Good Morning, Heartache (Part 5)

10 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 5)

It’s the start of a new year.  New year also means new semester, and both Heath and Jake have full course loads at school.  Like a continuation of last year, Heath and Jake only see each other a couple times a week.  Despite this, almost every day after class, they hang out with friends in the school cafeteria, which is always fun, but there are times when Jake wants to be alone with Heath.  His insecurities tell Jake that Heath would rather spend time with him when there are other people around, diluting, in a way, their time together.  It’s difficult for Jake not to think this, and he has to tell himself that things are going okay between them.

One time, Jake mentions about fate, and Heath says, “I don’t believe in it.”

“I thought you did.  What about how we met?”

“I… I dunno about all that.”

Heath tells Jake that he’ll be gone for a week on a trip to look at some cool plants with other students.  Jake is thrilled for Heath’s opportunity, naturally, but he can’t help but feel that this is only causing a greater rift between the two of them.  So Jake asks, “Then the next time I’ll see you is next Monday?”

“Well, I’ll be back on Friday.  And there’s the weekend.”

“Yeah, but you’ll be busy with family and studying, right?”

Heath laughs.  “Yeah, I will.”

“Exactly.  So I’ll be seeing you sometime next week.”

He hopes Heath will get the hint but he doesn’t seem to.  No matter.  Just gotta keep a brave face and be confident that things are alright.

Jake decides to let Heath get in touch with him when he gets back.  Fighting every urge in his body to send a text or to call him after Friday, Jake manages to hold off.  It’s not until Sunday when Heath finally texts Jake, and even then, he seems completely unbothered that it’s been almost a week since they’ve last talked, and that he’s been home for three days and hasn’t gotten in touch with his boyfriend.

It makes Jake sad, to say the least, that he’s realized his boyfriend doesn’t need to see or talk to him very much.  What happened to the boy who said he “can”t get enough of him, to that I will testify”?  He didn’t feel important or wanted in Heath’s life.  He knew he had to talk to Heath about this.

For the past few months, Jake always found himself to be the one saying, “I love you” first before hanging up on the phone, and always the first to both telling Heath “Happy Anniversary” as well as coming up with when to see each other next.  On what would have been their 6th month anniversary, nearing the end of the semester, Jake decides again to let Heath wish him a happy anniversary.  He’s sure Heath won’t forget.

By 11pm, he hasn’t heard from Heath all day.  Jake figures Heath is super busy from upcoming school projects, exams and whatnot, but also reasons that it’s not too much to send a text to someone.  Surely, Heath must have 30 seconds or 5 minutes to send a text or to call him, right?  Just before midnight, Jake, extremely bummed out, sends Heath the requisite happy anniversary text, and goes to bed.

Jake and Heath meet at school a few days later, after classes.  Heath says he needs to go home and do work and doesn’t have time to hang out with friends in the cafeteria, but Jake can walk and talk with him at the bus stop.  At the bus stop, Jake tells him about how sad and disappointed he was about Heath’s lack of contact after his trip, and his forgetting to do or say anything about their six months together.  He hopes Heath will understand where he’s coming from.

For the first time, Jake witnesses Heath upset– upset in the slightly angry sense.  Heath, who is probably stressed out of his mind, snaps, “Well, forgive me if I was busy studying for a midterm the next day, and was running of 5 hours of sleep!”  Jake stays silent as Heath goes on.

“I know you probably think I’m making up excuses, but I’m not.  That’s just the way it happened.  Forgive me!”

Jake finally speaks up.  “When we started going out, we would celebrate our anniversaries in person, and I thought that was so great and wonderful.  Then, we got busy, and we would at least call each other on the phone or text, and I thought, ‘This isn’t as great, but I can live with it.  Just hearing from him is more than enough.  I guess this is what I should expect.’  And now…

“I know you’re busy.  I just didn’t think sending a text would require too much of  your time.  Should I be expecting this from now on, Heath?  Is this the standard I should get used to?”  Jake looks to Heath imploringly.  Heath looks away, then down at the ground.

