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Linda's story

GONE GONE GONE’ FOR U

LINDA’S STORY

What would you do if the love of your life disappeared?
Disappeared without a trace, vanished into thin air?

NO BETTER FEELING THAN LOVE

I sat on the thin wall around our attic, my head resting on his shoulder while I made him gaze at the night sky above us.

Linda's story

 

“So is this the cliche part where we talk about the moon and the stars?” he asks me.

I laugh and shake my head, saying, “No, we enjoy being in each other’s arms.”

He grins at me and I grin back.

“Can you stay the night?” I ask him, just like I ask him every other day.

He runs his hands through his hair and sighs.

“You know I can’t. My parents aren’t fine with that,” He says.
I nod, and then shrug. I give him a goodbye hug, we offer each other our goodbyes and good nights, and I watch as he leaves down the dark alley, waving just one last time.

I sigh and lock the door, make sure all the windows are closed and fall in bed.
I open my phone and have an unread message from Mathew.

“I miss you already”

I read.

I smile to myself, and it’s the last thing I do before I fall asleep.
I wake up, to find noises downstairs. My parents must be home.

I run downstairs and see my mom making pancakes.
“How come you home?” I ask her.

“Dad’s still working. But my shift ended. They found another doctor to work in the emergency department. So you’ll be seeing me more often.” She said, smiling.

I smiled back at her. I opened my phone to text Mathew to tell him he couldn’t come over.

Linda's story

I typed in a text to let him know and I was about to send him the message but I couldn’t find his name in the contact list.
I searched and searched but I couldn’t find it.
I checked my received inbox to see if his message from last night was there, but there was nothing.
This was definitely weird.

I went through my entire inbox, but there was nothing. Nothing in the sent or received folder.
I quickly ate my breakfast and left for school.

I reached school and looked all around for Mathew, but he was nowhere to be seen.
This was some seriously weird stuff.

I waited for our homeroom teacher to call out our names, and realized she didn’t call Mathew’s name.
What the hell was going on?

Linda's story

I kept going on as if nothing had happened. Then at recess I talked to my best friend, Sasha and asked her if she’d seen Mathew anywhere.

“Mathew who?” she asked.

“Mathew my boyfriend,” I said, frustrated. This was getting really weird.

“Hun, you haven’t had a boyfriend since 6th grade,” she said smiling at me.

“Sasha! I’m not in the mood for games. His number isn’t in my phone, the teacher didn’t call his name in class today, and now you’re pretending you don’t know who he is? I’m frustrated and worried just please tell me if you’ve seen him or not, don’t you have AP chemistry with him?” I ranted.

“Girl, the only reason you didn’t see his number, is because he doesn’t EXIST!” she said, disbelievingly. “When will you come to terms with that?”

“I will not come to terms with that,” I said, hissing. “Cut me some slack, will you? I’m having a terrible day!”

“Okay, now I’m seriously worried.” Sasha said, looking genuinely concerned. “Is everything okay?

“No it’s not!” I shouted, causing a few people to look at us.
I walked hurriedly to class, and waited for the next three lessons to fly by so I could go and visit his house and ask him what the hell is going on.
When the last bell rang, signaling the end of the day, I ran out of the school hallway, got into my car and drove straight to Mathew’s house.
I rang the bell and Mrs. Connors opened the door.

“Hey Linda,” she greeted with a smile.

“Hi Mrs. Connors,” I said. “Where’s Mathew? I didn’t see him at school today.”

“Um,” she said, confused, “Mathew who?”

“You too?” I asked exhausted.

“What?” she asked me.

“Nothing,” I said and stormed off upstairs to Mathew’s room.
Only when I got up I didn’t find it. There was no room.
I sighed and screamed, kick at the wall where Mathew’s room was.
I heard Mrs. Connors scream and then she appeared behind me, her hand on my shoulder.

“What’s wrong honey?” she asked me.

“Nothing. Where is Mathew?” I asked her.

“Listen, I don’t know any-“ she started.
I cut her and nodded, left the house in a hurry and ran back home.
My mom was home, and the second I entered she asked me what was wrong.

“Mom I can’t find Mathew!” I cried.

“Is that a friend in school?” she asked.

“Mom, not you too!” I said, tears now forming in my eyes.

