Swallowing Bullets

Flashing lights illuminated the dark room with shades of red, blue, and green.  On the wall, shadows danced reflecting off of the people in the middle of the gym.  The combination of the bass and the highschoolers jumping up an down shook the floor below me.  Not only could I hear the music, but I could feel it in my chest as if it were playing from inside of me.  Beside me, a pit of around 200 people danced to the beat of the saxophone solo in “Talk Dirty to Me”.  The sound was so loud it was almost deafening.

Despite the surroundings that would seem impossible to ignore, all I was focused on was you. We were leaned up against the padded gym wall next to a poster of the human body. We both knew what was coming next.  I needed to get out the words I had been denying all night.  All week for that matter. My heart was pounding in my chest faster than the beat of the music.

Why was I doing this to myself?  I could easily just lean in for one more kiss and we could go on like nothing even happened.  But I couldn’t.  Something deep inside of me knew I couldn’t  just forget about this.

I turned around and looked at my group of friends at the other side of the gym as I stalled for time.  They all looked so happy dancing around, shaking off their worries as they shook their hips.  I wished I could have done the same, but it wasn’t as easy for me to shake you.

As I turned back around to face you, the concern on your face stabbed me right in the gut.  Those familiar dimples I always used to see were no where to be found on your dejected face.

But, I couldn’t let it get to me.  I thought about all the pain you had put me through and how miserable the past month had been.  What you did was unforgivable and I couldn’t just put it in the back of my closet and close the door.

For the past month, I had been telling myself that I would end things tomorrow,and that one more day won’t hurt. Look where that got me.  A whole 28 days later and I was still in the same position I had been from day one.

I took a deep breath and began to talk.  The words rolled of my tongue and hit you like bullets, but this time you let them sink in instead of putting your guards up and repelling the bullets back at me.   You looked down at the ground and scuffed your new, formal shoes across the glossy gym floor.  You bought those shoes just for tonight, along with the rest of the outfit.  Your dad brought you shopping since you didn’t have any fancy clothes.  Your blue and black tie matched my black, lace-back dress almost perfectly, as if they were a matching set.

Here it comes. The words that I had been denying all night.

As they were about to come out of my mouth, I froze.  The music froze.  The lights froze.  The dancers froze.  Everything in the room froze except you.   Your eyes were fixed on mine and you wouldn’t look away.  I knew you didn’t want to hear the words, but I could tell part you just wanted me to pull the trigger and get it over with instead of standing here holding the gun to your head.

In that moment, I forgot everything.  All the things you had done, all the things you said.  The lies, the crying, the pain. Instead of getting the words out, I lowered the gun, grabbed your hand and pulled you to the dance floor.  As we swayed back and forth to the music, I swallowed the bullet myself, for I didn’t have the strength to shoot it at you.

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