You Remember the Bad

“Because you’re it. The inconvenient, frustrating, annoying, terrible, inappropriate, wonderful thing. You’re my stupid book”

Possibly the lamest,  cheesiest thing to ever have been said but he said it with that almost unnoticeable head tilt, his eyes widening slightly at the things he seemed to be involuntarily blurting. She snorted, brushed it aside–ever so sure he absolutely, definitely didn’t mean it, or didn’t understand exactly what it meant himself—and bit into the apple before quickly grabbing her books and heading for class, throwing a ‘see you later, you delusional git’ his way while chuckling all the while.

She didn’t notice the way he slumped, dejected, and he would never find out about that beat her heart skipped when she allowed herself to believe him for a brief second.


“So remember that book Helen gave me last week?”, he sighed, closing the physics textbook he had been trying to morph into for the past one hour as she slid into the seat next to him.

“The one you haven’t shut up about in the past three days? And I thought you hated the author.”

“Well she normally writes such unbearable fluff, and I thought this one would be the same and if it hadn’t been for being stuck in traffic on the bus I wouldn’t even have opened it. But this one’s different. I kind of hate it for doing this to me”, she scrunched her nose. He laughed. It wasn’t that she was weird—pretty normal actually—she was just…she just expressed things in a certain way.

“You know it’s your own fault for being that prejudiced. And it’s okay to like an author you previously didn’t on principle” He didn’t understand why this was such a big deal.

“No, no it’s not that. It’s just…it’s inconvenient. The book. It makes me laugh and creates lumps in my throat and forces me into being this emotional, crazy, psychotic lady who yells at fictional characters and smiles at full stops. I love books, you know that, but this one is different. It takes my brain and stuffs it into this tiny jar of overflowing hormones and emotions and chokes it in glitter and lathers it in grief and and and—”

“Geez, Gemma”

“No, you don’t understand. You remember that time in high school when we were talking about what we want to do in life and who we want to become? And I said that thing about wanting to mean something to someone? Not just as an important part of their lives or something, but like honestly mean something. Make them feel things they never planned on and give them absolutely no choice in the matter”

“Yeah that one was kind of disturbing actually…and that’s saying a lot when it comes to you. Had a slightly obsessive-clingy-psycho-stalker-girlfriend vibe to it”

She sent him a withering glance. “You know what I meant.”

“Doesn’t make it any less disturbing”

Moving on. My point is that’s exactly what the book did. I was so intent on hating it but I didn’t and that is very annoying. At the very least I had hoped to be indifferent. But if I read this in public, I start smiling stupidly, or cry a teensy-tiny bit and that’s what I want to be. I want to be like this book to somebody someday when I grow up. Just to be able to take their heart and rip it out and put it back together again but then shatter it even more painfully before gluing it back together. To affect someone enough to have that kind of hold over them. And for someone to have that over me too”

“You’re a very dramatic person, you know that?”

“Gah. I don’t know why I tell you things. Well I’m going to go and I think you have the physics test in two hours so all the best. Meet me at the park at 5; we have to go hunting for wild mushrooms”


“I’m curious as to what it’ll be like. Okay bye”


“I don’t…I think it’s best if we just end it right now. We have all of these things we’re supposed to do and I don’t think either of us has any time for the drama. And that seems to be the only thing going on with us lately. And realistically speaking, we’re not going anywhere; there’s no future, really”

“So this is it? We’re done?”

“Nothing changes with you and me though. You’re still my best friend”, she was nervous and slightly scared.

He smiled, “Of course”


“I’m not over it. It’s been 4 months and I’ve tried, all right? I have. It hasn’t worked. I’m not over it”

“Me either. But that doesn’t change anything. We’re not doing this. Give it time, I’m sure we’ll both be all right”

“Gemma, listen–”

“We can’t do this.”


“—You’re my stupid book”

And she walked away because it’s easier to believe the bad stuff than to hope for the good


Yours Truly,


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