Making Up Is Hard To Do

“I was just trying to be what you wanted.” His voice cracks on the last word, tears streaming down his too-tanned face. “Please, don’t go.”

I look away, feeling awful knowing what I’m about to say will only make this worse. He deserves to know the truth, though, no matter how much it will hurt.

“I liked you the way you were….before. Now, I can’t even look at you.”

He winces at my confession and runs a hand through his too-bleached hair. “Just give me some time. My natural color will grow back and then—“

“No, you misunderstand. It’s not about the hair. It’s who you’ve become. This arrogant…jerk. You think acting like a cool guy makes you better, but it’s made you unbearable to be around. I miss the old you. The one who would walk me home from school and always cheered me on at my games. Remember when we used to go to the quarry to watch the sunrise on the first day of the new school year? Or how you used to bring apple slices in your lunch everyday, even though you hated them, just because I liked them? Can you go back to being that guy? Because he’s the one I want.”

At some point, I started crying too. Nose leaking. Makeup running. I don’t know what’s more of a mess, me or this situation.

With a sad smile, he nods and pulls me into a hug.

“Think you’ll want to go out with the guy who has no friends and reads comics in his spare time?”

“That’s exactly the guy I want.” I squeeze him tighter and look up into his eyes. Those eyes that I turn to when I’m nervous or unsure of myself. Looking at him like this feels like coming home after a long trip. Pushing up onto my toes, I give him a kiss on the cheek.

“That’s all I get?” He says jokingly.

“Just you wait for our date.” I laugh and for the first time in a long time, it’s genuine.

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