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Shards of Glass
She was a stereotypical girl, almost, she liked school and meeting new people and she loved her family. She partied occasionally and hung out with her friends on the weekends and sometimes after school. She volunteered at the humane society and babysat for her neighbors. She was THE all American good girl, she was going places and she was gunna be successful if you like it or not. Her parents took every opportunity that they had to brag about her, and to tell her she was amazing. No one else’s kid was this put together and this prepared. They were lucky if their kid got up on the weekend to do their chores or if they got a job. Other parents would ask her parents what their secret was. They just said they were blessed.
One thing her parents worried about, however, was that she never had a boyfriend, when all her other friends did. They thought she might be lonely, and that broke their hearts. She wanted a boyfriend, of course, someone to share her every moment with and to love. She thought it would be fun, but she secretly thought that that would never happen; she believed that no guy would ever want to go out with her. That was her main downfall. She was insecure. So insecure that she couldn’t have a boyfriend because she felt that she would never measure up, and how awkward the whole thing would be. She built massive walls around herself. She would never be good enough.
Everyone always told her that she was beautiful, and she saw her beauty sometimes, but mostly she didn’t. Most girls were jealous of her beauty, and the fact that she didn’t even know that she was gorgeous made her even more desirable by guys, and even more hated by girls. Guy’s wouldn’t ask her out. No way. She was intimidating, she was too good. They didn’t want to mess things up. The days passed and every year she became more and more untouchable, and she became more and more depressed. She was so unbelievably sick of being the third wheel and not having the excitement that went along with someone liking you. She thought she wasn’t deserving, when in reality any guy at school would go out with her in a heart-beat if only they weren’t afraid. But she didn’t know this; she thought that guys didn’t like her that way, and that other girls were better than she was. Guys always saw her as a friend, but always wished that they were something more to her. But at the moment, she was just someone to joke around with and talk to in class. Guys never asked her to any dances or anything like that. They thought that she would say no and laugh at them. They were not in her league. This made her absolutely hate hearing about other people’s relationships, or who liked who. It bored her, she never knew what to talk about, and it made her depressed.
One day, someone came along, she’d seen him in the hallways and after school sometimes, but they never really hung out by themselves. Yet, when he accidentally hit a baseball into the windshield of her car they started talking, and even though she was angry and made him pay for the damages, and buy her a new windshield, they became friends. It just clicked, there was none of that awkward first time talking thing going on. They were comfortable around each other, even though they barely even knew one another. They could talk about the stupidest things that no one else could ever understand in a million years. Their conversations could be deep, light, random, shallow, or humorous, and they never had an argument. Everyone was jealous of their picture perfect relationship. They were suited for each other in a most perfect, subtle way. No one saw it however, unless they were together. They seemed so different, but like magnets they attracted. She was a straight-A star track runner and over achiever and he was a non-serious partier who got in trouble in class. They didn’t appear to have anything in common, and people would often joke about how long they thought it would last. They didn’t care, not at all. For once she wasn’t worried about how others saw her and how she saw herself. With him she was confident, she wasn’t insecure. Everyone around her was happy for her, they thought that if anyone deserved it she did. Even if he did have his problems…
As stated before, he was not the most put together guy. But she made him feel like he was just as good, or even better than anyone else. He couldn’t believe his luck; he was going out with the prettiest girl in school. He wanted to show her off to everyone he knew. He felt impressive, like a rich guy with a super model on his arm. She gave him respect, confidence, and love. She was sweet inside and out and he couldn’t for the life of him, keep his hands off her.
However, he had his problems. He didn’t get good grades or played sports and he drank almost everyday with his friends after school. He was just having fun. These were the years to do it right? When his brother got diagnosed with leukemia he started to drink even more, and doing other stuff as well. He did anything, as long as it meant getting away from his brother. He tried pushing him and his family away. As a consequence started pushing her away as well. He hated to admit it but he was weak. And that made him drink more.
They acted like nothing was wrong for the longest time. They were happy of course, they were in love. They were invincible. She even thought it was funny at first. Everyone thought it was a stage that he was going through. And she secretly liked going out with a “bad” boy. It felt cool, like, she got respect, and she liked that all the girls wanted him almost as much as she did.
No one ever talked to him about what he was going through, or how he felt about things. And to tell you the truth, he would have said that he wasn’t even affected by it. That he was fine. He never wanted to talk about it, that made it real, and he never wanted it to get out that he was afraid. He had an image to keep up. He cared way to much what other people thought. She never even asked him, she assumed that he was fine. He was always happy and carefree. Yet, as the months went on it got really annoying. He would say that they would meet somewhere and than not show up. She invited him to dinner with her parents and he would just not come. He didn’t open the door anymore and she had to pay for almost everything on their dates. It just didn’t seem fair at all. All of her friends told her that she should end it and that he didn’t respect her anymore and that it will just continue to get worse, that they would help her find a new man that was more like her. That had direction, someone deserving. She said that she couldn’t leave him. That he would absolutely fall apart without her.
