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My whole life changed when she moved in next door. I didn’t really have anything left to live for. But then I saw her. Standing in the back of that truck. I can still remember exactly what she was wearing. A purple shirt that showed off her curves just right. A pair of blue jeans with holes in the knees. You could just barely see her pair of miss-match sox that came up just above her shoes. She smiled at me and waved. Her eyes pierced through me, the color of jade. That became my favorite color, jade. She always used to wear this shiny green eye makeup that brought out the color even more.
It was just good luck that she chose the room that directly looked into mine. She slept with her window open. On a full moon nights, I could see her silhouette through the window. You might think it’s creepy that I liked to watch her sleep but she fascinated me. She was always smiling. Always happy. But I could tell when she had sadness in her eyes. I always wondered why she tried covering it up, if she had been crying. I usually knew if she had, because she would play the same few songs over and over late at night. Every time she felt pain, I did too. I felt a burning desire to hurt whoever had hurt her. You probably find that ironic, considering what happened, but it’s true. I hated to see her in any pain.
But she would never talk to me about it. She would just wave her hand and say ‘Just life. I can’t complain when it doesn’t go the way I planned.’ Her words were always cryptic when we talked about herself. There was always a double meaning. When I asked her about the scars on her wrists, she would just say ‘long story’ and change the subject. I loved to touch them. To feel the bumps when I ran my fingers down her arm. Each one had a story behind it, and I was determined to find out what they were. That girl drove me crazy. No that’s not why I did it. She was so different. She had the ability to see beauty in this terrible place, even though she hated it beyond anything else in the world.
I could tell she was sad to come here. Whenever she thought she was alone, when she was in her room, she would finally let her face fall and let the cascade of tears run down her cheeks. She would just lie on her bed and write in her journal. Oh the journal. I plotted to sneak into her room, through the window, and steal away with it just to satisfy my thirst. That’s what she was. She was water, and I was dying of dehydration in a dry hot desert. I would kill to just get one drink or her. Just a sip. But she had so many walls built up from years of trying to mask her feelings.
I loved the color of her eyes after she had been crying for a while. They changed to a deeper green, almost a hazel. She never cried out loud. Never sobbed. She would just simply open the damn she had built up and let the tears fall. She cried more often when she first came here. But gradually, she would just fill her time with writing in her journal. It was still a nightly ritual for her to cry herself to sleep. I wanted so badly to just crawl into her window and comfort her. I didn’t want to frighten her though. But soon it got so bad, my undying thirst for her. My throat burned constantly for her. To wrap my arms around her and let her know that everything was going to be ok.
I hated her parents most of all. They were addicted to everything but caring for her. I think that’s why she cried so much. Any other child with the same parents would have turned out differently. She was allowed to smoke, drink, or do anything she wanted. But she was smart about it. She would only drink socially, and never twice in a row. She was smart. She would have gone so far in life. I only drank with her once, and I never did it again. It was too hard to control myself around her. That’s like putting a heroin junky in a room full of it, but he was instructed not to touch anything. It just doesn’t work. I tested so much of me self control that night. I saw just how far I could go. I don’t think I would have enough restraint to do it again. My hand would involuntarily move closer to hers. I had to bind my arms to my stomach. My eyes never strayed from her that night. Not once. I couldn’t help it. It was a good thing everyone else was smashed; they didn’t notice the madness in my eyes. I could feel it from the inside out, the glint in my eyes. I probably looked like a mad-man. But I left early that night. The burning in my stomach was getting unbearable.
I cried that night. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it. I cried, not because of the pain, I could deal with that. It was because of the look in her eyes. She was having just as difficult of a time as me. Alcohol must make it hard for her to keep up her façade as well. I could see the pain in her eyes more extreme than before. It was maddening. I couldn’t deal with it.
It was then that I really tried to get close to her. I tried to gain her trust. Let her know that I would never do anything to hurt her- Don’t laugh either, because what I did was different. I didn’t hurt her. Now let me explain. So that’s when I would talk to her on the computer. She didn’t enjoy that as much as she did the letters. I could feel her excitement in the letter I got back. She wrote so beautifully. It was poetic. Every sentence was. We would write back and forth for several months. No matter how much I learned about her, I still yearned for more. She was so much more intelligent than a 16 year old should be. I know I’m only 18 but she wasn’t a 16 year old girl. She knew so much more.
