Dear Mom iii.
[A little note: Sometimes all the stress that Freshman leaves me with comes out in the form of a letter. This is one of those times. For those of you like myself, maybe it’ll give you some sort of peace too. Here’s another one of those Dear Moms that you wish MC could say to her mother face-to-face.]
Two weeks have passed by. I hadn’t realized it until I checked my calendar this morning. I think it’s because a lot of these days are beginning to blur together. Sometimes it feels like a day overstretches and lingers, then before I know it’s the middle of the week. Sometimes, I’m left wondering where the rest of the time went. It’s the worst it’s ever been. I’m having trouble sleeping. I can’t focus. I can’t write. There’s an insistent ticking in my head. I’m behind but I barely can lift a finger to write. It’s all too much. “This is narrative gold!” That’s what Professor Vasquez’s probably say if he could see me, chastise me. I’d kick myself for ever thinking he’d give me some sort of sympathy. I’d roll my eyes and yell at him. And then he’d kick me out of his office. Rinse and repeat. It’s the only cycle I miss. I know I talk about him a lot mom and don’t get me wrong - you have nothing to be jealous of. No one can replace how much you mean to me. You’re my mom. I know you and dad did your best. It’s just that he’s helped shape this version of me. The adult me. I’m not the same girl I used to be before Hartfeld.
Chris tried to apologize for not coming to Kaitlyn’s concert. It’s a start but it’s not much. He doesn’t realize how much his words hurt me. He apologizes without any real meaning. It feels like he’s just saying it to - well say it. He doesn’t realize how much everything hurts. Ugh, just writing about it frustrates me. I want to lash out at him because it just isn’t enough. Not this time. Apologies are a good start but nothing’ll ever change if we don’t make the effort to. And right now, it feels pretty one-sided. I know he’s doing something important Mom, something special - something worth remembering when we’ve all moved on from this place. I know it, our suitemates know it - Hartfeld knows it. But who exactly is Christopher Powell? I don’t think even he knows the answer to that anymore. He’s doing something important. That’s what I keep telling myself, that’s what I keep saying to convince myself that I shouldn’t be so angry. I’m fed up with the state we’re in and I usually try to hide behind a smile or some misplaced joke just to ease some of the tension, but It doesn’t work all the time. I know being supportive is what he needs right now - but these days it barely feels like I know him.
Kaitlyn and I are on a break. Our friendship’s hit the pause button. She’s really mad at me and I’m really mad at her. It’s like the concert just proved how far apart we are. I never wanted to admit it to myself, but I couldn’t shy away from it when she threw those ugly words at me. She said I never supported her - like I thought the Gutter Kittens wasn’t worth my time. Well I think I did - I think I’m always the only one trying. She’s upset that I brought Zig along to her concert, her big break. And get this Mom, she even says I sabotaged the whole thing - made it sound like we purposely ruined her night. She says it’s because I can’t stand her having new friends. My hand shakes at the thought but she’s not entirely wrong. I don’t like them. I really tried to the first few times, but I just don’t. They bring out the worse in her. Me? Hurt her? I would never - not if I can help it anyway. That’s not the kind of friend I am. She means a lot more to me than that. And despite what she thinks - I’ve tried being there, being a shoulder for her - a listener. But I can’t justify her friendship with them any longer - I’m convinced they’re a bad influence. I’m convinced they’re trying to drive a wedge between us because she’s not the Kaitlyn I made a pact with at the beginning of freshman year. I know I’ve mentioned it, except I can’t let go. I can’t let go of the old Kaitlyn, because I miss her so damn much. Why can’t we just go back? Why can’t we just pretend these last few months never happened?She says she needs her own space, she says she has to figure herself out - whatever that means. She says she we need a break. It all sounds like a giant excuse to me. An excuse to push everyone away, to push me away. I don’t want to leave her alone; I feel like that’s the worst thing I can do as her best friend. A lot of darkness can creep up on you when you’re alone. But I also don’t want to keep pushing. I don’t want to push and push until there’s nothing left. Now that I’m writing how I feel and I’m not as angry anymore, maybe I am too involved in her life. Too involved in everyone else’s. I know how much you liked her mom, and I used to talk about her all the time but maybe this break will do us both some good.
I’ve mentioned Zig in passing before Mom, and the night at that concert wasn’t the beginning of our friendship. Oh boy, Mom. You used to warn me in high school to stay away from people like him. The people that follow their own crowd, that has a chip on their shoulder because it feels like they’ve got something to prove. You’ve always insisted that they bring trouble, that they’re fun until they’re no longer fun. But there’s just something about him. I can’t put my finger on it, and I’m not sure if I entirely understand it myself - but there’s something there. He’s been good for me. Sometimes we hang out in his car with our legs propped up on the dashboard, listening to music. Sometimes he just listens. Sometimes we go by that bar he likes so much and play pool till it’s really late. We flirt but it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s easier to just be friends. He’s almost perfect except when his temper flares up at the most unexpected times. It’s the most frustrating thing about him. I don’t know how to handle it and it baffles me how much it changes him. Truth is; it scares me a little - I don’t handle people flying off the handle well and I don’t condone violence. It’s another layer of him I don’t really understand. I want to, but it’s just that there’s so much going on right now. All I want to do is go back to when we just sat around in his car and talk.
