The Dissociation

***To anyone who may recognize themself in this story, I really can’t emphasize enough that this is fiction.  FICTION.  FICTION.  FICTION.***

He was in the middle of his day when he checked Facebook.  He wasn’t supposed to, but it was slow and he had nothing better to do.  He pulled out his phone as he scanned to make sure there were no customers and brought up his feed.

He saw that he had a new message but decided not to check it.  He just didn’t feel like talking with anyone.  He was in a bad place in his life because of stress, exhaustion, and his mood.  He was a little depressed, and did not want to burden his friends with negativity.

Of course, she wished he would talk to her again.  The last time they were talking a lot, she was amazed at how easy he was to talk with.  She loved to listen to him, and felt honored he would tell her of his fears and struggles, as well as all the good things.  He pulled back though, and she found himself constantly thinking about him.  She realized she had feelings for him, and she told him.  He pulled back even further.  She guessed her feelings would not come to anything, and attempted to be his friend.  He would talk to her in very short amounts, but nothing that ever approached the conversations they had in the beginning.  She missed him.

After scrolling through his feed with a few memes and inane garbage, he shut out of his Facebook right as a customer entered.

After getting the customer to just buy what he came in for anyway, he went back into Facebook.  He kept seeing the message indicator, and so he finally decided to open it to see what she had to say.  It was a picture of one of the things they both liked.  No message, nothing else.  It had been a few days since she sent him anything and he was beginning to think she was giving up on him.  He didn’t know if he was happy or sad about that.

For her part, she hadn’t given up.  She was still hopeful that one day he would want to go back to when they talked to each other regularly.  She didn’t know why he was pulling away, but knew that trying to push things wouldn’t do her any good regardless.  If he didn’t like her, even as a friend, she wouldn’t chase.  If there was something else going on, she would respect that.  She liked him and would not want to do anything that would make him unhappy, even if that meant trying to talk to him if he didn’t want to.

He got a rush of customers.  He spent the next few hours making himself the money he would need for the rest of the month.  He was feeling really good about the day when he got off work, but was very tired.  He went out with a friend for a drink, and went home.  After making himself some dinner, he checked his Facebook again.  He checked to see if there was a message from her, but there was not.  He didn’t feel like talking, but part of him wished she would have sent something anyway.  He really didn’t want her holding his dissociation against him.  He just needed to be in his own head at this time with everything he was going through.  It was his way to deal with it.

He scrolled through his feed.  He found a couple of posts he thought were funny or meaningful and liked and shared them.  He looked for anything she had posted, but there was nothing.  He spent a few more minutes scrolling through before deciding it was time to go to bed.

When he got up the next morning, he checked his Facebook again.  She usually posted something in the morning and he wanted to see what it was.  There was nothing.  No messages either.  It was his day off, so he went to run errands, pick up some art supplies, and take a walk by the water.  He checked his Facebook from his phone from time to time throughout the day, but there was nothing.  No messages, not even a post or simple status update.  That night, he checked again.  Nothing,  He checked the following morning.  Nothing.  Again in the afternoon and that night.  Nothing.

He woke up the next morning and was in a hurry to get to work.  He didn’t check his Facebook.  He did notice he had a message indicator waiting on the app, but didn’t check it.  He was busy, and didn’t really get to Facebook at all during the day.  As he neared the end of the shift and work slowed, he opened up the message.  He read it over and over again.

“I don’t know why, I don’t know how, and I don’t know if this matters at all to you; but I want to be part of your bad days as well as your good days.  I want to listen to you when you have nothing to say.  I want to be the person you cry to and the person you celebrate with.  I sincerely believe that I love you, as strange as that may seem.  I can not stop thinking about you, and I just want to be with you.  I want to be someone you can turn to when you’d normally just withdraw.  I want all sides of you, even the sides you are not happy about.  You have made me feel so much for you in such a short time; that I just cannot believe it is something I am not supposed to try for.  I am waiting on your response.  I will do whatever it takes to be with you provided you want me to.”

Stunned, he needed time to process the words.  He knew she liked him, but loved?  How?  What about him?  He wasn’t even sure how he felt.  He liked her, but they’d barely spent time together.  He was going through a lot and wasn’t sure he was ready for anything serious.  She had her own complications.  And now she said that?  Was she just some sort of clingy, lonely person?  He kept thinking.  He read it again.  He knew how good it made him feel to read those words.  He knew it had been a while since they’ve talked in-depth, and liked that she was still focused on him.  He realized he had some sort of feelings for her too.

He needed more time to figure out how to respond.  He decided to check the feed on his Facebook while attempting to reconcile his feelings.

On his feed was post after post of people writing on her wall.  Saying how much they loved her.  How much she will be missed.  How they can’t believe she was taken so suddenly.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

11 thoughts on “The Dissociation”

  1. Your writing has deepened. I love it when a writer grabs my attention with language that makes me slow down to read every word. That’s what happened here. The feeling that I had at the end was one of sadness. The thought that I had when I realized that she had died was that his process is his process. He had mixed feelings and questions that were valid. Had she lived he might have resolved those conflicts and gone on to meet her. But a different choice based on valid real life concerns and the demands of survival would also be correct.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have friends who often go into “hermit-mode” when things are difficult. I do myself from time to time as well, but not as often. I just wanted to try and write about the possible consequences of doing so, while definitely not trying to be heavy-handed on the idea that not doing so would be ideal either. I am glad you picked up on the validity of his pull-back, because I was afraid that wouldn’t come through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It came through very nicely…if the mixed feelings I had are any clue.

        I recognized both the sadness of his loss and the fact that it really couldn’t have happened any other way.

        You’re writing has matured quite a bit and I love the fact that you approach it with more confidence.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this is heart-rending. I love that he didn’t immediately decide she was all he’d ever wanted and had missed his chance at love. Of course he would have doubts about someone who intrusively interested. Good work.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Love is a word that should be taken with weight. Interest happens all the time and really shouldn’t be a big deal, but love is something that should be reserved.


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