I thumbed through the petite notebook. It was slightly larger than a deck of cards, but its contents were infinitely greater. The cover included an illustration of a sleepy looking bear with a blue polka dotted nightcap. A dash of Japanese writing accompanied the tired cartoon; the language appeared so foreign in my English-reading brain. However, the outside is unimportant. It's the inside that counts.
Within this little collection of papers was seven days of fluid creativity, thorough inspiration. When I wrote what I wrote within the tiny lined pages of the notebook, I had no idea its words would continue to haunt me 171 days later.
I read through each page. I was searching for something. I became so lost in my own memory that I had forgotten my goal. I remembered when I looked up.
"So which one are you going to choose?" asked my friend, Chandra, as she hovered over me. Her eyes darted from the notebook to me.
Oh right, I thought. I was supposed to decide what I wanted to perform for my theatre class.
"Um, I don't know," I replied, lost in thought.
"I'll help!," she exclaimed and ripped it from my hands. Chandra flipped through and landed on a page. She cleared her throat dramatically and began reading.
"I'm all the way over here. At this precise moment I think of you. I wonder if I cross your mind. Probably not. Should I forget you? I would if I could. Is there some magic potion to erase this feeling? I wouldn't want to do that because you make me feel so much."
I cringed. Man, it was terrible to have to hear that read out loud, especially by a voice other than my own. I had already lived through that instant when I wrote it, I didn't need it echoed by my enthusiastic friend. That's the one part I tried to skip. Did she have to read that one?
"Is this about Bud?" Chandra inquired.
"No," I laughed. Her question truly was humorous. It most definitely was not about Bud. I didn't care about him that much to write about him. Not now. Not ever. This was about someone entirely else.
Chandra fingered through a few more pages and cleared her throat once more.
"I thought of you again. Thankfully this distance has kept me busy. I think of you less. I don't know what to do with this feeling. Shall I sweep it under the rug? Should I move on to someone else? Because I don't think you feel what I feel and it becomes more and more apparent.
Time seems to move on sluggishly. As of now you are not forgotten, but things change. Life will continue. I'll go back to the daily grind and I will not wait for you like a puppy. I've done it before and I vowed to never do it again. I'm doing it now, but I won't allow it to continue.
The issue is finding someone to replace you, as you have a very large part of my heart. Luckily, I'm a master of unattachment. I want you right now, but I don't want someone who doesn't want me.
By the time you realize, it may be too late. It's your loss. They always say that, but I believe it. You may not, however. Because if you did, you'd want me too. I wish I could verbalize all this but I can't in fear of utter rejection, of a change in our relationship.
I don't know what to do anymore. It's borderline unbearable. This gives me plenty to write about, but even more to think about. Slowly but surely, I'll continue on. All these words seem so small in the big picture. Are we even a good match? I don't know."
No, those words could never be about Bud. Though Bud was my present, he could never compete with my past. I didn't say anything. Chandra didn't either. I was completely mortified. My thoughts, though several months old, were lying naked and vulnerable in Chandra's hands.
I decided to break the silence.
"I'll probably go with the thing I wrote about my spiritual enlightenment instead," I told her.