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The Girl in the Bright Green Shirt
We sat there quietly, so quiet it was the kind of silence that is deafening. I would like to say something to her or for her to take my hand but everything inside me is holding me back. I watch the rain fall against the window so violently that I think the window might crack. I feel everything is a dream and maybe tomorrow I will wake up and everything will be okay. Maybe if I just go to sleep these past moths won't have happend.
"Therapy may get her talk some more," said the woman in the other room. "I fear that if she bottles this all up it will affect the healing process"
I sit in my room with the door cracked slightly open. I listen to them decide my fate, listen to them decide how I will get better. I won't get better. Ronny, or Ronald as everyone keeps telling me to call him so he will become an impersonal object in my life, took what I had. They say I am battered and broken. They say the pieces he took can be put back together. I know they cannot. Ronald took it all.
"If therapy will help it's what we will do," my mother says. "I just want her to get better."
I sit in the chair and pull at my shirt. My mother told me to dress up. She does that a lot now encouraging me to wear things so I will feel pretty. I am not pretty. Everyone else wears the same sullen face that I do, the same one i've stared at for months. We go around the circle disscussing our thoughts and feelings. I know when my turn comes I won't say anything. There's so much i'd like to say to explain but I cannot.
The girl beside me is wearing a bright green shirt. If I were who I was before everything I would've told her I liked it. We probably would've been friends but i'm not that girl and never will be. I think she notices me admiring it because she smiles. I want to smile back but I feel so tired, besides I can't seem to think of any reasons worth smiling for. I half smile and turn away but it wasn't fast enough.
"Hi, i'm Angie," says the girl in the bright green shirt.
"Hello i'm Natalie," I respond shocked that I had mustered up enough courage to respond.
"It's nice to meet you. You never say anything when it's your turn in the circle so i've been hoping to actually meet you," she says casually.
She wanted to meet me and i'm in disbelief. "Well it's nice to meet you too. I'm not ready to share my thoughts with the group. I cannot share them with myself to be honest." I have revealed more to her than anyone else.
"I understand this whole therapy thing is difficult. When my mom first found out about my bulemia she decided this is how we would fix it. I hated it at first, refused to say a word, but I had so much pain built up in me eventually I started to talk. I started with a friend, then with the group, and finally with my mom. I'm finally getting better and I do owe a lot of it to this whole thing," she smiled slightly as if embaressed that she thought this was really the way to fix everything.
I was suddenly so burnt out from everything I had been holding in and wanted nothing more than to let it all out. I turned to her and said, "I have so much built up in me but i'm so afraid to say anything."
"I know it's hard but you can tell me if you'd like. I know we've just met but maybe that's what makes it easy."
I looked at her bright green shirt and began. "I had a boyfriend his name was Ronny," I stared off. I kept my eyes on the shirt, it gave me strength. "He was my first real boyfriend and he was sweet. He bought me things and took me places and called me beautiful. We spent a lot of time together. He had a temper but we never fought he'd get frustrated with other drivers and yell but I figured it was all normal. One day after school me and a friend walked outside, the friend was a boy and Ronny got jealous. He yelled and I apologized, I only wanted to make him happy. Soon he basically ruled my life. I had to watch who I talked to, what I said, and what I wore. I had to ask Max Simmons for notes because i'd missed class and Ronny saw. That night Ronny punched me in the face. I said nothing to anybody. I thought he loved me and he'd never do it again. Soon the beatings got worse. They were almost everyday I covered them up the best I could but people were starting to notice. The last fight was the worst. I had told him I wasn't sure I was happy anymore. He was so angry he threw me down a flight of stairs. I was in the hospital for two weeks." I took in a deep breath. It was finally out.
The girl looked at me and said, "now you can begin to heal."
Weeks passed and slowly I told more to more people. Things were beging to get easier and I finally felt as though I could get better. Today I decide I will take the hardest step. The councelors have been encouraging me to talk to my mother and I haven't felt strong enough. I can only heal if I bandage all parts of the wound as Angie says so I must do it.
I walk into the kitchen and there my mother sits with a cup of tea. I sit down beside her and take in some air. At first I feel as though i'm gasping but i slowly calm down. I turn to her and i know it is time.
"Mom, Ronny used to hit me, a lot. I need to tell you the story from start to finish because it's the only way I can over come it. I'm ready to over come this." She looks at me intently as tears well up in her eyes. I picture her in a bright green shirt and begin my story.