He started spending most nights drunk then with her. She didn’t like it. She told him to stop and he never did. She threatened to leave him, but they both knew that she never would. But she couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t watch him ruin himself any longer. After school, she went down to his house to tell his mom that she thought he had a problem. She felt like a tattle tale, but she got over it. She was doing this for him. And he wouldn’t listen to her when they were alone. When she got there she told his mom that he had to have some help, and that she was seriously worried. His mom said that she didn’t know what to do. Rehab seemed a bit extreme and she didn’t want one kid in the hospital and one kid in the mental hospital. Yet, when she grounded him that didn’t work either, he wouldn’t listen and wouldn’t do what she said. She had no control over him. She told him that he couldn’t leave the house, he would leave anyways, she took away his car, but he would still do it. She did not know what to do. His mom decided to send him to counseling and his girlfriend told him she loved him, and that she didn’t have the strength to leave him, but that she would if he wouldn’t stop. She said she loves the way he makes her feel and she loves being around him. She begged him to not take him away from her. He did make an effort to stop, but Friday night would come and he would forget about the promises that he made to not do anything. He would go out and have fun “Like everybody did” and not come home until two days later. He didn’t care about not doing his homework and failing a class. That drove her crazy. She said that if he didn’t get his life back on track, and if he didn’t stop drinking, than she would leave. She was dead serious about it. She was fed up with him and all the things he did.
He was crushed; he didn’t think he had the strength to stop. But he knew that he definitely did not have the strength to go on without her. And to not go on without her reassurance. He tried, he really did. But the call was to strong and he couldn’t resist. Fun had turned into a serious problem. He tried to hide it, but it got worse and she noticed. The way he smelled, talked, and never went to school. He would leave at lunch with his friends and not come back. She had had enough. She left him and didn’t look back. She said that she had to, that it was for his own good.
She was lonely now, more lonely than she thought humanly possible. He had been a part of her, but he had ripped it out and now she felt like an amputee, having to go through life without a part of her. She started having trouble concentrating. She turned her assignments in late and was extremely agitated towards her friends and family. She was spiraling down. Everyone understood what she was going through, so they gave her her space. Her mom tried talking to her one day, she said, “there are more boys out there, and I know you can get any guy you want, they would be thrilled to be with you.” She didn’t want another boy. That thought had not even once crossed her mind. She wanted him. No one understood. She didn’t want another guy, how could another guy even compare, they were afraid of her, they were immature; they didn’t make her feel confident. They were jerks and they made her feel like dirt. She hated to admit it, but the reason she loved him so much is because he made her feel like no one else could. She craved that feeling, she was addicted to it. The next day she called and asked him to hang out, they both knew what that meant.
He wasn’t better; he was exactly how she left him. Still breaking him and his family into little shards of glass. She found it hard to walk on them; they cut her feet and made her bleed. She ignored it and they got back together. Her parents said no, that that was a bad idea, an absolutely horrible decision. They knew how he affected her. He was worse than heroin as far as they were concerned. She and her parents would get into fights about it. She started staying out late so that she could avoid another argument from them, she couldn’t take them telling her that she used to be so responsible and so put together, but now she was a seamless wreck, falling apart. She couldn’t get away from arguments on either side of it.
They wanted her to go back to who she was. Strong, independent, and smart. Her friends told her not to do it, no way, they said to move past it and everything will be easier. They said that the only reason why it was so hard was because he was her first. But once she got over him, getting with other guys would be a lot easier. She didn’t care what any of them had to say. Why should they even care? They didn’t know what he was to her. Didn’t they see that he made her happy? Don’t they want her to be happy?
Things got even worse. He never stopped, he said he couldn’t, he did it more and more and started doing other, worse things. He was dragging her down. He was a train wreck and she was the passenger. She finally realized that she had to stop before she crashed with him. She told him that he had to stop. That she had finally had enough of his s***. They got into arguments when they never had before. She had had enough. She finally saw that he was in two relationships. One with her, and one with alcohol. He had chosen alcohol, not her. Time and time and time again. She left again, and she knew that this time there was no coming back.
Every time she looked at her windshield she was reminded. What a coincidence it had been, how they first met. The base ball and that look in his eyes. She didn’t feel sad or angry. She laughed, at how much one incident could change her life. How one tiny thing could change her into a completely different person. She thought about how much easier her life would have been if she would have taken a different route home or had driven slightly faster, if he had thrown the ball in the other direction. She hated to admit it, but she knew that she would not take any of it back. Not the pain, not the suffering, and definitely not all the good times they shared. Not one of their conversations. They were all still precious to her and she knew that she would never let even one of their memories go. She would never in a million years forget how she reacted when he touched her. Like a spark of electricity on water, pure chemistry. She would never forget what she learned from him, and what she had gained from their relationship. Most people thought it was stupid and pathetic how hard of a time she had moving on. But she didn’t care. She didn’t care what anyone thought about her anymore. With all the things she lost in their love, she had gained confidence. And now she radiated. She knew that it was worth it. She won, not alcohol, in the end.