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“Stop it!” I screeched, “Can’t you see that you’re hurting him!”
They ignored me, continuing to beat Alec. He had stopped moving; stopped making noises of pain. He just . . . stopped. I cried and raced over to his attackers doing anything and everything I had in my body to get at them. He can’t be gone, I thought, not yet- not when I just got him.
Then I woke up.
I had been having the same dream over and over ever since Alec got out of the hospital. I didn’t know how to react around him because every time I was him my mind flashed right back to that horrible moment. I knew I couldn’t hide from him as long as I was going to be in his life. I need to stay in his life.
There was something about Alec that made me want to know the secrets in the world that was his head. He probably only seemed to like me because of my looks. But I wanted him to see more than that. No one else has ever seen more than a pretty face - not even my parents.
All my life I had been used. My mother had adopted the perfect baby and grew up to be the perfect daughter. My father had a new punch bag to toss around other than my mother when I reached the age of four. The only serenity that was ever given to me was from my grandmother, whom I would visit once a year. She was my angel. So now I am with her this year, because she has been sick. I’m the only one who ever cared about her and I’m not about to let her die alone. Or die at all if I can prevent it.
I never once expected to fall for a guy like Alec. I do know that my mother would set me up on dates with guys that were the exact opposite of Alec. Needless to say I didn’t like any of them. They only saw a pretty face too; and a pretty body. But with Alec – everything that I thought I knew about guys just vanished. When he looked at me, he looked at me eyes. No one had ever commented on my eyes, so I always thought they should be something to be ashamed of. With Alec though, he made me think that they were beautiful; that I was beautiful.
And to see the one person who I thought could see me – the real me, was so severely injured because of me. That just broke me. It wasn’t fair; to him or to me. Why had our peers been so terrible? No one even liked Alec, so why couldn’t I? Why would he always have to be alone? Why would he always have to be that loner in the background?
Their stares were envious and full of disbelief. How could she want to be with him? How could she even stand to be next to him? Maybe he put a weird voodoo spell on her? I heard them over and over. Sure I had moved around a couple of times with my parents, and I knew first hand that students would always be vicious. But who would actually physically hurt someone; someone who had never done anything but dress in dark clothing.
Sitting in the library is where I had my sanctuary. Their glares and whispers were impervious to me as I read the lines of poets and great fiction authors. But then Marie Thomson walked in. Her nasally voice shrieked with disgust.
“Oh it’s you. Where’s your loser boyfriend?” she teased, “Wait. He’s in the hospital. After the beating that the football team gave him I wouldn’t want to come back to this place. So why don’t you do the same?”
“Well since I am in this school, how about you back off my friend and go satisfy your need to people feel miserable for you not to be on someone else.” Alec’s voice said.
He was here – not in my mind and not in my dreams but actually here. I could tell he didn’t come willingly though. His frown looked like it was permanently etched on his face, and his hands were curled in fists. From pain or pure menace I’m not sure.
“I’m sorry; I don’t think you heard me.” He breathed, “I said BACK OFF!”
Marie squeaked and ran as fast as she could. I would have laughed, but I was too terrified. How could he yell at her like that? I had known Alec for a long time but to actually look at him and see pure menace in his eyes made me shiver.
“Alec, what happened to you? Are you-?”
“What, like you actually care?! You never even” he stopped, “You never even called.”
My heart shattered. I should have expected this to happen. My cowardice had made him angry. He thought I was rejecting-that it was all some type of prank- him and that had made him even more upset. But I wasn’t that type of person. I could be falling in love with Alec and he was thinking the absolute opposite.
“Don’t. My skull was almost shattered and I don’t want my heart to do the same. I realize you were trying to protect yourself and me, I can see it in your eyes. Now we just have to go one with our lives.” He said.
I took an unsteady breath. This was actually happening. I had just broken up the first relationship I ever thought I could truly have a future with before it even started. My nose stung and the tears nearly started brimming in my eyes. I was wrong. I knew I was wrong the second I made this decision. The real pain of the trauma was thinking he was never going to be mine. Now that I know that its true it feels one hundred times worse.
Alec walked away from me before I could even respond. So I stood in the hallway crying my eyes out against the wall. I would laugh at myself because that is the most cliché thing I’ve ever thought, but the pain is too unbearable. The pain of losing Alec before I even had him.
I didn’t get through the rest of school. I was miserable about my situation with Alec, so I didn’t really feel social able at the moment. But that didn’t stop the girls from giving me looks of disgust and betrayal. It didn’t stop the boys from giving me suggestive looks and putting notes in my locker.
Before the lunch even started I was driving out of the student parking lot, barely able to see the windshield through my tears. By the time I made it back to my house I must have been quite the sight. I kept my cries as quiet as I could, but being in the car only made it worse. I could hear the echo of my sobs and whimpers. Knowing that I was the one who was making such a fuss even though this had been my decision in the first place, hearing my own cries – this could be too much for someone to handle. I was having an anxiety attack.
My mind was going a million miles a minute as I walked into the hospital – a place I had vowed never to go again. My hands were shaking as I tried to find the strength to open the door to Shay’s room. I could hear her parents worried voices and their angry allegations.
Shay was in her car crying her eyes out, and her grandmother discovered her, but when she tried to get Shay into the house she all but collapsed on the floor. She was barely breathing because of her shallow cries and her arms were digging into her skin so hard she had drawn blood.
