Growing Back

It was because of him that she cut off her hair. All nine deep black inches of it. In a burst of hopelessness she took the scissors to it that night and hacked away until a pile of it lay on the bathroom floor at her feet and the only thing left on her head were a few dark spikes. She cried then and it made her mascara smear so that her tears were black. It sounded like a great emo poem: black tears. But she didn't write poetry. She drew it. That night she didn't though, in fact, it had been a long while since she had drawn anything, not even a sketch on the border of her notebooks. When her mother asked about it she always had the same answer, "I don't have time, Mom." Not true. She did have time, but she spent it in a different way then, dreaming. About him. And what he would say when she saw him next and if he would call or what he truly thought of her. There was no time to draw when he held her thoughts and her heart.
It was real this time, she had sworn to herself. He was her true love, she would do it right this time. Oh, she'd had boyfriends before him but they were different. She had never loved like this before. (Although her mother pointed out that she said that every time.) He was different, she argued, he was her happy ending. This time was the right time. So she had thought. Until today.
WHY?
The thought struck her straight to her bruised and broken heart. WHY? It was all over. That's what he had said. "It's time to move on, Clo," he'd said. She remembered every word of his speech. Every look he had given her. The way she had watched him through blurry eyes as he'd said goodbye and walked out of the room, out of her life. There was no more 'them'.
She cried again. The make-up clouded tears dripped off her cheeks into the sink as she stared at the mirror. Her hair was gone. He was gone. Her life was over. Wasn't it? How could it not be? He had been everything to her.
Someone knocked on the bathroom door.
"Cloe?"
She grabbed a handful of toilet paper and managed to smear away her tears before her mother came in. She looked at the hair on the floor.
"What's wrong, Cloe? And don't tell me nothing is because I can hear you from the living room."
Cloe glared, "Leave me alone!"
Her mothers eyes softened, "He's not all there is, you know."
"Yes he is!" she shouted, "You wouldn't know!"
"Look," a sigh, "You had a life before him. Don't you remember? Your drawings? Your friends?"
Cloe shoved her way through the doorway, "Go away," she yelled like a three-year-old.

She lay on her bed, crying again. She lifted her fingertips to her hair. Gone.
Her eyes hurt now from crying and the mascara had stained her pillow. What had been wrong with her? Why was he gone? She shifted and leaned against the wall, her knees to her chest. She felt small now, like she had finally fallen to earth after flying among the clouds for so long. She stood up suddenly and began rummaging through her desk to find the picture. It was of him and her together, laughing on a park bench as the snow fell silently around them. She found it under a stack of forgotten homework. There it was. She started to cry again. As she stuffed it in to the back of a drawer she felt another paper. A picture she had drawn of a girl lying on her back looking up. There were broken arrows surrounding her where they had fallen unable to touch her. She was smiling. She was safe.
Cloe remembered the day she had drawn this. It was day the one before him had broken her heart. She had known she would be okay.
That feeling welled up in her again, not tears this time but a different one. She needed to drawn, to spill her heart onto paper through a pen once again. She found one on her desk along with a sheet of paper. It was time to draw again. Him or no him. Her hair would grow back, her heart would too. She wasn't quite ready to live again, but, this was a start.





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