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Paying the Price


The air, the sand, the rush of wind whipping by her face, the cry of the seagulls and the crashing of the waves. The blur of colors rushing by her face as life passed by. Her feet barely touching the ground, her toes only just glancing off and scraping the sand. Her arms stretch to the sky filled with the stormy clouds that fill her heart. She leaps and glides and spins. As she dances the music in her head get louder drowning out the sound of the gulls above and the crashing of the waves against the shore. All she can hear is the music, the music filling her world. The world she is drowning in.


Then the music stops and she collapses to the ground, feeling the world suffocating her with every breath she takes.


She closes her eyes, her nails dig into the wet sand beneath her, as her hands feel the rough, grainy particles between her fingers. She is trying to cling to the life that she knows so well, the life that is warm and comfortable. The tears begin without permission, and they stream down her face and has they do a sob escapes her mouth. She lies there wailing her sorrows to the world and the world just listens, not saying anything.


At last she sits up, the tears still streaming down her face, she looks out at the dark stormy ocean. All of a sudden she stands and begins to run. As she runs, she tears off her clothes so that all she has left on is her underwear. Without stopping, she sprints straight into the cold ocean. She only stops when she is up to her shoulder in freezing water. She blinks, the water rushing around her. Her makeup is smeared down her face, her lips are turning blue, and her eyes are red from crying. She shivers. She feels alone and lost in the world. Staring down into the watery depths, she considers them. How easy it would be to just slip into them and never return. She would never have to deal with truth and she would forever be the happy girl who had danced on the beach as people watched, not caring what they thought. Then she shakes her head, angry at herself. How could she even think that? Her head is wizzing with thoughts. She suddenly realizes how cold she really is. Slowly she walks out of the water and back onto the sandy beach. She collects her clothes in a daze and walks, still half naked, back up the beach.


As her house comes into view, she shakes her head, trying to clear it. She is finally realizing the reality. There is no point in crying anymore. She has to move on and deal with the situation. She can’t live in a state of constant denial. She must do what she must do. She mounts the stairs of her porch and opens the screen door that leads right into the kitchen. The tiled floor feels cold and cruel against the bottom of her feet as she passes over it, and quietly crosses to the stairs. She can hear her parents in the next room, quietly discussing a passage from the Bible. At the top of the stairs the crucifix greets her. She closes her eyes and turns, away from the familiar sight, into the bathroom. Throwing her clothes into the hamper, she turns the shower handle and warm water rushes out, hitting her face. The water runs down her body, tingling from the warmth. The sand washes off and spirals down the drain and the sticky salt water feeling leaves her as she soaps up. When she is finished with her shower, she quickly dresses. Going into her room she pulls her suitcase quietly from beneath her bed and throws clothes and her scattered belongings in as quickly as possible.


She soon hears her mother calling her down to dinner. She descends the stairs and sits down at the dinner table, as though nothing is wrong. Her parents bow their head in prayer and she follows their lead. In the silence, she feels the emptiness in her family, the hole she is about to leave in her parents heart. She thinks of all the memories and the good times, and the love she has been given. But she mustn't think of that, she must shake it off and concentrate on what she must do, so that her parents escape the pain of knowing how much their daughter has disappointed them. They eat dinner in silence, as always. And then she excuses herself from the table. As soon as the clock strikes 9:30 her parents go to bed, each with a soft goodnight. She can barely hold back tears but she knows this is the only way. When she is sure her parents are both asleep, she pulls the suitcase back from beneath her bed and carefully carries it downstairs. She leaves just a note as she walks out the door with a glance over her shoulder. The tears start as she walks down the street, under the streetlights. As she steps onto the bus that will take her away, she breaths in the salty smell of the little ocean town where she has grown up for the last time. She sits down on the bus, still in a bit of a daze and plugs in her headphones. As the music fills her head once more, she feels herself drowning again. Out of her bag she pulls “IT”, the cause for all this heartbreak and suffering. A positive pregnancy test. She runs her thumb over it, tears dropping down onto it. And all she can ask is, Why?






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