Love is a word that has more meanings than there are stars in the sky. Each person has their own interpretation of love, and that’s what makes it beautiful. Beautiful like the intricate detail that your grandma put into the sweater she made you for your 8th birthday; beautiful like the girl that even popular kids only knew in their dreams. A hopeless loner might not get a chance at true love-but for the few lucky ones, romance finds its way to their yearning hearts, and they absorb the incredible feeling like a sponge. For once in my life, Lady Luck had chosen my side.
I lay beside her, the girl from my dreams. Although this weren’t a dream, I still insisted on pinching myself, just to make sure.
Ouch. I pinched too hard. She gently kissed the red mark on my arm, and the pain melted away-as if her kiss was the hot summer sun; my pain, a mere snowflake. We held each other closely on her bed, praying for the moment to last forever, but the meaning of forever was somehow lost in translation. I looked into her eyes and started to swim in her deep sea of thoughts, and quickly realized that I was looking into a realm of unpleasant memories. I took a deep breath, to keep from drowning in the violent ocean that is her mind. A tear glided down her cheek, and now I knew exactly which memory she was replaying in her head. I kissed her forehead, letting her know that I wouldn’t leave her side again, but her thoughts went unaffected. I held her hand as I traveled with her into a dark place-even darker than the farthest corners of Hell. A memory that was forever locked into our minds, locked with the key that we had destroyed over 8 months ago.
I woke up to the warm August air-the breeze blowing steadily, making a calm whistle. The weather was perfect, but the swaying trees gave signs that a storm was imminent. Everything seemed to be going my way so far on this hopeful Monday morning. I woke up refreshed, and wide awake; I didn’t drift back into the comfort of my dreams for once. My breakfast tasted better than any meal I had ever tasted. Although my mood was brightened by the unusually exceptional start to my day, something hung in the back of my head like an itch on the bottom of your foot: nagging at you unconsciously until you finally scratch.
Cold rain drops began to fall, as if to darken the mood a little. To keep from getting wet, I put on my ex-boyfriend, Izaiah’s, jacket. The worn jacket, a faded green color, had a broken zipper. The jacket reminded me of a love that I used to have for the world. That love, now transformed into bitter hate, was destroyed by utter heartbreak, leading to the overall downfall of my mind, body, and soul. My heart, halfway healed by a week spent in a mental hospital, was highly fragile and could not risk trusting anyone again. Similar to the zipper, my life was broken, but could be easily fixed.
Opening the car door gleefully, I climbed into the passenger’s seat of my mommy’s silver mini-van and began to read my favorite book. While mom drove, I imagined life as if I were inside the book. The world inside of my book was a much nicer place than the cruel mistress of reality, anyways. Mom wouldn’t allow me to attend school that week because she didn’t think I was quite ready to continue my regular schedule yet. So instead of going to school like a normal teenager would on a Monday morning in August, my mom and I headed to the hospital. The doctor’s office was a normal destination for me. Sickness was commonplace since my body had grown sensitive to illness.
The waiting room at the hospital smelled of latex and old people. I continued to read my book, while sick people of every kind waited anxiously for the nurse to call their name. A blind man with a severed arm ran through the waiting room screaming, “Somebody help me, an alligator bit my arm off!” I sneakily tripped the blind man as he ran by me, breaking his already severed arm in half. Oops. Blood squirted clear across the room and landed in a baby’s eye. A nurse huddled in a corner and wept hysterically. An old woman wearing an awkwardly shaped hat pointed and laughed at the panic-stricken nurse. The baby let out a blood-curdling scream, sending chills down everyone’s spine. The defeated blind man just flopped around like a fish out of water. Saving me (and anyone else I might decide to trip) from the increasingly maniacal waiting room, a polite nurse in green scrubs entered through a screeching door and called me to the hospital room.
Still reading my book, I waited patiently while my mom filled out a form. The doctor came in after a brief, five minute wait and asked me curiously, “What seems to be the problem today?” I saved my place in the book with a bookmark and laid the book on the counter. I promptly replied, “Well, I’ve been having a lot of chest pain.” The doctor quickly took and recorded my pulse and heartbeat. “What I’m going to have to do is take blood from you and have it tested. We should have the results within a week”, said the doctor. The familiar sharp pain of a needle shot through my arm as the nurse collected blood from a vein. Nirvana. “Alright, I’m all done”, said the nurse in a sort of high-pitched voice. I picked up my book, holding it tightly as I walked back outside to the mini-van.
Arriving home shortly after 3:00 P.M, I noticed an envelope taped to the doorknob of my front door. I walked briskly to the safety of my room and revealed the contents of the envelope. Inside were a one-page letter and a rose. I began to read the letter carefully to myself, burning each word into the back of my mind:
The purpose of this letter is to apologize for all of the pain that I have caused you. I realize now that my selfishness took control of my heart, leading to our unfortunate break-up. To say that I miss you would be unfair to what I am feeling right now. To say that I regret leaving you, which was my biggest mistake, would be a huge understatement. Honestly, I love you with all of my heart. This rose is a way of me asking you, “Will you please accept me back into your life?”
