Last chapter of this quick fiction.
There are about two more stops that I care about. The second one is you.I exhale a sigh, looking around in the metro car. Everyone's reading a paper or listening to their music or something stupid like that. I know it's unusual for me to be making an hour and a half long journey with no way to occupy my time, but I don't care. I've never really cared for music. People playing instruments and talking about love or getting dumped or whatnot. It's all crap. I don't try to like it because I know I can't appreciate it. Most people do, I guess. I don't have a problem with that. But it seems people will look at you funny if you tell them you don't like music. I remember when I told you that. You didn't seem to care. You knew I was different.
I run my fingers through my hair and pull up the hood on my sweatshirt. Actually.. it's your sweatshirt. Well.. I mean, it was. You gave it to me a few years back. Isn't that the stupidest thing you've ever heard? Me hanging onto your old hoodie? I mean.. especially strange, considering it's me. You know I've never been the sentimental type.. Nothing but apathy. Something about this though.
I confess, I've been hanging onto it because.. well.. I see this is my last piece of you. Like, if I let this go, I'd somehow be letting you go. It's been a long time since you left, but I hang on to you through this. I've never brought up the courage to come visit you until now. I'm nervous.. I really am.
Heh.. I remember when you gave me this stupid sweatshirt.. It was a day like today. Gray, cloudy, snowing. We were out for a walk together.. I was stupid and didn't bring a sweater because I didn't think I would need it..
We were walking along together.. just the two of us. You saw me shivering and offered me your jacket.. I told you no.. Honestly.. who would want to wear that grimy old thing. But you insisted.. I'll admit though. It's warm. It does the job. And for a long time, it always would smell like you. It was a musky smell, kind of damp.. Gross when you think about it. Why didn't you ever wash that thing?
But.. I guess I'm glad you didn't.. Even when you weren't around, I felt like you were close to me whenever I wore it and smelled that familiar scent.
That was all before you and I.. well. You know as well as I what happened. I guess..
I guess things just didn't work out like we wanted them to.
Things were good for a while. It was.. probably two years we were together, wasn't it? It started off really well..
I think it was the little things.. There was no underlying reason it happened. But after two years, I guess you got sick of it.
We'd had our issues, but they were always minor. Little minutia that didn't really matter. Neither of us was really at fault.. Well.. No. That's not really true. I guess it was me after all.
I know it didn't bother you much at first. But I saw the signs. I know you hid it well, but you know I could feel the hurt emanating off of you.
The little things. Like not caring about the stupid things you did. Conflict of interests some days. But I think.. It must have been that one day that did it.
You were always the first one to say I love you. It was always you first. I reciprocated, of course.. But..
After a while.. that wasn't enough for you. You were always in love, weren't you..? You shouldn't have been.. You knew what you were getting into. You knew I could never express myself the way that you required me to. You expected too much of me, you selfish bastard..
The metro jumps suddenly, the track becoming less even. I realize that my eyes are misty. I wipe my watering eyes on my sleeve, sniffling and forcing the pain in my throat to subside. How can I still feel so much pain from what happened? After all these years.. I know I said I go through my day without feeling, without caring.. And it's true, I didn't lie about that.. But sometimes, just sometimes.. When I think about you, I can't fight the stinging sensation in my eyes, and I can't keep the knot in my throat down. I've spent nights alone in the dark until crying myself to sleep.
You yelled.. we yelled. We had never fought like that before. I mean, we fought sometimes, but we always made up.. And we would always forgive each other..
I guess it's hard to forgive someone for breaking your heart..
But please know, I never meant to.. You just needed something I couldn't offer you.. I couldn't love you like you deserved.. I tried, I really did.. I couldn't.. I can't. I think some people just.. Some people aren't meant to be with someone. Some people are meant to be alone..
You made the mistake of being with one of those people.
The metro comes to a stop again, the routine of people entering and exiting happens again. My eyes are wet again, so I angrily paw at them with the cuff of my sweatshirt again. I suppress a loud sniffle and sink down lower in my seat. I stretch out across the seat, leaning on the window and crossing my arms over my chest and bowing my head, letting my hood fall down lower on my face. Some college kid comes up and stands near the seat I'm on. He looks like he expects me to move to let him sit here. I pretend not to notice him. But he doesn't take the hint, he taps my knee and asks if he can sit down.
