Cover your heart
I sit here and see your pain,
If only there was something to gain.
You have such a beautiful smile,
But, haven't worn it in a while
You have had your heart torn right out,
And now you are so full of doubt.
Will you ever take the chance again to love?
Or, put a covering 'round your heart like a glove?
As time past and the days gave way to months, our friendship grew. My love for Buddy became cemented into my quintessence; it was solid and true. It had been woven into my very fabric. Whenever I would see him, a certain warmth and excitement would fill my empty voids. No matter how much he talked about Debbie, I always clung to a hope, a deep satisfying hope, that someday he would see the light, and be all mine. All mine to love and cherish, all mine, to have and to hold.
I often wondered if it was just a fantasy, but I couldn't let it go. It gave me purpose.
I wasn't very popular when we first met, but after I'd become a best friend with Buddy, I moved into different circles. I met several of his friends, and they became mine. Often, he and I would spend time with these others, the ones that I liked, but knew deep down inside I only tolerated them to be nearer to him. I think some of them only tolerated me as well. I also think some of them knew exactly how I felt about Buddy, and didn't approve. I didn't care; I was in love with him.
Many times I pleaded with him to understand how I felt during our private times, our
"C-c 's". I would spend hours explaining how deeply I loved him, how much I wanted to be with him physically. He never objected, and always seemed to leave a window or doorway open to the possibility of me expressing my love to him in a physical way. It was because of his willingness to listen to me, and his seeming ability to understand that I continued to have hope.
I would sit for hours and listen to his sweet voice, and search his eyes for what I wanted to find. His face mesmerized me, his light, golden brown hair with bangs that always fell into his eyes. Those deep dark brown eyes, which were set deep into his forehead, above his little nose, that had the cutest point to it with a slight upturn. And those lips, those thin, but yet puffy lips. All these features set on such a perfect complexion, his skin always looked so soft. He was the same height as me, five foot eight inches, but thinner. His chest was smooth, and his aureoles large, his muscles well defined. To me, he was the most beautiful person in the world.
He probably saw me as average, my wavy brown hair, my oversized spectacles that sat on my rather large nose, in front of my own brown eyes. I on the other hand, wasn't always blemish free, often suffering from days of acne breakout. To my own self, I hated it when I would have a sudden break out, and feel ugly. It was something that he never mentioned, and for that I was eternally grateful. I weighed more, but by no stretch of the imagination was I fat. My body didn't have the immaculate definition his did, or the masculine cut, I was a little softer looking. I never seemed to grow hair on my body as he did; my legs remained smooth, as did my face. But no matter how I saw myself, he always managed to make me feel worthy, and beautiful.
Another thing that always made me happy to hear, was when he would tell me about being with Debbie. He often confided that her skin had these little bumps all over it, and it kind of disgusted him. I knew my skin didn't have them, and always thought about how some day he would know too, someday he would run his hands over my smooth soft body. I visualized that day, many, many, many, times.
Bill, he, and I did go to the movies that next day; it began a regular Friday night event for the three of us. It was great, but it wasn't. Because the two of them worked together, they seemed to share in some personal things that made me feel left out. It was the private jokes they both knew from spending many nights and weekend afternoons together at the Cinema. The one I remember most, is the one about the popcorn being buttered. The word butter would put both of them into stitches, I never knew why.
I guess the reason I remember this joke of theirs so well, is because when I went to the movies the first Friday we started our ritual, I ordered popcorn. Bill waited on me; Carl was behind the counter too.
"You want butter on that?" Bill asked and then winked at Buddy.
"Yeah." I said, feeling funny about the wink, perhaps a little self-conscious.
"Butter, he says he want's butter," Bill said, through a sudden fit of laughter.
I felt really embarrassed when he not only laughed so hard, but also started slapping Buddy on the back, and he started laughing as well. `Was I the brunt of some joke? Had they put something in my popcorn?' I wondered to myself feeling extremely vulnerable. I quickly dismissed my fears, knowing Buddy would never do something horrible to me, and laughed along with them. I still don't know what we were laughing about, but I didn't want to seem stupid. It was a running joke, I was subject to every Friday when I'd go to the movies, and order my popcorn.
One particular Friday, a few months after I been going to the movies, and being friends with Buddy, we chatted a little, and talked about going out for pizza later. Buddy told me to go easy on the popcorn; the butter would fill me up. Bill was there, like he usually was, and again they both started guffawing. I walked away and went into the movie, not knowing for sure if I really could trust Buddy. Buddy at work certainly was not the one I knew, for the short time I had known him. He was Buddy at work, and Buddy with Bill. I felt a pang of jealousy. During the movie, he came into the theater and searched me out. He found me pretty quickly, and his company soothed me, as he took a seat next to me.