Wow. I wasn’t sure what to think right now. Half of my mind was crying, while the other half was smiling. I definitely wasn’t ready for this, but my heart was so quick to forgive. Secretly, I was hoping this would happen. I still loved him, and missed him probably as much as he supposedly missed me.
DING. A pebble hit the outside of my window. I slowly opened my blinds and nearly fainted when I saw Izaiah standing there. He climbed through my window nervously. Collapsing as we hugged tightly, we both started crying. “I’m so sorry”, he said in a sympathetic voice. I replied, “It’s okay, really. I’ve missed you so much.” We both continued crying and hugging, with an occasional sorry muttered in between. Feeling remorseful as it came time for Izaiah to leave, we kissed each other goodbye. Wiping a tear from my face, Izaiah said, “I love you.” Aww. Then he quietly exited through my window, while he made his way back into my heart.
Crickets chirped outside as the sun hid behind the trees. It was now late afternoon. The calm chirping of the crickets was interrupted by the telephone. I answered to the sound of the nurse’s voice from the hospital. “I’m afraid I have some bad news”, she said softly, “It appears you have breast cancer.” I immediately dropped the phone, ran outside, and began sprinting through the woods. I didn’t know where I was going, but it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be alone. My life had finally begun improving, and then this happened. I kept running until I couldn’t feel any more pain.
The next day, I woke up on my couch. I looked at the date on my watch, and it said Monday. My mom yelled, “TAYLOR, get up! You’re going to be late for school!” I replied, “MOM, what’s today?” “MONDAY”, my mother shouted back. I ran back to my room and frantically searched for the envelope. It wasn’t there.
I then realized that I did, in fact, drift back to sleep on that warm, August morning. The entire day was just a dream. Relieved that I didn’t have breast cancer, but sad that Izaiah still wasn’t mine, I called Izaiah and said, “I love you so much.” Confused, he replied, “Um, what? I thought you hated me. Besides, I don’t deserve to be loved by you.” Simply, I whispered, “People get what they deserve.”. Taylor occupied most of my thoughts. She was my escape from the madness of reality; my escape from everything, and I secretly loved her more than I knew how to show. I continued to sleep, dreaming of Taylor, the one and only one who consumes my heart.
Holy Shit. I couldn’t believe she just called me. Maybe this was some weird sign from God that we were meant to be together. Even after how much I hurt her and after all the time it took to begin to heal her emotionally. One thing I knew for sure, was that I missed her dearly. The sweet taste of her lips, pressed against mine, it sent shivers down my spine just thinking about it. I wanted her, I needed her, and most importantly, I loved her. As I was day-dreaming about Taylor, I heard something coming from the family room. I opened my bedroom door and stepped into Hell.
I screamed as I listened to my parents argue. I couldn’t take it any longer; I picked up a glass vase, threw it across the room, and covered my ears as it shattered against the wall. Dad started to curse at me, “You are fucking grounded for a week. Pick that up before I kick your ass. Fucking retard.” I was now in worse condition than the vase. “Your English teacher from school called, he said you’ve been sleeping in class. I’m enrolling you at Thomas Jefferson High starting Monday. Now go to your room or something, I don’t want to see your stupid ass until my funeral.” I cleaned up the mess and hid away in my bedroom while my parents continued to argue. I tried not to let my dad hear me cry as I lied motionless on my bed.
Love, hate, weakness, strength, violence– they are all traits that are learned from the people that surround you as soon as you are born. Although I was taught to hate, I tried my best to love the people that meant the most to me. My life was a constant stuggle between sadness, happiness, love, hate, trying my best, giving up, caring too much, and not giving a fuck about anything. I always thought that if I could just find someone that loved me the way that I was, that my life might be alright. After all, love is learned the same way you learn to walk. But if you were to sit down your whole life, could you learn to walk later on? If you were around hate your whole life, could you eventually learn to love? I would soon discover the answer to this question, but possibly not soon enough.
My parents finally ceased to argue after thirty minutes of screaming, crying, and breaking things. In between listening to music and doing homework, I drifted away to sleep. My dreams were mostly nightmares, and let me rest very little. Although I should have had a terrible nightmare that night given the circumstances, I instead had another dream about Taylor
I woke up in a horrible mood. My dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Filled with flashbacks from my childhood and memories of Taylor which often make me tremble, it was one of the worst nightmares that I’ve had in awhile. It was a constant reminder that in this world, nothing is safe, and nothing is guaranteed, especially something as rare as true love. I found out just how safe my love for Taylor was at her birthday party the next weekend.