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Not Everything Is What It Seems
I stand absolutely still, hardly breathing. Entranced by eyes that seem to stretch on forever and turn black as they stare back. But look beyond that. I do. You must if you want to see the world in what it really is. Not it’s glory but its true self. But I do warn you now, when you look beyond… life is no longer reality.
Nightmares are what I live, what you will too once you’re through. Watch a nightmare in the making… it never ends. Like an amazing horror movie that haunts you for days… years. For me, a lifetime.
Look into the eyes of the beholder. You. What do you see? Love or lust, horror or fear? Look beyond anything you see. Look into creation and describe what you see. A nightmare in creation. Intricate designs will fill your mind; enable you to see what others cannot. You will try to explain to anyone but yourself, but they will not understand. Only few ever have or will. Remember your dreams and nightmares. Try to understand their meanings. They may help you, scare you, but to live this life… you must be scared.
My name is Vanessa. You may know me from your dreams and nightmares. Life is confusing, intricate and old. We try to understand, but we never will. Except I. I understand the world and how it works. That’s what scares me the most.
I see so many things and none that I should. People never understand me. I start to trust some and tell them a little about myself, never all of it, and then they always say you’re so weird! Go away, and things of that sort. It doesn’t make me feel good but I usually laugh and let it pass me by. Then again there are those who I do not trust and yet they hurt me the most…
This actually might sound worse than it really is. The truth is that I do have a few friends that really know me and accept me for what I am and what I am not. People are there for me almost whenever I need them to be. My friends are always just a phone call away, but that isn’t always good enough, unfortunately. Things in my life and good now, but I can’t stop thinking about what used to be…
“Get over here! What do you think you were doing? Completely embarrassing our family? Do you see this?!” my mother says “are you listening to me?” I am. She pushes the hard card stock paper in my face, like that is going to help. I see it even though my eyes are starting to spill over. I hate being yelled at so much… “Vanessa Anne are you listening to me?” I nod slowly. I know she won’t hit me though, of course she wouldn’t. It might ruin my face, therefore ruining her perfect family. Boohoo. No one is perfect, that’s what they taught me at that little Catholic school that was suppose to be so great. Having no friends in a small school is worse than anything else… everyone talks about your every move… I looking at the paper in front of me I can’t stop dreading my every move. Whatever I do always upsets someone, especially my mother. Suddenly my chin is ripped up and brought close to my mother’s make-up caked flawless face. “You are a disgrace” she hisses at me. As suddenly as my thoughts were torn away and my chin ripped up she pushed me away with such force it felt as if she didn’t even touch me and she flew me away with her evil witch powers and those four inch stilettos didn’t make her miss a beat.
I remember when I was younger I was so happy. I had everything I wanted. All of the kids wanted to be my friend just to come play with my things because I wasn’t like the rest of those rich girls. I actually let everyone play with my toys. I always thought it was the right thing to do, but of course my mother didn’t teach me that one, oh no. My mother always told me ‘straighten up, what do you think your doing sharing your things with all of those dirty rotten children? You won’t get into Yale with that attitude.’ Like I knew what Yale was when I was only three little years. All I knew growing up was that Yale was my future and anything below a ninety-five percent was not acceptable. Needless to say, I get yelled at a lot. If I come home with a hair out of place I get yelled at. Literally.
“Vanessa are you crazy?!” she screams as I get into the Ferrari hoping to have a quiet ride home from school. ‘No I am not, but you are’ I think to myself. She hit the top of my head as if there was a giant bug on it with a look of disgust. “Your hair is greasy and frizzy, imagine what the other kids were thinking” she exclaims. “Jennifer I really don’t care what the other kids think about me.” Yes, I do call my mother by my first name; she refuses to let me call her mom or mother. She thinks those words sound too poor. She looks at me with a look of horror as if the world is coming to an end just because I don’t care at all what others think about me.
My mother has never really approved of anything that I have done. In her mind, its all wrong. I have never even been able to wear the clothes I wanted to. Tee shirt, cheap old blue jeans, that is what I want. What my mother wants, well that’s a whole other story. I do not own one tee shirt and I have one pair of blue jeans, and yup, you guessed it, they are designer. Sure, some girls would love this, but it’s not that great at all when it is all you have ever known. It seems so wrong for my old mother to want all of these things when it should be me, the young, pretty brown haired girl wanting these things. Yes, I do think that I am pretty. I might think that just because I have heard it everyday since birth and it has been embedded into my mind that not a hair on me is ugly, until it’s out of place that is.
“Vanessa I think it’s about time.” Jennifer explains while sitting right leg over left with her hands folded in her lap. “Time for what?” I dare to question. “Well, I think you are ready to go to the doctor for your hair…” my hair? What is she talking about? Her eyes are directed towards my legs and arms. I suppose she wants me to start shaving… “I want you to have your hair on your arms and legs lasered off, just so that you won’t have to worry about all that shaving nonsense when you are in high school.” ‘I am in fifth grade’ I think to myself… ‘Is this normal?’ no, I don’t think it is…
I’ve never wanted to be anything other than myself. I try my hardest to be only me, when I’m around everyone except my mom, I mean Jennifer, that is. I have two people that I tell everything to, my best friends. They know about it all, my crazy mother, horrid boyfriends, and mean kids. Almost anything that has ever happened to me, they know. Its kind of scary actually, they almost know me better than myself, then again, I don’t know myself that well. I wish I could keep things to myself like I used to, but for some reason I just can’t do it anymore. Anything that happens to me I just have to tell them, even if it is stupid and only funny or scary to me. I know so many people in so many different places; notice I say people, not friends. Most of these people are really not my friends. They are usually people I talk to or people that I use, as bad as that may sound. I do use people, to get myself by. I pretend to be their friends when all I really want to do is run away.
