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It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I slowly walk along the snow-covered path. It reminds me of last February when we walked down this road together. You were smiling and so was I. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you smile. A long while.
The houses I walk by are so familiar. I used to know every single person who lived on this street and then some. Now they seem like memories I am desperately trying to hold onto. I can hear happy laughs and I smell the wonderful scent of homemade food drift through the air. It brings tears to my eyes and I try to hold them back. The memory rushes back, as fresh as ever.
“How much do you love me?” I ask. We are walking together and I grasp your hand tightly.
You smile and wrap your arms around me.
“I don’t think there is a finite amount for that.”
I smile back and then bend down to grab some snow. In a flash you have white all over you and I am running away laughing. The wind bites by cheeks but my happiness melts it all away. Soon after, I have ice rushing down my back and we are chasing each other like lunatics. But isn’t this what love does? It makes us doubt our sanity.
I quickly wipe the tears away and walk faster. I try not to think too much. Every time I begin to remember, the bad memories return too.
I feel the thoughts catch up to me and my breathing hitches. I walk even faster as if I can escape them. Suddenly the cold fingertips of the past grab me by the neck and freeze my body all over. Sounds fill my ears and I shut my eyes trying to block them. Still trying to escape, I begin running and soon I’m full on sprinting, trying to get away from the non-existent monster. I can hear your voice again and I try to run faster but I trip over the snow and stumble forward. My head smacks right onto the ice and I feel my lip split. It’s silent for a moment and I turn over to stare at the sky.
The memories come fast. They flood through my veins and I am reliving the moment once more.
“Stop!” The begging keeps coming but I don’t care.
You aren’t here and no one is around. I’m filled with anger and I don’t know what’s going on. Confusion clouds my mind. I can’t feel my hands but mere seconds later they move on their own accord. I lurch forward.
The screams stop. Red. So much Red.
I hear footsteps. They are quick and desperate.
“What’s going on?” and it’s you.
You’ve come. But you aren’t smiling. You aren’t happy. You look at me with shock and I want to die inside. You hate me. I can tell.
The sky is grey and has blotches of pain over it. I glare at the vast emptiness and want to scream. But I don’t. I get up and keep walking. I make the turn and stop in my tracks when I see the building. I try to walk but my feet won’t move. A sharp pain rushes through my chest and I grab the wall. The memories start prodding me again and this time I let them. I slide down the wall and finally cry my heart out.
“It was me.” You say.
I say nothing as they take you away. I have no idea what to do. You watch me as you are shoved into the car. I see the tears in your eyes and the pain in my chest is suffocating me.
“I love you.” I watch you mouth the words. My heart cracks and I look away.
Days later you are gone and my mouth still hasn’t moved. I’m completely numb.
The tears keep coming and suddenly I scream at the world. I scream because of the unfairness. I scream because of the evilness everywhere. I curse life. I holler profanities into the wind. I hit the wall so hard my fists bleed. And then I’m sobbing. Anger rolls off me and it’s been a while since I’ve been so angry. I’m angry at everything. But most of all I’m angry at myself. At my cowardly heart. At the spineless fool I’ve become. I’m angry that through it all I was an idiot and I hid from the world. The pain travels from my chest throughout my body and I gasp at how much it really hurts. The wind bites my cheek and the tears sting. I collapse for a moment and hate consumes me. I don’t know how long it has been but when the chaos has passed I feel a sense of calmness rush over my head. I get up and remember what I had come here to do.
I walk again and I don’t stop. I walk right into the building. The officer sitting there looks at me. I know I must be a shock. A gash on my forehead, a split lip and bloody fists with tears everywhere. The officer looks worried and asks, “Attempted murder?”
Quite the opposite really. I laugh. It’s a hollow sound. I shake my head and open my mouth to explain.
It’s been 2 years since I’ve opened by mouth. 2 years since I’ve talked to anyone. But each day brings more grief and shame. I haven’t been able to forget. And I suppose today was the day I had finally broken. The words come out and I speak without expression. The officer looks disgusted by me and when the cuffs appear and I’m taken to the cells I finally feel at peace. The pain in my chest goes away and I can breathe again. I follow without any protest and soon I stand in front of the bars. I recognize the familiar hair and kind hands immediately. It’s almost like last February again.
You shoot up and run to the bars. You look at my face with shock. They remind me of the look you had 2 years ago when you saw me. The knife in my hand. The dead body beneath me.
I look you right back in the eyes and say what I should’ve said 2 years ago. The words I should’ve said the moment you mouthed them.
“I love you too.”