"What do you think of Bill?" He whispered.
"He's funny." I couldn't think of anything else to say.
"Yeah, he's cool, you'll like him."
"If he's a friend of yours, he'll be a friend of mine." I put my head closer to his, and felt the heat of his body, as I whispered into his ear.
"Thanks Joe. I do love you, you know?"
My heart raced, I had thought we'd never talk about it. I had convinced myself that my constant admissions of my feelings for him had scared him, but his sudden confession convinced me I hadn't.
"Yeah, but I still don't think I could ever be with you like that. Who knows though, maybe. I gotta get back to work, see you after the show."
He quickly left, and I didn't seem to see the movie anymore. My mind was a blizzard of thoughts. I couldn't believe what he had said, and I couldn't wait to find out what he meant. I was elated to know that he loved me, and was able to say it out loud. No one had ever told me that, not even my parents.
I knew my mom loved me, she had to, after all, it went with the territory of being a mother. My stepfather, well he was a different story. I always thought he just tolerated me, because he had to. Love was not something we expressed verbally in the Andrew household. It just wasn't.
It was as though we just existed in my house, day to day, week to week, etc.etc. Affection wasn't discussed, and yet we weren't cold with each other. We just were. My mother and father would seek refuse in their bedroom, and I'd sit alone in the living room many nights after dinner. Dinner was another story; we'd all sit at the same table, unlike what Buddy had told me about his family. The conversation would always be similar, my mother would ask if everything was ok? My step dad always nodded, and then would ask for the bread and butter. Not once, not ever, did one of us ask how the others day went, or discuss anything of real importance. Instead we may talk about some television show, or some other insignificant things we had heard or read. I never knew, or understood if the subjects that were chose were some hidden agenda, or ulterior motive was behind them. I was always too busy in my own mind to study the actual depth these meaningless conversations may have had. I was a typical teen, I knew everything anyways, and my parents always seemed out of touch. Oh, how I wished now I had paid a bit more attention, oh, how I wished now my parents were in my life, but that isn't to be, and is certainly another story.
When the movie was over, and the credits finished rolling up the screen, I slowly walked to the lobby to meet up with Buddy and Bill. I kind of dreaded going out with them; I wanted so much to be alone with my love, alone to further discuss his love for me.
"Hey Joe, what do ya know?" I heard that sweet familiar voice call out.
"Buddha, my Buddha. How is my Buddha?"
"All right you guys, enough of the bull-tickie, let's be out, there's a pizza in the oven with our name on it. I hope Pete put extra butter on it." Bill seemed to be chiding; his voice and inflection irritated me.
"Pete, who's Pete?" I asked, feeling left out once again.
"Oh, Pete, he's a guy Buddy went to grammar school with that works at Auggie's Pizza." Bill stated, and when he did, he made me feel even more distant from the guy I thought was my best friend.
"Yes, good old Pete, he loves that butter." Buddy laughed after he said it, and I felt even further away from him.
We all got into Buddy's car and trekked over to Auggie's, for a large special, no anchovies. Anchovies, was another of those words that the two of them seemed to share some special meaning too. I chose to ignore it, and tried to enjoy myself, no matter how left out I felt. I kept reminding myself to ask Buddy later what butter, and anchovy meant. I convinced myself not to give Bill the satisfaction of knowing that there were secrets between Buddy and him, that I didn't share. I'd wait until Buddy dropped Bill off, and he and I would be alone to ask. Unfortunately, when we left the pizza restaurant, Buddy took me home first.
I was numb, not from the cold weather, I hadn't been out doors long enough for that, I was numb because he left me. It was Friday night, so I knew I could call him later, he had his own phone, and I couldn't let our most recent `candid conversation' rest. I wanted him to tell me he loved me again.
I quickly walked into my house; Mom and Dad were watching the evening news, just like they did every weeknight at eleven. Just like I knew they would be. I poked my head in their bedroom door to let them know I was home all safe and sound. Mom told me not to be up too late on my computer, he didn't say a word just waved his hand.
I quickly undressed, and threw on a pair of sweats. I turned on my computer and hoped Shelly would be on line, I needed to talk to someone. As it booted up, I sat in front of it anxiously waiting to go on line and see her nickname. Luckily she was there, and we chatted back and forth for about an hour. I looked down at the time, and told her I had to go, I wanted to call Buddy and needed the line freed up. She gave me the usual hugs, and I returned them. We both signed off and I dialed his number. It rang several times, finally a girl answered, I figured it must be Betty, his sister.
"Is Buddy there?"
"Joe, he's been in a car accident. Coming home from work, they took him to Mayfield General. I can't stay on the phone, I'll let him know you called."
To be continued:
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