The Hopeful

February 16, 2013
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I gently pull the flower from its stem. Carefully I hold it up to my nose taking in the wonderfully earthy aroma of the pink flower. A smile plays its way onto my thoughts and swirls around my mind. It finally finds its way to my lips and tickles the flower still placed gently to my nose. Oh what a wonderful feeling bliss is.

“Queer!” A shoulder slams into my back. The shoulder belongs to king Jock himself, Preston Stanley.

Wordlessly I pick my books off the ground and feel a silent sorrow for the flower that is smashed against the pavement. It is so terrible that such beauty is destroyed by the worst of people with unbelievable ease.

I am what I like to describe as a “Hopeful”, and this my friend is purpose behind my insanity. I like to believe that ignorant people are good people with hard lives. I think that life gets better with time. And most importantly that a head held high does not find its way into the toilet. Now I know that with the strange formula that all high schools seem to follow that I am of a minority. Normal teenagers would rather waste away their days in an alcoholic state of bliss. That being said, this is how I survive. Or at least make it day to day.

“Pat?” Molly waltzed up next to me filled with her annoyingly peppy spirit. She was my only friend.

“I had a flower for you but it has seems to have found its way to the unforgiving cement.” I laugh dryly.

“What a shame, looks like you will just have to buy me one.” She smiles her beautiful smile and walks on into the hall.

There was something about Molly that I never have been able to put my finger on. The way that she is, it’s just so different and amazing all at once. We have been friends since the fourth grade when she gave me half of her cookie. I had been sitting alone that day and she came over offering her friendship in the form of a burnt cookie that she said she helped her mom make. It was the first turning point in my life and one of my fondest memories. She will never understand how half a cookie changed my life.

I walk the halls with a dark cloud above my head. I imagine walking around like a cartoon character with a rain cloud drenching me in my own sorrow as I attempt to blend in with humanity. I turn the dial on my locker and open it. The locker door swings and hits me in the head. Everyone laughs at the loser holding his face on the floor.

“Hey! Leave him alone!” Molly walks in from god knows where and the laughter stops.

“Molly I’m fine… don’t make this into a big deal.” I sit up and feel a rush of heat to my head and everything blurs.

“Pat you’re bleeding.” She looks into my eyes and shows me my crimson painted hand.

“Oh s***.” I feel nauseous and fall to the floor.

I open my eyes and the first thing I see is a brilliant white light. I have no clue where I could be but I know I passed out. After blinking a few times I see Molly reading a book next to me. Her eyes were red and puffy. She had traces of makeup running down her face, I could tell she tried hard to clean it up.

“Molly?” I feel my smile in my voice.

“When were you going to tell me?” She didn’t look up from her lap.

“Tell you what?”

“Your mom took your shirt off when I got you home to clean off the blood and…” She stops and breaths.

“Molly…” I look down and in the dim lamp light my scars gleamed against my skin. She was crying because my mom told her what happened the summer she went to New York.

“Why was this a secret? Why didn’t you call me? Why am I finding out like this?” She finally faces me.

“Molly without you here I just went into a bad place. I just thought it might make me feel okay until you were back. I never wanted to go any further than this. You’re the only one that gets me. And I needed a way to get by without you because we both know that you can’t follow me around picking me up every time somebody pushes me around.”

Molly gets up and hugs me. She doesn’t speak, just quietly fights her tears into my shoulder. I guess I understand how she feels; finding out her best friend is even more messed up than she thought.

“Patrick…I love you.” She whispers it without letting go. We don’t say anything else for the rest of the night.

The days flow endlessly together after that night. Life goes on creeping slowly to what we are all waiting for, summer. It is February now, and I had gotten Molly a gift. It has been a tradition every year to get one another an “I hate Valentine’s Day” gift. This year I got her a teddy bear that is holding two halves of a heart. It originally was a full heart until I cut it in half and stitched the edges. I am content with the meaning of the bear because it is still cute even with the mangled heart.

“Happy Singles Day.” Molly laughs at her own joke and hands me a box.

“And to you too.” I pull the bear from behind my back and give it to her.

