The Boy

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who believed in love. She wasn't a princess, just an ordinary girl. She wasn't special, no promise of a kiss from a dashing prince. She just hoped and dreamed that some day, a boy would love her enough to kiss her. She hoped that a boy would have enough room in his heart to love her the way her parents never could love each other. And every night, looking out her bedroom window at the dark, cold, and scary world, she wished that somewhere in that vast darkness there would be some light that would make her feel alive. Every screaming fight her parents had, she stared at her hands, and wondered what love was. She wanted it to be special, different from the love she'd seen. Slowly, the image of a perfect boy faded from her mind. He didn't exist, her prince never existed, he wasn't coming. She had lost every bit of her heart into the boy, the boy who never existed, never came, and had died before he had ever lived and breathed. She still stared at her window, but instead of wishing to see a boy coming to love her, she saw images of her parents screeching, her mother crying as her father walked out the door, her grandmother at her grandfathers chest at the funeral, at all the hopes and dreams that were lost.
She dated unimportant guys, trying to make herself feel something for one of them, any of them. All she felt was disgust as she kissed each one. The relationships never lasted long, and she broke up with each one as her heart slowly dwindled down to nothing. To the world, she was still the same girl, but it was harder. She had to act the part every day. Every morning her insides felt hollow. When she went to her cousin's wedding she wondered if they would break up before one of them died, for no matter what the relationship always ends. They weren't in love.
Then, one day, she saw him. He was walking past her in the street. This was what she had looked for all those nights, staring out her window. This was the person that, when he held her, would make all her pain go away. When he was near her, nothing would hurt her. This was the boy that would make all her dreams come true.
It only took a few months, until they were together. Every morning he brought her bagels, he called her every night before she went to sleep. He helped her study for tests in high school. They went out for coffee when her parents fought, so she could escape. He comforted her when the world felt too large to manage. They dated all through high school. When they graduated, he made her a guitar out of wood from a tree in the backyard. The only time her parents agreed on anything was when they discussed how much they adored him. She was in love. It did exist. Suddenly, staring out at her window wasn't scary anymore. It seemed as though the dark shapes weren't so bleak and dark. They were dark purple, a midnight blue, soft and sweet. Now the outside held promise.
She was driving home from visiting her parents. Her younger brother was in the car and it was dark. There was this blinding light in a rear view mirror, and a car kept swerving. She had always said to avoid an accident, drive into the ditch. She took a deep breath, and swerved into the ditch, but the angle was wrong. Suddenly she felt everything out of control, her head snapped against the windshield. She heard her younger brother screaming. She saw the door cave in, and then things became fuzzy. She couldn't see right. She discerned her brother crying, "Maria! Maria!"
Then she heard beeping, it sounded like her heartbeat. And there was the boy, David. He was waiting for her.
"David? I love you," she said. She didn't even know if he could hear her. "I love you."
"I love you, too," she heard him say, as if from far away. Then he mumbled something else but she didn't hear anything. She was already gone.





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