We wrote each other for several months. I continued to ask questions about her but she would always bring our conversations back to me. I still don’t understand why she was so interested in me. She asked everything about me. Silly questions all the way down to the deepest ones. She had a way of avoiding questions I asked her that got too personal for her. I could tell when I got to a touchy subject. Obsessed wouldn’t even begin to cover it. I actually started a journal about her. I would write about her answers to the questions I asked and begin to analyze her word choices and how she would start out with very neat, small writing, and when I got to a question she felt passionately about, she would begin to write faster. Her letters would get bigger and it started to get into cursive. I always enjoyed that. To step back and look at her letter from farther away. You could see exactly when she got angry, or passionate about the subject. Then there were the parts when I could tell she was self conscious about what ever question I asked. Her letters would become precise, like she was carefully choosing her words as to not give away too much information. The paper would always smell like Jasmine. I guessed she had Jasmine lotion that would rub off on the paper. I wanted to know everything about her. She would tell me that she was reading a certain book, and I would go check out the same book and read it with her. I would read a chapter and wonder what she thought about it. I would go on adventures with her and we I would save her from whatever evil that was there.
She was a jigsaw puzzle that was always missing pieces. I remember the first night that I stayed at her house. She sent a letter saying to climb through her window at midnight that night. I did as I was told, and she was waiting for me. She had her hair down. It was wet and it smelt like strawberries. She was wearing silky soft pajama bottoms and a miss-match top that accented her body. We stayed up most of the night talking. She would talk of her parents, and music she liked, what she wanted most out of life. I let her take up most of the conversations mostly because I loved watching her talk. Her eyes would change colors when she changed emotions. It was just the slightest change in the shade of green, but I noticed it. She bounced around most of the night, changing the current song that was playing to another. Most of the night, she would just lay back, close her eyes and sing along to a certain song. I just watched her. She was like a drug that I couldn’t get my full fix of. I was always left wanting more. The night went on and she grew tired. She began to ask me questions. They started out simple, but as the night grew on, they became more difficult. Some I didn’t have the answer too. Longer periods of silence grew in between each question as she drifted in and out of conscience. In her slumber, she slowly inched her way toward me. By early dawn, she was sleeping on my chest with my arm wrapped around her. She seemed to sleep more peaceful then she did when I would watch her sleep in the moonlight.
That night began a routine, I would crawl through her window at midnight and we would talk until late in the night. Some nights, she would already be asleep when I got there, and I would just come in and we would sleep. No, we never did anything. It wasn’t like that. What we had was so much more. Just laying with her was so much more satisfying then sex, her sleeping in my arms. To watch her breath get drawn into her chest, fill up with the same air I was breathing, and escape through her slightly opened mouth. I would trade anything in the whole world to have that again. Do you know that feeling you get when you are at a concert and you’re watching your favorite artist live? When your both singing along to your favorite song and it’s as if they are singing to you and everyone else in the audience disappears? Pure ecstasy. That’s same feeling I get when we would breathe in unison. Pure ecstasy. I loved to put my hand over her heart and feel it beet faster when I touched her. Even in a dead sleep, her heart rate would accelerate as my hand was on her chest.
We had been continuing our routine for about 6 months. I would sneak into her room at midnight every night. Religiously. One night, she was sitting across from me on her bed and she looked at me. I could tell that she had something to tell me. I knew she didn’t like getting too personal about herself, so I didn’t push it. She took her time, trying to put together the right words for whatever she had to say to me. Finally she looked at me. Her eyes were piercing. It felt as if she could see straight through me. Right into my soul. She took a deep breath and said ‘Ok. I’m letting you ask me whatever you want. Tonight I will tell you everything you want to know about me. Anything.’ She finished with a sort of forced half smile. I had to laugh because …well, one night isn’t nearly enough time for me to know every single thing about her. I wanted to know everything. Every thought she’s ever had, every dream she wanted to achieve, every memory she has stored in her cryptic brain. So I grabbed her and pulled her close to me. Then I flipped her arm over and stroked the indentations on her wrist. I looked up at her and saw fear in her eyes. “Alright,” I soothed, “you’re not ready to talk about that yet. I understand.” I studied her face as it softened and she relaxed. ‘Thank you’ she whispered.
To this day I don’t know why she had cut herself. Part of me is angry with myself for not pushing the matter further that night, because the curiosity still keeps me up at night. I still hadn’t figured her out. Not completely. But I knew enough about her to know that I had to do what I did. Slowly, she took down the dozens of walls she held up to keep everyone out. Slowly, I began to decode her. Painstakingly slow, but I was patient. I never wanted this to end.
