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Dear Beautiful Girl,
You have everyone fooled and it saddens me to have to say that truth. You even had me fooled for a while, and I believed that dazzling smile you’d wear each day. But gradually I began to realize there was fakeness to it, as that dazzling smiled never reached your beautiful eyes. I idly began to wonder why it was that your smile was never complete, but I never asked. You never told, and I never asked, but I never ceased to wonder. And borne of that wonderment was a determination to always be there for you, no matter what. That was when I realized that I liked you as more than just a friend, just a little bit.
Beautiful Girl, your smile began to fade after a while, and it wasn’t quite so dazzling. Your sparkling eyes began to lose their luster and it threw me into despair, for I loved that twinkle so much. It is getting to the point where I am tempted to ask you what it is that hinders your soul so, and yet I hold back. I do not want to pry into that which is most private in your life. So I just stand by your side, pretty, pretty girl, and I talk with you about all manner of things. Sometimes I can even get the faintest hint of a real smile out of you, and that makes me sort of happy. I’m glad that I can make you happy sometimes; actually happy, not the mask that you seem to put on for everyone.
Dear Pretty Girl,
Today I saw your scars. They line your arm so dreadfully, so gruesomely, some fresh and scabbed, some old and pink and puckered. I only caught a glimpse of them, close to your wrist as you adjusted the sleeve of your hoodie, but it was enough. You had been singing for me when it happened, for your voice was as beautiful as the rest of you. I had asked you to sing for me, asked you to let your voice surround me. And then I saw as you barely adjusted your sleeve. I had to turn my face away so that you wouldn’t know that I saw. But the image of them were imprinted into my eyelids it seemed, and I couldn’t be rid of them, no matter how many times I blinked. I had to adopt a fake smile much like yours, and hope that you didn’t notice that it didn’t reach my eyes, for I felt that it didn’t. Later on I couldn’t help it anymore, I had to see the extent of your wounds. When you weren’t paying attention I gently took your hand and drew your sleeve up ever so carefully over your arm.
Your face was so ashamed as I did this, and you were so brave because you didn’t pull away… Why pretty girl?
That’s when you told me about how your mom was in the hospital and was dying, and how your daddy couldn’t handle it. He would drink all night and then come home and scream at you about how it was somehow your fault. Maybe if you had done your chores quicker, or washed the dishes better, or helped cook dinner more often, you said. I didn’t have the heart to stop you, for your eyes were so sad and far away. You blamed yourself for your mother’s condition, I could see this, but I sensed that nothing I could have said would have changed your mind. Then you told me about how the popular girls in class would make fun of you, because you didn’t dress like them. You told me how the bullies of the school would go after you because you were quiet and shy and smarter than everyone else. They saw your beauty as a threat and it saddened me so.
So you cut yourself to punish yourself for that which you saw as your fault. Oh you poor, precious angel. You’ve been through so much in so little time, and I wish that I could help but I am helpless, and you’ve made me promise to tell no one.
Dearest Precious Angel,
You look so tired, lit’l lady, and I let you sleep with your head in my lap at lunch time. Dark circles have taken permanent residence underneath your beautiful eyes, and the shadows dim you. I wish I could erase them and leave smooth, pale skin, as there should be. But I can’t, so I let you sleep for the little time you can, and I stroke your hair, which has lost some of its luster from all of your stress and sadness. Occasionally I will spot a bruise that flowers across your pale skin, and I again wish that I could just erase it away, but I can’t.
When you talk, your voice is getting flatter and flatter, and I see your spirit begin to die. Even your beautiful singing voice is beginning to fade away. You still sing for me when I ask, but you don’t put your soul into anymore. Your soul is slowly beginning to fade into some sort of slumber. I do everything that I can to re-awaken it. I try to make you laugh every day, I walk home with you, up til the very last step of your porch. I sometimes invite you over for dinner, and you eat with my family and I, and when you are with us, sometimes I see the old you. I see the beautiful girl I knew months and months ago.
Dear Lit’l Lady,
I wiped away your tears today as you told me that your mother passed away the night before. I held you close to my heart, and I cried silently as you mumbled about her. You told me about her, and about your family before she got sick. I had to smile at some of the memories with which you presented me, and I wished that I could give them back to you. I’ve noticed I make a lot of wishes now, and all of them are about or for you, Fragile flower, and it pains me that they won’t come true. I checked your arms, and you were too weak to stop me, and I saw dozens more scratches and cuts, some of them criss-crossing the old scars. Some were so new that they crack and begin to bleed fresh, red blood as you move your arm just a little bit. You don’t even flinch at the pain, because you are so used to it now.
You’re wearing shorts today and I noticed that there are cuts on your thighs now, as you’ve run out of room on your arms. They are deep and long and right there in front of you I begin to cry again. But as I look at you, you seem so distant. You’ve lost all the luster that you once had, you’ve lost all that spunk, all of that spirit. You blame yourself for so much and I can practically see the weights there on your shoulder. Oh beautiful, pretty, fragile girl, why am I so helpless to defend you from the cruel world?
Dear Fragile Flower,
You finally could not take any more of the pain… I came to your house this morning to pick you up to walk to school as usual but you didn’t answer the door. Your dad’s car was gone, for he was already at work—or out at a bar—like usual. I knocked once, twice, and a third time, but you didn’t answer. You always answered. You’d given me a key a long time ago, a symbol of trust, but I’d yet to use the little silver key that I kept in the front pocket of my backpack. I opened the door and called out your name, but I heard nothing in response. My heart had begun to beat fast with sudden fear, and I ran to the back of the house where your room was, screaming your name, my voice cracking with raw terror.
You were asleep on the floor, sweet angel, but the carpet was your pillow, and your bedding was your own blood, still fresh and warm. I dropped to my knees beside you—ignoring the seep of the blood into the knees of my jeans—and I gathered you up into my arms, pulling you so very tightly against my chest. I yelled your name, I touched your face, leaving bloody smears there. I saw where the blood was coming from, you had slit your wrists wide open, and I could tell you had been vicious with yourself. You stole away your own beauty. Part of me knew you were gone, past any help I had ever tried to give, but I still yelled your name. I still gathered you closer to me, sobbing pleas.
“Wake up!” I begged, “Open your eyes! Smile, pretty girl! Smile for me, speak for me, sing for me!” But you just lay there, your eyes still open and staring into nothingness. I find it impossible to comprehend the fact that you are gone, even as the evidence stared me in the face. Finally I just kneel there and hold you and cry. Eventually I call 911, and I keep holding you until I hear the sirens come screeching up the street. But when they try to take you, I cling to you and refuse to let you go.
I didn’t realize it until it was too late, beautiful girl, but I loved; no love you.
Dear Beautiful Girl,
I miss you. I miss your singing, and I miss that rare, true smile I would get out of you. I miss the genuine laugh that you would only use for me, and I miss your beautiful eyes looking at me. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, couldn’t bring you back from wherever you started to disappear to. I’m so sorry that you had to feel the pain that you did, and that you blamed yourself for that which was not your fault. I’m so sorry that the world was so cruel to you, and that you had to lose your mother, and effectively lose your father as well. I’m sorry that you shouldered so much and felt like you had no choice but to take yourself from the world.
The world is lacking in beauty with you gone, angel…