I just said “I know” again. Every time she said what she did, I said “I know.” And I know it upset her because her eyes would change just a little. It wasn’t anger, I don’t think… it looked more like surprise. I think she knew I still loved her too, and every time she said it, I think she was thinking I’d finally say it back to her — this time, that time… I just couldn’t though.
For one thing, there was too much there — the history. And she was too wild, too unpredictable. She changed a lot, all the time. It was exhausting, the idea of even trying to keep up with her, with who she was now and how she was now when it changed so freaking fast. She was either like a wild horse or a rogue rabbit — running running, faster faster!
And the second thing is that I had a new girl then who mostly sat still, mostly moved slowly, basically stayed the same. It was comfortable. We worked.
So yeah. The last time I ever heard her say it to me, all I said to her was “I know.”
I did try to tell her once, much later on, but it was too late.
I dressed up and drove out to her house and everything, I always knew where she stayed with the dogs, and I was really nervous about it. It had been years since we’d said anything to each other. I’d been practicing all week.
I’d finally called it off with the other girl; things had been comfortable between us but they hadn’t really been much else. Rose was still going to be wild, yeah, and that was kind of terrifying, but she was at least wild about me. I could feel it, see it in her crazy eyes, the way she’d get so secretly mad at me when I’d just say “I know.” The other one wasn’t crazy about me at all, and I always knew that. Anyways, I couldn’t wait to tell her, to finally say it again, and I was so excited, so scared. I hoped she’d still feel the same, but it’s also like I didn’t need to hope… I always knew she’d always feel the same about me.
Well I pulled into her driveway and it was empty, so I figured she’d finally started parking in the garage. About time. I put the emergency brake on, took a breath, opened the door, let it out, dropped my boots to the ground and went up to her front door, blue now. Heart pounding, I knocked. Tugged on my shirt a little, sweating so badly — it was fall. Her favorite season, I remembered. The timing was perfect — later than she’d like, of course, and same, but still. I knew she was going to be so mad at me, and it made me smile. Finally.
But when somebody I didn’t know answered the door, I didn’t smile. I was too shocked to say anything. She’d moved out to Colorado, the lady said. How the hell did she know that? Colorado? When? That rabbit, running off into the woods… had she left with somebody? She didn’t know.
So Rose had finally done it… gone off with the dogs, the guitars, all those plants she’d fussed over. I tried to find her; I actually went out there and looked, feeling even crazier than I always thought she was. But I never got to tell her. And the worst part is that I don’t even know how late I was — very late, or just barely.
This semester, we’ve been picking faces out of American Photobooth and then drafting backstories for them, crafting personalities and dialogue out of nothing more than a single picture of a person. Well in this week’s assignment, we were to have new characters (we’re not allowed to recycle) tell a lie first and then the truth later, and I just knew my person had to be this guy — that haunted old man up there… Andrew.