Every evening, she would begin to feel more comfortable around me. She was comfortable enough around me to change with me in the room. No. I never looked at her with that exact thought in mind. As I said before, it wasn’t like that with us. I would just admire her perfection. Her utter and complete angel-like perfection. She never completely let down her guard though; I don’t think she could have even if she wanted to. She spent too many years building up an impenetrable fortress. But I’m confident in saying that I knew her better than anyone else in the world. There was so much anguish in her past, so much pain. She was living with so many demons that would never leave her. What I did was release her. I let her go free. She was a prisoner in her own mind. She was constantly getting chased by her own horrid past. When she first proposed it, I said no. I outright refused. The thought of living without her hurt too much. But then I looked into her eyes. I saw all her pain and agony. It hurt more than the thought of losing her. It made my throat burn and my stomach cringe. We spent several weeks planning it. She spoke so freely about it. It was as if she had been planning it for a long time.
Finally the night came. I crawled through her window at midnight, just as I had so many nights before. The air in her room seemed colder than it usually did. It seemed drier as well, but that may just have been because my mouth was so dry. ‘Don’t look so sad. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just the end of mine.’ She said when she looked at my face. I looked in the mirror and realized that my face looked almost yellowish. I was actually surprised I didn’t look worse. I hadn’t eaten in days, and I hadn’t slept at all. I just stayed up all night, watching my angel sleep. That was one of the only times she didn’t have the sadness in her face; when she was sleeping.
I sat down on her bed and looked at her face. I studied it. I was intent on memorizing every detail of her face but it was different that night. She looked like she was finally free. She was glowing with happiness. All the pain had left her face. The only thing that was there was complete joy. If a man who sat in jail for 50 years was finally freed to go home to his family and found that not a day had passed him… that’s how my angel looked. That was the moment that I knew I was doing the right thing. That’s when I decided to not be selfish and convince her to stay with me. She was going to be free of all her chains. All her years of searching for the key, she finally found it. And I was happy to help her unlock the door that kept her stuck in the cell she lived in.
She went to her sock drawer and took out a bottle of aspirin. When she looked up at me, she had a glint in her eyes that I had never seen before. She opened the bottle and laid out 50 aspirin in a long white line on her bedside table.
She took the bottle of aspirin, put it back in her sock drawer, and came over to me. I stood up and wrapped my arms around her. I can still remember exactly how she felt in my arms. Exactly how she smelled. I looked into her Jade eyes and leaned in, gauging her reaction. I didn’t know what she would do, because we had never kissed before. I got so close to her face, I could smell her sweet breath. Then all of a sudden, she leaned in and touched her lips to mine. I held her closer to me. She kissed me with such urgency, it was frightening. She crushed herself against me, and I still wanted her closer. Finally she let go and pulled her head away. I was reluctant to let to, but I knew it was time. We sat down on her bed and she looked at me. She got up and crossed her room, and went to her closet. I was confused when she brought back a box. When she set it down, it went all the way up to her knees. She knelt down and opened the box. I had to swallow the lump in my throat when she brought out her journal. ‘Oh my god this is really the end’ was all I kept thinking. She handed it to me without saying a word. I took it, set it down next to me, and pulled her to the bed. She grabbed the first white capsule of freedom off her nightstand and looked at me. She kissed me one more time, this time slower and longer. ‘I love you’ She whispered and swallowed the aspirin.
It was difficult to watch her, as she swallowed each one, whispering the number of aspirin to herself. I was close to stopping her at 34 but I started to see the veil being lifted. I started to see her. All the walls she had put up, all the covers she hid under, gone. It was my angel in the purest form. She finally got to number 50 and laid down next to me. She closed her eyes and rested her head against my chest. I watched her face twist, contort, and relax again. Her breathing gradually became farther apart. I sat there, with her in my arms long after I couldn’t feel her heart beat any more. That was probably the worst part; when I put my hand on her chest. All I felt was her cold skin against my hand. When the tears came, I just looked at her face. The tears didn’t stop or even slow. In fact, they flowed harder. But they were tears of joy. Joy because she was free. No longer a prisoner. My angel was finally ok. I laid there until the sun came up, and long after that. Then her mother came to yell at her for sleeping so late… I still find that ironic. And then… well you know the rest, since you arrived shortly after that.
……….So officer, that’s what happened, from beginning to end. I take full responsibility for what happened. Do what you will to me. I have lived my life already and will not complain if you choose to prosecute me to the fullest, or if I spend the rest of my life in jail. I will patiently wait until I can join my angel again.