by Alexandra Morean
Once the doors close and the plane is airbound, I open my backpack and fumble for the orange pill bottle with my name on it. I slug the oval shaped pill down my throat and chase it with the driest red wine I have ever tasted. It stings my mouth in a way that is weirdly delightful, and I finish the rest of the little glass bottle in one big gulp. I look around to see if anyone just witnessed how aggressively unsubtle and unstable that probably looked and recline back into my seat. That is one of the many habits he taught me that I still cling onto.
I feel my Xanax, and red wine concoction start to kick in, and boy do I feel better. Sometimes I wonder what my relationship and sanity would have ended up like if I didn’t do everything he offered me. He never pushed anything on me though. I took all the Percocet and Xanax willingly, we all did. He always had plenty of whatever I wanted for me and my friends and we never worried about the quality of cocaine or quaaludes because it was him, and we all felt safe around him. In my adolescent and hormone filled brain, there was no other option but drinking as much as he did and taking whatever he did because I believed that was the only way to show that we were on the same level. We loved a little competition but he never really understood me.
He didn’t understand how someone could just be sad and nothing else. He had no idea what it was like to have your own mother drag you out of bed after the fifth day you’ve been chained to your mattress because you physically could not move. The idea of not necessarily wanting to die but wanting to not exist for a little was a foreign concept to him. He was energy, he was popularity, he was the life of the party, and I was just sad. I think he resented me for this because on the rare occasion I was able to get out of my head, we were perfect until I slipped back into my bed, right through his fingers.
I try to cling onto any memory of us at a young age as the plane hits some turbulence and I find myself gripping my armrest. I can’t remember anything about him that makes me happy. I clench my eyes shut and search the garden of my brain for anything and come up empty. I never fully understood why I stayed. Maybe it’s because he looked so good in that four sport varsity jacket or maybe because he gave me confidence, even though he was the one that took it away. He was good at making me feel like I needed him, and I was good at needing him. Nothing bad could happen when I was around him, he was always in control, and I was always lacking in things he could easily make up for.
I’m brought back to the time that his own mother held me in her arms while I sobbed and yelled at him for saying the things he did. She told me she didn’t understand why he was acting this way and that he didn’t mean it, but I knew he did. His go to was to tell me I was fucked up in the head. He knew it would sting because it was partially true. I confided my insecurities, fears, and thoughts in him, and that was one of my biggest mistakes. My mind has never been my friend, but it takes a completely different type of person to use your own kryptonite against you. I mistook our fights and tantrums for passion when, in reality, it was just the wrong person at a time when I needed anyone to make me feel anything.
I’m brought back to when he broke his leg, and I had to bathe him, feed him, and help him go to the bathroom for weeks. Shortly after I was done being of use to him, he kicked me out of his home when it was pouring rain because he wanted to be alone. I never thought I would be the type of girl to be sitting on the curb of my boyfriends house completely drenched in rain and my own tears.
I think back to my infatuation with his empty promises and bright blue eyes, and I can’t help but laugh whenever I think of him. He still makes guest appearances in my dreams unfortunately, and my mind always wanders to him whenever I’m getting ready to go home for vacation. There is always a fear in the back of my throat that I’ll run into him at CVS or at a party, but it’s beginning to subside more and more as the years go by. When he got a new girlfriend, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere that he was and that was something that was especially hard for me. Years after our relationship ended, I am still dealing with the repercussions that came with being his first love. Our friends would all reunite after months of being away at school, but I had to stay back because Sarah didn’t trust him to be around me. I blame him for most of my insecurities because it’s easier than blaming myself even though he caused them.
It only took me 5 years to realize that Carter wasn’t my first love; he was just the first douchebag athlete that I tried to fix and broke my heart. It’s taken me even longer to repair the damage he did to my mind and to live freely without the idea of him and his opinions chirping in my ear. He could have been miles away from me in a completely different phase of his life, and I would still ask myself if he would think I’d look good in this outfit or if he’d like my favorite songs as much as I do. I began carrying myself differently after the dust had settled, and we had grown apart because I didn’t know how to lift my head up or stand tall without him helping me. It was like learning how to walk all over again. Our plane makes a jagged landing, and I jolt forward and out of my zombie-like state. I looked up and thanked the God I don’t believe in that this flight was over.
Alexandra Morean is currently getting her BA in writing, editing, and publishing as well as music production. She was born in Venezuela and grew up in Miami, Florida, soaking in all kinds of culture and inspiration. Alexandra hopes to connect with her readers on a spiritual level and provide comfort and aid to those who relate with her work.
Artist: Farxiyo Jama