Life is Beautiful

March 29, 2011
When I was young, my parents loved telling me stories. I grew up on tales of princesses and fairies, princes and dragons. It was not long before fairytales slowly started to seem like reality. I blurred the lines between the two until neither was discernable. Everything in life seemed perfect, as it usually does to a five year old. The older I became, the more I realized nothing was perfect. All the serene perfectness that I believed in during my youth was false. I failed to pick up on the lies, the deceit, the nightly fights between my parents. My life seemed to fall apart, no matter how hard I tried to hold on. In the midst of my parent's dramatic divorce, our ever increasing debt and a sudden move into my grandmother's house due to the loss of ours, I quickly came to the realization that fairytales were not true. I had grown up on lies until they became my entire being. It was hard to accept the truth without believing some of it to be false.
My world turned upside down when I was just shy of thirteen. It was like a switch had turned off inside my mind and I was left to function on my own, with no inner conscience to guide me. My motions became almost robotic. I mimicked what I saw and that became my downfall. When everyone around you is doing the wrong things, it is hard to stop yourself from doing them if you do not know what right is. I fell into a deep, black hole of drugs and alcohol. No one stopped me—they were too wrapped in their own problems to even notice what little Jessica was up to. I barely managed to drag myself to school each morning, as no one was there to encourage me to make a better life for myself. One would think school would be good for a child, creating new opportunities and offering guidance, but school caused more unnecessary problems. My appearance alone, haggard and dejected, caused my teacher to believe I was being abused at home and she called a social worker and the authorities. I lost my parents that day. They were sent to jail and my grandmother died shortly after from grief and embarrassment. I became a ward of the county, constantly being shuffled from foster home to foster home. I fell deeper into that black hole until it enveloped me entirely. Nothing existed in the world for me to hold onto. There was only blackness and depression. I fell to the bottommost crevice with no hope of ever finding my way back to the top and reaching solid ground.
At the age of eighteen, I was kicked out of the system and left to my own devices. No one was there to help me along, though no one had even tried thus far in my life. There was no place for me to sleep. I slept on park benches and in the subway stations. I knew that I could change my entire life for the better, but I had no motivation to do so. I had seen too much failure and destruction in my life to even begin to do better, be better. Life dragged by with no direction, no feeling until one particular day. The day I met him, my life took a turn for the better, to a world filled with seemingly unending love and happiness. I woke up one morning to what I thought was a police officer telling me I could not stay, but was instead a businessman drinking his morning coffee. He said hello and that he was sorry to wake me, but it was just too beautiful a morning to drink inside. I asked him what made it so beautiful. He replied that every morning was beautiful, could be beautiful if you just looked hard enough to figure out what it was that was making it beautiful. This morning, he said, it happened to be me. I blushed and shied away from him, shocked that someone would think me beautiful at all. Truth was, I had never looked at myself in a mirror before. I had stayed away from that kind of thing knowing I would most likely be disappointed with what I saw. Rather than express what he meant in words, he acted instead and kissed me full on the mouth. I melted at his touch and began to cry. Nothing had felt so amazing since I had been a very young child. He told me I could stay at his house until I got back onto my feet and able to get a job. He said he would do all he could to get me into the world again and loving life so that all could behold my beauty. But I refused. It all seemed too good to be true. I had been spiraling in a black hole for so long that it seemed impossible to find such an easy way out. I bid the man farewell, telling him thank you for his offer, but I was fine for now. It was the hardest moment thus far in my life to tell him no and to walk away. However, the goodbye had to be said. Relying on people and throwing all ones trust on them only allowed one to be torn apart much more quickly.
Several years later, I ran into him again. Against the fate of whatever gods lay watching us, we met in the exact same location. I came there again thinking after this many years, he would have forgotten about me once more. The scenery was too brilliant and I just had to look at it again. He told me he had been coming there every day since our fateful meeting had occurred. He looked just as handsome and wonderful as he did before and he said the same about me. I still had no idea exactly what I looked like, so I curtly said thank you. I could not give in now after all this time. In spite of my thoughts, I fell in love with him again rather quickly. Here was this man, offering to love me for who I was for the first time in my life, who was willing to ignore my past in order to create a better future. It dawned on me how stupid I was to ignore such an offer the first time. I had grown to love him for his previous offer. Just as it had with me, his love had only grown stronger during our time apart. He had taught me to better love myself and all people, and I could not help but be thankful for that. I finally said yes to his proposition, knowing it was not false and he meant it with all his heart. Surprisingly, he got down on one knee and proposed, right then and there. He had bought the ring immediately after our meeting hoping he would see me again. All I could do was cry. Never in a million years had I believed princes really did sweep princesses off their feet, but it had come true in my once dismal life. We are married now with two adorable children. I did not think my life would ever amount to anything; I had assumed I would be living on the streets forever and die young. Because of that one fateful day and the chance meeting several years later, my life has changed completely and I can not imagine it being any other way. Life is spectacular, regardless of what I had thought before; it just requires you looking for that one thing that makes each morning beautiful.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Corlupa said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 9:40 am
It's a cute story and all but wouldn't she think the guy is just a little creepy?
mandabanana replied...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 10:24 am
She does, slightly. I don't put it in the story, it's implied, but they talk for several hours before he kisses her. He means it with his whole heart, and she senses that, which is why she doesn't find that creepy. He said with candor in his voice, and that's what led her to believe him.
Radiah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 8:46 am
pretty good, i can see u put in effort to this. good job.
mandabanana replied...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 11:41 am
Thank you :D
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