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Memoir This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I stood up. The rock where I had beensitting was cold and hard and painful. Although I had comelooking for relief, I suddenly found standing preferable. Iwas restless; my legs itched to take me away. Our conversationwas going nowhere; it was the same old story - him telling mewhy he loved me, me answering that I didn't feel the same way.Only I couldn't actually say the words. He grew silent, makingme wonder what he was thinking. He began again, using hisflowery language that took so long to get to the point. Hiswords seemed to flow past me, weaving through the air, tryingto catch me. I studied my surroundings; the land rolled towarda wall of trees. Above, the sky was clear with a crisp morningblue, except for the fog. But it was not fog, only clouds thatmarked the river behind the barrier of trees, hanging whiteand innocent in midair. There were large and small clumps,connected with almost invisible wisps, lingering as if held upby unseen twine. The light from the rising sun caught everyrise in the land, dappling the world in green andshadow-green.

Suddenly I wanted nothing but to seethe river. I wanted to experience this evidence of nature, tosee its power. I wished to find comfort being near somethingmore real than this conversation, which seemed like a baddream. I felt an urge to touch those clouds, so I could purgemyself of what was crawling beneath my skin - guilt from notloving him as much as he loved me. I broke into a run towardthe river, toward what seemed to be all I wanted. I heard himprotest, trying to catch me. Up and down I went with the land,passing bushes and weeds and the occasional buttercup coveredwith dew, glittering in the sun. As I went, his voice grewmuffled; when I reached a rise, I was in danger of beingsnatched. It kept me going. I knew he, and not just his voice,was pursuing me. I hit the threshold of the forest. I was soconcentrated on getting there, I didn't notice the brokenbranches and debris. I nearly fell. I could still hear myhunter. Now the voice echoed off the trees, bouncing andbombarding from every direction. I had sought cover and nowthe guilt was even worse. It started at the top of my head andtips of my toes, working its way through me, coursing throughmy veins, pushing the blood and spreading until my stomachbegan to tighten. With every echo I hurt for all the loverswho loved me more than I could feel for them. For the feignedaffection and fake smiles. I loved them, only not enough forme to be truly happy.

The sound bouncing around theforest gave the trees life. They were blaming me, crying,leaves falling like tears. I spun around looking for a wayout, wondering which way the clouds were, which way my havenwas. Then I saw them, to my right, floating, oblivious to myplight. The haunting voices had stopped. It was silent, as ifit were snowing. I walked through the towering trees as if ina maze; a wall of earth beneath me, a wall of foliage aboveand pillars of rough bark forcing me to weave around them.

I became aware of a figure ahead, gracefully windingthrough the trees. As the shape approached, it revealed itselfas a young woman. Never had I seen such beauty. I had heard ofsuch loveliness, but never actually believed it was possible.It was as if all the beauty in the world, every sunset andsunrise, every slightly imperfect perfection in nature, hadbeen combined in one magnificent creature. She had dark eyesthat seemed to be tearing in sorrow as she danced in circles,piercing my heart as her eyes fixed on me. Her dress remindedme of cobwebs, thin and barely opaque, trailing from hermovements, showing every curve in her body. She was simplyenchanting, and I found myself wanting to stop her, to holdher and kiss her tears, never letting go. Then she came to ahalt. She looked at me and simply said, "Good-bye."She turned and fled. I shouted at her to wait, cried for herreturn and was heartbroken when she did not respond, until Irealized I had not made a sound.

I felt like I was ina great hole, black and lonely, that punctuated my loss. Itwas not much of a loss, for I had never really had it in thefirst place. Suddenly I realized the hole I was in was becauseof my cursed phobia of speaking, of making sure people heardwhat I thought, what I felt. I never voiced what went throughmy head.

Suddenly silence surrounded me. I could nolonger hear the rush of the river, and I knew the silence wasme. I hadn't fought hard enough because I had known it wasuseless. But my wish gave me hope! I ran again through thewoods, remembering the river and the clouds. I began to hearthe river, going on and on its course, never slowing, justflowing from one point to another. I broke out of the woods,and I could see the river - I ran to the edge and stared atthe water. I had come here for refuge, so the water couldenvelop me and comfort me, yet it seemed the river didn'tcare. It was cold and harsh and merely continued to roarby.

The clouds. I looked up, fully expecting to be ableto fulfill my wish, that they would be there for my fingers totouch and hold, to sleep on, waiting to take me up and awayfrom this place. The sky was empty. I had taken so long theyhad burned away. Under the protection of the forest's canopy,I had forgotten the rising sun. And now I was alone withouteven a purpose. Alone in peace without the guilt and sorrow,without the loving and the loved. Alone with a river thatdidn't care and an empty sky. So I sat down. The rock I sat onwas cold and hard and wet. I was alone.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

SierraTeran said...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm:

I like how descriptive it is, you really get a feel for what is happening. I love big descriptive words like that, and they way they were used go very well together.

And I think I know the significance of the woman in your story. It's supposed to be you, and you just want to be there for her like all of those boys that loved you. But the woman is being you and saying goodbye just lik you have done to them. 

I'm not sure if I am right, but that's how I interpreted it.

 
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heiwagirl said...
Mar. 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm:
It was a very interesting story and had kept me on the edge through the entire thing. But I was confused on a few things such as the woman that appeared what was her point in the story? did she have some hidden meaning? maybe next time try to make it more clear but overall it was a great story.
 
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