“What are you talking about?” she asked me, turning of the gas stove and moving towards me.

“Mom, my boyfriend! The guy you absolutely hated. Jet black hair, tanned skin!” I explained, trying to stay calm.

“No sweetie, I don’t remember you having a boyfriend.” She said.

“Okay,” I said and ran upstairs, ignoring her calling my name.
I locked my door, and fell on the bed exhausted.
This wasn’t some typical boyfriend, wasn’t just some sort of crush.
I loved him! And he loved me back.

We’ve been together since a year. And it feels like forever. It feels like I’ve always known him, like we’ve been together since the day I was born.
I don’t have many friends, he’s everything to me, I’ve never felt the need to talk or actually get along with anybody else.

Just a few friends in the class, but no one too close.
Right now, I feel empty.
So empty.

Like something that’s mine is taken away from me.

NOTHING WORST THAT LOSING YOUR LOVE

I cried and dwelled on everything for a bit, then got an idea.

Linda's story

I opened up my laptop and went on facebook.
I typed in Mathew Connors and hit search. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I ran downstairs, and showed the picture to my mom.

“This,” I said, pointing to a guy who was smiling, “is Mathew. My boyfriend. Do you remember now?”

“What are you talking about sweetie?” she asked me, looking baffled.

“Nothing,” I muttered and went back upstairs, locking my door again.
I tried opening his profile picture, but couldn’t because I wasn’t his friend. I tried getting access to anything which would give me a hint or a clue as to where he is, but his account didn’t give access to strangers.

I sent him a friend request, and waited, desperately for him to accept it.
I finished all my assignments, went to the park with Sasha to help clear my mind off everything that happened today.

“So,” she said, looking at me, as if asking me to permission to speak.

“Yea?” I said, raising my eyebrows.

“Are you okay now? I mean, the whole Mathew thing had me worried about you.” she said, looking at me as if I was crazy.

I sighed and took out my phone, showing her the screenshot I took of his profile.

“Hmmm. Mathew Connors,” she muttered. “Sure looks hot. You sure he’s your boyfriend?” she asked me teasingly.
I sighed loudly and just continued walking. I suddenly heard my phone beep. A new notification.

‘Please be from Mathew, Please be from Mathew’ I prayed.

Nope. Just my mom asking me when I was getting home.

Linda's story

 

I typed in a quick reply, and put my phone back into my jeans pocket.

Another beep. I decided not to get my hopes up.

‘Mathew Connors has accepted your friend request’

“Sasha, I got to go,” I said hurriedly.

“Where?” she asked me, surprised.

“Home. Emergency,” I said, and ran back home.

I quickly went upstairs, glad for the first time my parents weren’t home to ask me a million questions.

I opened my laptop and logged onto facebook.

‘Hey’ I typed in.

Then I clicked on Mathew Connors. I went through his profile pictures. He only had one profile picture. And he just joined facebook 9 hours ago.

What the hell? It’s like he completely vanished from Earth. He had no facebook account.

Where did his previous account go? Why wasn’t his contact on my phone? Why were all of our texts deleted?

Questions, questions and questions.

I guess there was just one way to find out.

Just as I was about to log out, I got a message.

It was from Mathew.

‘Hey,’ it read, ‘Do I know you?’

‘Maybe.’I typed in.

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ he asked.

‘Nothing’ I typed in, hoping I hadn’t creep-ed him out. ‘Where do you live?’

‘Why should I tell you?’ he replied back, almost instantly. Damn, I missed his fast typing. I remember how he’d never make me wait, always reply back really quick. One of the things I loved about him.

‘Don’t worry, if it’s any consolation, I won’t kidnap you. Just curious.’ I typed back.

‘Windsor’ he wrote back.

I was about to type something in but I saw that he logged off. I sighed, and fell back onto my bed.
I called up Sasha.

“Hey girl! Is everything okay?” she asked, concerned.

“Yep. Want to go to Windsor? Wait, it’s not a question. We’re driving to Windsor. Tomorrow, morning, pack up.” I said, hurriedly.

“What the-” she started.

“Please. This is important,” I said, cutting her off.

“Fine,” I heard her sigh through the phone.

‘What’s your address?’ I typed in and sent it to Mathew.

I got a reply back right then.
‘What the hell?’ I read. I laughed. That was a stupid move.

