ďPicking up the PiecesĒ

by David Nicholson



Alex sits on his bed, writing in his diary.


Iím afraid I think Iíve made my decision, that one I probably decided a long time ago.


Alex is walking along by the water, occasionally trying to skip stones.


I donít know if I can actually go through with it or not.
The final decision will have to come when I actually see her.
But after all this, I have to believe that itís for the best,
that itís the right thing to do. Iíll just continue to feel
terrible about things myself and Iíll just keep on hurting
her, even if she doesnít admit it. She told me before that
sheíd feel terrible for quite some time but sheíd survive. I
canít go on doubting myself, I have to be honest about us.
The last thing in the world I want to do is hurt her. I once told
her that if we ever broke up the first thing Iíd want to do
is go to her to cry on her shoulder...


Alex walks up the hallway, looking at the names on the doors as he goes.


So what would the end result be? Do we go our separate ways,
never to see each other again, do we stay friends, could she
handle that? Could I handle that? All this is just so terrible,
and the worst thing is, I have already done the deed. I have decided.
Itís no longer a decision I make once I see her again for a while,
itís there. When I walk in the door and see her, itís there, I know
it. I canít hug her and kiss her and pretend everything is okay.
But then I canít just walk in and say "Hi, weíre breaking up."

Alex walks up to one of the doors and knocks softly on it. It slowly begins to open.


Alex stares at a diary showing the last few words ďHi, weíre breaking up.Ē at the top of a page. He closes the book and sets it down on the desk. Beside the diary is a framed picture of a girl. There is also a gold chain with a heart, several snapshots, and various papers scattered about. He begins playing with the necklace around his neck and then looks at the photograph. He gets up from his chair and walks around the room. Then he looks back towards the photograph.


So why do I feel so horrible? All I can do is think of getting her back.
Would my main reason be to make me happy or make her happy?
I donít know if Iím capable of deciding right now. Iíve been reading
through the last few months in my diary but itís only convincing me more
that I want her back. I want to start over, I want to love her. But if we do
get back together again it has to be pretty definite. We canít just
say weíll try again. You canít break someoneís heart twice and still live
with yourself. How is she feeling right now? No, thatís not something
I should be asking. My decision should have nothing to do with
her feelings. I have to deal with my own. God, I just feel as if
everything has lost its meaning. Why should I brush my teeth, shave,
comb my hair, whoíll care? Iíve found myself these last few days not
looking both ways before crossing the street, like Iím tempting fate.
I find myself defending every single problem that was so terrible
just three days ago. I canít help thinking about her.

Alex calms down slightly and sits down.


Look, lets try and be realistic here. How will I feel if we do get together?
I mean what has changed? Arenít we still the same people we were last
week? The problems havenít vanished, theyíre only diminished by
everything else. Do I suddenly say I realize how much I do care for her?
I really do want to be so much like her. I am sure of that. I see her
innocence, her honesty, how loving she is, how spontaneous, I
want to be like her. God, I need her.

Alex gets up again and goes over to the window.


If I saw her walking by right now Iíd run out into the street after
her. All morning Iíve been looking out almost hoping sheíd be there.
God, one phone call would take it all away. Is it wrong to want her
back? I know sheíd take me back.

Alex picks up a pen, goes to write something and then pauses.


So if Iím so sure of all this right now, why am I hesitating? Itís like
I feel as if I need someone elseís advice. Maybe itís just because itís
an important decision. I donít know, maybe Iím unfairly biased by my
emotions right now. How could I not be? I love her. I know sheíd take me
back. But maybe thatís the problem, she would take me back, sheíd let
me abuse her like that. But whatís she going through now? I want to write
a letter, I want to write one right now, leave it under her door telling her
where Iíll be if she wants to talk. Imagine how sheíd react if I showed
up again, sheíd be so happy, so excited-

Alex sits down again.


God, I was just picturing that. Picturing how excited sheíd be, how
sheíd make such a big scene. And I suddenly felt myself worrying
if other people were around, if others could hear, I was worrying about
being embarrassed. Doesnít that sum it all up there? My heart and mind have
never been fully with her. Iím always judging and analyzing her. I always
seem to be watching everything from the outside. God, I was so unfair.
Iím so sorry. I want to love her so badly. But do I love her? Yes I think I do.
Oh, but I need to know if I love her enough, if I love her the right way. But
doesnít it have to be simply yes or no. You love someone or you donít. I told
her I loved her, I donít want to think that I lied. But I just donít know right
now. Would the feelings be right this time? Oh I want her back so badly. I donít
know whatís wrong or right. All the so called problems we have, do I accept
them, try to fix them, be that way myself, what? Perhaps Iím being too
hasty, maybe I just need to think about it all some more.

Alex gets up again and walks to the other side of the room.


So why the rush? Because Iíve never felt so horrible in my life thatís why.
I want this pain to end. Maybe Iím trying to take the easy way out. Sheís
not going to go out and find herself someone new in a week or two
I have to believe that what I did was right. Even if I find that
I do truly love her, then it was right. I simply needed this time away to
realize it. Maybe it can give me time, that is what I need, to gain a little
perspective, put some distance between me and the past. But right now
that doesnít make me feel any better. I donít know, I guess itís like I feel
that Iíve lost my innocence. Iíve suddenly become the bad guy. Everyone
naturally assumes she broke up with me because they know I could never
do such a thing. Iím supposed to be the martyr. Iím the guy thatís good at
getting hurt. I donít hurt people. But I hurt her.

Alex looks at his reflection in the mirror.


And why? Because you didnít love her, thatís why. You keep saying
ďOh I didnít love her enoughĒ, ďI loved her like a sister.Ē Damn it, you
just did not love her. Itís not that you didnít try, for nearly two years you
tried. But love is something magical, something constant, not something
that's only there seeing her after being away for a few weeks, not something
thatís only there huddled under blankets at two in the morning. It is simply
there. In the way she talks, eats, smiles, breathes, everything. Right from
the start you knew, but you wouldnít believe it. You finally found someone
who loved you. How could it be possible that you couldnít love her back?
You broke up with her for one reason, and youíre looking at it now. For
every time you looked in the mirror and couldnít look yourself in the face
when the reflection asked you for the truth.

Alex pauses and slowly walks away from the mirror. He heads over to his desk.


So I guess thatís it, isnít it.

He holds up the picture for a moment.


Iím sorry.

Alex kisses the picture softly and puts it away in a drawer. His finger begins playing with the chain around his neck and then he removes it and places it in the drawer next to the other one. He walks over to the door and turns out the light.

Well, that was me pouring out my woes nearly six years ago. God, has it really been that long? Most of this came right out of my diary and I just changed it around a bit to make it like a short one-man play. Part of me figures that it's not the kind of thing anyone wants to read themselves. It's sort of like throwing up after eating something really bad. It's good to get it out of your system and you feel much better afterwards, but no one really wants to look at it. Any thoughts? If so, you can shuttle them on over to my contact page

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