understand that i want to stay.

i got happy: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

she keeps asking me why people can be so pretty on the outside, but the inside never seems to match. she keeps asking me how that can always be the case. i want to tell her that there are rarities that are pretty through and through, but i think she understands that. i just think she wants the rarities to be a normality. it's not that the one-of-a-kinds aren't special, it's that there is a deficiency of people who care, and people who stay. my mom keeps telling me that everyone leaves but i want to explain to her that being here doesn't always mean physicality.

today, helayna-ocean and i went to the movies. her shoes resembled the last half of her name that so many people take for granted and i think she's the only person who can wear a sweatshirt and still look like a dream. we sat outside the theatre and fantasized over the people who walked by. we bought a large popcorn and only at a third of it together, so a refill wasn't necessary. we sat on our own side of the theatre and let our fingers swim in the bucket even when we weren't eating. during the movie, we studied the characters and told me which one i would be and which one she would be. (i'd be awkward, and she would be there for the food.)

i told her a few things i'd been putting off and she understood. i rubbed her back during the quiet parts of the movie and she understood. i linked arms with her after ms. paula (a kind soul with an even kinder smile) asked if we needed a ride home and she understood. i lay my head on her shoulder after i was asked where i was going to university and she understood. but everyone else didn't.

the moon lay on its crescent back and the sky resembled her shoes which resembles the last half of her name. dad drove faster than the speed limit on the way to drop her off but i managed to keep my head on her shoulder. 

she was looking out the window when i asked but she looked back at me. she said the first thing she notices about a person is their nose, and eyes. maybe that's why she thinks mine are so brown. "layna," i asked. "mm?" "why do people keep asking me where i want to go to college when i've specified that i don't want to go anywhere at all?" a pause. "because they don't listen." another pause. (she's always good at giving new perspectives.) "people expect you to conform and just go off to any old place like the ones before us." 

before i go on you should know i have vulnerability issues, so i don't just up and say certain things. not without rehearsal. but before i go on, you should know i let myself say it with no idea of where i was going next. "sometimes i wish someone would ask me to stay. like, 'i know you're going up in the world and doing great things, and i know you have your options, but stay. i want you here.'" i don't know if she knows i shed a tear. it's 11:30pm and i still have yet to take off my makeup. 

when we got to her house and she rapped on the door, i opened my arms which is something she usually does. you should know that i don't just up and say certain things, but i wasn't thinking this time. "are you going to ask me to stay?" it was dark and i wondered if my eyes were so brown now. "no," she said. oh. "why not?" my hands slid down her arms and it was time to let go. after the pause: "because you already know i want you to stay."

there are some things that you cannot sum up. let's just suffice with the fact that i almost cried. 
and: oh, layna. i love you, i love you.
-your jo.


  1. Wow.

    I want to say something... but I can't.

    Your beautiful words have left me speechless.

  2. everyone needs a helayna-ocean and everyone needs a jocee. your friendship is just the best.

  3. this is so real and honest and wow.

  4. Oh gosh, Jocee, I don't know. I'm crying with you. I have a helayna-ocean too- except her name is gracie. She lives like a thousand miles away, up in Texas, and we've been friends since little kids. I miss her so much and this just reminded me of everything I used to feel (and still do but can't express it anymore- outloud, physically). You're right... there are some things your just cannot sum up.

    p.s. next time you hug, stay in her arms an extra second for me and gracie.

  5. she's a gem of a girl.
    treasure that friendship forever, people like helayna don't just appear out of nowhere.
    loved this.

  6. You're so lucky to have someone to care for you. Cherish it.

    xx, lizabeth


sometimes i do not understand why you guys like me so much, but the fact that you do (and that you keep coming around) makes me happier than you can even imagine.

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