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"For me, when everything goes wrong, that's when adventure starts." -Yvon Chouinard
I live an ordinary life.
Which isn't saying much, I guess, because everyone's definition of ordinary is different.
But for me, it goes like this: I went straight to college after graduating high school, then spent four years studying journalism and putting all of my energy into a doomed relationship.
There was zero room for error, no spontaneity. Just a daily schedule, a routine that kept me busy enough to keep from feeling like I was missing out on life.
Eventually my degree in journalism led to freelancing. My relationship led to wasted years. And my ordinary every day led to feeling like I needed more.
I live an ordinary life. One I'm stuck in, and don't know how to get out of.
"Liam's here," my roommate Jess says through my bedroom door. I don't have to see her to know she's rolling her eyes.
"I'll be out in a second," I say, pulling a hoodie on and closing my laptop. When I open the door, she's still there, giving me a look. "What?"
"Don't give him any more money," she says quietly. "Seriously."
I don't respond, just slip past her and into the living room where my ex-boyfriend sits on the couch we bought together a year ago. His light hair is longer, but it suits him. He's clean-shaven, something he rarely was when we were together. He's wearing a shirt I don't recognize and it makes me feel weird, not knowing what he's been up to.
When he sees me, his face breaks out into a smile. My heart plummets.
"Hey." He stands. "I tried calling."
"I've been working. Got a deadline in a couple of days." It's true, but I leave out the part where I've been avoiding him.
Jess hovers for a second, her way of making sure everything's okay. I give her a look, and she disappears to her room. I wait until I hear the soft click of her door to speak.
"What's up?" I ask, making a point to stay standing.
"So you know I was lined up to get that marketing job," he says, getting straight to the point. "It fell through."
Part of me hoped he wasn't here for money, but I should've known better. "That sucks."
"I know." He shifts from foot to foot, and our cat Sadie moves from her spot perched on the windowsill to rub up against his legs. He bends down, picks her up. "Jared's getting really tired of me posting up on his couch."
"Look. I don't want to be asking you for money any more than you want me to. Trust me."
"It's been six months," I stress.
"I know. But I mean, you didn't leave me in a good position…"
Sadie meows at him and he puts her down.
"I didn't leave you in a good position? What about the position you put me in?"
"You kicked me out of our apartment."
"What was I supposed to do? You said you wanted to see other people, but still live together. Do you not see how ridiculous that is?"
"You took it the wrong way."
"You broke my fucking heart."
His face falls, and for a split second I see the person he used to be. I see lazy Sundays and making food in the kitchen at two in the morning. I see every time he whispered he loved me. I see the boy I fell in love with my junior year in college, and the man he turned into, the one who decided he didn't really want me after all.
"You were my best friend," he says quietly, sadly. "I didn't want to lose that."
"I didn't kick you out because I didn't love you. I did it because I loved you too much. Because I couldn't be your best friend anymore. I can't be. So no, I can't help you."
He looks down, rubs the back of his neck. "I understand."
"I don't want to see you struggle, but you get why this is hard for me, right?"
"Okay." Sadie meows from the couch before rolling over on her back, legs outstretched. "You should go. I gotta get back to work."
"I'm sorry, I just… I'm sorry."
"Okay," I say again. And I know he means it. But there's nothing else to say, nothing else for me to do except watch him walk out of the apartment.
Oh my! Hi! This is weird. So I kinda had this idea playing around in my head for a bit after watching this documentary on Netflix (180 Degrees South). I figured writing it might help the creative juices. Also, if I'm being completely honest, I totally miss you guys.
The chapters will be short-ish. I don't want to say drabble. But yeah. Somewhere in between. Shrabble? Drort? I'll shut up.
As always, thanks for reading. It's always a pleasure to surround myself with you lovely, supportive people.