Rachel and I were sitting on her front steps drinking Bell’s Two Hearted (this blog is not sponsored, but Bell’s talk to me, we could change that) enjoying the late spring night/murdering mosquitos left and right. Rachel and I had a….complicated relationship. For one, the answer to what we even were varied drastically depending on which one of us you asked and what particular day you happened to inquire.
We texted throughout the day and talked on the phone every night. We went out to eat regularly on what one might call dates. We had sleep overs. We listened to one another vent about bad days. We supported one another when support was needed. We laughed and teased each other in a style one might call flirting. We had been doing this dance for a few months. I had concluded we were dating. Rachel said we were just friends who were sleeping together…and not allowed to go on dates or see other people. As I said, it was complicated.
On this particular night we were laughing about some awkward event that had transpired earlier in my day. Our laughter faded into an awkward silence filled with a familiar tension. I tried to bite my tongue but couldn’t. (Okay, I didn’t try very hard) I sipped from my Two Hearted and then asked “So, Rachel, are we going to make this official or keep playing this game until one of us gets hurt?” She pushed me away, gently and said “You don’t want to date me.” I looked in her eyes and momentarily pretended we were in some Nicholas Sparks book scene and said in my best Ryan Gosling voice, “You don’t know what I want. You’re what I want. Just you. That’s it.” She rolled her eyes and went inside, leaving me with my beer.
She returned a few moments later with more beer and her Ouija board. Instantly I regretted bringing this up. Was she going to have a séance to have the spirits confirm she was bad news bears? Was she going to make a spiritual restraining order? Was she going to ask the spirits to cast a bad luck charm on me? What was happening? Rachel unfolded her Ouija board and lit a candle. At least something was getting serious, even if we weren’t. Silently she gestured for me to put my fingers on the plastic piece with the glass circle. Then she asked the Ouija board “Will Jay find love?” Quickly the plastic piece moved to the yes bubble.
Let me pause here to state that I didn’t move the plastic piece. I also didn’t think any spirits moved the piece. And even if they did, how would these spirits know so quickly and with such certainty that I would find love? Not even my closest friends could fake such certainty in their attempts to reassure me. So who were these love guru spirits?
Then Rachel asked the spirits “Who is the love of Jay’s life” The plastic piece, also called a planchette (thanks google) moved and spelled H-E-L there was a slight pause and I joked “Hell, my love is hell!” Another eyeroll from Rachel as it moved to spell E-N before stopping. Helen. According to the spirits, the love of my life is named Helen.
“Do you know anyone named Helen?” Rachel asked. I looked at her quizzically. “Yeah, in my past life.” I sarcastically replied. Helen was the second most popular name in 1900 and has been losing popularity ever since. Today less than 500 babies per 1 million are named Helen. The Ouija board might as well have told me I didn’t have a love of my life.
Regardless of how wrong or misinformed these spirits/Rachel’s fingers were, I got her point. We were not going to stop playing this game anytime soon. This was it for us. I could either accept that we were not going to ever have an honest try at any type of us and continue this complicated façade or I could walk away.
I’ve been looking for Helen ever since. Have you seen Helen? Do you know Helen? Are you Helen? Would you change your name to Helen? Would you let me call you Helen? Helen, are you out there? It’s me Jay, your soulmate!
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