Mrs. Barnes: What a great woman we had! <3

My two brothers head across the street to visit our favorite neighbor who taught us how to play the piano, babysat us several summers & other occasions & got together to chat.

My older brother brings a song to play for her. We know she is gradually becoming sicker & will soon pass.Therefore, we want to spend as much time with her as possible. She is getting weaker & weaker.

But, I don’t want to talk about it. I can’t. I’m unable to utter those words because of the pain I feel.

She answers the door slowly. We all hug her and walk toward the other room to talk & listen to the song. She is a piano player & singer. She is kind & loving. We all love her, including my parents.

The song “Take me home tonight” plays throughout the room. My older brother says, Doesn’t this sound like you singing, Mrs. Barnes? I don’t believe it sounds like her, but my brothers are convinced, so I agree. As they sing along, I think about her. I look at her fragile, frail body & know that she will soon die. I know what will happen & how I’ll feel. However, at the same time, I block that out. I avoid it. That was the LAST time my older brother saw her, ever.

My younger brother & I saw her a week after that in her room. I give her a picture of my then boyfriend. She was sort of a psychic & specifically told me that he would tell me he loves me. That’s the “he” I speak of in my other entries. I guess I still believe he’ll say it. I mean more than a friend.

Some weeks after this, she passed. I remember the call from her daughter, who we’ve met several times. I hide my feelings because I didn’t want to upset anyone. Her viewing was the worst. I felt disgusting, terrible, helpless & gross. My older brother was on a trip & didn’t get to properly say goodbye.

During the drive to the church, I prepared myself. I knew I couldn’t cry. I wasn’t able to “lose it.” I had to be strong. I couldn’t look weak by shedding tears. When my younger brother, parents & I walked in, we were greeted by her daughter, who hugged my mother. There were pictures on this screen of her & her family.  I swear, if there was a picture of her & I, I would have “lost” it. Literally.

I kept it together very well. As we visited her casket, my younger brother kept staring at me. I didn’t want ANY looks, glances stares of any kind.  NOTHING. I was NOT in the mood. I appeared fine, but on the inside, I was screaming. I kept cool. We stayed for about 20 minutes. Honestly, I couldn’t handle that situation anymore. I cracked a few jokes to lighten the mood.

When I got home, I sat in my room & cried. No one knew it.Later when we ate dinner, I knew I had to keep it together.

A week later when my brother came home, he wanted to talk about it. I couldn’t. I just brushed it off. I wasn’t ready though. Nope. Sorry. Can’t. Won’t. Don’t.

But, her & I were supposed to bake those cookies. She was supposed to come to my wedding. She was supposed to tell me how beautiful & grown up I look. She was supposed to be present when I wrote my first book.

This was 2-3 years ago, but when I heard Take me home tonight, I immediately thought of her. I choked up as I listened to the song & thought of THAT moment. You have no clue how much I loved her. She was so precious.

Mrs. Barnes, I love you & think of you often. RIP, my dear.

Mrs. Barnes: What a great woman we had!

So, let’s just wait & see what happens.

I walk into class waiting for the right moment to talk to him. I’m not planning it nor “waiting” for it to happen. Whatever occurs, occurs. I’ve never spoken to him. He’s a shy & quiet guy. Something about him draws me in. At first, I didn’t find him attractive, but when I really looked at him, I found him adorable. He’s in 2 of my classes, so I have a choice when to talk to him. I see him every day. When’s the “right” moment, when you feel it, I tell myself.

He has a beard, which I never find attractive in a guy. This is a rather strange statement, since I don’t know him at all, but I feel like he needs me. I feel like I can help him. He always looks so sad & pathetic sitting in his seat. I can help him, I just know it.

I think he may remind me of my ex a little bit & since I felt as if I helped him, I need someone else to help. I believe it comes down to feeling needed. In a way, I want to feel like this because I’ll feel important. I simply can’t describe it any other way.

Also, this is bad to say, but, maybe I feel attracted to him because there’s no other guys who are cute in my other classes or at work.  They either have girlfriends or aren’t my type. He is different. He’s so quiet & doesn’t say much. I think I can break him, get him to speak to me, share things with me.  Maybe I just want another guy friend. It’s not as if we’re going to date or anything. I just feel a sort of connection with him. It’s absurd & random, but that’s the way it is, folks!

Ultimately, I think it all comes down to physical contact. I don’t mean sex. I mean hugs. Yes, I can get hugs from friends & family, but doesn’t it feel more special from the guy/girl you’re involved with? It’s just so much better.

