And I Say There's Trouble, When Everything Is Fine, The Need To Destroy Things, Creeps Up On Me Every Time
This girl's name was Heidi. She worked at the same bookstore I worked at oh so many years ago. Though, you wouldn't think to look at her at first, she was beautiful. She was the kind of beauty that snuck up on you, but, once it had found you, it never let go. She was the first girl I ever thought that short hair looked absolutely perfect on and she was the first girl who I ever met that had the gravelly, raspy voice of old-time femme fatales. Heidi was a remarkable girl among the mostly forgettable women I knew at the time.
She was the girl I talked to most at work. We would sneak away in the aisles together, when we were supposed to be working, and just sit there and talk to each other. I don't know--I guess she thought I was intelligent and witty. As for me, I thought she was energetic and funny, and a half million other things that I just hadn't experienced in a co-worker before. I don't think I've ever been really attracted to someone I worked with except for her. For months this is how our days went with us spending a good bulk of our time engaging in some of the liveliest banter I have ever been a part of. With the exception of dear Jina, she was the most intelligent girl I ever had the pleasure of sparring words with.
Then, yet again, much like Jina, I had to go and ruin things. I wanted more from the friendship than she was prepared to give. That is when I made the first faux pas of the two great faux pas I made with her. I asked Heidi out. She said yes. But instead of leaving the horse alone like a sensible individual would have done I had to go and look it in the month. I had to overanalyze and fret and fuss, and generally make a right nuisance of myself. I must have asked her three or four times a day leading up to our date what I should wear, what kind of plans we should make, where should we go before or after. I bet you can guess what occurred next. She got totally freaked out. In short, I scared her away. Also, I got the general sense she had put less impetus into our rendezvous than I had. She was looking forward to an outing with what she thought was a decent fellow, while I must have come across as in search of the future Mrs. mojo shivers. That's when she began avoiding me at work. That's when she asked to switch shifts so that we didn't work with each other anymore. And within a few months she had left work altogether, though this wasn't entirely my fault. She moved to Colorado ostensibly, but I think she must have been a little glad to get away from the likes of me.
A few months passed. Christmas rolled around since she had left for college. When she came to visit some of her friends from work we actually got a chance to talk a little. She was still as beautiful and as charming as ever. She had actually grown her hair out a little. At first when I approached to talk to her she seemed hesitant, but once she saw I had no agenda but to catch up with her I think she was relieved. I think we both cleared a lot of what was going through our minds concerning the whole debacle. I think we righted our friendship that day. She even left me an address I could write to her in Colorado.
And that's what I did. I wrote back and forth with her in Colorado. She told me about guys she was interested in in college, she told me how she was doing in Colorado, and we discussed the latest entertainment news and I told her all the gossip about the gang at the bookstore. I even told her about the girl I was dating at the time. She led me to believe I could trust her again. Actually, that's untrue. I knew I could trust her again. I started opening up more and more about stuff that seemed to be bothering me. And that's when I decided to let her in on a secret that had been plaguing me for awhile. I decided to recount an awful encounter my girlfriend had gone through a year prior to meeting me. I gushed and let loose a torrent about my feelings on the subject and eagerly awaited Heidi's reply to my bit of news.
That's when my need to destroy absolutely good things in my life crept back. That's when I made the second and fatal mistake in my friendship with Heidi. I was expecting her to write back with the same fervor and outrage that I had recounted my story with. The only thing was she was too shocked for words. And that's what she wrote back. She wrote back that what I had written had saddened and depressed her and that she absolutely had no fitting response to it. That's when I decided she was copping out and that she wasn't the person I thought she was. I took her genuine dismay and inexperience with expressing her feelings on the matter to mean she didn't care for me or my girlfriend's plight.
That's when I stopped writing her. That's when I stopped knowing her.
In one of her letters to me she sent me a gift completely on her own. It wasn't my birthday, it wasn't Christmas. She made me a dreamcatcher because she said I was the biggest dreamer she ever knew. She said with her dreamcatcher that I would be able to catch all the dreams that had previously escaped me and put them to paper so that all the world would be able to see them. She always believed in my writing.
This is what I'll always remember about Heidi, how she believed so much in me to give something of herself and make me feel absolutely wonderful. And when I stop to wonder how she remembers me I cannot help but think she looks back on me as the guy who fucked up our friendship not once, but twice.
So if you know a Heidi G., tell her I'm sorry and let her know I want our friendship back.
But mostly just tell her I'm sorry. That's the important part.