We share a laugh about the bear and then she gestures for me to open the box. I flip the top off the box. In the box is half a cookie. Next to the cookie is a note that reads, “Be my Valentine?”

“Well?” She smiles her beautiful smile.

“Of course.”

She places her hand on my cheek and kisses me. Her lips are warm and soft. I never imagined that a kiss could feel this way. A burning inside of me explodes and rushes through my body. When she pulls back she grabs the half cookie and walks down the hall leaving me smiling like an idiot.

A week goes by and everything seems to be going perfect. Molly and I kiss, a lot, and I hold my head a little higher. I walk up to my school in a great mood ready for the day. I see Molly on the other side of the hall; she is pulling stuff out of her locker.

“Hey.” I smile and lean in to kiss her, but she pulls away. “Is something wrong?”

“I’m leaving.”

“Are you feeling sick or something?”

“No Patrick, I’m leaving the state.” She keeps her eyes on the ground.

“What…why?” I try to put my hand on her shoulder but she moves.

“My uncle is dying and my dad wanted to move to New York to be closer to the family. I’m leaving tomorrow.” She closes her locker and walks away. Just like that my happiness drifts away.

At night I lie in bed thinking about Molly. The way her smile make my day brighter. I think of the cookies she offered me in the fourth grade. I rub the scars on my arm and fight the pain.

“Pat.” My door opens and Molly walks in.

I jump out of bed and pull her into my arms. “What are you doing here?”

“I can’t leave without having one more night with you.” She hugs me tight.

I wipe a tear away from her face with my thumb and smile. Her golden green eyes shine and express her pain. I kiss her like I haven’t ever before; with true meaning. I have longed to feel her soft lips pressed against mine. We lay in my bed face to face.

“I don’t want to leave you here.” She whispers and grabs my hand.

“Think of it like a vacation.”

“I’m afraid Pat.”

“Of what?”

“What will happen to you when I leave.” Her words make my heart sink.

“Molly I don’t want you to worry about me. I have you and that is all I need to feel okay. I can deal with the jocks at school. What I can’t deal with is knowing you are worried about me instead of being happy. I’ll be okay.”

She smiles, “how could I not see before how amazing you are.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

Somehow we drift off to sleep face to face. In the morning I watch as her car fades off down the street. She is gone.

It has been three months since Molly left. I got a letter from her; she said it was easier than a phone call. She had been doing well in her new school and even made a few friends. She is excited to hear from me.

I hold my pencil just above the paper. I have to think of the perfect way to say what I need to say. I speak aloud as I write:

“Dear Molly, in the months since you left I have been okay as I promised.” I stopped. I was lying. I erased it and started over. “Dear Molly, I got your letter and I am so happy that you are doing well. Things here really aren’t the same without you. I am not the same without you. I know I told you I would be okay and that I didn’t want you to worry, but I have news I know you aren’t going to like. It was a couple weeks after you left when Preston and a group of his Jocks cornered me after school. Needless to say I had some new bruises and blood stained clothes. I did something I thought I had gotten over that night. I went too far this time though. I promised myself I would never do it again but in reality I couldn’t keep control with you gone. I’m getting better I promise. I don’t want you to worry about me because I’m working on being okay for good this time. I made a new friend in the hospital. His name is Craig. Turns out he lives in the same neighborhood as me. Anyway, I don’t want you to be upset and I can’t wait to hear back from you. Love Patrick.”

I give the letter to my mom and ask her to mail it. I look out the window of the hospital room. The sun hangs low in the sky and glows a bright orange. The leaves of the trees glow like fire on the ends of the branches. And for a moment I feel at peace. For a moment I really am as hopeful as I try to be.

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sweetangel4life said...
Feb. 21, 2013 at 11:56 am
Whoa! this is one of the greatests pieces of lit art that ive read!!! this is suuuppper amazing. i especially liked the ending. i had predicted he would hrut himself again, but i didnt expect him to end up in the pysch ward anywasy, keep writing. this is really good. i can't even express how much i enjoyed rading this. ~mandi~ :)
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