Matador Writing: “Why”

Margaret Haas, right, changes the ribbon on her typewriter as she types a letter to a penpal in Chicago during the monthly gathering of the L.A. Penpal Club at Paper Pastries Atelier in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, 2015. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

“Why” is written by Andrea Ramos.

In the final part of “Why,” see how our main character dispels regret and moves on. Is there a resolution?

Ok, today I really don’t miss you as much. Because I didn’t get to think of you very much and that’s only because my dog Silver wanted to go for a long ass walk and I was tired from running and from homework and I did some chores around the house just because I didn’t have shit else to do except replay memories in my head of me and you. I didn’t want that right now, not at all. I’m not ready to go in the past because that’d mean thinking of you as dead all the time, remembering that that’s the only place you’re in and can ever be. So, I only think of recent stories then cut it off before I can feel that sharp ache in my chest. I do think, however of times way before you. Where I didn’t love you or think about you often or even know your name but then they start to lead to me finding out who you were then meeting you briefly. I wouldn’t change that though, baby, meeting you. It was one of the best things ever to happen in my life. Remember that…

“You won!” Mariah jumps up and down when I jog to meet her after the meet.

“I didn’t.” I grab my bottle of water and towel. I take a swig and glance at the track. I smile at her to let her know I’m not being short with her.

“You did Josiah.”

“To who?” I scrunch my eyebrows and snort.

“To me.” She has her hand on her hip and shakes her head.

“You did great.” She goes on her tiptoes and kisses me.

I’m not doing so great now.

I guess I can talk to you now Mariah. It’s been a long enough time, and honestly I guess I have been all this time anyway. I don’t even know how to describe to you how I haven’t felt like I’ve been talking to you for a year, but then I was. Each time I was angry, upset and I’d say happy, but I don’t really remember the last time I was “happy”. I do laugh most days now, on and off like a switch but there’s grief dripping like a leaky faucet underneath everything. Makes me frustrated that I can’t go anywhere without it. But how could I not, it’s stupid of me to think it’ll just go away one day. I love you, I don’t see how I could ever just stop missing you.

My friend from high school, Leslie, asked me out yesterday, I don’t know what she expected me to say. I laughed afterwards, but it wasn’t really funny. I’m going to school like two hours from home. It’s been…what? Three months now. I considered taking a year, maybe two, off but something told me no. It’s for the best and it’s not bad at all. But I see girls all around me, our age and you can’t walk past me like them. You can’t wear shorts that go past your thigh, or shirts that go just past your stomach and long skirts, dresses that show your skin off. I can’t get jealous anymore. Fuck. Not today, Mariah. I don’t want to do this today.

“We lose people Josiah. That’s how it goes.” Tessa has been more than sensitive toward me in the beginning, and even the past few months. But this week she must have decided it was enough.

“Fucking sucks ok?” I growl.

“You’ve been sad long enough Jo.”

“Tessa. Shut up.” She sighs and continues to read her book. Tomorrow I won’t be here. I’ll be on a plane to Oregon, its time I got out of Colorado.

“I’ll miss you.”

“Same here.” I kiss her cheek lightly.

“What’s out there for you?”

“An uncle, cousin and…my older brother.” I don’t nor have I ever really said much about it. Fuck if I knew what his favorite color was. We used to be close but then he got a life and well I was here. Guess Tessa is kind of right. That’s how it goes.

 

Her olive skin blended so well with my own chocolate one. Her light hair shined when the sun hit it right. These are also details I remember when I’m in bed or I could be at the grocery store or taking a shower. Memories sometimes pick and choose a place to hit you at, but they’re always with you.

How do you let go? How do you tell yourself to let go, even when the person isn’t alive?

“Jo, this is Cindy, Manny, Doug, and Mariah.” I shake the guys’ hands and smile a little for the girls. Trevon looks at me pointedly.

“You brought me here, what are we gettin ourselves into today bruh?” the tall guy Doug laughs and Manny nods in agreement.

“Yeah, what’s the plan dawg, cause I can just go roll one and knock out for a couple hours.”

“Practice been killing you guys?” The red head girl, Cindy, with a dress and a loose sweater on asks, smiling. The other one, Mariah, folds her arms slowly and has a serious look on her face like she’s thinking about other things.

“Would an hour of pushing a car across the field make you sore?” Manny says. She sticks her tongue out. Mariah clears her throat.

“I have to go actually guys, I’ll see you…tomorrow?” She looks at Trevon.

“Yeah, our group has a meeting, I’ll see you after the last period.”

“Cool.” She waves at all of us and smiles to me, a chipped tooth poking out. “Nice to meet you Jo.” She has a rip in her jean jacket on the back, a nice ass and nice legs. She’s not that short from what I see. I feel a little bad about looking at her backside but what can you do?*

Could you come back and could we meet again and again and then replay our first date and all the rest that followed? But the main one I’d like to relive, is four months after we dated, we went to the museum of art. The main art in that place that I saw, was you, the whole time there.

Fuck being depressed and so…negative about my life Mariah. You would be pissed off at me and you’re not here with me, but I wanna make you proud too baby. And it’s time.

I love you.

The Sundial takes submissions of student writing, short stories and poetry at ane@csun.edu.