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On the Mend

By , Concord, MA
You glance up at me, your stunning ocean blue eyes full to the brim with hurt so deep and true that it sends pain shooting through me. I break our gaze, blinking away the hot tears that threaten to spill onto my cheeks. Yet, I can still see you staring into my very core, confused and broken, your image blurred by my tears. Unbearably, I know I have hurt you, and that in itself shatters me into a million pieces. As I gaze out the window, the city lights below me blur together, their colors blending against the dark sky. Even though I thought words would never come to either of us, you break the silence with one whispered, dreaded word.

“Why.”

It escapes your lips as a statement, dripping with too many emotions for one syllable to hold. I knew this would come, but now as the moment unfolds, I can’t speak. There’s no way I can put into understandable words how I feel. A thousand reasons I have for this, and yet, at the same time, impossibly, none at all. I wish I could explain myself; I can already feel you blaming yourself for reasons that don’t exist.

“I–” My throat is too dry, my response comes out choked and hoarse. I have nothing to say, anyway....what could I possibly say to you? I’ve already torn myself apart over ending it with you. God, why am I such a mess? It would be so much easier to say what I need to say, break it off, and move on. Why do I have to drag out the agony?

“Hayley,” you say sharply, as I stare miserably at the floor. “I need you to tell me why you’re doing this. Is it because of them? You’re scared they’ll keep making fun of us? Or is it about me?”

Finally, I bring my eyes up to meet yours, tears rolling quietly down my face. “I’m not like you, Soph,” I choke out. “They–it hurts when they say things, I can’t brush it off like you do. I’m not strong like you.”

Your piercing eyes never leave mine, your gaze so intense I fight the urge to look away. “Is that what you think?” you whisper. “You think it doesn’t hurt me, what people say? Of course it does, but I love you as much as I hate them. That’s why I pretend not to care what everybody thinks, because I want them to know–and you–that I love you.”

My stomach twists with a sudden ache. I look away, feeling low and despicable. How did I ever deserve you? Hesitantly, I glance up and see you, unmoving, your beautiful, pained eyes locked on mine, and I can’t help it, I can’t. I let out a sob and fall into your arms.

How good it feels, how safe, to be wrapped in your arms again, your soothing voice in my ear, your sweet-smelling hair all around me. As you hold me, it appears to me how horrible it would be to leave you, for both of us. Where would it leave us? You, confused, hurt, and betrayed, and I, shallow, cruel, and heartbroken.

For a few moments, all I can do is cry into your shoulder, but eventually, I manage to speak. “I’m so sorry,” I sniffle. “I–I love you, I do. And I want to stay with you. But I can’t stand the way people look at us, I know I’m being stupid–”

“Shh, babe, it’s okay,” you soothe, pulling back a little to look at me. “You are not stupid. I know it’s hard for you to deal with it, it’s hard for me too. But as long as we love each other, it shouldn’t matter people say. Right?”

I nod and bury my face in your shoulder again. “I feel terrible for even thinking about...I mean...it was stupid...” My voice trails off. I know you understand, I don’t have to explain.

We sit in silence for a while, our arms wrapped around each other, the only sounds our soft breathing. I find your hand and lace my fingers with yours. “I’m sorry,” I whisper.

“Don’t, it’s not your fault,” you reply firmly. Suddenly you sit up. “I need to show you something,” you say, and you leave me alone in your bedroom, hurrying down the hall. “I’ll be right back,” you call over your shoulder.

In a few minutes you return, holding something that looks like a picture. Sitting beside me on your bed, you hold it up and explain, “Remember that day when we were at Lauren’s house, in her backyard, and with her and Matt and Kayla? And she was taking pictures of everything? Well, Lauren took this picture and gave it to me, she loved it so much. I–I wanted you to see it.”

Carefully, I take the picture and study it. In the photograph, you and I are lying on the grass next to each other, eyes closed. We’re sharing the earbuds of your iPod, and although I remember both of us falling asleep at the time, there are little smiles on both of our faces. It strikes me how different we look: me, with my spiked black hair, wrinkled gray Led Zeppelin t-shirt, and jeans; you, with your lacy white sundress, the tan of a goddess, and your long blonde hair shining gold in the orangey late-afternoon sun.

But the thing that catches my attention is our hands. Our fingers are intertwined as we sleep, connecting us, our dreams finding each other and blending as one.

“This is us, Hayley,” you say, your voice breaking. “We don’t need anyone, anything...don’t you see? We’re happy, in love...nothing can break us. Nobody can change it...we have everything we could want.”

Both girls in the picture keep smiling peacefully as tears prick my own eyes. I take your hand gently, and re-wind your fingers with mine, the same way as in the picture.



And this time, I’m never letting go.



Join the Discussion

This article has 31 comments. Post your own now!

Johnny99 said...
Jul. 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm
I didn't realize exactly what I was reading until "Both girls". Personally, I think that makes this story even better then the amazing story it was.
 
ElleAhre said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm
i love it! not only is it a beautifuly written love story but it captures strong emotions and real struggels. great writing!
 
necci said...
Jun. 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm

i love it, so sweet and poetic,

 

 
Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Jun. 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm
This is really interesting. I love the imagery, in the beginning the piece is nearly poetic! I love when you talked about the word "why," one syllable representing so much. All in all it's a great piece!
 
Sonny137 said...
Jun. 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm
This Is Amazing! It Reminds Me Of Me And My Girlfriend. We've Been Together For 15 Months.  This Is So Beautiful!
 
AugustusH20s said...
Jun. 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm
Wow! Congratulations girl, you've got such a good voice! xBri
 
AnnaX This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm
Hi, I honestly adore the way you write. It's so descriptive and vivid. I love it. GREAT job.
 
Kateloveshim13 said...
Jun. 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm
Very moving! I love it! Keep writing!!!!
 
Fire..This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm
I like the way it's written. The imagery is very vivd and descriptive.
 
Fire..This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm
I like the way it's written. The imagery is very vivd and descriptive.
 
KenyaLove41This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm
I loved this story so peotic and sweet and it made you want the couple to stay together forever(: amazing work keep on writing!
 
Darbs1325This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm
Loved it! Keep up the great work :D 
 
jocy80 said...
May 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm
this was good i hate how people dont write or see this as a big deal but this was so good i couldnt stop reading and most of the time i skim
 
fatima9797 said...
May 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm
I really liked this it was really good. You did great job using 2nd person and your emotions where amazing you could really feel the pain both of the girls had. You did a wonderful job!
 
Pitiful_Anonymous said...
May 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm
I love this. Your choice of words is very powerful and demanding... it really made me feel what you felt, it let me think how you thought, and it let me see what you saw... which I love. You're a pretty good writer, so I say you should keep doing it for sure!
 
Bookeater said...
May 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

This is the first story I've seen using second person, and its really good!

I felt like It was me, and thats something not a lot of people can do with a story.

5/5

 
DanielM. said...
May 12, 2012 at 9:15 am
That was really good. Your emotions we're awesome. Great job.
 
hippiechick99 said...
May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Just because I don't agree with what you're writing about, that doesn't change the fact that this is a beautiful piece of work. I love the use of words and the obvious pain both of the girls were going through. The details were amazing and even though I don't usually read short stories this is an exception. 

Keep writing :)

 
Izzy12345 said...
May 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm
Nice story! Very well developed, has great emotion behind it. Love it!
 
torilutz8 said...
May 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm
This is genius... I love it... 
 
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