Love is a terrible thing and its loss is even worse.
Love is a terrible thing and I want nothing to do with it.
Released, PART TWO
Wednesday, 6:56 P.M.
Olly: jesus, where have you been?
Olly: are you ok?
Olly: what does your mom say?
Olly: are you going to be ok?
Madeline: I’m OK, Olly.
Olly: i tried to visit you but your mom wouldn’t let me
Madeline: She’s protecting me.
Olly: i know
Madeline: Thanks for saving my life.
Madeline: I’m sorry I put you through all that.
Olly: you don’t have to thank me
Madeline: Thank you anyway.
Olly: are you sure you’re OK?
Madeline: Please don’t ask me that anymore.
Madeline: Don’t be.
Later, 9:33 P.M.
Olly: it’s nice being able to IM you again
Olly: you were a terrible mime
Olly: say something
Olly: I know you’re disappointed Mad but at least you’re alive
Olly: we’ll talk to your mom once you’re better again. maybe i can visit
Olly: I know it’s not everything Mad but it’s better than nothing
Later, 12:05 A.M.
Madeline: It’s not better than nothing. It’s absolutely worse than nothing
Madeline: Do you think we can go back to the way it was before?
Madeline: You want to go back to decontamination, and short visits, and no touching and no kissing and no future?
Madeline: You’re saying that’s enough for you?
Olly: it’s better than nothing
Madeline: No it’s not. Stop saying that.
Later, 2:33 A.M.
Olly: what about the pills?
Madeline: What about them?
Olly: they worked for a couple of days. maybe they’ll get them right eventually
Madeline: There were no pills
Olly: what do you mean?
Madeline: There were never any pills. I told you that so that you would go with me.
Olly: you lied to me?
Olly: but you could’ve died and it would’ve been my fault
Madeline: I’m not your responsibility.
Later, 3:42 A.M.
Madeline: I wanted everything, Olly. I wanted you and the whole wide world. I wanted everything.
Madeline: I can’t do this anymore.
Olly: can’t do what?
Madeline: No more IM. No more e-mail. It’s too hard. I can’t go back. My mom was right. Life was better before.
Olly: better for who?
Olly: don’t do this Maddy
Olly: my life is better with you in it
Madeline: but mine isn’t
<Madeline has logged out>
Life is Short™
Spoiler Reviews by Madeline
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Spoiler alert: You don’t exist if no one can see you.
I’m in an endless field filled with red poppies. The poppies reach waist-high on single green stalks and are so red they seem to bleed color. In the distance I see one Olly, and then two, and then multiple Ollys marching toward me. They’re wearing gas masks and holding handcuffs and crushing the poppies under black-booted feet as they march toward me, silent and determined.
The dream doesn’t leave me. I drift through the day awake but dreaming, trying not to think of Olly. I try not to think of seeing him for the first time. How he seemed like he was from another planet. I try not to think about Bundt cakes and headstands and kisses and velvet sand. How second and third and fourth kisses are just as amazing as first ones. I try not to think about him moving inside me and us moving together. I try not to think of him because if I do, I’ll have to think about how connected to him and the world I was just a few days go.
I’ll have to think of all the hope I had. Of how I fooled myself into thinking that I was a miracle. Of how the world I wanted to be a part of so badly didn’t want me back.
I have to let Olly go. I’ve learned my lesson. Love can kill you and I’d rather be alive than out there living.
I once told Olly that I knew my own heart better than I knew anything else, and it’s still true. I know the places in my heart, but the names have all changed.
Map of Despair
Life is Short™
Spoiler Reviews by Madeline
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Nausea by Jean-Paul SaRtre
Spoiler alert: Everything is nothing.
Select All, Delete
I’m stronger with each passing day. Nothing hurts except my heart, but I’m trying not to use it. I keep the blinds closed. I read my books. Existential or nihilist ones. I have no patience for books that pretend life has meaning. I have no patience for happy endings.
I don’t think about Olly. He sends me e-mails that I trash without reading.