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If Only

I walked slowly down the street, with each step I walked down memory lane, all the way to the day we met. The day that changed my life irrevocably, though for the better or for the worse is still foggy. Lies fill my life and now after all this time I know the truth. So here I go, I’m going to stop you, I’m going to save you, save you from yourself, save you from the dark abyss I’m afraid you’ve already fallen way too far into. You’re only way to be saved is for me to jump in after you, and pray that someone is there to pull me out since you won’t be able to.
This may just be some moment of temporary insanity but it actually seems to make sense, maybe that’s what insanity is, making sense of things that shouldn’t. It’s like a paradox, an infinite maze, something that is meant to be solved, to be explained, but just can’t! I hated that, I liked to know what was going on in my life, and I certainly didn’t like not knowing what was going on it. I don’t think anyone does but if you found out that you were blinded not knowing who the person you love really is wouldn’t you be the tinniest bit upset?
It all started on that day, it was 1st grade and you spilled your juice all over your shirt. The teacher was out of the room and the helper aide was taking care of something else. I asked her if I could help you out and she sent us to the washroom. I have to say, now that I look back at that, the aide wasn’t too smart since we were 1st graders and I obviously brought you to the girl’s bathroom but what can I say? I was a child; I had no idea of the implications of it all. So I brought you into the girl’s bathroom and wet a paper towel. Like a loving mother I started to wipe off your shirt for you, trying unsuccessfully to get the purple stains from your juice, my short blond hair constantly getting in the way of my sight.
I had no way of knowing that that moment would be the start of the beginning. I still remember the conversation you had with me; we really did ‘hit’ it off.
“Hi my name is Grant, what’s yours?” You said. Your voice was so light back then, not nearly as menacing as it is now, but I guess you couldn’t help that, it was puberty.
“Lia.” I said sharply. I didn’t mean to sound harsh but I was pissed off at the stain on your shirt not knowing that the chances were 1 to 100 that I would get it out. Though unlike other boys you just smiled and let out a light chuckle which instantly brought my attention.
“What? What’s so funny!?” I asked. I have to admit when I was young, and till this day, I was never afraid to speak my mind, even to you. That was what you liked about me so much, I was very bold and I could stand up to you without a second thought otherwise.
“Sorry, you’re just different.” That obviously got my attention as I looked up from your shirt and started right into your big green eyes.
“Huh?” Was all I managed to say and you just laughed again.
“You’re not one of the girls who drool over My Little Ponies, or My Little Pet Shop.” The way you said it wasn’t in an accusing way, but an applauding it, telling me that you thought it was cool for me to be different. And I was, I didn’t play with Barbies or my little ponies, sure I had them, but I never really played with them. I followed in my father’s footsteps I liked guy stuff, but I wasn’t a tomboy or anything. I simply liked all that superhero stuff, and there is nothing, at least in my opinion, wrong about it. I smiled that, I normally didn’t get many compliments. I wasn’t exactly beautiful and because of my personality I was an outcast, but I was okay with that, it never really bothered me, not the slightest.
“Sorry to disappoint.” I had heard my mom say that to my dad many times before so I sort of picked it up. I half expected you not to understand what I meant but when you started to laugh I realized you really did.
“Disappoint? Never.” My eyes almost widened. That’s what my father always said back to my mom before they started kissing and would disappear into their room… only years later did I realize that, that was a code for something… else. I shudder at the thought.
“Uh…” Was all I managed before you spoke up again.
“Would you like to come over and play after school?” You asked a sly smile on your face though at the time I couldn’t understand why.
“I’ll ask my mommy.” I said and we ended up walking back to class holding hands.
If only I knew the tragedy that was going to befall me later that day, after I asked my mother and she said yes with less than a little hesitation. She almost sounded afraid when she agreed though. Then, when my mother and father were driving to come and pick me up they were in an accident. I should’ve known it was too much of a coincidence. I should’ve been able to sense my mom’s fear, or at least see it in her eyes that morning.
As her daughter I should’ve asked those questions, been the curious person I was. Insist that this wasn’t an accident, that someone had severed the brakes, just to get the idea into the cop’s heads that this tragedy was anything but a tragedy. But there was no reason for someone to kill them and the car was old… No motive, no suspects. Then when I found out that the one person, who was going to take care of me, my aunt, had been in a work accident. A bunch of boxes fell on top of her that were filled with heavy TV’s and she’s was in critical condition but they stabilized her. Though… she too died due to a random heart attack combined with a pressure leak in her oxygen tank.
I never knew that is was because of you in the beginning and now I’m in love with you so much I can’t bear to be angry with you. Time went on from that day, you were there for me when I screamed and cried sometimes even blaming you not even knowing that I was right. I remember one day, in the 7th Grade, it was the anniversary of my parent’s death. My class had just said a prayer for my mother when I swear I heard a voice whisper in my ear. The voice said, “I Love You Honey.” I knew immediately that it was my mother.
I tore from my seat and ran out into the hall and into the stair well. As gasps rang out in the room I heard your demanding voice call out for silence, even the teacher didn’t stop you and you entered the stairwell and found me sitting on a step, tears freely flowing out of my eyes. I couldn’t feel anything, only cold, and I swear I never thought I would feel warmth again after hearing the voice of what I believed to be my mother’s ghost. But there you were, you sat down next to me, took me into your arms, and told me it was going to be okay as I sobbed into your chest. I sobbed for hours on end, or maybe it was minutes… Actually it felt like days with you there with me.
“Everything gonna be okay Lia, you’re not alone.” You had told me.
“Yeah… I really… am.” I said through gasps of air and my tears.
“No you aren’t, I’m here with you right now.” I think that was one of the truest things you would ever tell me yet I shot it down.