I knew I had done this to her. Poor Shay had broken my heart. Now I was the one who had broken hers. No one knew that on the inside I was crying just like that when my mother told me she wouldn’t be coming anymore. No one knew that I screamed at the top of my lungs in the middle of the night, fighting to bring Shay back to me, but always losing her.
Shay didn’t deserve my petty problems she didn’t deserve to fall in love with me then to have to break the others heart. She deserved a new me. A better me - a me that wasn’t a loner.
I walked away from the door, vowing never to come to the hospital again. Vowing never to break Shay’s heart again. Vowing never to be me again.
Alec had been gone for more than two months. Rumors of how he committed suicide because I broke up with him circulated around. Another is that he broke up with me to join the circus. Then his mother went on a total rampage and killed him. In each of those rumors he somehow wound up dead. I was now the arm candy of Richard Richardson. He was the richest guy at the school. We were known as the “it” couple.
Everything was as it should be. How it would have been before Alec was in my life. But then why did I feel so miserable. I had always had that feeling that no one knew me. Alec did know me. Even if he had known me for the shortest amount of time he knew what it felt like to be looked at like someone to be staring right through me.
But now he was gone and all I had was my memories. Memories of a time when I was actually happy.
“Shay!” Marie called, “We’re getting mani – pedi’s. Come with us!”
Her invitations always sounded like commands to a dog. But that’s all that she wanted. Someone to make her happy and make her feel better when she was sad.
I forced myself to smile and shook my head. Today was not the day for me to hear about her on again off again relationship with some college guy. On the way to my class I felt the familiar suffocating grip of my “boyfriend’s” arm around my shoulder. My head collided into his chest. I groaned in disgust, he tightened his grip thinking it was from satisfaction.
“Hey, girl. Since you’re not hanging out with Marie today why don’t you come by my house today? My folks are at a conference, so we have the place all to ourselves.
I shivered and backed out of his grip. I rushed to my class not giving him an answer. Suddenly I crashed into some kid dressed in black. My heart leaped. How is it that in my mind any guy who wore black would immediately have my heart? I nearly burst into tears when I wasn’t him.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to¬ –”
“Then watch where you’re going you stupid little . . . No I’m the one that should be sorry. I wasn’t looking.” I quickly walked away from him and ran to the parking lot.
Why did today have to be so difficult? Why did everyday have to so difficult? I know why – it’s because I’m not being myself in this world. I am only what they all want me to be. Now tears were really coming down my face and I opened the lock to my car. I didn’t know who I was. I don’t know what my favorite color is. I don’t know what my favorite movie. I know what people want to like. I’m supposed to like purple. I’m supposed to like Paranormal Activity. Only I can’t stand purple and the PA movies always leave me close to tears. If I don’t like what I am supposed to be, then does that mean I don’t like who I am at all.
“Who are you?” The question.
“A loner” The answer
“No!” The pain.
“Again.” And repeated.
My mother watched me as I struggled to come to grips. She had moved us to towns over from our original home. The idea of me being anything than a loner would have been too much for her to handle again. Now I am in counseling.
“Who are you?”
Every day he asks me the same question. I am ,by definition, a loner. I don’t know what else I am.
“You are Alec.” He had told me once, “Why don’t you say your name.”
My name isn’t what was yelled at me in cruel jokes and mean bets to see who could make the “loner” cry the hardest. No one paid attention to the loner when he was grown up though. Maybe because it was they discovered that their words could no longer injure one when they are already down. Or maybe they are just waiting for the perfect attack.
Shay was the perfect attack. She was my bait. Shay had taken to reality and just when I thought I might actually like it, I get jumped on by a bunch of Neanderthals.
“Who are you?” I can tell in her voice that she is getting agitated. Just as I am about to answer the same question with the same answer I hear my mother let out a small sob. I want to turn around and look at her, but I can’t. It’s one of the rules of the session. I can’t talk to her either.
“I – I am . . .” I falter over my words.
My counselor looks up at me, a new kind of hope in her eyes. But it is false hope.
Or is it. All this time I have thought that I am a loner, but I’m really not. All this time I have said that I don’t care about what the people in my school, in my hangouts, in my grocery shop, have said about me. But what if I do care? What if a small part of me actually cares what they think? Only I bury it so deep into my psyche that I’m just burying it until its ready to explode. Will I explode? Or just shatter across the floor into tears? Like the way I am doing so at this very moment.
I am in the fetal position, my arms wrapped around me ready to suffocate. My mother’s arms are wrapped around me too. My poor eyes are flooded with tears and I can barely breathe through the gasping I getting through my cries.
“I am Alec.” I cry.
I am Alec and I am ready. For me to take my life back. To take back the years of torture my classmate have lovingly placed upon me. To take back my childhood. To take back my freedom and just feel free to be me – who ever I am and just be free.
“My child.” My mother says into my ear, “You will always be strong. You will always have heart. And you will always have me. I love you, Alec. Never doubt that.
“I could never doubt you, Mother,” I cry, small tears still coming down my eyes. “I love you too. That’s why you have to trust me when I say . . . we have to go back.”
Nyack, New York
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This book has 2 comments.
10 articles 34 photos 20 comments
"Don't dream your life, live your dream."
Only one problem though... It's not long enough! :O
2 articles 0 photos 35 comments
just be yourself not some one your not.