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December 20, 2008

*for background info on the character in question, click here.

Wednesday morning, about an hour an a half before I planned on starting the trip that would end in my graduation from college, my phone started ringing. I figured it was my mom or dad, wondering if I’d solidified my plans, or C., my beautiful hostess, wondering when I’d be rolling into town.

It was Audio Geek.

“Are you still planning on coming today?” He asked a little timidly. Graduation wasn’t until Friday, and he knew one of the reasons I was planning on leaving Wednesday was because I probably wouldn’t get to see him otherwise.

“Yeah,” I said. “I worked it out. Why?”

He went on to describe a bit of a situation to me, one he should have been at least a little uncomfortable telling me, considering we’d spoken only once or twice after all of our own drama had gone down. But he’s never been the kind to hold back and doesn’t always consider those imaginary barriers, which I guess is part of what I loved about him.

Anyway, a girl he’d been seeing for a few months had cheated on him. In his apartment. With his roommate. And he kind of didn’t want to be there anymore.


I let him know when I’d planned on leaving my house, and told him if he could survive just a few more hours, we’d go out and try to cheer him up a little bit. It worked out because he still had one more test, and had to pack, so by the time I made it to town, he’d have barely left anyway. So three and a half hours later, I pulled off the interstate, turned onto his street and into his driveway. I knocked and let myself in, like I always had. And that was the beginning of it all.

When I got there, his roommate was there, and they were both acting like grown-ups, which surprised and impressed me, considering what AG had just told me. I exchanged niceties with the roommate, who I’d always gotten along with quite well, but couldn’t muster up genuine friendliness. He felt it, I’m sure, and left. AG and I were alone in the apartment.

He suggested we make dinner together. We went to the grocery store, came back, and got the homemade alfredo sauce going. His roommate had left the TV on, and GAC was playing Grand Ole Opry Live. AG pulled me off the couch, and we two-stepped. We ate, and after seeing Grand Ole Opry, he decided he absolutely had to have the Zac Brown Band CD, so we made our way over to Best Buy. We drove back, singing harmony to “Chicken Fried,” and he got a call from one of his old friends, who wanted both of us to go out with him that night. He asked if I was okay with that, which I was, and we started to make plans.

It was like, our entire relationship, everything that had ever made me fall for him, relived in one night.

But then he found out who else was hanging out with his friend that night, and realized they’d probably end up in the same group as his roommate and his now-ex. He opted out, and we stayed in, on the couch. His friend texted him throughout the night, and at one point, when his roommate and ex indeed showed up, said to AG, “You were right. Slutty Mc-Four-Eyes just walked in.”

And there it was. One silly little hilarious moment. AG read it out loud to me and I laughed. He looked at me. And I said, “What? I know it’s mean, but I don’t care right now, and you gotta admit it’s funny.” He continued to look at me in silence. I asked again, “What?”

“Oh nothing,” he said. “You’re just… awesome.”

I winked and said, “I know. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.”

And then he said it. The very admission I knew he should and wanted to make, but I never thought he would.

“I should have stayed with you.”

To that, I had nothing to say. What does a person say to that? Of course, in my head, I’m screaming, “Well no shit!” but I can’t say that, especially in this particular situation. Then there’s the fact that I really don’t want him back. I’ve seen a side of him that really ruined any feelings I had for him. Even if I did, the current circumstance really prevents it anyway. If he had wanted to try a long distance relationship, he should have done it while I was three hours away, not right before I moved to TENNESSEE. Yeah, buddy. I don’t think so.

After that, the weird kind of normalcy we’d been existing in all night went away, and things were just plain weird. I stuck around a little longer, because I’m a good friend and I knew his roommate was coming back and he didn’t want to be there alone when that happened. …but things just weren’t the same.

He called me the next morning, asking if I wanted to come over while he packed, since, you know, I was going to Tennessee and who knows when we’ll see each other again? I agreed and stopped by, but didn’t stick around for long. It wasn’t the same. I left to go do some Christmas shopping, and after he’d left, he called again from the road. I missed that call, but when I listened to the voicemail, it was, well, nothing. Silliness. He was obviously trying to grasp at something that wasn’t there anymore. I never called back.

And so the Audio Geek story ends. Unceremoniously, but certainly. It’s not that we’ll never speak again. We probably will. It’s not that we’ll never see each other again. We probably will. But the magic is gone. And once you stop believing, it’s impossible to go back.

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