"We'll Figure it Out"
NOTE: So, this is Matt's perspective on that last scene in "Gut Check". Again, if you don't want to be spoiled, don't read!
"Alright," Matt said as he picked up Julie's bag pack and suitcase from the concrete. "So…you charged your cell phone?" He asked as he turned to look at her. He hated her leaving and wanted to make small talk before she left.
Ever since yesterday, she had been distant. She wasn't acting mean or bitter, but she only would speak unless he asked her something. Her voice was small and timid. This was different from all the other times they had had arguments. Whenever she was angry with him, she would either give him the silent treatment, snap at him, call him out on what she believed to be BS, or would wear a scowl on her face whenever he was in the same room as her. She wasn't doing any one of these things now. It confused the hell out of him and he didn't know how to respond.
He noticed that the moment he turned to her, she stepped away and looked another direction. "Yeah," she said simply.
Her face contained no anger. But…hurt?
He closed the door. He wanted to reach over and hold her in his arms, but restrained. The reason why he had kind of snapped at her yesterday was because he didn't want to be that guy. He didn't want to be a Landry. And when Julie had told him about her college drama, he believed the only reason she had come to visit him was because she needed a friend and nothing else. She was using him for her own means. She was a Tyra.
Matt had seen Landry gawking after Tyra and being a puppy dog for her for three years, and Matt refused to be that guy. He had just turned 20. He was too old for these games. He wanted her to be there because she wanted to be with him-not for her to use him. He loved Julie. Always would. He had never stopped needing her in his life, but he refused to be her door mat. "If you need gas, there's a gas station just…"
However much he wanted to restrain from Julie, his body kept being pulled towards her. Every step she took away from him, he would get hauled after her.
"Right around the corner over there." He motioned towards across the street.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just kinda wanna get out before there's too much traffic." She gave him a slight smile.
Get out. She was leaving. He felt as if someone was punching him in the stomach. He wanted to let out that he wanted her to stay and wanted to be together. But then the idea of Landry and Tyra kept coming back. "Right," he said.
There was a moment of silence.
He knew how much those annoyed Julie. Awkward moments didn't happen very often between them and whenever they did, she would bring it to light and they would kind of laugh about it. He anticipated it coming.
"So, um, thanks for the hospitality." She awkwardly reached over to him and gave him a weird hug.
He frowned. This wasn't what he was expecting. She was definitely not behaving as she normally did whenever she had a bratty moment or was angry with him at all. This wasn't the Julie he was familiar with. She was acting mature through this whole thing and was being sincere. She didn't want to cause drama or snap at him because she knew he had a point. It got him annoyed for some reason, because this only made him hurt more. The fact that she was facing the consequences of all her actions and accepting them made him rethink the whole Landry and Tyra scenario.
"Yeah." He waited to see if she would look at him straight in the eye. If she would, he could know for sure what was going through her mind. What she was feeling. Because right now, it felt to him as if she was feeling something she didn't experience very often. And he didn't know what it was.
However, she didn't meet his eyes and got into her car.
And that's when he saw it. For just a brief moment there in her face. Abandonment.
Matt knew too much of that feeling. He had felt it when his mother had been out of his life, when Coach Taylor left to TMU, the countless times his father would get deported, and lastly during his father's death.
The pressures of being the man of house had been too great for him. He had been ok up until his Grandpa Joel died when he was 9 years old. That was when his grandmother had started getting nutty. For 6 years the only person he had to talk to was Landry, and sometimes that wasn't much help at all. All Landry would do was give Matt these weird theories about his grandmother and have off-the-wall conclusions of his father. It made Matt feel even more alone.
It was a feeling he had felt for too long but had not been felt for over a year. He had come to terms with his dead father-mostly-and had forgiven his mother and Coach Taylor for leaving him. He had let go of the past and started looking forward to the future.
But that had been because of Julie. Since the moment he had befriended her. He had had a crush on her for years, but his sophomore year the crush had gotten stronger and from the moment they started dating and started a friendship, he felt at such ease with her when it came to talking. As their relationship bloomed, he kept telling her things he had never spoken out loud before. Things he thought but never dared say. And unlike Landry, she didn't respond. She had a look in her eye all the time and Matt couldn't quite make out what it was. But she kept silent and simply listened to him.
It was his therapy. Other than art, talking about his troubles and his past and his family to Julie allowed Matt to let go of the feeling of abandonment. He had a feeling sophomore year that even if he and Julie didn't make it as a couple, she was an amazing friend he always wanted in his life.
He saw her beginning to drive off. She still did not look at him. She looked ahead with an emptiness look in her eye.
Then, images and memories of her flashed quickly in his mind.
"Am I really that pathetic?" asked Matt while chuckling but being serious at the same time.
His father had been back for over a week and was struggling with life back at Dillon. Matt had left the house and was sitting on the steps, needing to clear his mind from a few things. Julie had come over with some food prepared for him. He felt like a complete loser and had a feeling Julie pitied him.
