Author's Note: This Chapter is told from Jay's point of view. Song lyrics used are from the song "Drive By Kiss" by The Dambuilders. I am using the lyrics and names without permission. This is a work of fiction. I am making no profit from it.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2003
Toronto, Ontario Canada
"I still see the two of us together
when the winter wind blows cold.
You can't get lost as long as you remember
if you know where the highway goes."
I sat in the living room of my parent's house just observing. This was the first year I had been home for Thanksgiving in the last three years and I just wanted to do nothing more than enjoy it. It was not that simple, though. After fielding all the "Adam..." this and "Adam..." that questions yesterday night when I arrived, I had that much less energy to talk about my new haircut. I come home and the only thing my Mom and brothers can talk about is my former best friend and my hair? Great.
I shrugged off most of the questions about him. Some others I gave just short responses, one or two words of an answer that I knew would please them or make them stop asking. The honest truth was I didn't know how Adam was doing or what he had planned this Thanksgiving or if he was coming home this weekend. I hadn't talked to the man for just over two years. All I had wanted to do was finally get to spend some time at home, relaxing and getting back in with my family. I had hoped to avoid the complicated things, but unfortunately they were unavoidable, it seemed.
I had two ways of dealing with the relationship I'd had with Adam, I had two completely different approaches when it came to living with what had happened between us. The first was the one I had chosen to use yesterday. It was what I called the "negative" approach, in which I lived with nothing but resentment, bitterness, and regret for ever having loved him. Last night after my parents had gone to bed, my brothers and I sat in the living room, talking. I sat in my Dad's chair, the one closest to the front window, the one overlooking the entirety of the front yard. The very chair that when I was a child I used to climb into to look out of the window on Christmas Eve so that I could gaze up at the sky and attempt to spot Santa Claus.
I got lost, sitting there in that worn out recliner last night. Nothing my brothers were talking about was heard by my ears after I flopped down into that comfortable old thing. I went to another place, that "negative" place. It had been a long day. Within the last forty eight hours, I had traveled from Ohio back down to Florida and then all the way up here, back home. I was worn out. I stared out that window and lost myself in regret, hatred, raw emotion. I sat there, my fists clenched around the ends of the armrests. It was dark outside, there must have been a streetlight out somewhere near the house. The sky was clear, there was hardly a cloud to be found in the sky. There were a few inches of snow on the ground. I think the snow was what had gotten me thinking.
I began thinking about where I was sitting, how I stood not so far from my present location that day, the day it happened. I stood there, looking out that window and waiting for Adam. It had been snowing that day, it wasn't snowing now. I was glad. I didn't want it to snow. I hated the snow. I hated Adam.
I got lost in my thought of what my life might be like today if I had never leaned over in the front seat of his car that night and kissed him. I would probably still have my closest childhood friend in my life. I would have missed out on what was most likely the love of my life. Would it have been a fair trade? Either way I could have saved myself a lot of pain. Either way I would have missed out on something.
I remember thinking this last night and reaching up to run my hand through my hair, still expecting it to be long. It wasn't. It never would be again. Neither would Adam and I. I wished last night that I had never kissed him, that he hadn't kissed me back, that I had never met him and never fallen in love with him in the first place. I excused myself from my brothers and headed to my old bedroom. As I walked down the hallway I knew that I'd end up regretting having made those wishes when I woke up in the morning.
And I was right. I regretted those wishes as soon as I opened my eyes this morning, coming to the realization that I was in my old bed, the very bed I had shared with Adam on so many occasions. From the moment I woke up this morning, I entered into what I call the "positive" approach, the "positive" state of mind. It meant that I spent every moment living in the memories of the relationship I had shared with Adam, reminiscing about it and telling myself that no matter what, I was lucky to have ever had the chance to share something like that with him in the first place.
I spent the whole rest of the day like this, from my first cup of coffee to right now, as the light was beginning to drain out of the day and the night was beginning to fall. It had started snowing late this morning, and today the thought of snow actually made me smile.
"I may never find out where it is,
but I might reach you with a drive-by kiss.
And its wrong to think about forever,
when you know it doesn't last.
But if you try to run away from your memory,
you can't ever drive too fast."
I left to go out for a drive shortly after it got dark out. I didn't know where I was going. Anywhere really. I just wanted to get out for a little while. I drove down the street I had lived on for so many years here in Toronto. I began floating through memories as I drove towards the end of the block and they took me all around, to various places on this drive tonight. I drove by our Middle School. I drove by that very spot where we first bonded, where I threw that ninja star into that tree and we started our first conversation. Some days I curse that. Today I smile as I pass by the schoolyard. That tree is gone now. How fitting.
I take some turns around the city and drive past the park with the awful orange fencing around it. I remember how you and I would come here as teenagers after school, we'd toss each other around in this park, trying to perfect the wrestling moves we'd seen on television, imitate our then idols. I feel this longing, this strange urge to get out of the car, to walk over to that old orange fencing and touch it, brush the snow off of it and run my fingers across it one more time. It would be the closest thing to touching you I could get right now. I circle around the block again, passing by the park just once more. I have to laugh as I do, remembering how we would throw each other into that orange fence and bounce back as if they were actually wrestling ring ropes. We've both come a long way since then in our wrestling careers, and as I think about the early days I wish more and more that you were sitting in the passenger seat so you and I could reminisce about them together. I'm on my own now, I guess, with the memories we made.
"I didn't know it would come to this
I hope I can say what I never did
with a drive-by kiss"
Lastly I drive by your Mom's old house before venturing back home. She doesn't live there anymore. You helped her buy a new house a couple of years ago. You had always talked about doing so, since you and I first signed contracts with the WWF. I look at the house as I drive past, the lights are on. There's someone else living there in your old house. There's a new car in the driveway and most likely someone strange sleeping in your bedroom. I sigh. If only they knew.
I pulled up in the driveway and turned off the car. I thought about how I might actually miss the snow and cold when I went back home to Florida. I tried to shake off the feelings that were hanging around me. I had a new life. My life wasn't what it used to be, wasn't made up any more of all of those things I had done and felt in those places I had just finished passing. I had a new life. A girlfriend. A career. A heartbreak.
I loathe failure. I loathe it in any form. It's something I just can't swallow. Personal, professional, in any form it was the worst case scenario for me. I had to accept this, though. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it was over. It was over.
And it's a sad way,
to say hello,
But if you sleep it off,
will you let me know?
but don't let me go.