Life: Love and Loss

March 13, 2008
By Sedona Duchnick, Patterson, CA

Love. A word with such deep meaning and feeling. Love has been the rise and fall of many people over the centuries. Love can be a strength or a weakness. Love can be everything or nothing. Love can be anything. Love is found in many places and people. Love is found abruptly or gradually. Love can be found in the strangest of people. Love is pulchritudinous and hideous. All in all, love is love.

I have loved. I have loved more deeply than you can imagine of a twelve and thirteen year old. Now my love is gone, but still I cherish him. James, my James. Tears well in my eyes and a quote from a now-forgotten being surfaces into my mind. “Never make someone your everything, because when they’re gone you have nothing.” I know that well, and how accurate it is. A feeling of emptiness envelops me. I feel as if I’m in a vacuum of misery, and helplessness consumes me. I hate myself for being so weak. Since when have I been dependent on anyone? I know the answer that I secretly deny. Since seventh grade, since James.

I never knew just a glance at a boy could make my knees weak and my throat gasp desperately for breath. This breathtaking, handsome, …hot, boy with a stupendous personality and laughter constantly on his lips proved me wrong. I fell for him after one glimpse, although I didn’t truly realize until later on. And when I fell, I fell hard. James Pearson was a boy unlike any I’d ever met before. He wore his hair kind of long and shaggy, and I loved the look. His blond highlights contrasted brilliantly with his dark brown hair underneath. He had two piercings in his right ear and one in his left. He had a comical attitude that made everyone laugh, something he delighted in doing. I adored his laughter and his jokes, and was nearly always near him, laughing at his best jokes, causing him to smile a rare smile. By rare I mean a kind of smile I’d never seen anyone wear before. The kind of smile that made me smile myself, whether or not I was in a smiling mood. He was a punk I guess, but I never saw him that way. I didn’t label people then, and I don’t now. He was a boy, a friend, a crush, but not a label. Not just another face in the crowd. He was a special boy with courage, he was himself and didn’t care what others thought of him. He was the kind of person I wished I was, the kind I tried to be. I loved him for it.

I suppose when I first realized I had loved James since I met him was a cloudy Wednesday afternoon on October 26th. My mother was doing a project for her college class, so she borrowed a few students from Mr. Zopfi’s class to write a poem. James and I were two of them. She escorted us to her kindergarten classroom after her students had gone home, to write a poem. I remember laughing because our poems were so much alike. Being invisible. A feeling we both apparently suffered through, but no longer, now we had each other. Sitting across from him that day, looking into his hazel-green eyes, I noticed, I mean really noticed, him. I realized that instant I’d had a crush on him since I first laid eyes on that goofy smile the very first day he came to Banta. I loved the way he made me laugh, I loved his laugh. The way his smile warmed my heart, the way he poked my gray, bumpy pencil box or my blue, furry bucket hat in class. His rich sense of sureness, confidence, overwhelmed me. He was also the first boy I’d met who was sensitive, kind, giving, loving, caring; he was the kind of boy who would bring over a box of tissues and Chunky Munky ice cream and let you soak his shirt with tears. The kind of boy who knew who you were and what you could do, no matter what anyone else thought of you, and wouldn’t let you put yourself down. James believed in me, that’s all that mattered. He didn’t care how ugly I was or how stupidly I dressed. In his eyes I was beautiful, strong, smart, and sure of myself. He knew the girl I could be, the girl I was when I was with him.

I can’t even think of the many times my feelings of love were strongest. It was always strong, but one moment, the time when I knew without a doubt he was my true love, even if he didn’t love me back, was when we danced. I remember it flawlessly. The night of the Hawaiian dance. I wore a striped, pink and green, silky skirt, a white shirt with a fake, white flower pinned on, my hair was softly curled, and lathered on my lips was a shiny gloss. I had shiny glitter sprinkled in my hair, hard to see among my ringlets of brown hair. James found me sitting on a hard, blue bench, tediously sipping a cup of Pepsi and looking lonely. He sat down next to me, slipped a pink lei around my neck, stood in front of me, and just sort of watched me. Soft music of an unknown slow song began to ring through the air. James stuck out his hand.

“A dance milady?” His unique, one-of-a-kind grin spreading across his face.

“But of course.” I replied, faking a British accent and likewise smiling. I tossed the empty cup into a nearby garbage can, stood up, curtsied, and took his hand. Laughing he bowed and led me onto the dance floor. The soft, colored, light from tiki lamps hanging on the stage gave his eyes a shiny look. They sparkled and my heart pounded in love. His hands on my waist, my hands on his shoulders, we slowly danced together. Spinning in careful circles, staring into each other’s eyes, I felt and appreciated the beauty of love, peace, and harmony. All too soon the song ended. Disappointed, we broke apart and went our separate ways.

A long weekend prolonged me seeing him again after the dance. Impatient, I wanted the weekend to end. That Monday, just talking to him at lunch, I remembered he was leaving at the end of the year, now a short month away. I tried to make the best of it. I savored every minute spent with him, but as a great man once said “Innocence can never last.”. We were innocent, but he had to go. We didn’t last. How could he be taken from me? We were just getting to know each other. To this day, I marvel that question.

Life is hard. In the space of less than one year I learned that. I went through a period of time where I felt about ready to give up. My love was so strong for him, I stocked so much heart into him, when he was gone I felt empty, like a water bottle. When the water’s gone it’s thrown away. I was that bottle. I wished I could neither think nor feel. Yet life goes on. I forced myself out of my depression and memories of days long past, and into time and mind consuming activities. I took my anger and frustration out on punching bags in Tae Kwon Do, and poured my story of love and loss onto the one friend I could trust, paper. They were bitter and depressing, but counseled me through rough patches. Now I still miss him, and I still love him, but I’m better. I’m not depressed, and I’m able to talk about the incident a bit more freely. After all, the show must go on!

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 5 2010 at 7:43 pm
alaskatrailmutt, Jefferson, Maryland
0 articles 0 photos 352 comments
Loved the way you wrote that!Very nice!!!Sorry he left.That is the worst thing EVER I can relate.Why didn't you get his phone number???Love is won and lost  sometimes.Maybe you should look him up or something on the internet.......I like the examples you used it helped make the picture of you and him better in my head.It's good to talk about that kinda thing to let it out.To others you trust then the memories the part he is of you will live on in others.Wich is what writing is about.Good job.Keep it up.If your ment to be-who knows you might meet again.The best of hope to you.I am glad TaeKwonDo helped you it helps me also.It's a good place to chanle feelings.


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