All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Sobbing, I fell to my knees in the pouring rain, my tears fusing with the water to create some kind of angry mixture. In the dark twilight, I was positive that I was going to die of despair. There was nothing left, nothing where just hours before there had been happiness and joy. He was gone now.
I had known that the world was a cruel and menacing place, bristling with anger at anyone who dare defy it, but Derek had made that terrible world seem not so… terrible.
But now he was gone forever, at least from my own fragile grasp. The fact that he had moved on and no longer cared what happened to me was an absolutely impossible thought. But it was true. He had moved on, left me for some other girl he’d met online several months ago.
He’d broken the news just an hour ago, but it hadn’t sunken in until now. I wanted to return to that numbness that I’d felt just minutes ago, wanted to not be able to feel emotions.
Sniffling, I tried to pull myself together. I reached up and clung to the chain-link fence beside me, and I hauled myself off the ground. I continued to stumble north, away from my home and away from Derek. I never wanted to return here, ever again. This place was no longer full of cheerful memories of weekend movie-nights and ice cream cones and walks in the park—those had been morphed into painful reminders of what I’d thought we’d had.
I was eighteen now. If I chose to run away, well, it wouldn’t even be running away, really, because I could do what I wanted.
Was I afraid? Yes. But that wasn’t going to influence my desperate attempt to escape. I had a debit card in my back pocket, and in my bank account was more than enough money to score me a bus ticket to some small town several states away. I would use the remainders of my meager savings to buy myself food and allow my stay in motel rooms until I was able to get a job where I would save up until I could buy a small house or an apartment.
I shuddered, and the convulsion left me on my hands and knees on the slick asphalt, heaving until I vomited. I slowly lifted my wrist and wiped my mouth, then I stood, and continued toward the bus station.
A small red car zoomed past me on the deserted street, and disappeared when it swung around the corner. I shivered, remembering when Derek had spoken of buying a car that looked very similar to that one, and I allowed a single fresh wail to break from my mouth before clamping a hand over it and forcing myself again into silence.
I remembered when this same thing had happened to my best friend, Lilly. I remembered how she had stayed locked in her room for a week, barely eating and spending all her time crying and throwing up. I remembered how I’d told her that it would get better. I remembered how she hadn’t believed me. But the worst part of all of those facts was that I remembered. I’d been so naïve, believing that Derek wouldn’t do the same thing to me that Thomas had done to Lilly.
Lilly and I had since grown apart, as she’d found a new group of friends—the outcasts, as they liked to call themselves, though it was more like they were exiling themselves than anything—and we’d stopped talking months ago. Since then, I’d been completely alone. I still talked to people, but at lunch, I ate by myself, and it hadn’t bothered me. . . until now.
The hurt of the matter would never go away, and I knew that, but I still hoped.
I resisted the urge to laugh bitterly to myself.
Hope? There was no hope. I had learned that. Hope does not exist, only pain and hurt and the things that delay them. Barriers, if you will.
Derek had been my barrier.