I’ve had my share of boyfriends if you want to believe that or not, that’s your business, but I’m telling you the honest truth, I promise. I guess I should fill you in on this, when I promise, I mean it. I’ve broken so many promises that it makes me scared to do it now, so when I do, it takes a lot out of me. The first couple boyfriends were alright, then, they got progressively worse, as did I.
As I curl up next to you, please hold me tight. Will you let me rest my head on your should? And will you please oh please play with my hair; you say it smells good, are you lying to me? I surely hope you wouldn’t. Will you kiss me until I fall asleep? Oh please oh please…
I’ve always wanted a strong man, one that would be able to stand up for me no matter what came our way. The sad thing is, I always ended up with the wrong ones. Either the fact that I was so desperate to be cared for that I didn’t even care at all about them, or they just wanted a toy so that they wouldn’t have to care about me, somehow it was always wrong, so wrong.
Watching you watch them is so absurd it is almost memorizing, it is. When I met you, you were a blonde with long hair. You were so interesting, you still are. I talked to you, and you talked to me, someone it felt so right. I couldn’t see what was happening and I thought that I loved you, I truly did think so. We talked even more and I got so attached, you were like my addiction, one that I never got enough of. You smell, your looks, your attitude, it all fell into place, making you almost perfect. As I started to like you I look for signs to see if the feeling was mutual, I found nothing. You didn’t like me that was obvious. You died your hair black, I love it, and almost you. You shaved the sides giving yourself the most amazing Mohawk I have ever seen, I thought I loved you, but it wasn’t true.
He was my first real crush, but for some reason, I was never good enough. Then there was the one whose mother just despised me, but she never told anyone else. She was so mean and nasty. I went to see him one night at school at his basketball game; I didn’t know that she would be there. His mother saw me and gave me the most evil death stare ever, it was almost as if she was ready to pounce and tear my throat out right at that moment. I remember it so clearing; her taking him away from me and banning me from talking to him ever again, when I never even knew what I did wrong.
I suppose being banned from someone that you like a lot is better than parents having no control in the relationship what so ever and your own mother sends you away with them, making you be with them. It was almost like a set up marriage sort of thing.
“You are going away.” What is she talking about this time? “Jennifer what are you talking about?” “I got you and Richard plane tickets to go stay at a private beach house in California.” She says happily with a cheerful smile plastered onto her fake face. No, no, this isn’t happening. “I do not want to” I warn her. Her smile fades into a disappointed angry frown. “you do not have a choice. You are going with him whether you like it or not. Now hurry up and call him.” End of story.
“Richard?” I question to the silence on the other end. “Yes, my love?” At the sound of his deep voice I cringe and shrink back. “Pack your bags; we are going away to Cali for the weekend. Alright? Meet me at my house in an hour. We are leaving tonight.” I can almost feel his bright, disgusting, smile through the phone. “This is going to be fun, don’t you think, Hun?” he says with a tang of sarcasm. I hang up knowing he wasn’t expecting me to answer.
I hear voices hum through the floor while I through clothes in a bag not wanting to get yelled at for him being here before I am ready. “Vanessa, Richard is here” My mother quietly says. She refuses to yell up the stairs like normal people, which would be too unprofessional, as if our home is a CEO’s office. I can feel her anger building as she waits. I run to my underwear drawer and grab a fist full stuff without even bothering to see what it is. The only other things I have packed are shorts, tank tops, and, of course, make-up. I run downstairs just as she was about to run up and yell. A wave of relief flows through me because now I am in the safety of company, where she would never yell. “Let me see your bag.” I hand it to her. She shoots me a sly look and winks at Richard. Is this something they plans, oh I hope it isn’t.
The ride to the airport was quiet except for the happy hum vibrating from Richard’s body. Every once in a while my mother would ask a question about his school work and such, probably making sure her choice for me is still a good one, even though it really isn’t. When we got to the airport it was almost as if my mother couldn’t wait to be rid of me. She gave me our tickets hesitating, thinking she might want to give them to Rich just to make sure I got on the flight. She hands me a bag that is not the one I packed, it is designer, of course. I don’t see what made her think it was a good idea to send her sixteen year old daughter away to California for a weekend with a boyfriend she has only known for about three months.
Sitting here next to Richard with my legs criss-cross on the seat waiting for our flight to start boarding I almost feel safe. I feel like I could reach over and wrap my arms around his warm, muscular body and everything will be okay. Pondering this thought I absent-mindedly do just that. I lay my head on his chest and close my eyes, listening to his heart beat. I feel him lift his head and look at me for a second longer than any boyfriend should have then wrapped his arms securely around me, telling me that I’m his. Noticing what I have done, dug myself deeper into this mess, I hesitate, wondering how badly I’ll pay for this later; I cringe at the thought and throw it out of my mind. I will enjoy this weekend, I will. The intercom shouts our flight number and I hastily sit up and straighten my clothes out. I wait for Rich to get up and firmly grab my hand leading me to my life for the next three days.
The house is a quiet cottage on a private beach in South California. It looks like a house out of a fairytale; beautiful stone covered walls decorate the outside, a neat garden with pink flower covered vines crawl up the sides of the cottage. I grab my bag and hurry towards the door, anxious to see if the inside if as beautiful as the outside. So anxious I forgot that I didn’t have the key. Rich comes up calmly behind me and laughs deeply and sighs in my ear while wrapping and arm around my waist and giving me a quick squeeze and a kiss on the cheek. He smoothly slides the key into the door and unlocks it. As he slides his arm off my waist and gently pushes my butt so that I walk through the door I realize that tonight will be the worst yet.