I’ve never been someone who can read the same book more than once, twice at the most. I can never read the same book every year, no matter how much I love that book. I always find myself skipping to the dialogue, or skipping the boring chapters altogether, because I’ve read it before and it wasn’t worth wasting my time on things I knew were uninteresting. I’ve tried to force myself to commit to reading a book more than once, but my mind starts to wander during everything but the climax.
We used to sit in her bedroom and do homework, her old Fall Out Boy, Green Day, or Blink vinyls playing in the peripheral of our minds. On Friday nights whatever was playing was just background noise, and we were the main focus. Just listening to her talk was everything I needed. She used to yell about the annoying kid who always, without fail, sat behind her everyday in math and poked her with his pen. She would swoon over how cute I looked, giggling when she made me blush. She was intense, and I loved it. She could probably rant about how much she hates me and I’d still be mesmerized by the way her lips moved.
But something changed, and the music became just a little louder, our homework became just a little more interesting, Fridays became a little more silent. She didn’t yell about the kid who sat behind her in math, but I knew that it wasn’t because he had stopping poking her. She told me I looked good, but never cute, and my cheeks didn’t ever tint the same color red as they used to. She wasn’t intense with anything but her unsureness, and everything started to feel forced, and old, and boring.
Her room looked the same, no matter how much she changed it, and I didn’t feel at home lying in her sheets. Her breathing next to me didn’t stop the anxiety that bubbled in my stomach anymore. I wasn’t safe; I wasn’t in danger- but I wasn’t comfortable like I used to be with her.
The last time I saw her, she wasn’t the girl who slapped the kid in math for poking her, she wasn’t the girl who loved nothing more than to make me feel good about myself, she wasn’t the girl who loved everything with a breathtaking intensity. She was a pretty face in a crowd of pretty faces. She didn’t stand out, except that I remembered the light that used to shine in her eyes, and for a second, I swore it was back again.
I spent a long time wondering what happened, why our love changed. I’ve always hated science and math because the majority of me is a post-modernist, and I cannot accept definite truths.
In the end, all I could come up with was the vinyls. No matter which one we put on, we’d both heard it so many times. Expectations developed, we always knew which song would come on next. We never got the chance to sit up and grin at one another, screaming about how much we loved this song, because after a few times of listening to the records, we both knew which songs the other loved. Maybe the downfall of our love was as simple as not going to the record store to pick out something new.
I’ve never been someone who can read the same book more than once, twice at the most.