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Finding My Own Heroine

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Did you know that it is possible to live when your heart stops beating? I didn’t, until now.


I am five years old again, spinning around in your backyard underneath a canopy of oak trees and in the sunlight your hair looks like spun gold. We fall down laughing, not noticing the grass stains upon our matching periwinkle dresses. You and I are sipping apple juice in my tree house, two Cinderellas underneath a sapphire sky.

It’s my eighth birthday and you let me eat the icing flower on the cake but the two of us blow the candles out together. Tonight is my first sleepover, and we stay up late pretending to be Pocahontas rescuing Captain Smith. We fall asleep at 10:30 and it is the latest either of us has ever stayed up.

I am ten now, and we are presenting our report on Florence Nightingale to a class of eager fifth graders. Both of us are dressed up as nurses, wearing my Mom’s old stethoscopes from nursing school around our necks. In the innocence of my youth, nothing can ever break us apart.

I am fourteen and all I can think about are all of the heroines we used to pretend to be. I am fourteen and suddenly my best friend is a perfect stranger, and no one is here to save me. You have always been here to catch me when I fall, so what do I do now, when it is you pushing me down? I am fourteen and I need to find a new heroine to save me from this flood I am drowning in. I am alive, but my heart isn’t beating, for my heart can’t beat when you have ripped it out. Your cruel words tear through me, but no tears run down my face and I am too numb to speak. I watch, paralyzed by shock, as you walk away from me, never looking back.

Fifteen. We haven’t spoken in almost two years and I still don’t know why. All I remember from that fateful day is you saying that we can’t be “two peas in a pod” anymore. I watch you with those girls, and wonder if you are really happy. Our lockers are still next to each other, but you haven’t looked me in the eye since our first day of high school. Sometimes I forget and pick up the phone to call you. I am trying my best to move on but it still hurts to think of you, remembering the laughs and friendship we used to share.

I am sixteen today and tired of letting the memories of us hold me hostage. It is time for me to shine without you. But I don’t need you, and I am strong enough to be my own heroine. I am finally getting up off of this cold floor I have laid on for so long, by myself. Things between us might not have turned out the way I hoped they would, but at the end of the day I am a dreamer, and a dreamer I will remain. Tonight I rip out every diary page I wrote about you, and watch them turn into smoke in the fireplace. And I am free. The heroines of my past have given me the strength to rise above, and I know that my heart can beat on its own now. I might not be Cinderella anymore, but I am okay with that. I am writing my own story.

I am five years old again. You hug me and whisper in my ear “best friends forever.”



Join the Discussion

This article has 12 comments. Post your own now!

CharBear said...
Oct. 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm
This is just so beautiful, and so true. It's sad when friends we thought would be by our side forever just walk away... and we fall apart every time we walk by them in the hallway, but they never look back.
 
sagy =) said...
Oct. 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm
arielle, this is just beautiful =)
love u
sagy
 
Anj16 said...
Sept. 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm
this is incredible. I like how you told the story. So heartfelt and emotional, and so true.
 
amyxu said...
Sept. 23, 2009 at 7:43 pm
this is a great piece of poetry. Totally loved it. That is one of the best first lines I've seen on the entire website. It really grabs the reader. It hooked me! One suggestion: the last big paragraph, third sentence, the "but" is redundant and takes away the force of the following words "I don't need you." Just take the "but" out altogether and it should be a stronger statement. Anyway, I really liked this piece. Keep writing!
 
Passion03 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 23, 2009 at 12:52 am
Wow. This is an amazing piece. I loved it and the way you write makes an deep emotional impression.
 
aubrey63 said...
Jul. 22, 2009 at 4:05 am
wow. wow wow wow. it was so amazing and so deep... it was a great way to describe the breakage of the bond between best friends. seeing this written like this, like a timeline is amazing. great. just great. well written, too.
i'm speechless. i love this so much! definately the best i've read on this site! keep it up!
 
JKB28 said...
May 7, 2009 at 3:41 am
omg i love this story it reminds me of me and my best friend and something very similar happend to us.
 
Rebecca L. said...
Feb. 17, 2009 at 2:46 am
Oh my. This is amazing. I love it, especially the way you start and end it.
 
HeyTyroneGirl said...
Feb. 14, 2009 at 1:44 am
You say you're 14 and that your best friend is a complete stranger and you say you need to find a new heroine, but then your 15 and neither of you have talked for 2 years...did you guys not talk the last year of your friendship?...just something I caught and wasn't sure about.

I do really like the last line though. I still say that to my friends.
 
lightinyoureyes said...
Feb. 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm
Thanks for the comments!
The reason there is a two year gap is because I had just turned fourteen when I started high school (and was told that "two peas in a pod" was not going to work), and was near the end of "fourteen" when i finally stopped trying to be this girl's friend despite everything, and truly let the hurt sink in... so its almost, but not quite two years, i guess. thanks for pointing that out!

keep voting :-)
 
JohnDoe said...
Feb. 12, 2009 at 1:37 am
Wow this is really deep. Keep it up!
 
MGH093 said...
Feb. 9, 2009 at 10:38 am
This is an incredible article. You are a truly talented writer. Please keep this coming.
 
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