“No, you shouldn’t get used to that.  You know I care about you.”

“Then show me!” Jake says, exasperated.  “It’s so easy to just say that– anyone can say that.  But if you do care about me, then show me.”

It’s now Heath’s turn to be silent.  “Okay.  I will show you.  I’ll come by your place this week, okay?”

Jake nods.  “Okay.”

The bus pulls up to the bus stop, and students begin climbing aboard.

“I love you.”  That’s Heath, one of the first times Jake’s heard Heath say those words first.

Of course Jake says the same.  “I love you, too.  Bye.”  They kiss before Heath gets on the bus.

He wonders.  He wonders if he was too harsh on Heath or not, if he was overreacting, but Jake, who is so in love with this boy, simply tells himself that the next couple weeks will be difficult because of the end of term.  After this semester, it’ll be summer, and things will be so much better.  It has to get better.

After the semester is finally over and summer is out, Jake’s wishes don’t exactly come true.  Although Jake is taking a few courses at school for the summer, Heath is not.  However, Heath spends more time volunteering at the botanical garden and looking for a summer job that although they get to see each other more than, say, those two weeks before end of semester, it’s still not very much.  Jake is fine with it though.  Any time he gets with Heath is great, he tells himself (not that he needs to because he knows it’s already true).

When Heath tells Jake that he’s landed a job, Jake tells him the obligatory “That’s great!  Congrats!” but  is secretly sad, only because he knows it will mean even less time with Heath.  Jake also gets a job at a local movie theatre, but still always seems to be the one who is trying to schedule time together for the two of them.  Moreover, Jake is scared that he’s no longer interesting to Heath, that Heath now thinks Jake is boring and no fun to be around, which might explain why he doesn’t make time to see Jake.  The web of insecurities continue to weave around Jake’s mind.

He decides confront Heath about all this.

On a bright, summer day, a few days before their 10 month anniversary, Jake and Heath meet at the park downtown.  They go on a long, long walk throughout the park as Jake tells him everything he’s been feeling for the past while.  Heath listens to everything without interrupting, and his expression is difficult to read.  Then, Jake has a pivotal question for Heath.

“Do you honestly think you have time for a relationship right now?”

After some silence, Heath replies, “I guess not.”

The two sit on a log and talk some more.  “When we started going out, I promised you that I wouldn’t hurt you, and I can tell this has hurt you.  I don’t want to hurt you anymore,” reasons Heath.  He puts his head on Jake’s shoulder as they sit in silence.

Unable to think, Jake says nothing.  He doesn’t feel anything, which he is aware of, and is surprised at it.  There are no tears, although he does feel sad.  Perhaps all the time away from each other has made things easier to end.  Logically, if one person in a relationship doesn’t have time for one, it should follow that that person shouldn’t be in a relationship.  Logically, things should end.

But it doesn’t feel like an ending.

On their long way along the beach at the park, Jake locks his arm in Heath’s, the way he used to do.  Heath lets him do it, and Jake can’t help but obviously still love Heath.  It doesn’t feel as if anything has changed.  The truth does not equal the reality.  It doesn’t feel over.

The next few days, Jake suprises himself by being able to not contact Heath.  He actually feels alright.  He thought it would be harder to do, but maybe he’s stronger than he thinks.  There are a few times when Jake catches himself thinking about his “husky”, but then reminds himself that he no longer has one.  At the same time, he can’t help but think Heath isn’t the type of person who would ask him back.  Unlike Jake, the romancer of romance, Heath was never too big on romance.  Sure, he used to write a poem or two to Jake and one time he gave Jake a rose, but it was never consistent, and certainly in the last few months, the only romantic thing Heath did was have romantic sex.  Still, Jake supposes there’s always a chance.

To be continued!