“I don’t believe in love.” I looked at the sky, toying with his tan, muscular hands, while the grass tickled the back of my ears, my hair in two long brown Dutch braids.
“C’mon Fiona, there has to be a part of you that may slightly believe in it.” Tate insisted, poking my nose and smiling.
“Nuh uh. I think it’s just a…like…it’s a kind of image you know? Like a whole sham that’s put in your head about true love, the knight in shining armor, and the ‘We lived happily ever after’, I just don’t believe it.” I shrugged.
“I think I might be falling in love with someone…very faint though” He squints looking at me.
“Oh yeah? Who’s the lucky girl? Don’t tell me, is she a blonde?” I laugh and fold a blade of grass in between my fingers.
“Well she used to be.” I freeze, I’m as still as a rock, I remove my head from his lap looking straight into those black eyes of his. “I know you don’t love me, I wouldn’t mind waiting for you but maybe I’ll change your mind.” Is all he says before I whisper a faint ‘maybe’ and lay on his lap again, admiring the blue of the sky.
These flashbacks and thoughts have become a main part of my life. Lately I’m practically living in them. It seems as if they’ve completely and utterly consumed me. They’re always the worst thoughts and most torturous memories. My bed; the place where I’ve cried, died a little inside, where I punched pillows and scratched walls. It’s gotten the best of me, who have I become? I’ve tried to forget. I’ve stopped myself from even thinking of him.
I try to hold back from saying his name, picturing his face or the replaying moments with him in my head. Truth is, I dived in the shallow end, and in the finality of it all you end up crying with a cracked skull, or in my case a “cracked” heart. “I don’t care” I’d think, “He’s bad for me anyways”. Oh and he was. He was so bad for me but so sweet. He was like a drug I couldn’t keep myself away from. I thought about ending it, I really did. He was too nice, too loving.
Maybe I was desperate for something I craved so deeply. He was good. He didn’t know what he was getting into but I did, and no amount of ice cream and fake half-hearted smiles could ever help me get over something so incredibly amazing and perfect. No matter how many rude jokes my friends made abut him, no matter how much they tried to push me away from him, we were like magnets.
“He’s just using you!” My mother shouts. I’m still, but not the ‘good yet shocked’ still I felt when Tate told me he loved me. This time I’m being torn apart.
“No he’s not.” Is all I manage to choke out as I sit paralyzed.
“Boys will say anything to get into your pants, he’s too old for you, and look at you sharing it around like some whore!” Out of all the things she said that hurt the least and the most. I was feeling so much pain I didn’t care what she called me, yet her words still burned. He was only 4 years older. Was that so bad? We never did anything…like that. We loved each other. I remained silent.
“And look at you’re arms,” she grips my wrist and hold them in front of my face. “look at what your doing to yourself! For what? Attention? Because you brother does it? Is there something you’re not telling us? What’s wrong? Why do you do this?” she shouts. I don’t answer. I can’t. How do you tell your mom you’ve been depressed and suicidal for over two years?
“Well your never seeing that boy again, damn pedophile.” She mutters. It’s strange how she can call a boy a pedophile when I’m simply a girl. He’s not a man yet, he’s just a boy. My boy.
I remember when ‘they’ were my guardians, they told me right from wrong, they raised me, they cared for me, they were my parents. The ones who so brutally ripped me from Tate. I could never forgive them. God I missed him. I missed him. I missed him. I wish he could’ve held me. But deception cradled me in its arms instead, and once it was too close for comfort its arms felt scratchy and painful like needles so I was a black and blue statue. I knew I had many more sad days to come. I was just starting my life, and already, I was a sad girl.
Though this seems like the most unbearable pain I went through, a small part of me knows this’ll have to end. Whenever his name is in a conversation or even out of the blue, I will always remember him and what they did which made me distance myself from him. I’d take one too many pills from time to time hoping I could forget about him for even a split second. They made me feel good, I could easily forget, but once that wore off the fading sound of my heartbeat was all I could feel. I was petrified. I was in the state of over dosing.
Then suddenly I remembered how he talked about basketball players for hours and taught me how to shoot hoops. The way his hands felt on mine and the way his voice soothed me, made me happy. It was a simple memory but it was sweet, for some reason more memories came flowing back. He was the second provider in the family behind his dad, one of his mom’s hands couldn’t function properly so he was used to helping out his brother and sister. His favorite color was green so he’d always text me green little hearts. The memories hurt. There are unbreakable strings carefully attached to each one, attached to me so I can’t part them.
There was a moment of false escape. I was supposed to get over him. I had to. Two months down the line without talking to him and I told myself it was puppy love. That it wasn’t real love. I hardly feel like I know what that is now. I thought I was free from the love spell he cast on me. But I wasn’t free. I was anything but that. It was only harder when I realized I was telling myself lies. Forget, forget, forget.
I wrote him letters he’d never receive, I thought about him over and over. It was a constant ache in my chest and throat that seemed eternal. It was so cliché. It was a forbidden love that was kept secret. Why did he have to go? Did he miss me the way I missed him? Or had he already forgotten me? I wondered and wondered all the time. I asked myself questions, which only made me reminisce about the thought of him even more. Has he found a better girl already? Did he forget everything we had? Does he hate me because it’s my fault we were torn a part? Had he done something dumb to himself like I had? Did he too convince himself that what we had was simply puppy love?
The questions became so strong and thought out, I was left with a headache and heartache. I was just so tired of the never-ending pain. The constant wake up calls that it was clear we couldn’t be together, the nights where I’d cry and hide behind a heavy layer of blankets, the constant shouts of them telling me how he was bad and treated me cheap. It was anything but that. I felt like there were hardly any options. I crept into the cabinet of nail polish pigments, anti-aging creams and lotions, and medicine. Painkillers.
Yup. I fell hard and fast. I knew that when I finally told him I loved him. I had moments where I’d just zone out and everything seemed so unclear, it was like being in a coma while seeing everything go on in front you. But in my trance, thoughts were only of him, and what he had said to me before. I thought of him hugging me tightly while I swayed back and forth in fetal position. I thought of him repeatedly telling me that it was okay and I would be fine.
It was always my secret. No one asked if I was ‘fine’ or ‘okay’ and when they did I would answer with a ‘Of course why wouldn’t I be? Nothing’s wrong’, that excuse has lasted me a lifetime. But I couldn’t continue destroying myself. He didn’t need me anymore. It was okay. I was fine, why wouldn’t I be? Nothing’s wrong. If I could’ve said one last thing to him it’d be- “Tate, I may not have given you a lot to remember, but please, please don’t forget me.” Though I missed him, and needed him, I needed to forget. Just forget, but not about everything.