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Before He Leaves

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I crouched down into a squatting position in the darkness of my room. My hand made contact with my head as my fingers curled around a lock of hair. I gritted my teeth as a tear slipped from my stinging eyes. I looked in the mirror at my face, tired from lack of sleep throughout the week. The clock next to the mirror read 2:24 a.m. and I knew if I were to tuck myself into bed, my eyes wouldn't close. Not once. There was too much swirling around in my mind to even imagine falling back into the nightmares that had recently invaded my sleep.
In less than 24 hours I would get to see him again. I hadn't seen Will for a total of roughly 342 days. Maybe longer. Today was May 23, 2011. Would he even love me anymore? I scolded myself. Of course he still loved me. A pang of guilt hit me as I realized how stupid t was to doubt him. Why else would he have asked my mom to see me once more before he left for Florida? Seeing him again also meant something else I couldn't quite handle. Something that I knew would tear me apart. He was leaving.
Sure, I hadn't talked to him since August 1, which was only because we were talking behind my parents back, but knowing he would be approximately 1210 miles from me made my heart break in two. The chances of him returning to me were slim. How is it possible anyone could love me that much?
I dried my eyes on the nearby stuffed polar bear I hadn't taken out in at least a year. I only took the childhood memory out when I was torn apart inside and this was one of those moments. Slowly questions started coming to my mind as I changed my position to look like an insignificant shadow slumped against my bed. What if he got a new girlfriend? What if he never comes back? What if we're not the same when we see each other tomorrow and there's just awkward silence?
I didn't even notice I had drifted to sleep until the morning when I awoke on the floor. I rubbed the crust that always appeared after crying from my eyes and shuffled to the bathroom. I panicked as I realized I didn't look perfect. I had lost some weight since I last saw him so that was a plus. I had started getting overweight and realized if I wanted him to stay I at least had to get to 115 but to my surprise I had gotten to 110.
As I was getting ready I decided, like every normal day, I wouldn't put on any make up. But I did straighten my hair and found the dress I only wore once. He never really saw me in a dress so I was wondering what he would think. I smoothed it out and pushed my hair behind my ears, then decided against it and ran my fingers through to pull it out again. There. That was as good as it was going to get.
I made my way out to the living room as I waited to go to lunch. That was where I would see him. My dad walked past on his way outside and immediately frowned when he saw the dress.
"There's no way you're wearing a dress to see Will." He said firmly. I resisted the urge to scream at him. Instead I remained calm.
"I'm saying goodbye. Can't I look nice for him? Mom's going to be watching us anyway, so what's wrong with it?"
He closed his eyes, contemplating my statement. "Fine. I better not regret it."
I smiled, knowing what it took for him to say this. "Thank you." He nodded and left.
When my mom arrived prepared to go out to lunch, I noticed she seemed kind of nervous too. Not nearly as nervous as me but still nervous. We made our way out to the car and I paused. What awaited me when he arrived in an hour?
The drive was silent and when we arrived at Ruffalo's, I was almost startled by my mom's voice. "Ready?" I nodded. As I had requested, we arrived early. I don't know why I wanted to but it was kind of reassuring not seeing Will already there with his mom when I walked in. We waited 45 minutes before I saw his mom's red station wagon pull up.
All of the sudden I felt sick. Like, really sick. I ignored my mom's confused look as I ran to the bathroom and the small amount of food that I had that morning all came back up, flooding the toilet. I cringed as my throat grew dry and sore. Another minute and more bile was making its way out. Tears escaped my eyes as I grabbed a paper towel and wiped my mouth. Nerves had never overcome me this greatly and all the fears I ever had about Will started resurfacing at the same rate as my breakfast. Well, the puking had stopped now and I was pretty sure it was completely over. I was washing out my mouth when my mom walked in.
"He's waiting for you." Silence.
"What if he isn't the same?" I manage to say, "What if he sees that I'm too different from how I was then and hates me? I don't know how to face him now. He was my best friend and I think now he won't even want to talk to me. We'll eat silently and stare at each other, we'll have a thousand things to say, but anything we'd want to say, we won't be able to say in front of you. I can't even tell him I love him." The tears start flowing harder and my mom slowly dabs them away.
"Well either way, do you really want him to see you like this? Everything will be okay. I promise." Even though she took Will away from me, I understand and I don't hate her. I would have done the same thing is it were my daughter, just not quite the same way.
I nod my head and start to leave the bathroom. The minute I step out, he's in view, only his back though. I recognize him instantly from the curled red hair and suddenly, I wish I hadn't worn a dress, that I had just come more like...like me.
I take the chair next to his and tentatively sit down. I shyly utter a, "Hello." Before I know it we're both smiling idiotically, happy to be with each other again, and hugging. I didn't think my mom would allow it but she didn't interrupt.
Another tear escapes, but my smile doesn't leave. I hold on tight to his shirt, probably wrinkling it. "I missed you."
I pull away slightly to look at his face and find something I had never seen before.
He was crying.
It wasn't really crying. He was still smiling just like me and anyway it was just one tear. But that one tear said more than I ever thought it could.
"I missed you too, Steph." I smile at the sound of him once again saying my name and silently hope it isn't the last time.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Dec. 29, 2011 at 7:26 pm
This was genuine and romantic and emotional. I loved your avid imagery and description. Great job! *****
 
crazycoolcritter said...
Dec. 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

good work! impressive!!!! :D

 

..please comment and rate my work. It'll mean a lot to me. 

 
applesauceHater said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm
loved it:)love romance and drama(their my drug). so autimatically 5/5jk:)you're getting a 5/5 becaus the way you wrote it. It was really good. one thing i need to point out is(this is just me) the part "he was crying" and then right after" it wasnt really crying" when i read it, it didnt quite smooth out together to me. but otherwise, still good
 
Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm
This was really cute and I really enjoyed it. It was just kind of unclear why the mom took Will away.
 
SwallowedByInsanity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm
I could practically feel the emotions of your character, very well written. The only critique I have would be not to try so hard with your descriptions, just let it flow, and if you can't find the right words, don't worry. As long as you don't force it, it'll turn out great. Good luck with your writing! (:
 
AnimaCordis replied...
Dec. 11, 2011 at 8:54 am
I really liked this, i loved both your use of language, and your use of characters. It was very good. My critisizum is a really petty one, could you use less numbers? It was just a tiny thing that annoyed me a tiny bit about this peice, perhaps it stood out as being a bad part as the rest of it was so good. XD
 
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