I emptied my duffel bag, and packed some hoodies and jeans, and went downstairs to get something to eat.
I heard the door open and turned around to see who it was.

My mom came inside and greeted me.

“I’m really tired sweetie,” she said, whispering. “I’m going to go sleep okay? Order something from outside.”

I nodded and watched as she entered her room and closed the door behind her.
I felt guilty for what I was going to do, but it was important.
I ran inside her room, and found her taking Panadol.

“Hey mom,” I said breathlessly.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Please don’t say no.” I pleaded.

She sighed, and told me to continue.
I told her we needed to go on a road trip, just 12 hours away. I assured her I’d call her every 5 hours, and that we were going with Sasha who had her license.

“No,” she said, “Absolutely not.”

“Mom,” I pleaded, “this is important. I’ll explain everything once I get back. But right now, I just really have to do this.”

“No way,” she said.

“Well I’m going whether you agree or not. I’m sorry but this is really important.” I say, as nicely as I can.

“Linda, you are not going anywhere,” she said, getting angry now.

“I don’t want you guys to stress yourselves out, but I’m sorry i just really have to do this,” I pleaded, tears now forming at my eyes. “I’ll keep in touch. I’m sorry.”

And with that I ran out the front door and took drove Mom’s Toyota to Sasha’s house.
I snuck in through the back door and entered her room.

I saw her packing her bag.

“Hey” I whispered.

She mini-screamed and turned around, sighing in relief to see me.

“Sorry if I startled you,” I said.

“It’s all good,” she said, and continued packing her bag. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not right now,” I muttered.

“Look, no offence, but I just lied to my parents. For you. Can I at least know what the hell is going on? I’m offering you a ride to Windsor. The least you can do is explain.” she ranted.

I felt guilty. “Promise you won’t think I’ve gone bazooka?” I asked her.

She nodded. I told her everything.

She looked at me like I grew two horns.

“That’s weird,” she said finally, after I stopped talking.

I sighed, and ran my hands through my hair.

“Yep,” I agreed.
Telling someone what happened was definitely weird.

“We’re leaving in three hours.” she said.
I nodded.

“Movie?” I suggested.
And so we spent the next 3 hours watching ‘Mean Girls.’
We got our bags and headed towards Sasha’s SUV.

Linda's story

 

We spent the next 12 hours in the SUV. Listened to music, took turns. The GPS helped us a lot. Without it, we would’ve been lost in seconds.

“So what’s the exact address?” Sasha asked me.

I gave her the address. Mathew didn’t tell me, but it was on his facebook profile.
And he had posted his address on some guy’s wall. I doubt he knew the difference between messaging and posting on someone’s wall.

We reached his house late at night. I rang the doorbell.
A petite lady came out the door, with a big purse slung on her shoulder.

“Hi,” she greeted me.

“Hey, I’m a friend of Mathew’s. Is he home?” I asked, trying to sound as confident.

“Yes, he’s inside. I’m heading out. It was nice to meet you.” she said politely.

“It was nice meeting you, too” I replied and let myself inside.

I looked around, surprised that things were going well so far. Before anything I decided to text my mom and let her know that all was good.

I sat down on the couch, looked around nervously.

Linda's story
I pulled out my phone and started to text my mom. Just as I was about to put my phone back into my jeans pocket, I heard someone go “What the hell?”

I turned around and saw Mathew standing in his PJ’s.
It took every inch of self-control in me not to go wrap my arounds’ around him.

“Hey,” I said, nervously.

“Do I know you?” he asked, looking baffled.

“Maybe,” I said, and watched as his eyes widened.

“Yes, I’m the girl you just chatted with a few hours ago.” I said.

“What the hell? How did you get in?” he asked.

“Your Mom let me in.” I said, casually.

“Wow this is unbelievable,” he said, looking very confused.

“Come, sit. Let’s talk,” I said.

“Look, no offence, but you add me, and then you come to my house, and tell ME to sit? Like, who do you think you are? Do you bother telling me who you are?” He says, getting pissed.

I sigh. “That’s what I want to tell you, only if you promise you’ll listen to everything I have to say.”

“This is unbelievable.” he repeated.

“I know. Can I explain everything now?” I asked. I knew he’s listen to everything that I had to say. So far, his attitude, everything about him is exactly like Mathew. Mathew was a very good listener. If he’s anything like him, he will listen to me.

