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the sun had feelings for him, too

it’s 12 am on new year’s day, and i find myself divided among everyone here.

my brother kisses my sister-in-law, oblivious to the fact that he almost spilled his glass of cognac all over the carpet. my dad celebrates alone, cheering at the top of his lungs because the new year calls for yet another drink. my brother’s friend tumbles onto the floor. he calls it his celebration, i call it his desire to damage our living room.

i sit with my fifth glass of rum and juice, kiss-less, wondering how my boyfriend is feeling. does he feel absolved of the previous year’s faults? or is he still thinking about what could go wrong in this new year like i am?

usually, my dad would’ve told me the first cup is enough for the night, but tonight, he barely even notices i’m in the living room. i figure getting as drunk as the adults do will make the occasion feel a lot better instead of filling me up with uncertainty that’s laced with hope. i hope i’ll find an answer at the bottom of the glass, but every time i look down, i just want more alcohol in it. when i go to make more, i find out i’ve finished the rum. i sit back down defeated and tipsy until i can’t take anymore of the noise.

it’s exhausting, you know? being around people who have their lives figured out already, people who have nothing to dread in the new year. i slip out of the living room unnoticed. by now, the rum has hit me. i find myself giggling and stumbling into my bedroom as i text my boyfriend a big happy new year.

by now, the clocks have struck two. lights off, clothes off, makeup off, i’m ready to let the alcohol induce sleep. maybe if i weren’t so drunk, this night wouldn’t feel so miserable. but also it’s because the night was already miserable that i got drunk. my eyes flutter shut, and images of nightmarish failure flash before my eyes. i’m ten feet deep when my phone blares into my ear and i open my bloodshot eyes to see my boyfriend’s name.

with a grin, without a second thought, i hit the green button. i always love hearing his voice.

what bothers me is that i remember it all in pieces…pieces i can barely connect to each other. but what i do remember is that i felt loved.

i must’ve been annoying. when i’m drunk, i giggle too much, i find everything hilarious, and even worse, i love too hard.

let’s face it, being drunk when you’re 17 sucks a little. especially when you have a boyfriend who only wants the best for you. i mean, the last time i drank too much, he felt uncomfortable at how my words were typed out so incorrectly, at how i was still 4 years too young to legally drink. he didn’t like that i wasn’t completely me.

but he still calls me tonight, and i still talk to him. maybe this time, he remembers that i’m still here underneath all this intoxication instead of disapproving of my vice.

i remember saying hello, and i remember throwing the bed sheets over my face. i think i wanted to hide my smile from the rest of the world.

“i’m gonna kiss you through the phone like i said i would,” i think he said to me.

whatever he said, there was a little mwah! afterwards, and warmth filled my cheeks as if the sun had feelings for him too.

i must’ve kissed him through the phone back because he tells me goodbye...the heavens know if he were right in front of me in that moment, my lips would never leave that boy alone. i’d be hanging onto him as if he were my thread, the single string swinging me into the new year.

i know he tells me that he loves me because i remember replying “oh… i love you, i love you too” and a triumphant “yes!” comes from the other line.

yet instead of hanging up the phone, i can hear him so clearly singing to himself a dumb sequence of i love you’s, as if the first one wasn’t and could never be enough.

“i love you i love poo i love shoes i love juice i love you i love fuse i love muse i love you”

giggling, grinning, feeling like i’ve entered a soft haze of rosewater, clouds, and cotton. my tummy filled with butterflies, thrashing about, to and fro. my eyes brimming with tears created by my laughter.

in my drunken state, i think to myself: “this is what i’m going into 2017 for. i am unfurled, i am placing myself in this state of vulnerability to be loved by people like him.”

i start to “sing” along with him, but i think he hangs up later on after a final goodbye.

and i go to sleep determined that he and i will survive the year and the challenges we face as i go to college in the fall without him.

i go to sleep feeling like the rest of my i love you’s this year will only be for him.

i go to sleep knowing that the rest of the days in 2017 will be bearable because his love eases me and makes each day feel better than the last.

and when i wake up in the morning, attacked by a hangover, in desperate need of a toilet to vomit into and a burning hot shower...

somehow i’ll feel ready to take on the year.


Janel is a singer-songwriter who writes music under the name Holyveins, and she's also just a writer of poetry and prose who loves listening to true crime podcasts and wearing denim jackets. You can find her on instagram (@janel.jpg) and on twitter (@holyveins).

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