Title: One More Start Over
Warnings: death/suicide, depression, and Michigan weather.
I huddled next to my space heater the next morning with my notebook propped up against my folded knees. My pen was held loosely in my right hand, perfectly still as my attention was drawn to the scenery outside my window. The expanse of undefined white clouds offered no escape from my preoccupation, neither did the lack of student life below.
He still hadn't called me back. I left a message for him last night right after I'd gotten home, then again an hour later. Message after message every hour upon hour and still no answer or even reply. I called again after breakfast, but he still didn't pick up. Drew was avoiding me and there was no gray area as to why.
I gave up on my Lit paper and tossed the notebook and pen onto my bed, wrapping my blanket more tightly around my shoulders. I rested my chin helplessly on my knees with a sigh of frustration. Every time. He would do that every time I reminded him that our relationship was platonic, had always been platonic, and would always remain platonic. As much as I loved him, would do anything for him, my patience with this scenario was wearing thin.
He would show up sometime in next week, I figured, weary and depressed and begging to be on speaking terms again. "I want to be your friend," he would say, on bended knee, with a plea of mercy in his eyes. "I won't ever ask again, I promise."
After all, that's what had happened the last time. And the time before that. And the time before that. Somehow or another, we always found ourselves in this same situation again.
I was reaching the end of my patience with this.
"That's it!" I declared, flinging my blanket from my shoulders. My roommate jumped.
"What's it?" she queried, holding a dramatic hand to her heart. I ignored her and pulled open my dresser, intent on my last clean pair of blue jeans. "What's it?" Audry repeated, watching me shuffle around the dorm room with a raised eyebrow.
I snorted. "He's dead, that's it." I wrapped my scarf around my neck three times, pulled on my ridiculous blue hat and grabbed the keys from my dresser.
Maybe it would have been a better idea to put on the bra after all. Any layer of clothing is useful in Michigan weather, even if it happened to be lacy with little pink ribbons (damn my grandmother's sense of humor). I wrapped my arms around my chest and pressed on, averting my face from a sudden burst of chill wind. Drew's apartment was up ahead, just off of campus. He can't avoid me now, I thought with triumph, my chapped lips upturned in a victorious grin.
The apartment building rose out of the snow under the guise of a snow drift. White stucco paneling matched the color and texture of the snow accurately and made it seem as if there was no distinction between the ice and the architecture. It seemed melded together, perhaps over taken by, the winter precipitation.
I rang his apartment from the pad downstairs three times with no answer. I pressed the intercom, "Drew!" I shouted. "Drew, open up! I know you're in there, you can't avoid me forever!"
Or, perhaps he could. He had the advantage, curled up in that heated apartment shielded from the elements while I stood outside huddled in the doorway to escape the wind. "Open the damn door, asshole!"
"Need some help, sweetheart?"
My face became flushed from more than just the cold as I turned around to face a proper, middle-aged tenant smiling at me over her groceries
"Yes," I lifted my finger from the intercom button. "My friend won't answer the door or the phone. I'm worried about him."
"No problem, dear."
She handed me her groceries, fishing around in her purse for her keys. She opened the door and held it for me as I carried her bags inside, setting them by the stairwell. I thanked her and apologized for not helping her with her groceries before dashing up to the second floor.
I skidded past his apartment in my excitement and doubled back. I drummed my fists on the door to apartment 3B, my voice raising in volume with every passing second of replying silence.
"Damn it, Drew! Open the door!" I demanded repeatedly. I grabbed the knob and shook the door on its hinges. It turned and I pushed the door, only to be held back by the chain. I growled at the inconvenience and pushed hard on the chain. With no luck of breaking the heavy metal chain, I pulled back and glared at it as if hoping to melt it with some sort of undiscovered super power.
And that's how I found him.