Loneliness

By , Allentown, PA
Loneliness
“Loneliness isn't being alone, it's feeling alone.”
-Unknown
I thought she was happy. She was my best friend. I could’ve sworn she was happy. I should’ve known. I didn’t pay attention; despite the many signs. I was blinded by appearance and she was blinded by fear. Both of us were fools but, only, she was alone. We came from the most lovable families with a touch of annoying siblings and the usual little squabbles with our parents. Only one thing was truthfully missing from her life. Unfortunately, it was her father; a victim of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers. She was the most popular person at school, everyone loved her. I was simply her best friend; nothing more, nothing less. Most importantly, I was happy and for a long time I let myself believe she was too. However, she wasn’t.
That’s an understatement.
Elizabeth, my best friend, was miserable. It was so long ago, yet, I still remember it like if it had happened yesterday. French; it was our favorite and only class together. Every time she came in it was with a smile so bright you couldn’t help but smile back no-matter how awful your day was going. That smile, it’s as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. Anyways, like I was saying, she walked into class, however, there was no smile. A brief “Hello” to her followers and what did I get? An attempt at a smile, followed by, a “Hey.” Then again, who greets their best friend in such a dismissible manner? No one, that’s who; at least, I hope not. And so I did what anyone else would’ve done. I demanded to know what was wrong. Not only did I demand, I begged, and insisted. When that didn’t work I just started to come up with a bunch of stupid scenarios to cheer her up. Till this day, I still can’t remember that one comment that I made, nonetheless, I do recall mentioning her stepfather. The way in which her face contorted into a look of pain at the mention of him only lasted about three seconds. I swear it happened so fast I almost didn’t catch it. Then I knew. I don’t know how, call me crazy, but I knew he had touched her. I knew he had raped her.
One look was all it took for Elizabeth to see the understanding in my eyes. Moments later came the tears. It was so bad I had to run out of the class with her without any permission from the teacher. For the rest of the day I held her in my arms as she sobbed. Her step-father molested her for years on end and when her older brother got deployed to Iraq he took the advantage and raped her. Her own mother didn’t believe her. Actually, her mother beat her for telling her. She claimed that her daughter was a liar who was jealous of her relationship; a daughter who couldn’t stand to see her own mother happy. And in a house hold where everything seemed to be picture perfect, you weren’t allowed to let people in. She wasn’t allowed to let me in. She was deprived of help. She was truly alone.
On the other hand, I was torn, confused, and a mess. I was only 15, young, naïve, and besides who would believe me. Plus, I wasn’t allowed to tell. I was just supposed to be there for her while she died inside. Even then, what was done was done. Deep down I knew I couldn’t save her. Yet, I did. I put my wants over hers and defied that one promise of discrepancy; because she deserved it. With the help of my guidance counselor it was decided that the authorities needed to be involved. My mother found out, eventually. She adopted Elizabeth and treats her like a daughter. To me, that’s my sister. Now I see the difference in her attitude and I can tell she really is content. Somehow, there are times when the darkness consumes her but she is no longer lonely. She technically never was. She always did and forever will have me.





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