I emerged the next afternoon, shaking as the phone was ringing. Normally, I wouldn’t have bothered to call, knowing I had fucked up yet again. To my surprise, he answers.
“Steve?”…..quivering…on the verge of tears…
“Yea, what do you want?”….pissed…hurt…trying to be tough…what is it with this girl..
“I’m sorry for not calling, I had a long night.”…terrible excuse…stupid…stupid girl…
“Yea I know, where were you?” honestly concerned…so glad to hear her voice…still pissed…
“I don’t know, please don’t be mad, I promise it won’t happen again. You want to hangout?” I can’t let it happen again….he’s too sweet…doesn’t deserve this…something about him
“Sure, I guess.”….. why do I always fall for the same crap…im bored though…and she likes to ride….too beautiful to stay inside.
This was a short telephone conversation four and a half years ago. The girl on the phone is me. The guy is Steve. You are wondering, where did she go? I will tell you, only if you promise to never throw it back in my face, but take it as a feat I have overcame. A struggle I worked on very tediously and is still on going to this day
I had just turned twenty one, you know, the age where you put on that party dress and slam shot glasses full of bottom shelf booze and energy drinks.
I threw myself three birthday parties, cocky son of a bitch I was. At one gathering, I met a guy named(I’ll call him Drew). I had no idea who he was, but shit I didn’t recognize half the people there. Drew stood out because of the massive sling his arm was in. I can’t recall now how we actually started talking, I downed a few bottles of champagne that night.
We get to talking and discover we have something in common. Drew deals cocaine and well, I happened to be in the business of getting it in my nose. We went to the casino across the street, we gambled a bit. My friends decided the party girl had enough, through me in a back seat and took me home.
I found his number in my phone the next morning. May I add, I so elegantly still had on my dress and high heels. I discovered while undressing, one hundred dollars in my bra. Not to get off subject too much, but this was a reoccurring thing for me. I would get wasted and put shit down there…..women.
Anyways, not too long after, I call up Drew. Not to go to the movies, not to grab a beer. We were going to stay up all night and watch our noses fall off. As I’m writing this, I’m sick to my stomach. So disgusting, such a terrible time in my life. If you have ever done it, you know what I mean. The next day, you tell yourself never again. But then the days blur into one another and before you know it, you have been up for a week and there’s nothing left in your stomach to even take a shit.
That night, was my last. It was the middle of the afternoon and I had just woken up. My heart still fluttering, my mind racing trying to grasp one thought. You can’t think straight when you’re “geeked”. So many pointless conversations I’ve had…everyone trying to get everything on their mind all out at once.
Steve and I had been going to school together since 6th grade. He hung out with the skater/pothead/trouble makers/class clowns althoug he didn’t really fall in any of these categories. I on the other hand, read a new book almost everyday and prided myself on the sticker(a new one for every occasion) I put on my glasses. We never once talked, even up to the time I left our high school the middle of sophomore year.
Fast forward, naturally, I’m at a bar…high as a kite. Steve’s brother spotted me and offered to buy me an Irish Car Bomb. We continued outside and smoked a cigarette.
“Hey, this is my brother Steve.” That hair….those eyes look so familiar…
“Hi.”….is that the girl who just punched the dude in the face for slapping her ass…
“I’m Anastassia.”….wait a minute…where do I know him from…
“Anastassia, I went to Ludwig with one.”…no…can’t be..
“Ha, that was me. What’s your last name?” not so nerdy anymore…right?
“(His last name here.).”…..where’s the sticker..
“Whoa dude, I haven’t seen you in forever.”….I’m getting old…
That day changed my life forever. We became inseparable, Thing 1 & Thing 2. Steve gave me an ultimatum: Quit the drugs or you will never see me again. No one had ever told me no or made me choose a path. Okay, I can do this. I can be “normal”.
Steve saved me, he gave me the gift of love. He always said I see the good in everything, yet he was the one who saw the good in me.
I often think how long it would have taken for me to do one too many lines, a bag with something laced in it, in the wrong car getting pulled over. Where would I be now……alive?
We both were so different back then, we were young, the world at our feet. We fought like hell, yet fought for each other. Fighting is healthy, to an extent. Keeping everything bottled in never did anyone any good. No one understood us, shit, we didn’t know what the hell we were doing ourselves.
Our love took us to Arizona, the beaches of California, and now here, Morehead,Kentucky. Steve decided to come with me for a bit in The Van. When I bought the van a few years ago, it was meant for us. Our dream was to travel the land, see the world, hold hands at every ocean.
Last year, we were constantly going at it. I look back now and realize we were starting to mold into different beings. His family is very conventional (They aren’t too fond of me anyways….opposite side of the tracks type of thing.), while mine, encourages us to be who we are. I wouldn’t cave in to the “American Way.” Nope, not for me. Steve and I got into one last blow out, took me two days to pack The Van. I left.
Now, almost a year later, we have barely seen one another. Two beings who once stood tall next to one another, sit on opposite sides of the room like strangers. Who are we? Who are you? What have we become? Questions I don’t have the answers to. Answers which will only be produced with time. I know who I’m not, I can tell you that much.
As always, there are two sides to every story, everything must be taken with a grain of salt. I’m sure Steve sees it a completely different way. Naturally, as a woman, I must say he’s wrong. Have men not yet understood, we are always right? Why must we be the sensible ones, the boat that keeps us afloat, the one with all the solutions? I’ve come to realize, men are still wired to believe their women should be home with a checkered apron on 24/7. I can only imagine if I have lived then, I would probably be shunned from society.
I never label myself as anything, wouldn’t say I have one profound trait. Others have coined freebird, free spirit, gypsy, hippy,bum, useless,lazy,…you name it. I am what I am, it is what it is. I was raised to think for myself, question everything, believe nothing. So lucky to have parents who pushed me from the nest in order to teach me to fly.
Yesterday, it was the third day the mac and cheese had been cultivating into a science project in my coffee pot. I was promised a clean one that morning, to make a fresh pot of coffee. I take a peek, Velveeta and shells caked to the sides. Not only was our relationship on the edge, our relationship in the van was as well. I’m not bashing Steve by any means, guys are slobs, fact. I’m a freak about the van, everything has its place. One act of chaos screws up the whole system. I also have a dislike for the slimy shit.
Without getting in too much unnecessary details, we have parted ways. Last I heard, he hitched(First time) to Cincinnati to catch a bus home. Van life just wasn’t for him, I don’t blame him. I was in the Wal-Mart parking lot this week with a tranny ready to kick out. Our clothes smelled like a college dorm room. The fridge quit working properly, there was a constant battle with flies. Our everyday life consisted of struggles to just stay alive.
Not often will I write a post like this one. I always write from the heart, but this one was more than that. A part of me will always be with Steve, whether I like it or not. He has a piece to my past, a portion of a life once lived. He saved me from myself and also was strong enough to let me go.
There will always be someone in your life whom you will never forget, “that one”. Although I am deeply saddened to say Steve and I may never see each other again, I am happy to have felt something, to have not shut out feeling and embraced the warmth of another heart.
I believe in fate, in what is meant to be. There is a reason why Steve and I were cruising down Route 6, on his Evo chopper a few years back, when I spotted The Van. The Van isn’t just my home or my vehicle, it’s my cocoon. One day, I will turn into a butterfly.