“You may be with me now physically but where I am now, in my mind, is somewhere you cannot access…” I said ominously. Till this day I still don’t understand why I told you that, I was so honest to you when I’m usually so closed up to others. But I did tell you and unlike anyone else who would have just laughed at me for saying such things or leave me to my despair you continued to perplex me. Not only by how open you were with me but by what you said.
“Oh I know... I know all too well. You’re in a dark place, all alone. You’re scared and confused and you don’t know how you got here or even why you are there. Then when you think you see a light breaking through the shadows that petrify you, you find that it’s all just a game your mind is playing on you. Or is it?” It wasn’t till a few years later did I finally figure out what you meant, and to be honest I didn’t expect any less from you.
That day carried me through that year and the next because I knew you were there for me. Then we went to high school… My step parents couldn’t afford the expensive prep school you were going to so I went to a plain public high school, and I never again saw you again till three years later.
During that time I fell in love, or at least I think I did. I fell for an abusive jerk that would beat me in the alley behind the school. I still remember the day when the abuse finally came to a halt. It was the middle of October and he was about deliver the final blow to my body that was already black and blue. But the blow never came as I felt myself slip out of consciousness I looked up and saw you holding him against the wall in a choke hold warning him that if he ever touched me again he wouldn’t live to see the next day.
You then picked me up bridal style and carried me away… That’s when I fell unconscious. I awoke in one of the spare bedrooms in your estate. You sat on a stool next to me, watching me as I stirred awake. When I saw your face I jumped up and hugged you despite the pain from the bruises. You let out one of your signature laughs and told me to lie back down, that I needed rest. But I insisted I had enough rest and went to have dinner with you and your father. This was the first time that I found out that your mother had been killed in a hit and run two years ago.
Your father got me a scholarship to your fancy prep school, and shortly after we started to date. Sometimes you would take me to fancy restaurants or sometimes you would take me to one of those old dinners that I loved. Simple yet enjoyable, rich yet humble, that’s what you were to me, you were everything I needed. At least you were everything I thought I needed.
I still remember our first date, it was absolutely the most romantic evening of my life from the moment you picked me up at my home. You took me in your Porsche to a restaurant on the shore of Lake Michigan. We sat outside, and I stared off into the lake, I had always loved the lake, it always reminded me that this world is bigger than it seems and therefore I should never stop looking for my ‘Happily Ever After’. Though at that time I also thought you were my happily ever after… But obviously you weren’t.
“So how do you like it so far?” You asked, your eyes trained directly on mine. This was the first time I noticed your clear emerald eyes, that had small black lines spaced unevenly around the iris. It gave your eyes the affect of green grass blowing around in a field, not to mention the little specks of yellow that were barely, just barely visible. I always imagined those yellow specks to be dandelions in the green grassy fields of your eyes.
“Breathtaking…” I said shaking my head in disbelief, a small smile creeping onto my face. “I still can’t believe that we’re here, on a… date.”
“Who would’ve known?” You said with a laugh… “Who would’ve known?”
After high school, we were separated once again when we went to college, I traveled to New York to an Academy for Investigative Journalism and you stayed here in Chicago. What you were majoring in I can’t remember.
Two years later after we split we met again in the summer in Grand Central Park. I was doing an article for the New York Times when I witnessed you catching a little girl who fell out of the tree she had been climbing. What a hero I thought you were, I, honest to god, thought you were pure of heart. So we started to date again for 2 years, then you proposed, we married and I wish I could say we lived happily ever after I had always dreamed of.
Believe it or not I went to go see a psychic, just for the fun of it and because I had an article to do on it. She told me I had been fooled, deceived by the person closest to me and of course she gave me the proof I needed to believe. She gave me the address of an empty warehouse, a warehouse in virtually the middle of nowhere. It wasn’t too empty though, there were a couple of boxes but only a few boxes of the many did it. One held a message to a man who severed the brakes on my parent’s car telling him when and how, it was your father’s voice speaking, giving the orders and you voice asking if I could come and live with you when it was over. He, of course, said no.
Another was a video recording of my mother’s voice, I did hear my mother’s voice that day but it was just a recording, a recording you played just loud enough for me to hear. You knew exactly what I would do and you just happened to be sitting right next to me at the time to make sure it was done right. Then I listened to another recording, this one from you. As you spoke you didn’t sound too pleased, almost angry that you were even saying it. You were telling my abusive ex-boyfriend to hurt me, and hurt me bad till he came around and warned him to stay away. You paid him 10,000 dollars to do so. Then I found out that I only got my job at the New York Times because you blackmailed the editor. I even asked the editor himself if it were true. He admitted to it and said that it wasn’t all bad; he told me I was one of the best reporters he ever had.
You planned that and more, pivotal moments in my life, always making sure I came back to you. You were so twisted and I couldn’t even see it. Until now, until this very moment when I walk into this building, knowing this is where you’ll be. As I walk down the halls I see men holding guns who just lowered them in shock. I knew these men; I knew their wives and their children. These men were our friends. They would come over on football nights and scream and cheer when a touchdown was made. I would just sit with the other wives and talk, occasionally laughing when you guys would yell for joy over a game you weren’t even at.
They didn’t dare stop me as I barged into the darkened room where you and your best friend stood looking over something on a sheet of paper. I didn’t know what the paper said but as you look up to me your name dances off of my tongue as mine does yours. Everything after that moment goes past so quickly. I pull the gun out from underneath my shirt, raise it up, aim, and pull the trigger. Knowing that if only you had told me, been honest, or just left me alone we wouldn’t be here now. I watched silently as my entire world slowly disappeared...




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