Eleven Miles

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Remastered Edition


Confession #5

Shell Out

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Eh . . . the truth. We all say we want it, even when we know it could hurt. Maybe I should just ditch the conjecture and own the facts. Fine, if we’re stuck here for a while, I may as well talk about the factors I do know.

I guess I should back up a few feet and explain our history, not that it matters anymore because here we are now with a secret desire to strangle each other—not out of malice, of course, but because that’s just what we do. Anyway, here’s the general scoop: We used to date, a lot. Again, not out of malice, but because we actually liked each other once upon a time.

In some reverse psychological way, the mutual infatuation is what screwed us. Yes, it began as something pleasant, satisfying, and, well, fine. But everything in life degrades in time, and our relationship was no different. Our favoritism toward each other transformed into disagreement, then disillusionment, then disappointment, then disgust. We haven’t yet hit the fifth stage of deterioration, distance—something we need plenty of from each other but can’t obtain thanks to the current situation—but after today, we might just get there.

I suppose that still doesn’t answer the big question, though.

So let’s address the big question then: How do two people go from liking each other, to not, to standing by the side of a road eleven miles from home? Well, there’s the jet-skiing thing. But it goes deeper than that. To adequately explore the origin of our emotional destruction, I would have to tell the story of how our relationship began. So let’s start there. It began with the other girlfriend.

Her name was Abby. Not really the nicest girl in the world and certainly not the prettiest, but she smelled fantastic. I’d describe her neck like a scent of shampoo dipped in flowers. It was the kind that made me forget about the horse face she had. Yeah, I know, comparing her to a horse is a bit extreme, but she’d never make it to the runways—not then, and probably not now—it’s just one of those painful facts of life. I didn’t mind, though, because she never expected me to kiss her. Her only demand was that I held her during movies every once in a while. I found the setup favorable because I could smell her neck without ever having to look at her. It was the perfect relationship.

But, as irony had it, Rachel showed up and ruined all of that.