Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter! If you haven’t read Chapters 1-4 of how Kyle and I met, you can catch up here.
“There must be millions of people all over the world who never get any love letters... I could be their leader.”
Ever notice that the ugliest, scariest moments of our lives happen, like grenades dropped into our living rooms? Sudden. Surprising. Terrifying.
The text I had sent to Sir Cuckoo Pants was simple enough. And the text I got back was simple, too.
It figures because I had just finally realized that I love you, that I wanted us to be together forever. I’m too late. I have nothing left to live for. I have a gun and I know how to use it. Bye.
I know I make a lot of jokes about how cuckoo-crazy this dude was but I will straight up tell you right now that I was involved with an honest-to-goodness, certifiable sociopath. I had seen the edges of SCP’s anger before. He’d occasionally say pretty aggressive things on the phone. I was familiar with his reputation. So when I saw the word, ‘gun', my heart felt like it was stopping in my chest. My bedroom felt like it had grown small, tiny and like all the oxygen had been vacuumed from the air. Honestly, it’s difficult to relive. I don’t want to think about all the frantic calls I made to him, to his friends, trying to get someone to answer. How I ran out into the dark 2 am so that my parents wouldn’t hear me crying on the phone from their room. I don’t want to talk about how when he finally called me back, he actually pretended that he had shot himself and was calling “just to hear your voice…one…last…time.” About how for hours and hours, I was convinced I had caused someone’s suicide. I seriously wish I was making this part of the story up. Let’s just say that after that, Sir Cuckoo Pants really, truly went crazy. For months after (almost a year actually), he would call me in the middle of the night and make threats or leave scary voicemails or just laugh into the phone. He followed me. He spied on me. But you know what? SCP lost his power over me a long time ago. And this is the last time I am going to mention him in this story.
I think you have to know where you came from to know where you’re going. And seeing SCP’s true colors (whoops, one more time) made Kyle’s gentleness and depth all the more real to me.
The day after the cast party, Kyle handed me a note before rehearsal. It was written on a piece of lined notebook paper and had been folded again and again into a perfect little rectangle. I sat in the dressing room before curtain and read it all. The original is tucked away in a box back in Colorado but when I find it this summer, I’ll publish it on the blog for your perusal. He had doodled little cartoons in the margins and he signed it…I’ll never forget this as long as I live…Your friend, Kyle Surname (I try not to publish our real last name on the blog so ‘surname’ will have to do…) And then I did that girl-thing where I analyzed every last sentence of the letter. You know, like, was the cartoon of the duck supposed to be him and was that exclamation point enthusiastic or sarcastic and MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHAT EXACTLY DID HE MEAN BY ‘YOUR FRIEND’?????
I asked my friend, E, (who happened to be in the show with us) this exact question. “What did he mean by ‘Your friend’? Do you think he likes me?”
“Well, I mean, yeah,” she said, after a minute. “I’m sure he likes you. I just don’t know if he’s like…the boyfriend type, you know? I mean, I don’t know if he wants to, like, date you.” (This was exactly what I was afraid of, by the way.)
Your friend, Kyle Surname. He just wanted to be friends. That’s what he was trying to tell me. Crap. I had been clingy and pushy and had made him uncomfortable and Kyle Surname just wanted to be my friend. Ugh.
We got called to places and as we stood backstage in the dark, our eyes met. “I WANT YOU TO BE MY BOYFRIEND, KYLE SURNAME!” I wanted to proclaim, throwing myself into his arms. “YOU SIMPLY MUST BECOME MY BEAU!” I didn’t say anything. Until I felt someone walk up behind me.
Remember J? The guy with all the bling from Chapter 4? Apparently news of my previous relationship’s demise had spread quickly and J was making his move. RIGHT IN FRONT OF KYLE.
“Hey, girl, so I heard you were single.”
“I’d really like to take you out sometime.” Crap. Crap, crap, crap.
Here was a dilemma. How could I possibly keep from hurting J’s feelings while still maintaining my interest and availability to Kyle?
“I…uh…you know, J, that’s really sweet of you. I just broke up with someone and I’m not really looking for anything right now.”
Poor J. All I could do was think about how I had most assuredly ruined my chances with Kyle. And that’s how I spent that whole week. Wondering if I had totally blown it. Wondering if it was possible to blow it if he had just wanted to be friends all along.
Years later, I would discover an old journal of Kyle’s where he had started and re-started that letter to me about five times before he had finally written the note he had handed me in the dressing room. I didn’t know it then but that I had received that letter at all…was a miracle.
TO BE CONTINUED
I know I’m leaving you hanging but chapter six will be up tomorrow!