A Little Bit of …Nothing

Maderlin Bidmead

Disclaimer: This is purely a little piece of maudlin self indulgence so I apologise in advance! Some women in love and some who really aren’t!

Feedback: maderlin@yahoo.com

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The End of Nothing

 

 

To: TigerLilly62@frizbee.com

From: FairyGirl@boomerang.co.uk

Subject: I Hate You!

 

Now you might think that the subject of this particular e-mail would have been my first clue, right? Well if you knew me and my group of rather sordid little friends you would know that this was almost a term of endearment. I opened the message with a smirk on my face, expecting the best. This was a message from my girlfriend, or so I thought.

 

I can’t believe that you wrote me that letter you total pervert! You sicken me!

 

At this point my stomach started to drop. Here I was, reading what I thought was going to be a declaration of love in response to a rather sweet (so I thought) love letter from me and instead the first lines are simply filled with abuse. To say I was confused would be an understatement.

 

I thought you were my friend!

 

You and me both!

 

I find out that all those times we went out together you

were perving over me! I feel sick, disgusted. I never

want to see you again!

 

In my defence here, I thought we were dating. Every time we would go out there was a definite date vibe. We’d hold hands, snuggle in movies and tell each other how gorgeous we were. Hell, she even got snippy and jealous if guys gave me a compliment. We’d even kissed!

I could understand this vitriol hatred if she hadn’t been as demonstrative with me. I could even understand if she hadn’t known I was gay but I had been really up-front. My friends from Uni, who saw us together even thought we were a couple. It would seem that the only person who didn’t realise what was going on was Maria.

 

You need help. There is something wrong with you;

you’re twisted, to even think that I could feel that way

about you. You have to keep away from me! Don’t

contact me ever again. If I have to I will quit my job

so I never have to see you again.

 

Tears were running down my face as I realised the true depth of her disgust. I knew I should stop reading and just resign myself to this rejection but like a train wreck I could not look away.

I will not be at work tomorrow. Do not e-mail or write

to me again. Maybe in time I will be able to forgive

you. I think you should see somebody, you obviously

need help. I wish you hadn’t done this, MJ.

Maria

 

Stunned at the harshness of her final words I simply sat staring at the lightly flickering screen. Tears continued to course down my cheeks as my breathing grew raged. I could understand that she would be angry or even upset if my words had taken her by surprise but to be so cruel? My heart was broken and bleeding in my chest the lance of her words pierced right through.

So absorbed was I by my own misery that I failed to hear the door to my room open on its screaming hinges. The soft footfalls on the carpet escaped my interest. The looming presence over one shoulder could not pull my attention away from the words on the screen. Only when a small hand landed on my shoulder, shocking me nearly out of my skin did I register the other presence in the room. I quickly reached up to dash the tears out of my eyes and off my face before I turned to regard my best friend. I knew she had seen me crying but she wouldn’t mention it. I am a little too butch for my own good and hate to cry, makes me feel weak and she respects that.

"Hay Annie." I wanted it to come out bright and breezy, what I got was a pitiful wheeze.

"Oh, M. What’s going on?" She was crouching down in front of me, looking up into my bloodshot eyes. She reached out a dainty hand and forced me to keep looking her in the eye even as I tried to turn away.

"It’s Maria." The words came out as a sigh.

"What?" I knew that Annie didn’t like Maria and I was just waiting for an outburst. In place of an answer I simply waved my hand at the message that still blazed across my screen.

I moved out of my chair and flopped onto the bed, throwing an arm over my eyes. I heard her sit in the chair and could almost picture the blooming rage spreading across her face. What seemed like hours later but could only have been minutes she drew in a deep breath and let it out through a whistle.

"What a bitch!"

"Annie…"

"MJ, don’t even think about sticking up for her. This is totally out of order. How could she say those things to you after everything you have done for her?" I peeled my arm away from my face and locked eyes with my friend. I could see that she was utterly perplexed.

"I knew that something like this could happen, kid. I was thrilled when she seemed to reciprocate, but I always had that niggling doubt." What can I say, I’m one of those people that can be shit on from afar and still see the good in people. I think they call it ‘Kicked Puppy Syndrome’.

"How can you still defend her? You’ve kept her in Uni, by editing her dissertation. You’ve played nice for her family, introduced her to all your friends. Jesus, you even gave her a car! How can she say that she thought you were just friends? Seeing the two of you together was almost sickening!" I think that Annie was more upset than I was.

I studied my young friend as I mulled over my response. Annie was only 18, four years younger than myself, but we had been friends for years. She’s a protégée you see, moved into her second year of Uni already. At only five feet tall she should have looked her age but in fact people thought she was the older of the two of us. With her carefully styled brown hair and stylish clothes she was certainly the most sophisticated. I ran a hand through my short, red and gold stripped locks and looked down at my t-shirt and jeans. I was the one who looked like a kid, felt about as small as one then too.

"I t was too good to be true. I knew she was devoutly Catholic, probably confused and her Chinese roots didn’t help. I know it is fear talking but I won’t push her. I have to let her do what she feels is right, for her. All I can do is give her space." Brown eyes widened as my meaning sank in.

"You’re willing to quit your job for her? You need the money, M!" I stood up from the bed and walked to the window, Annie trailing after me. I could feel her glaring up at me, her head barely topping my shoulder.

"I graduate in 3 months. I can manage. I have that teacher training course starting and they pay you for that. She needs that job. You know her family don’t have much money, she’s paying her own fees while her mum and dad pay for the 4 younger ones to go to school." She was going to argue, to try and knock come sense into me but I got there first. "I can’t deliberately hurt somebody else. Ok, so I’m a fool to myself but I would rather be like this than petty and cruel. It will probably never get me anywhere but at least I feel good about myself."

Annie didn’t say a word; she just nodded and wrapped her arms around my waist. I wouldn’t cry in front of her, not my style, but I could rest my head on hers and take some comfort in the embrace. From where we stood beside the window, I could see my notice board. There looking back at me, mocking me, was a photo of Maria. I studied her smiling face. Her shared Irish and Chinese heritage combined to make a stunningly beautiful girl (well obviously I thought so). A girl I would never see again. I realised that as soon as my human prop left I would put Maria away in a box and never take her out again.

I did just that. I patched up my broken heart as well as I could. I put her away and tried to forget. I moved on and met many loving, caring women who seemed to care for me but it all left a scar. I still think about her, look out for her on the street and if I saw her I don’t know what I would do. She hurt me so much but like a fool, I still love her and what did I get in return? Nothing.

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