my house.
“I’m not doing any more speeches. I already gave you a speech last time but this time I want to hear from you about everything because I know I can do better.”
“OK first of all Darius, you sit there and tell me you’re gonna change and you’re gonna do all this and that but you haven’t done shit in seven months” she says getting even more agitated, as if the thought of me is murder to her entire happiness.
“I have done somethings baby.”
“OK so what like two things you’ve done right Darius, out of how many? You think that I’m gonna sit here while you lie and tell me for the billionth time you’re gonna change? I’m tired of crying all the time and talking to my friends and sisters about you doing me wrong. I don’t need this anymore Darius.”
I can’t do anything. This is it. This is the end. No use in fighting it anymore.
“I guess this is it then?”
“Yeah I guess so.”
I don’t know what to say. I already told her we can’t be friends if things break bad. There are tears welling in her eyes but she hides them with a grimace.
“Well bye. But I got one thing to tell you before I go. I loved you Darius. You made me smile and laugh and we always had fun together. But you’d always bring up my past and mistakes I made but I ended up changing for you because you were worth it. I just thought naybe youd do the same for me.I thought that we could make it through the bad things but I guess we couldn’t. My sisters tell me that I shouldn’t have given you a second chance but I believed in you Darius, probably more than you believed in yourself. I’d cry all day and night for you. You treated me better than any guy ever has but you just changed into this really mean person and you’d say all these hurtful things to me. I want to give you one more chance but I don’t think I should. I don’t know.”
By this time a few tears have fallen. She gets up and leaves. I’m alone. The pain is sitting in face, right there on my plate. I’m trying not to cry or at least hold it until I get into the car. I pay, slip out into the night and into my car. The radio fizzles on, pouring out “let me know”. I can’t hold it in anymore. I cry on the road back home and in my room. I thought I lost my grip and I’d get it back but that’s not the case. I lost my grip and I’m falling.


All of the boxes are finally out of the trunk and into the room. An afternoon of back and forth seems to have paid off. The only thing that remains in the truck are a few posters for the bare walls and one backpack full of essentials. I scoop the posters under my arm and sling the backpack onto my shoulder. It has to be 63 degrees out. The air is rigid and still and the smell of campus hangs without a breeze to pass it through. I stride up the street towards the building. This part of campus is bizarre, only in the sense that it is unexplored in my eyes. Just as I am about to enter the building I see groups of parents exiting, holding the door just long enough for me to slip inside. Their faces are held together with smiles but no emotions. I guess a day like will do that to a person. I can’t remember whether I need to hang a left and go up the stairs or to take a right and go two doors down.
The voice is familiar, an echo of a thousand greetings, good byes, tears, laughter and talk. I turn around. There she is. I should have stayed right and went two doors down.
“How you gonna forget where I’m at? You just gonna forget about little old me, huh?”
“I just got turned around. I thought I would see your parents by the door or something.”
“They’re already in the room babe” she says directing my eyes with her fingers. I smile and walk towards her, reminding myself of the location of the room and its surroundings. A smile curls on her lips, the same one that caught me at the lunch table some years before.
“There’s nothing else in the truck so we can finish up here and get something to eat” I say with something of a sort confidence. Shrugging the weight of the load onto the left side of my body I embrace her hand. We walk to the room and enter to find her parents putting the finishing touches. Everything is as it was, perfectly her. Thirty minutes goes by and the good-bye take place. Her father and mother give me hugs as well, whispering in my ear to take care of their youngest daughter, to keep my promises. This is a promise I know I can keep. They leave and it’s just her and I, just like all those late nights. We have dinner together, not for the first time but it is a first.
“Wanna watch some Netflix tonight?”
“Sure we can, I just have to call my sister first and then we can”
“How do you feel about everything?”
There’s a pause before her answer.
“I was kind of worried at first but I like it here. Like, you’ll have to help me and plus keep all those promises you said that day but yeah I like it.”
A smile creeps onto our faces, the same as they always do.
“I got you. I’m not going anywhere.”
That day of promises, so long ago but always vivid. I have them saved in my phone as a reminder to myself and her.
We leave, drifting into the night and into her room. We watch an old musical, one that I’ve never seen but one she loves. The bed is warm, those pink sheets reminding me of her room back home. Now that I think about it, a lot of everything is the same. The same cuddled position. The same posters on the wall. Her face is the same, her attitude and demeanor as well. The only thing that has changed are her colors. It’s past midnight so I get up to go back to my room. We say I love you’s, although this time it feels longer than usual. I get back to my room and crash onto the muddled bed spread. I start throwing my socks, jeans and shirt into a pile but I stop. The logo. What was to be but isn’t now. What maybe happening in an alternate universe. In that universe we aren’t at this point, somewhere different. But here in this universe the monarch on my t-shirt sits and watches me as I go to sleep. I dream of her. She’s only up the walk way. No more distance. No more car rides up and down the highway. Everything is simple. We are monarchs.