US: Chapter 4

You might start to think I'm a liar 
as you read through each section of this story.

You'll think I'm embellishing the truth
to make everything sound heavier or more dramatic.

You might even think I went a little too far
and got a little cuckoo.

But the truth is, 
this is how it happened.

All the good & all the bad.

If I can be accused of any editorial rights 
in the creation of this story...
it's of not mentioning everything.

I'm having to leave out some chunks of detail...
but hopefully, the broad strokes will paint the big picture.

And hopefully, when you step back from the messy details,
you'll be able to see a big lovely picture about following your heart...
just like Tyler & I do.

where were we?

May 13, 2006

The only reaction Lauren can muster is
to feel her body go slack.

Her head drops,
her shoulders sag,
and, more or less, she becomes a rag doll 
in her boyfriend's arms.

As he senses the (slightly massive) shift of weight 
he pulls back and looks at her face.

Was everything alright?

She shakes her head no.

Baby, what's the matter?

As he cradles her head to his shoulder,
she starts to cry and slightly pushes herself away.

As he moves back to look at her face,
he suddenly realizes this isn't the emotions of graduation day.

This is about something else.

Was this is about... him?

And so he asks her,
"Is everything alright between us?"

Lauren keeps her eyes focused 
on the tiny buttons on his shirt 
and nods her head yes.

Was there something wrong?

Does she need space?

Was graduating & getting married 
too much to think about?

Or... does she even want to get married?

Lauren breaks the stare with the button on his shirt collar
and, slowly, as she shakes her head no... looks up at him.

She doesn't want to marry him.

He drops his arms from around her,
steps back, and stares at her.


She says she doesn't want to.

There's a long pause...
Lauren's cry moves from a stream of tears
to audible crying...
as her sobbing picks up to a louder pitch,
a parade of snot joins the scene.

She wipes her nose with her... arm (?)
and looks up at him.

She's sorry,
but it's just not going to work.

He tells her she is just stressed,
that he loves her so much,
and that they can take a break if that's what she needs.

But the important thing to remember
is how much they love each other.

Lauren shakes her head no.
It's bigger than that.

"You're not it for me."

Her boyfriend pulls her back into his arms,
she continues to cry.

He grabs her hand, 
leads her up the dim stairwell to her empty room.

The room is empty.

Everything else is headed to Dallas in the back of her parent's car.

The only remnants that remain are
 her twin mattress, which lies randomly on the floor,
and two laundry baskets piled with odd-shaped items
like perfume bottles, an alarm clock and a bedside lamp.

He goes and sits on the mattress in the middle of the room.

He suggests that they lay there together.

Let him hold her.
She looks terrified,
but obliges.

As they lay there, 
the emotional chasm becomes tangible.

Lauren is curled tightly in a fetal position,
sobbing into the crook of her arm.

As he tries to be close to her,
she continues to shrink into her snail-like position even more.

While he may have hoped for this to be a moment of reconnection...
her boyfriend is now left to feel like a pervert
as his hugs and kisses only conjure flinches & sobs.

"Ok. This isn't working."

Lauren nods in agreement and sits up.

They go back downstairs,
and as they descend into the living room...
the conversation takes a fateful turn.

Her boyfriend has now transitioned from confused to mad.

What is her deal?
Where is this coming from?
Why is she doing this now?

Lauren pretty much answers his questions
with damning answers:

She doesn't want to marry him.
He isn't the kind of guy she's wants.
She's sorry, but she's made up her mind.

No matter where the conversation went,
the answer was always the same:

There is no way this can continue.
She doesn't love him... 
not like that anyway.

And with that- 
her boyfriend calls his parents,
who at this point are 45 minutes down the road,
tells them to come back and pick him up.

He grabs his suitcase,
wheels it out of the apartment, 
and slams the door behind him.

She stands at the window and cries
as she seems him walk through the parking lot of the apartment complex
and continue down the street.

Within 15 minutes of arriving back at her apartment,
three years of them being together is finished.

Just like that. 

Lauren has never broken up with someone before,
because the truth is, she had never really dated anyone that seriously before.

She feels terrible.

She returns to that lonely mattress on her floor, 
cries, and realizes...
she needs her friends.

Within minutes, 
they have selflessly abandoned their own graduation festivities
and are at her side.

Editor's note: Apparently, I'm a hoe bag and a selfish friend. 
Thank you, dear friends, for putting up with me.
I will make it up to you, I promise.

As they sit on the carpet of her bedroom,
Lauren sobs out the sordid events of the past week.

Everything spills out and they stare at her slack-jawed
in silence at the end of Lauren's testimony...
except for her friend, Kyla,
who begins to cry.

They all stop and look at her with confusion.

Kyla is so relieved that Lauren is no longer dating her boyfriend
and she is so happy for Tyler & Lauren.

Editor's note: When you have a friend who cries over your love life,
you've found yourself a really good friend.

Her other friends agree that the new arrangement 
is a much better fit...
and as much as they shouldn't be surprised 
that Lauren & Tyler are together-
they are in shock of everything that has been transpired.

Eventually, her friends hug her and leave to go back to their families,
and Lauren is alone again at her apartment.

She texts Tyler...
she wants to see him.

But she decides that she first 
needs to mourn the death 
of her three year relationship 
with her (now) ex-boyfriend alone.

Editor's note: Total Drama Queen.

She feels like she owes some reverence 
to the end of their relationship
before immediately flocking to Tyler.

So she texts him.

Can he come over in 4 hours?

Editor's note: Four hours was an arbitrary number with no meaning
except for that, in Lauren's mind, 
it's an appropriate time period for being sad.

Tyler replies yes,
and Lauren returns to sob alone on the mattress.

She feels like a jerk.

She feels awful.

She hates to think of all he had done
to live his life near her.

But after she repeats this cycle of thoughts about 10 times,
she realizes it doesn't really matter how she dissects things...
at this point, they are what they are.

And she'd rather just be with Tyler.

"Actually, can you just come over now?"

Tyler looks at his phone,
and looks at his parents...

He shakes his head 
and tells him he needs to leave.

And Tyler heads out to see her,
as he predicts,
to have her end things with him.

Because obviously,
 the graduation weekend was a perfect setting for a proposal, 
and she had gotten engaged while both of their families were together.

*and because the response was, overwhelmingly, for two parts... more tomorrow!
**but i promise to be finished by the end of the weekend.

Posted on December 3, 2011 and filed under "Kiss", "TK", "youth".