Length: 1-5k words
Dedication: Nope, not today. Besides, it will never be read by the person who knows where this came from.
Notes: I don’t usually write Guy/Connie, for some reason I’m not a big fan of either of them, but I’ll always give new stuff a go.
Actually, this is all my fault. See, about six months ago Connie mentioned that she wanted something academic as well as athletic to put on her college applications. I saw her point and told her that she was a whiz at English, what about the student newspaper?
She blushed a little and replied that she didn’t know if she’d be good enough, what if the other students didn’t like her? What if they thought that she should stick to the ice and leave the brains to them? What if she wasn’t good enough? What if she was used to being surrounded by Ducks and wouldn’t be open to working with new people?
I gave her a hug and told her that I thought she was amazing and that they would be pleased to have her on the paper. I said that she was very talented and would be an asset to them.
She came back from the first meeting thrilled and a little baffled. They liked her, she got on well with all of them and she had been offered a story about the student council—not hockey like she expected. It was new and exciting. I was proud of her and glad that she was enjoying herself.
For a couple of months things seemed normal between us, nothing much was different. Ok, we had less time together, but that was ok, I had my own stuff to do, my homework had been suffering for awhile, so when Connie was working on her articles I’d attempt to get higher than a B. Luis, my roommate, was really helpful.
Then Connie started turning up late for our dates. And when we were together a name would be dropped every so often. Mike. It’s the type of name you can ignore, it’s just so generic. He was editor of the paper and had noticed that Connie had quite a nice style.
Maybe I looking through rose-tinted glasses, but I never thought anything of it. Connie and I had been together forever, I knew her better than anyone else in the world, people referred to us as Connie-and-Guy, as if it was just one word. And besides, she never mentioned him any more than I mentioned Luis or Charlie.
I met him a couple of times—actually, I liked him. He was a really great guy, funny, intelligent and his sarcastic column in the paper never failed to make me laugh out loud, and he was so friendly. He was impossible to dislike, I always stopped in the halls to talk to him and share a joke.
Of course, then she started cancelling dates. Again, it wasn’t that big a deal, it didn’t happen all the time and when we were together it was still good. A little distant, but I put that down to the start of the hockey season and Connie cramming too much into each day.
Then the dates stopped altogether, and even I couldn’t manage to convince myself that things were ok. Not that I didn’t try. We still managed to catch some time together, the odd lunch or rarer still, the occasional kiss in the hallways after the bell had rung for class.
Luis, as I’ve said, is my roommate, and he noticed how despondent I was becoming about the whole situation, even before the dates stopped entirely and often asked me if I wanted to go to see a movie with him, or if I wanted to join a ‘gathering’ (parties are forbidden at Eden Hall—also, the rooms are too small) at his girlfriend, Annie’s, dorm. I always said no at first, but as time with Connie dried up and I found myself increasingly alone on a Friday or Saturday night I began to rethink my decision.
Ok, if I’m being honest I might as well go all out. I was trying to make her jealous. She said that she was free one night and that she’d like some ‘quality time’ with me on the very same night that Annie was throwing one of her ‘gatherings’.
I agreed to see Connie, then went with Luis to Annie’s room and proceeded to get a little giggly on some vodka she was passing around.
The next morning Connie didn’t even ask where I had been. I had planned to say that it had ‘slipped my mind’ that she was coming round. Unfortunately, that lie would have only worked if it wasn’t the truth for her.
I tried the same thing several times and got the same response each time.
Sometimes it was over a week between the night we were supposed to get together and the next time we actually got to speak. Connie didn’t seem even slightly perturbed about this.
Most of the time when I saw her she was with Mike, if I tried to talk about the Ducks or even us she would cut me off, then slip a note in my locker later explaining that it wasn’t fair of me to make a point of excluding Mike in the conversation. I wasn’t trying to, I was just trying to see if I still existed to Connie. And Mike, who I’d first thought was so friendly, began to make snide comments when I was around, or they’d talk about some article or part of student politics that I either didn’t understand or know about. Why it was polite for him to do that but rude for me to talk about the Ducks I’ll never know.
Eventually I managed to book ten minutes in Connie’s over-flowing schedule to discuss us. She laughed it off, told me that we were fine, that there was no problem.
Then she broke down and admitted that she was torn between many priorities, but that she’d never meant for it to damage us.
I told her it was ok, I’d encouraged her to do it.
But we didn’t break up. I actually got the feeling that we were starting anew. She got a call on her cell from Mike, telling her that she had to get to the office immediately and she turned it down. We curled up in my room, talked, watched a movie, I played with her hair. I had my Connie back.
After a week of perfection she began to slip again, missing dates, working her ass off on the paper desperately trying to get noticed by one of the local papers to do the odd feature from time to time.
Pretty soon we were back to the usual routine of not seeing each other at all.
Three weeks ago she quit the Ducks.
And ever since I’ve been waiting for her to make time to quit Connie-and-Guy too.
And here’s the weird thing. I don’t hate her. I don’t even hate Mike. I just hate me, for not being what she wants anymore. I still love her.
I can’t work out if that’s incredibly pathetic or rather sweet.