Candy Nostalgia

“Have a good trip,” he texted.
“Thanks,” I replied.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“I’m so sorry,” he told me. “I miss you. I could literally get down on my knees and beg you for you to understand how sorry I am.”
(You’re still sitting next to me), I thought.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Sometimes, when you’re talking, I really want to punch you in the face,” I told him. “I really think I hate you sometimes.”
“Have you always felt this way?” he asked, looking worried.
“No, I told him. Not until last summer.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“I know you think this is a joke, but I’m Going to marry you,” he said. “As soon as you graduate college. I’ll have my money together. I’ll buy your father a goat, and I’m proposing.”
“Excuse me?” was all I could say.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The other day, I was in Target buying Twizzlers. There were these bags of m&m’s, all different kinds, and I found myself holding a bag of white chocolate ones. I knew that they wouldn’t taste good, but I still really wanted to have them.
A few years ago, m&m’s had this promotion for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and they sold white chocolate candies. Loving white chocolate, I bought a Lot of them, brought them home, and poured some into a bowl. They were weird. Didn’t taste as good as I’d thought they would, but I ate them anyway. I organized them in rows by color, then slowly ate them one by one. First shell, then inside, until I only had one left. Then I refilled the bowl and started again. For the week that the candy lasted, I would come home from camp and lie on my bedroom floor, listening to audiobooks and eating organized white chocolate m&m’s. It was one of the most relaxed, content times I remember from my childhood.
I wanted to feel relaxed and content again.i wanted the m&m’s, but I still had to buy dinner, and pack, and see people before my trip, and buying the bag would’ve been impractical. I wanted them. It wouldn’t have been the same.

He was begging to be friends again. He wanted our old relationship back. I wanted it back, too. I wanted to be able to walk to his house after work and hang out, and de-stress, and talk. I wanted to be able to call him when things went wrong, to have him come see me, to cry into his chest as his supportive arms encircled me. I wanted to meet him to go running, to go eat, to walk through our town together and just be in each other’s company. I missed him, but I didn’t trust him.
When I walked to his house, he’d ignore me. I would talk, and he would play video games, or watch basketball. I talked to his friend, instead. If I called, he’d never show up. When his arms went around me, they weren’t supportive; they were grabbing. He became the reason I cried. We’d walk together, until we saw people he knew, and then he would stand in front of me as he talked to them. He used to make me feel as relaxed and content as a bag of white chocolate m&m’s and an audiobook. Then he made me feel like an object, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

When I finally yelled at him for everything, he was surprised. He apologized. He promised to be better. Then he disappeared. He came back. He apologized. He promised to be better. Then he disappeared.

And now he’s back, and begging, and wanting to marry me, still. And I want what he does, minus the marriage, and I feel like I’m holding our friendship in my hand the same way I held those m&m’s in Target.
The thing is, everything changes. Things that once made us happy may no longer do so as we evolve. That’s why we have our memories. They’re feelings to escape into when our present circumstances aren’t as nice. If only I could find a way to cherish the past without feeling as though the present is lacking. With the candy, I think I know what I’d be getting. With him, I have no idea.

For now, they’re both on the shelf.

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