“So, I had a boyfriend,” I started, “and we were very happy together. He was over at my house, and he left at night. As soon as he got home he texted me, telling me he missed me.”
I turned around to wipe my eyes. I didn’t want to make him pity me and do anything just because I cried or something.

I forced myself to go on. “I fell asleep at night, and then I woke up. I was going to text him, but his name wasn’t in my contacts. His messages weren’t in my inbox. I went to school, his name wasn’t called out. I asked my friends around, no one knew him! I went to his parent’s house, his room wasn’t there. His parents didn’t know him.”

“I searched up the name on facebook.” I said, and looked at him.

“And it was me,” he sighed. “You do realize that your story is unbelievable, right?”

I nodded. “Let me convince you. I don’t know about your siblings, because this is weird. It’s like your parents are different. But you, as a person, you’re exactly the same.”

“Go on,” he said.

“It’s you.” I whispered.
He sighed.

“You’re a good listener. You listened to my entire story. You’ve always been kind. You love spaghetti. You hate the color black. But you once told me you liked black nail polish.” I ranted.

“Me?” he asked.

“I meant, Mathew told me.” I said.

“What do you want me to? Run into your arms and be your long lost love?” he asked me.

“I don’t know. What am I supposed to do? I know it’s you, but you don’t know me.” I said. “Well I just wanted to confirm that you exist. And I guess the 12 hour drive here was worth it. In a way, and in a way it wasn’t. Goodbye, Mathew.”

“Bye, um-” he started.

“Linda,” I finished for him.

“Bye, Linda. I think I might’ve tried to, do something about this, but I’m with someone.” he said.

“Of course you are.” I said, feeling a pang in my chest.

“I’m really happy with her, and I just have no idea what you’re talking about. Even if I wanted to help you I couldn’t because, I don’t know how.” he said, looking genuinely worried.

“I get it. I hope, things go well with you. Goodbye,” and I walked out the door.
Sasha was waiting for me in the car.

“So, how’d it go?” she asked me.

“It’s him.” I said, “But he doesn’t remember me.”

“That sucks. What are you going to do now?” she asked me.

“Go home, move on.” I shrugged.

“Hmmm.” She mumbled, “what exactly happened in there?”

“He’s with someone else,” I said, not letting out how hurt I felt.

“Ah,” I see.

And then we drove back home. I went home, and my mom and dad were sleeping. I woke them up and let them knew I was back.

My dad was pretty pissed, but my mom greeted me with a hug.
I told them where we went, excluding everything about Mathew and then went to my room.

Falling on my bed, I logged on to facebook from my phone.
He hadn’t unfriended me, or blocked me. Which is why I had to.

WOUNDS HEAL

I unfriended him, if he ever needs me, he can reach out to me.
But having him on my friends list is just too damn hard.

I spent the rest of the night crying, questioning everything.

 

Linda's story

How did he end up 12 hours away with a different family? How did everyone just forget about him? Am I hallucinating?

These are questions I’ll never get the answers to.
I went to school the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. Sasha didn’t ask too many questions, and I was glad.

Every night I cried myself to sleep, but I was surviving.

And so I continued walking the road of life, heartbroken, and still confused as to what happened.

“Three years later”

I fell back on bed, looking around the room. It was cramped, but it was the best I could afford. I picked up my clothes and stuffed them under the bed.

I tidied up the room a bit, since Jack was going to be here any second now.
After Mathew I felt like I could never fall in love again, but I met Jack. I wasn’t in love with him like I was with Mathew, and I told Jack that.

He totally respected that. What we had, it wasn’t something big. We were just close friends, who liked each other, and we chilled around.
Every weekend he’d come over and we would play Zombies in split screen mode until our hands hurt. Then we’d order food from outside.

There was a knock on the door.

EVERYTHING HAS AN EXPLANATION

“Come in, Jack,” I said, while plugging in the controller.

“Jack who?” said a deep, male voice, “I’m Mathew.”

I turned around so fast I almost lost my balance. I felt dizzy from the suddenness.
I led him outside in the hallway because I couldn’t stand the idea of Mathew standing in my house!

“Mathew?” I asked my voice barely above a whisper.