I spent the weekend by James. Surprise, surprise. I know I didn’t mention it before but it just kind of happened. I just packed up some stuff and left. I flew to meet James in California and after the crappy week I had I figured I deserved it. Don’t worry, I didn’t spend a lot of money. James bought the tickets for me weeks ago, and they were non-refundable. Besides, I needed to get away. James told me he’d be there when I needed him to, to help me make sense of everything. And it started off the way it was supposed to - a good weekend, until it wasn’t anymore. We toured the set of his movie and I even got to see some of my favorite actors from the Crown and the Flame, and Most Wanted. It’s weird because I ship them so much in their tv shows and seeing them be regular people…..It’s like realizing for the first time that they aren’t who they are on camera. They’re real people that like hot yoga classes and can’t go off set without their favorite drinks. It’s just a little sad seeing your idols become real people right in front of you. After we left the set, James and I spent the rest of it lounging at the beach. Finding things that we thought we’d never find. We chatted about silly things for awhile and some of it felt like the way it used to; simple and easy. It was a nice change of pace from being in Hartfeld and worrying about everyone else. We caught up in each other’s lives. I told him about what’s been going on. I told him how much I miss him. He told me how different Hollywood is from what he expected. He told me he enjoys it except the smile doesn’t reach his eyes when he does. I’m really worried that Hollywood isn’t good for him. The play he’s worked his entire life around isn’t the same play that’s being turned into a movie. I see so little of him in it, and so much of the blitz and glamour of Hollywood. He confessed to me he still misses Professor Vasquez and I admitted to missing him too. It’s hard not to when he’s had such a huge impact in our lives. Those were some good moments and I wish I could say it got better once we headed back to his room. It didn’t. One word ruined it, or better yet a singular person. Yasmin. She’s the woman that’s supposed to lift his career off the ground in Hollywood except it feels like she’s holding him back. She’s chaining him to what she thinks is better and erasing the James I remember. It starts off with the little things until they become something bigger. She’s manipulative and I don’t think her feelings for him are real. But try telling James that - he wants this thing to work out so badly that he doesn’t see how destructive she is. I’m worried that it’ll be too late when he does. He’s so caught up in this movie deal that he’s blind to everything else. Hollywood tries to hide all its ugly with all the things it offers to you. But from the bits I’ve seen; the glimpses of the ugly - terrifies me, and I don’t want James to end up like that. But how can I help him when he doesn’t think he needs any help?
Becca and I had a serious heart-to-heart this week. I know - it surprised me too. But when all my friends let me down - she was there. We sat around and complained about life while gulping down shots of liquor. With every shot it got easier to talk to each other, to laugh even at the the most tragic things. I saw a side of her that I never thought she had.
It’s honestly the most fun I’ve had in weeks.
I stayed at her sorority that night and shared a room with her. I told her about my crumbling friendships and she told me about her parents divorce. There was no liquor to drown out our sorrows this time, and all I could do was listen. She listened to me too. We’re supposed to hate each other, but suddenly I can’t remember why. That night we were just two friends having a sleepover. Two girls just talking about the crappiest week they’ve had. Did we really grow up that much in one semester?
Abbie and Tyler are still going steady in case you’re wondering. I still can’t believe out of all this - they’re still the only good thing. To be honest, it baffles me at this point that they can keep it so together when the rest of us are struggling to. I guess that’s what happens when you can rely on someone and pour your heart out to them. I’m jealous and happy for them all at the same time.I can’t help it. When I see them being all romantic and sweet to each other, I feel guilty because of how envious I am. I want what they have, but I don’t think I’ll ever find it here.
And Zack is still Zack, not as mopey anymore because of how much he skypes with Brandon. But there’s still moments when I see it, the sadness in his eyes - the loneliness. I can understand those feelings like they’re my own. I never thought I’d feel like that, be more depressed than he is. But when I’m home I feel it clawing at me, trying to get in. I have my walls but they’re crumbling and I’m afraid that soon there’ll be nothing left. Suddenly, he’s the one watching over me, keeping tabs and forcing me to do things. He makes up some lame excuses to go to our favorite cafe, and sometimes he’s adamant to venture out to Hartfeld’s local cinema and watch a movie. I roll my eyes in the moment but when I think about it now - he’s really the only thing that’s keeping me sane.
I was wrong Mom. I was so very wrong. I thought I could fix things, I thought could mend everyone back together. I thought the invisible ties between us could withstand everything - all the drama, all the ups and downs. Hell, I thought we could go back to the way we used to be. But these past weeks proved to me that we can’t. We can’t go back to the way things were. Things change, and they always change whether we want them to or not.