isolation, pt. 5

This was never really my strong suit. She was the only person I was ever really close with for a long time, you know? I didn't need people. That was sort of my thing. So I was used to being alone. The world's a big place, and most of it's shitty. You learn to deal with it. One of the things she was always telling me is how nobody's self-perception is any good. I just always figured I had mine figured. She was right, though. Somehow I came to rely on her being there. I'm not sure which part I regret more: that I needed her, or that I didn't realize it until she was gone.

But the point is I didn't realize it, so I didn't think I'd care if I drove her off. The things I used to find charming--the restlessness, the uncertainty, that weird eternal calm--started to bug the shit out of me, and eventually I started calling her on it. We'd fight, we'd make up. But we were both young and dumb. I didn't so much want her gone as I wanted her to be less . . . her.

It felt like every day I was saying "I'm tired of your bullshit," and every day she'd come back with something snide that I'd ignore, because life's too short, you know? I thought I'd seen the worst she could offer. Then I said it one day and she snapped. I'd never seen anyone so angry. I didn't know anyone could be so angry, especially her--she'd lose her temper for a minute or two, which mostly meant she'd raise her voice a little and say something sarcastic and dismissive, then she'd calm back down and go back to that weird calm of hers. It never lasted. This was different. This was someone expressing all the frustration that she'd been quietly trying to ignore for--it must have been years at that point.

I fled because I needed to get away. Then I realized I had nowhere I could go. I'd driven away the only person who would be willing to help. I drove around the city for hours, just looking for something that could feel sort of like a home.

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