"Can you just say it?"
"No! I don't want to hear anything else! I just need you to say what's on your mind. Just come out and say it!" Helga held the phone close to her face; knowing that if that didn't muffle the crackling of her voice than the curls of hair that were set free from her ponytail and flying into her mouth would.
There was silence from the end of the phone and she almost started yelling again.
"I…I don't like you."
She thought she prepared herself. She told herself, for weeks that it was coming. That he couldn't possibly like her liker…not from the way he was acting. Or from the way he wasn't acting. She told herself that this conversation was coming, and as a precaution, she readied herself for the statement. Still, it hurt. It felt worse than a stab in the heart. Worse than a blow to the stomach. It was the worst feeling she ever had and she felt entirely powerless against it.
"…thank you." she said quietly, not sure why she was thanking him. He was twisting the knife as it were, burying her alive with his rejection. He didn't deserve her thanks. He deserved her wrath. But, for some reason, unbeknownst to even her, she had no strength to give it.
"I'm sorry." he said, even quieter. She hated when he talked quietly; when he made her feel as bad as he was.
"Don't be sorry. Never be sorry for how you feel."
"I'm sorry I hurt you. That wasn't my intention."
"Great job with that one, Footballhead. Mission accomplished." she joked. At least she managed to make it without crying. She gave in earlier in the day, when she was at her weakest. But, not now. She was defeated, but she refused to shed a tear now. "I just…I wish I knew sooner. I wish I saw it coming."
Again, Arnold said nothing, and for once, Helga couldn't blame him. That was her intention. She wanted to stun him into knowing what he did to her. Shock him with the fact that he dragged her along and make him face it, with no means of escape. And despite the fact that she had, she could find no happiness in her glory. No jubilance, no overwhelming sense of joy. She was finding it hard, emotional as it was, to feel very much of anything, aside from disappointment in letting herself get so caught up.
"I still want to come up and…visit everyone. Can we…will I see you?" he asked timidly.
Helga was too far gone to be coy, to tip-toe around anymore. She was growing more and more numb by the second. "No. I can't…I won't."
"Not right now." she said, sitting up on her small bed, the only one she cold afford after a hefty tuition and not enough side jobs to keep her financially afloat. "Look, I don't know about a few months, or whatever, but as for now, right now, it's a no. I can't see you. It's…I don't know." Helga shook her head, slowly. This was the same man who told her that their relationship would mean putting herself out there, taking risks and hoping for the best. Whether or not he realized it, she wasn't buying that anymore. He was wrong. It didn't work. It just led to more trouble, more heartbreak. Too many risks and nothing to show for it but scars and bruises. She wanted her shell back. Her walls and her moats and everything that kept people from getting too close, or allowing her to think that people would want to.
"I guess I understand. I still want to see you."
"I don't know, Arnold. I just don't know." Helga huffed loudly, trying to sound more tired than she was. It was nearing 11 PM her time; their conversations were always late due to the time difference. It was barely 8 Pm his time, and she was sure that he still had a long night ahead of him. "There really is no way to exit this thing gracefully, is there?" she said, trying to smile. It didn't work.
"I guess not." Arnold muttered. "I'll see you around?"
It was clearly a question. "Goodbye, Arnold." she said, pulling the phone away from her face. She didn't need to hear anything else. She said what she needed to say.
And, finally, so did he.
I hate this. I hate it. And not because I think it's badly written, because I don't, and not because I have typos or something.
I hate this because, it is verbatim of the conversation I had not half an hour ago. I hate having this feeling, and…I just…I wanna go to bed now. I just wanna go to sleep.