I haven’t told anyone about my little crush. It’s not worth it. Nothing is going to happen. There’s nothing to tell. He’s just adorable as hell & I want to get to know him. Honestly, it’s no big deal. I can bet you $20 that he’s only 21. I’m 23. Remember, most college seniors, which is what I am, are 21. They began college when they were 18. I started out at a community college & transferred, so I’m a little older than the pack. This is a problem when it comes to meeting guys at school because they are all too young. In no way am I desperate to meet a guy. I’m waiting for it to happen.

This is how I see it, 1) Maybe I’m not completely ready for a boyfriend. Have I 100% gotten over the ex? I would say about 98%. But, now, if I went out on a date, I would only be nervous. I wouldn’t cry like last time. At that time, no way was I ready to date a guy. I loved the idea, but I just wasn’t emotionally prepared. 2) Maybe the guy that’s “for” me is really special & it’s taking him a little longer to come. I deserve the best. I know I do. Seriously, I’m amazing. I always listen to you, I always help you, I always offer to do things for you when you can’t, I’m always supportive, I’m always caring, I’m always willing to try new things, I’m willing to go somewhere YOU want to go &  I’m always willing to give you what you want & what you need.  How does that sound?! Pretty amazing to me, I should say.

Recently, another thing is sometimes when I hear songs I picture this guy in my mind. I picture his smile & laugh. Gosh, he has such a cute smile. He rarely smiles, but when he does, it’s cute as hell. Yes, I sound like such a creeper, but really I’m not. I promise. I just like to observe him. For one thing, I KNOW he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Two, he would never talk to me because he’s too shy. That’s why I need to talk to him. Again, I’m not planning it because whenever I do that, it never comes out right. Something messy happens.

So, let’s just wait & see what happens.

It’s all so uncertain.

It’s a lie, a joke, a prank. It’s untrue, false, unheard of.

Actually, it’s real.

Lately, all I can think about is my old co-worker. He has cancer. I’m not used to reading statuses that say, “Chemo went well, but I feel sick.” Status, after status, after status. How could I face him again knowing that at any second he could leave this earth?

I over think EVERYTHING. There isn’t one thing that doesn’t cross my mind throughout the day. My thoughts range from happy to sad to morbid to depressing & back to happy. It’s how I am. It’s who I am. I. Can’t. Stop. I try. Believe me, I do, but the thoughts stay with me.

Sometimes, I think I do it out of pure entertainment, or possibly enjoyment, something else to focus on besides my current situation, besides MY life. Say I focus on my feelings for him. I’m not dealing with my own life. Or, if I constantly think about death. That’s not what I’m going through at the time. You see, I step away from everything that’s happening. It’s a distraction, a mind sort of act.

I create ideas, thoughts & imaginations in my head. I explore them, I try to live them, I dream them. They can be simple or elaborate.

In regards to my former co-worker, I keep thinking that it’s a dream. I pretend that he’s not sick. How could he be? He was okay the last time I saw him. He’s making it up. He’s not really ill. But, it’s the truth & nothing but the true. I just have to accept it & move on.

It’s real. It’s really happening.  But why? Nobody knows. Nobody will ever know “why this” “why that” “why me” “why not her.”

As I’ve noted before, everything is uncertain. There’s no script we’re following. It’s pure, real life here, folks. What’s the next step? I’m sorry, I can’t tell you or help you with that. Sometimes you make your own destiny & other times, you don’t.

It’s just all uncertainty.

But, mostly, I question, will he have his 2nd chance at life?

I can’t speak it, explain it, or talk about it. I can write it, describe it, convey the meaning through words, but when it comes to talking, I lack the ability to do it.

Progressively, in many instances, I’m horrible when it comes to telling you how I feel. I can easily tell you that I love you, tell you how much I like you, show my appreciation, but I can’t express my gratitude. Other than words, though that can be difficult at times, I can’t tell you how much you mean to me. I’m not sure if I could tell my mom how heartbroken & devastated I’m going to feel when she passes. I get choked up every. single.time I ever ponder the thought of her nonexistence on this earth. I cry like a baby when I imagine my life without my parents or anyone close to me. Therefore, I have difficultly getting close to anyone. As everyone knows, anyone can die at any moment. Sitting here, typing this entry, I could drop dead. The uncertainty is what gets me. Not knowing when it’s going to happen, literally kills me. No pun intended.

Over the weekend, I saw this movie, 50/50. It’s about this man who is diagnosed with cancer. The viewers watch as he becomes weaker and weaker until he can no longer attend work. Throughout the movie, there is comedy, but at the same time, sadness. His girlfriend cheats on him because she can no longer handle his condition. His whole world is turned around when he’s told those three words, “You have cancer.”