“You moved on?” he asked.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked, bewildered.

“It’s me, Linda, It’s me. Mathew. The guy who texted you that he missed you already the second he got home. The guy who disappeared. The guy you traveled 12 hours for. I’m sorry, but I’m back.” He explained.

“What do you mean, you’re back? That day,” I said, referring to the day I drove to his house, “that was you?” I asked.
He nodded,” It’s a long story, but I can explain.”

“I got engaged,” he started, and seeing the confused look on his face, he continued.

“Remember that fight we had? The big one? We weren’t talking after that. That night I was so sad, so depressed, so I went to Mike’s party. And I got drunk. So I had to leave.” He explained.

“That doesn’t make any sense! Is this your version of an explanation??” I asked.

Linda's story

“I had to leave because I got someone in trouble. I turned a girl into a mother.” he said, and looked down, as if ashamed of what he was saying.

“When did I ever not listen to you? If you had just come and explained the whole situation to me, I would’ve understood and forgiven you!” I said, feeling more hurt than I ever did in my life. Am I not trust able?
He sighed. “You would’ve never listened to me. You would’ve been hurt!”

“That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Of course I would’ve hurt. But you didn’t even try to talk to me. Why? Of course I would’ve resisted the first few times, but then I would’ve listened to you because I loved you! I cried myself to sleep each night, I stayed up late thinking about what happened. I had to move away because I couldn’t bear it. Now, that I have finally moved on, even found someone else, and I’m happy, you come here and ruin it all? You have no right to do so. Leave, Mathew. Leave, now. I’m happy where and how I am, and I’m sure you will be too.” I said, my voice coming out more stronger than I felt.

“No,” he said, whispering, “I’m not going anywhere, and neither are you.”

“Really?” I asked, raising my eyebrow, “You’re going. I’m happy with Jack. I love you, I always will, but it’s best for us to part. This,” I said, pointing in between us, “is too broken to be fixed. This is too much to take in, and I’m never going to be okay with it.”

He nodded, as if understanding. “I love you, too. No one can change that.”
I watched as a tear rolled down his cheek.

Linda's story

 

“I told that girl it was a mistake, and I didn’t believe her.” Mathew said.

“Look, you don’t have to give me an explanation of what happened!” I exclaimed.

“Please,” he pleaded, “just listen to me. I owe you this much. I want you to know why!”
I nodded, signaling for him to continue.

“That girl came to me and showed me photo proof. Apparently we took pictures together. I was drunk and I couldn’t remember. I told her I already had a girlfriend. She simply asked me to be around for a little while. She said she couldn’t kill the baby. She didn’t want me to marry her or anything, she just wanted me to be there for the kid for a little while. I told my parents, and they took care of everything.” He explained.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.

“I didn’t want to get you involved in the mess I made,” he said sincerely.

“Good to hear that. How did your parents convince EVERYONE to simply pretend to forget you ever existed?” I asked.

“Money,” he said sadly. “And your phone, I messed with that.”
I sighed, tears threatening to escape my eyes.

“We’re done. Thanks for telling me that, but it doesn’t change anything. Goodbye Mathew.”
He turned away and left. I shrugged and closed the door.
I went back inside and I don’t know when the tears started falling down my face so fast.

“Hey, it’s okay” I heard someone whisper.
I turned around to see Jack sitting beside me, chocolates in his hand.

“Did you see that?” I asked him.

“See what?” he said, furrowing his brows.

“Nothing. Mathew came over, and he said-“ and before I could continue I broke down in sobs.

“Sh. You can tell me later,” he soothed.

“No. He came, and he explained everything to me.” I sobbed, and then I launched into the whole story of what happened.

“We’re done, Jack. I’m with you, okay? I’m telling you all of this because I’m completely honest with you and I don’t want to keep anything from you,” I said earnestly.

“Okay,” he said, smiling down at me. “Game time?” he asked me.

“Game time,” I said, smiling, my tears still falling down.

He wiped my tears and I laughed. He handed me the controller and we started playing.
And life continued. I could never forget Mathew and the pain was always there. But Jack helped me get over him.
He hurt me too much. That’s why I could never go back to him.
Jack, was a fresh start, and I could start over with him.
Which is why me and Jack are together, as happy as we could ever be.

Linda's story

 

 

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