Every Fire is a Lesson Learned


it's time to come clean and make sense of everything / It's time that we found out who we are

'cause when I'm standing here in the dark / I see your face in every star

Ellie Goulding, "Guns and Horses"


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After the movies, I told you to call me back.

My words had come out simple, easy. The command was anything but. I wish you knew.

So I waited.

Instead of waiting at the window, like at past times, I waited at the telephone. That was easier. Partly because I expected you to call more than I'd expected him to meet me, but it was still much, much easier.

Another part that made it easier was knowing that I wouldn't have to wait for months for you. That's what I love about you, among other things, Jake. You don't make me wait (except for this time). You're always a step ahead of me, willing to wait. You were there when I was crumbling, when I needed you more than anything. I didn't need you more than air, though—you were air. I didn't need you more than the sun—you were the sun.

And like both the air and the sun, I didn't notice how much I needed you until you were gone.

Those two weeks pushed me, Jake. They pushed me way harder than I'd thought they would, not like I was expecting you to leave me in the first place. When you left me, I soon found my rightful place, on my knees, begging for it to end. And I know it's selfish to say that you left me. It was just mono.

But you never called me back.

I called you every morning and every evening. At first, you father made up stupid excuses. "He can't come to the phone right now" or "He's out."

How could you have been out if you were sick?

Don't tell me you lied to me. I can't take it.

And as I stare at you now as we stand in the rain, I know that you lied. You lied to me, Jacob. And then you lied again, by blaming all of these problems on the Cullens.

I never wanted you to lie.

As the pain and suffering carves at the ever-growing hole in my chest, I'm too focused on my own pain to notice yours enough.

You're angry and you're hurt, too. I can see that.

But I'm angrier and more hurt.

I want to crumble to my knees. All of your building up and helping meant nothing. I mean nothing to you. Don't I?

I was too dependent. I was stupid. Maybe I'm still stupid now, but I can't trust you ever again. Not anymore. I'm right here; you're wrong. I want to blame it on myself like I always do, but I can't bring myself there. It's not me; it's you. Right?

You look like you want to say something. I just want to get you a damn towel. You're basically drowning in the rain.

You're about to say something, but then you stop yourself. You just try to turn around. Try to leave me again.

I'm not having it.

I grab your arm, and the heat is almost scary. You're burning up. No. You're worse than that. You're as hot as a flame. The rain isn't making you any colder. I feel like I've been burned. Only I don't pull my hand away, as instinctive as a child would after so foolishly touching a burner.

You turn to me like you've been shocked, and here I realize that every touch, every little moment, was special. They still are. If only I didn't take your touches of affection so lightly. They should all feel this way, but they don't. This touch is different, but it shouldn't be.

This. Touch. Changes. Everything.

You don't say anything. Why don't you? You've never been out of words, Jacob. You used to be talkative. Willing to talk about anything. Now it's like we've switched roles. I want to talk. I really just want things to make sense. I'm tired of not being entirely in the know. I'm tired of having cryptic remarks as answers. In the midst of it all, I want to know who I am.

I want to know who you are.

"I used to be a good kid," was what you told me, before we remained standing in the pouring rain, wordless. "But not anymore."

If you're not a good kid anymore, then what are you?

You're a liar. I'm a liar, too. The only difference is that when I lie, I'm never caught, and I never make the person I lie to wait or cry or become sad. I have never made anybody as frustrated as I am now.

You eventually shake away from my grip. My arm swings back to my side numbly, and I still feel the warmth on my hand. It's like I've been burned.

"Don't come back," you tell me. Biting the inside of my cheek, I can't even move or speak or breathe. "Or you're gonna get hurt."

That's okay. That's fine.

That's great.

Maybe I really won't come back.

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