I don't want him to see my eyes red from crying. I angrily tell him to piss off as I slouch lower.
He leaves, scowling and cursing me under his breath. I don't care. I don't care about him. I don't care about anything right now. I haven't for a while.
We just left the last stop before I get to you. This old, beaten metro chugs to get going out of the station, and we're off on our way again.
That conversation we had.. You yelled at me. Well.. I yelled at you too. I guess nothing you said surprised me.. You brought up how I could show nothing but apathy for everything you cared about. The time we went to the lake together and I immediately wanted to go home.. Watching the sunset.. Even the quiet moments we had alone. You demanded a reason for why I was never the first to tell you I loved you, or why I never went in for a kiss first..
I'm not like that.. I never have been.. I tried to explain that to you, but.. I know I can't just make up for all of that by saying sorry. I knew then that I could never give you what you needed. You could have done so much better than me.. For two years I told you that, and for two years you told me I was wrong.. And in the end, even after all I put you through, you still didn't want anyone but me..
I'm.. I'm sorry I couldn't do that for you..
The metro pulls to a stop again... This is where I get off. There is a knot in my stomach now. Reeling and churning in my guts, and I feel like throwing up. I stumble out of the metro car and onto the platform. I'm dizzy.. lightheaded.. I'll find you at the corner a couple blocks from here..
It's too late to fix things.. Far too late.. What am I doing here? Nothing I do will change anything.
But.. here I am. Before I know it, I'm stepping onto the escalator leading up off of the platform. Suddenly I'm back on the crowded streets of New York..
Not much has changed.. It all looks as I remembered it. I guess not much can change though.. It's New York, after all.. just another big city.
I let heave another deep sigh. The wind is back in my face again, blowing my bangs into my eyes and against my pale cheeks. I suddenly am full of nothing but second thoughts and deep desires to turn around and go back home. But I swallow my anxiety and continue on my way.
Everyone seems to be walking the direction opposite of me. My hands deep in my pockets, I stare at my feet as I slowly make my way by foot to my destination.
I suddenly feel.. I guess the best way to describe it would be insignificant. I feel small, unnoticed, and unwanted in this crowded city. But I do know what I want to say when I see you. I just want to say.. I'm sorry.
There are wrought iron fences enclosing this area. I look up and see darkened, rusted letters that read 'cemetery.' I look inside, seeing the dead trees, frozen over by winter, and the bleak, silent world within these gates. I find it all oddly compelling.. The tombstones rise out of the ground like silent guardians.. unspeaking, unmoving. Sentinels, meant to watch over something for all eternity.
I slowly weave my way through these stone defenders, reading the names on each headstone as I go.. Some are very simple engravings.. Some incredibly ornate. I see people who lived well past eighty, and some who died as infants.. All very different people, but still.. all united by that common bond. They were in a different place now. Some place that I don't understand.. I wonder if they can look down and still see the world..? Or is it too dark a place to view, too cold and cruel to be looked upon after passing on..?
I come to a white marble tombstone that catches my eye. It is very simple, but masterfully done. Many people have paid their respects here. Dozens and dozens of flowers have been placed at the foot of the grave, and the tarnished bronze plaque has many spots where it is rubbed off, from the oils on peoples fingers as they extended their hand to touch the name.
I stand before it in silence, brushing my bangs aside, as they have once again fallen in my eyes.
I kneel down before the grave and wipe the snow from the engraving.
I've seen it before.. Just once. Just the one time.
The tears roll down my face slowly, but I don't move to wipe them away. I kneel on the hard, frozen ground. And finally break the silence with what I had so desired to say, and finally had worked up enough courage to.
"I'm sorry.. Beast Boy."
A true hero.
Note: To anyone wondering, there is no metro line that runs from New York to Massachusetts; however, there is one that runs from Connecticut to Massachusetts, so it would be a short bus or taxi ride to reach said station in Connecticut.