Now, watching it makes me think of the current theme of this entry: Death.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when he’s sitting there talking to his therapist about his cancer. She tells him everything is going to be alright. The question is, how do you know that? You’re trying to be optimist, but no one is being real. Not one person tells him the possibility that he could die. He could. He knows he has a 50% chance of survival, but does everyone else? Everyone thinks he’ll be fine. That’s the thing about the situation. No one truly knows what is going to happen to him. If it sounds interesting, I won’t ruin it for you. But, just ponder that for a moment. If you have a loved one with cancer, as hard as it is, there is a possibility that he or she won’t win the battle. It’s a bitch of a battle.

In connection with this, the other day, I saw one of my old co-workers at the train station. We talked a decent amount when we worked together. He’s in his 60s, with a cigarette in hand to greet me with, “Hello, Hope Kumor.” Shocked & caught off guard, I said hello. One of the first words that came out of his mouth was “I have cancer.” Bingo. There it was. Lying right there. Those three words were uttered out of someone’s mouth that I knew personally. Immediately I said, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

My mom’s grandma & mother both died of cancer, but I didn’t know neither of them. In fact, before the movie, I didn’t know much about it. Then, as I watched that movie & witnessed firsthand, my old co-worker, I understood.

He asked if he could sit with me on the train. I responded with, “Sure.” What was I going to say? No? I had to say yes. I didn’t mind in the least bit.

During the train ride, I witnessed him grab his chest a number of times, have problems swallowing his saliva & breathe in an abnormal manner. When this occurred, I felt helpless & awkward. What could I do to help him? I’m not good with that type of stuff. I’m not the best at comforting or helping someone through a tough time. I’m weird & awkward. Generally, don’t call on me for that type of stuff. I’m not saying I won’t help you, I’m saying I might be the last person who can help you. Of course I’m willing to help in any way I can, just not the comforting & nurturing way.

Like I said before, I’m not good at expressing myself. It’s hard for me to ask, “Are you okay?” Instead, at times, I make a smart ass remark about how you are okay. This is in some occurrences. I don’t want to come off as an uncaring bitch who makes rude remarks when someone needs me. I’m just saying that to make it less awkward, for myself, I may assume you don’t need me.

So, during the ride, we spoke about my Journalism path, how I’m graduating in December, how many publications I’ve written for, about the internship class I’m taking in the spring to temporary save me from the real world. Also, I wasn’t sure if he felt comfortable talking about his cancer when it became his turn to talk. I asked a few questions about it, but I left it up to him to tell me the facts. I’m not sure what to do in those instances. Ask, or not ask? He was always nice, but a little creepy. However, not this time. The pain & agony in his eyes told me he wasn’t creepy like before. Instead, in those eyes, there was fatigue & desperation for getting better. And, I want him to fight this, concur & win. I want  that so badly for him, but I’m not the one who it’s up to. I can wish, dream & pray as much as I want, but there’s nothing too big that I can do. It pains me to watch & see that type of stuff. I can’t handle it. I’m not strong enough. I’m a weak bitch when it comes to that. That’s the type of bitch I am, a weak one.

He’s also had 4 heart attacks & his Facebook friends have been sending him encouraging comments. He’s even gotten $1,100 in the mail! Then, the surprise that people can be helpful & nice came & shocked me. Generally, in this world, there are many rude people. All they care about is themselves. But, in this situation, they cared about him. Throughout his cancer, he remains positive & humorous. He’s funny & interesting.

As we approached his stop, he told me that he can get me in contact with someone about my career path. Maybe this man he spoke of can help me? He told me to friend him on Facebook & he would pull some strings & talk to the guy. He said he was so proud of me. He just kept emphasizing that.

The last words he said to me were, Take care, sweetheart. I couldn’t help but think, “Is that the last time I’ll ever see him?” The thoughts began to form inside my mind. My deep thoughts. My depressing thoughts. My concerning thoughts. I couldn’t stop. I started to think, think and think.

Death. 

How horrid, grotesque, gruesome, morbid, disturbing,hard, disgusting, gross & unfathomable.

I felt so depressed the whole rest of the day. Was I dreaming? Did he really tell me he has cancer that morning? Maybe I was making it up. Honestly, it felt surreal. But, reality kicked in & on the train ride home, I felt like crying. There were multiple times when tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t hold them back. but I fought them hard.

But, I just want to know, what the fuck you do when someone close to you dies? What do you do afterward? Do you celebrate? Do you smile? Do you cry? Do you become depressed? Do you become isolated?

Is that the last time I’ll see him? Will he get better? Will he survive?

