“Finally! I got to read who came to see Shahz before she left for Texas. I wish it was ‘Heart’…but if player makes her happier that’s good too” Mr. Photography dude says.
I laugh. “Stop it…. ” I say to Mr. Photography dude. Me, Mr. Photography dude, and Sidekick are all skyping.
I like player…but what he said a few months ago about him needing to “just release” me plays in my mind. I shake it off. We only have a few more months left together and I should enjoy it.
“You know what’s funny?” I ask them.
“What?” Mr. Photography dude asks.
“Before leaving for break, I wanted ‘Heart’ to come say goodbye, but at the same time I prayed he wouldn’t contact me because if he did- I wouldn’t have been able to say no. And I didn’t want to talk to him. I still don’t. I think we’re going through a silent breakup” I say.
They look confused. “What am I missing? Last year you were acting like he was your world!” Mr. Photography dude says.
I run my fingers across my freshly coated nails. I think about our last interaction together. “I guess I’m really mad that he made me feel different, and he’s mad because he finally understands what an emotional sensitive and anxious human being I am. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and I don’t think I did anything wrong” I say after thinking for a while.
“Common Sagittarius problem, both of you can’t swallow your pride” Sidekick finally chimes in.
I roll my eyes at him. “Hey what do you want for your birthday?” he asks changing the subject (he’s really good at this).
“Just forget about it, nobody ever remembers my birthday anyway” I say.
“Not true. Samira has this make-up palette that she wants me to bring for you. And it’s fucking weird because we broke up!” Mr. Photography dude says.
My jaw drops. “What???? Why????” I ask happy that we can move away from my drama for a moment.
“You know I don’t like commitment. Anyways, I don’t wanna talk about it. Who forgot your birthday? We never did!” he says.
I sigh. “Not you guys. But a lot of people! My first year of college, ‘C’ forgot! The next year, my best friend forgot! And then last year, “Prince Player” and my own brother forgot! You see, no one ever remembers. It’s fine. I’m a Christmas baby. It happens. Plus, I’m in Texas now and have none of my friends are here to celebrate” I say.
“Christ sad beauty. You’re like the Scrooge of your own birthday! You know we’re gonna celebrate as soon as we all get back from break! Now tell us, what do you want for your birthday?” Mr. Photography dude asks.
“Nothing, your guys’s presence in my life is enough” I tell them.
“Hey you know what I noticed?” Mr. Photography dude asks immediately totally ignoring my sweet response. “What?” I ask annoyed.
“Heart never forgot” he says smiling.
That makes me smile. Just a little. It’s true. He didn’t. After my two birthdays I had in my time of knowing him, he always wrote me the sweetest wishes and we always celebrated it big.
I think back to Sophomore year when I just moved to Colorado and he was working there. “Birthday girl! How was your day?” I remember him texting after his 12 hour shift after he had already wished me right before he left for work in the morning. “Haha it was okay!” I remember saying.
I thought he would let it go, but instead, he asked- “Why just okay?” And so I confided in him. “Honestly, it just really sucks because not a lot of people remembered and I just moved here so I just had my family to celebrate with” I told him.
“Same. I’m always working out of town during my birthday time and didn’t have my friends to celebrate with either. And hey, I wished you and your family wished you! Isn’t that what matters? Just the close people who care about you wishing you? So be happy princess. You deserve good things in life”. My heart melted that day.
And it sill melts. Sigh. Sidekick has to go so it’s me and Mr. Photography dude.
“Why do you look so sad, Shahz? I know it has nothing to do with either of them…” he asks.
I sigh. He’s my best friend. I can’t fake my happiness around him. “This month has really sucked so far, and it’s my birthday month. I hate Texas, I have no friends here. I’m taking a winter course to kill time and it’s just making things worse. I didn’t do good on the GRE, I have to retake it and don’t know how I’m gonna study harder because I’m even busier next quarter. Every senior I know has graduated early and here I am, struggling to even graduate by the end of the year. Grad school apps are so tedious and expensive. Why the fuck did I not just accept our school’s offer to pursue a Master’s???” I finally conclude my speech ready to pull my hair out.
“Because you’re you and you’re better than that. You work hard and you deserve to go somewhere new where people understand that. Just breathe. You’ve been through things way harder than this and you always came back up on top. You never fell off, and you won’t” he says.
My eyes water. The last two sentences. It was “Heart” who told me that. On this exact day, two years ago.
10 days from today, I will be 22. I pray I figure things out this year.