"No, you're not pathetic," she said with a tone full of honesty as she sat down next to him. "You just do so much that I just thought you could use some help out."
He looked into her eyes and he searched through them. There was no sign of pity. She was doing this for him to help.
Matt knew he loved her. Had realized it some time ago, and looking into her hazel eyes he was able to look a little into the goodness of her soul, and that made him fall in love with her deeper. She was honest and sincere and so good to him. She did simple things for him; like listened and make his grandmother some tea, without asking anything in return.
He spilled his guts to her that night. He wanted to let out his emotions and disappointments and he knew Julie would listen. She had that essence about her that allowed him to talk freely.
"Matt, you can just get angry," she said to him softly.
"No, I can't. He's trying. What else can you really ask of anyone?"
Yes, his father was doing his best and Matt didn't expect anything more. However, that didn't stop Matt from feeling so overburden and worried. His mind began to question things again.
He felt Julie nudge him. He looked back and saw her simple smile. One that said, 'everything's alright. You're not alone in this.' And then she leaned in and gave him simple peck. As if she was saying 'I'm here.'
She kept her forehead pressed against his. They stayed in silence as their eyes locked. Yes, there were no words between them at the moment, but there was so much being said. Through her eyes, she was asking him for some of his burden. She wanted it. Wanted to help him more than anything.
It was one of the most difficult decisions he made. He had taken so much weight for most of his life and had never asked anyone to help him. But there Julie was. A girl who came from the most wonderful parents; came from a great upbringing and had never felt the meaning of responsibilities. She didn't have to take any of his cargo, but she wanted to.
Her eyes asked him again. Are you sure? he asked her with his eyes.
She answered with a most sincere smile.
He let out a sigh and gave in. Allowed her to enter his chaotic life and take some of his baggage.
That was the first time Matt allowed anyone to enter him in that way. Allowed him to reach into a part of his soul and stay there.
Images of his father's death kept coming to Matt's mind and he remembered how during that time, Julie further entered him.
During his father's funeral, it had been Julie who was at his side; her hand wrapped around his. Whenever he felt it was too much he would lean against her and she would take the weight for a while.
Countless times she had been his rock. Countless times she had taken away his loneliness whenever he felt it. Never had she complained. Never had she walked out on him because she felt his life was too much for her to bear.
It hit him them. The truth. Julie was no Tyra Collette. She was more of a Landry Clarke. It was Matt who was a Tyra. He would turn to Julie every time he had troubles-which he did a lot of times. Julie, coming from the good family she did, hardly had any troubled times. Right now was the moment she truly had troubles. She felt abandoned by her parents and needed an ear and support. She needed someone to lean on.
Just like Landry with Tyra, Julie loved Matt and would do anything for him. She really loved him. And yes, probably saw Matt as her safety net. But what was wrong with that? They were two halves of a whole. One could not do it without the other.
He couldn't let her leave. He couldn't not support her when she needed him the most. What had he been thinking?
"Julie!" He ran towards her. "Julie!"
He came to her car and she hit the breaks. "Jules-hey. Stop."
She looked up at him, confusion and hurt on her face.
"Just-" he opened the door. He needed her. Right now. In his arms.
She got out of the car and the moment he did, he touched her skin and pulled her close to him. "It's all gonna be ok, alright? We'll figure this out."
She nodded and he saw the tears beginning to come down. He held her and took some of her burden, just as she had done for him so many times.
He was going to be there for her. Because he wanted to. Because he needed to. Because they came in a packaged deal. Whatever she had to go through, he had to as well.
He heard a honk and with great effort and pain, pulled away and saw an angry driver motioning him to move out of the street.
Matt turned back to Julie, seeing her one last time before she left to face her life on her own. He wanted her to know he would be there. To hear her and to be her rock.
"I love you," she whispered to him.
He hadn't heard those words in almost a year and once she said them, he realized how much he had missed them.
"I love you." He leaned into her. Forehead against forehead and took more burden from her.
They kissed and held onto each other. He knew. Everything would be alright. They loved each other and supported one another. Nothing else was needed.
With strength, he stepped away from her, allowing her to leave him physically once more. It was unbearable. He wanted to climb into the passenger's side and leave with her. But he couldn't. She needed to leave to work things out. Then, he didn't know at the moment what would be the next step. Maybe he would finish the semester here at AI Chicago and head back to Texas to be with him. He had to look into it as soon as she left. At the moment, all he could feel was the separation from her. The beginning of physical agony of what he would be facing the next coming days, or weeks, or months without her with him.
He looked at her and saw the pain across her face. She was feeling it too. She didn't want to climb into that car and leave him, but needed to.
He closed her door…and allowed her to leave. But he was there for her and together, they would find a way to be together again physically…and when that came around, it would be permanently.
Matt knew that she now knew what he had known for four years. They were meant to end up together. Meant to be for the rest of days. And now that they were both aware of it and were accepting it. There would be no more physical separation again the next time they would meet. Never again.
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