This is an entry in a journaling game I’m currently playing. An explanation, and my first entry, is here.
When I reemerge into proper time, it’s a shock. Looking around my room, I somehow know what tonight is, with me here in my teenaged bedroom. I confirm this, finding the black journal that’s under my night table. I’m out with… her.
I grab a pen, draw a vaguely schematic broken heart—not broken, not exactly, just not properly joined, incomplete—and then write:
Welcome home. Crazy night, huh? Yes, she really does like you back. And yeah, wow, but… someone else’s feelings—not even the coolest someone’s—don’t prove anything particularly about you. Emotions aren’t measuring tape.
I realize maybe I should be careful, shouldn’t give too much away about how things proceed. The unpleasantness to come is mild, of course, even the tears and the disappointment, but, we were kids, weren’t we? And… mistakes are how kids learn. How we all do. So I close the lines of the heart, make it whole, and underline her name, and then, at the last minute, I add:
Be understanding, and be kind to
… but I don’t get the chance to finish the sentence. I’m yanked from this moment, back into the dizzying, chaotic lattice of my entire life, and memories ripple through my mind. This one, I saw not long after I got home. I put on the tape of the concert that night, and listened excitedly as I pulled out the journal, ready to write, only to find.
And I misunderstood. As a teenager, reading those words, I puzzled at the unfinished sentence. I thought the missing word was her.
Some lessons take longer to learn than others, I think, as I tumble along the worldline of my life.