But, mostly, I question, will he have his 2nd chance at life?

❤ Hope Kumor

It’s just the fact that he made me look bad!

He’s lonely, wants to meet new people &I have the ability to do just that.

I set up a Night Out at Dave & Buster’s for Saturday. I would invite him along with all of my other friends. It was set. I told my one friend about him coming. As any friend who knows his & my relationship, she questioned if I was sure I wanted him to come. She knows our history & the pain & agony I went through as he flirted with other girls. Nope. I was good, fine, golden.

Then, the next step was to tell him. I told him to make sure not to plan anything that Saturday. A week before, I told him all the details. He did the unexpected & told me, No offense, but when I told you I wanted to meet new people, I didn’t mean your friends. Really? Seriously? Who else can introduce you to a group of people? How do you ever expect to do this then? He thought it was a joke. He thought I was kidding. No way. No how. Why would I joke about taking him out & introducing him to my friends?

So, after I went over all the details with him about the night, he went on a tangent about how social situations work & how the night will turn out. He talked & talked & talked about it for 25 minutes. I was on my 30 minute break & got tired of hearing how the night would go & what would occur as we hung out & played games. Everyone would be in their own click. We would exchange a few words, but that would be it. There wouldn’t be much conversation.

Ok, let’s stop right here. Let’s hold the bottle right now. This could be potentially true of ANY social interaction. This could happen in ANY instance. Or, it could go the other way, I told him. You & the group could talk & converse & get to know one another. It’s a perfect situation. But, he overanalyzes EVERY. SINGLE.SITUATION. He needs to relax & let loose sometimes & not worry about everything. THIS could be his problem, how he thinks too much of how it’s going to be, rather than to see how the situation pans out on it’s own.

It was up to him. I gave him the opportunity, if he didn’t grab it, it was his loss.

Let’s fast forward to a few days after that, Thursday. He texted me & told me he wanted to go. My friend’s b.f. is from the country he wishes to visit & they could converse about that. Her b.f. is the ticket, the open door. However, at that moment, I wasn’t sure if her b.f. was going, so I told him that.

Saturday, THE DAY. I found out her b.f was going. So, I called him & told him. He made plans for the next morning, so he wasn’t sure if he could go. Okay. Alright. Fine. I’ll tell my friend that he can’t go. No big deal. End of discussion.

But, wait, no it wasn’t. We talked for an hour. Thirty five minutes of that time was spent deciding if he should go or not. We explored the possibilities of what could happen, what may happen, what he believed would happen. I just did it, but eventually, I was worn out. I was so tired of talking about it. I was out of words to say. I’ve never seen him so indecisive about something. The answer was no. Unless, he texted me & changed his mind. He would let me know.

Sigh. Okay.

I was leaving my house after 8:30 to drive to my friends so we could ride together. 8:15, he texted me, when I specifically told him to text me before that so I could tell him the details. Then, he said he’ll join us. Okay. That’s fine.

Oh.. you will. We are meeting over [my friend’s]. You can follow me over & meet everyone first. I’m leaving here around 8:30, I said.

It was late. I was being fair. He needed to come over that minute or else he couldn’t come. I was going to be late as it was. Then, he said,

Oh um maybe not then. im not even ready. its cool though. another time.

Really? Seriously? Right before that, I told my friend, actually he was coming. She said okay. So, again, it’s a no? I call him & tell him that if he wanted, he could meet us. I was still being extremely fair & patient with him. I was a little annoyed, but I wasn’t out of control. But, the situation was messed up as is. First of all, he’s already made me look bad by saying, oh, I’m coming, now I’m not, now I am. So, I had to tell them he’s not coming now?  Then, he said,

Don’t tell anyone yet.   I can meet u guys there.

Okay. So, we’re on again. Do you see why I get annoyed? Please tell me, your thoughts. Would you get annoyed? Am I right to get annoyed?

I arrived at my friends. Around 9:00, we left, so I texted him to let him know. It was two guys & four girls.

I told my friend that he was meeting us there. He asked,

When are you guys going to be there?

We were almost there at the time. But, after I texted him,

Did you leave yet? If no, maybe you should come another time. 

He wrote me back saying,

Yea maybe. i started but im not sure how long i could stay. just say i have to get up early

He started? Does that mean he began to drive then changed him mind for the fifth time?

That was it. I was done. No more texts. First he tells me, he can come, then he can’t, then he can, then he can’t.

How does that make me look?

I was annoyed, pissed & irritated. That’s fine if he didn’t feel comfortable to come & meet everyone, but don’t mess around & tell me five different things!

It’s just the fact that he made me look bad!