Beneath the Surface

By , park ridge, IL
I blink my eyes and feel the warmth stream down my cheeks. This tight feeling in my chest only gets worse with each passing breath. Too afraid to choke down the lump in my throat I sob uncontrollably. Sleep no longer comes easy. Every dream is a nightmare. So I turn over and sink into the mattress, allowing the cold, damp pillow to envelope the side of my face. The deep purple color of my walls makes my bedroom feel more dark and dreary rather than a place of happiness.My head is pounding, and the pain only becomes more intense as the minutes pass; But i don’t care enough to do anything about it.The only thing I care about anymore is David, but as the hands on the clock slowly inched themselves ahead it was apparent the feeling was not mutual. And as I lie there with droplets of salt tracing my face couldn't’t help but wonder how we got here. It seems like just yesterday we had began talking. It seems like just yesterday we met for the first time and as i shut my eyes as tightly as I can, I begin to imagine things the way they used to be. Back when we first met. Back before we began to resent each other.
The smell of a food court clogs my nostrils and as i blink my eyes I begin to make out familiar shapes. I raise my head and stare blankly in front of me nodding so my friends assume that i am actually listening to their non-stop chatter. I have this unusual feeling that something is going to happen. I have knots in my stomach. Finally when I manage to clear my head and focus see him. I begin clench my palms together and begin breathing harder as i feel my heart begins to pound uncontrollably. The muffled voices soon become more prominent as my friend Maddie reaches her pale hand out infront of my face and snaps her long fingers to draw my attention to her. “is he even coming?” she hissed. But before i could answer she noticed my gaze shift to behind her and she had her answer.
Like two cowboys awaiting the signal to draw their weapons , we stared at each other. every minute felt like a decade. My two friends who sat across from me soon grew tired of waiting with me and as they rose from the table I broke my gaze from him and rose as well. my body felt heavy. I did not want to leave but I smothered the voice shouting at me in my head and slowly trudged along. As I began to walk, my steps growing heavier by the minute, I felt someone grab my hand. I swung my head around and thats when my eyes met his.

His name was David. He had shaggy black hair, tan skin, and hazel eyes that seemed to have flecks of gold when the sunlight hit them. He was slightly shorter than me but it never seemed to cross my mind more than once. My heart began to beat so hard i was worried he might hear the pounding against my ribcage. In that instant I knew that I wanted to be with him. There was something special about him that drew me in. something that made me feel safe. From that day on everything was perfect. When i was with him it always seemed like a scene from a movie. I never imagined that i could ever be so happy in my life. I had never thought that someone would ever treat me the way he did. He made me feel beautiful, unique, and most importantly happy.
The day was May second. It was another night of losing sleep just so I could stay up and talk to David. My eyelids weighed about ten pounds each and I had feared that if i stayed on the phone any longer it would burst into flames. I stared at the deep purple walls of my room that seemed to have a warm feeling radiating off of them. Then when I finally decided it was time to go, he stopped me and asked me something that i had been waiting for. Finally after months of patiently waiting, he asked me to be his. I didn’t even care about the fact that it was over the phone. Nothing else mattered. I had never felt so happy before.
There was not a day when i didn’t want to be with him and not a moment that he was not on my mind, and as the months rolled by i only grew more and more fond of him. I adored everything about him. I loved his smile, his eyes, his hair, his laugh, his short stature, his voice, his everything. “Its just the honeymoon phase” people would say. But i didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to believe that we would always be happy. That we would always be together.
Something changed. It wasn’t the same. His hazel eyes no longer had the same beauty. they were only brown. Every moment spent together seemed to result in a fight. It didn’t matter what it was, we found a way to turn it into some debate.It hurt to fight with him, but I felt like that was what he wanted. I felt as if he wanted to fight. I felt as if he wanted to cause me pain. The happiness, the peace, the love, it was all gone. There was something about him that pushed me away. something that made me feel uneasy. I had never thought that someone would ever treat me the way he did.He made me feel hideous. he made me feel like just another girl. But no matter how many people told me to leave couldn't’t. I thought i could fix it. That we could go back to the way everything was. I could not bear to just give up.
As the months went by things only got worse. I felt drained. At this point tears didn’t even come easy. I had been putting all of the effort in with none coming from him.
December 24. christmas eve. It was a simple phone call. “I just need a break,” he said. “I still love you,”. But i heard nothing except for those few simple words, “I don’t think we should be together anymore.” I slowly felt my world begin to crumble all around me. I just stared at the glass windows in front of me. Watching the dull sky spit out little flecks of white. The tiles were cold to the touch but the pale white couch I sat in grew more and more uncomfortable. everything in the room was grey. The fireplace, the couches, the rug, the walls, it was all grey. the air smelled stale. my eyes began to swell with tears and i could not see anything. There was a pain in my chest and i slowly reached up and clenched the heart shaped silver necklace engraved with “5-2-10” in my hand. I let my arm go limp and felt snap off of my neck.
Christmas day was a blur. I did not care about anything. I did not care about the gifts, or my family. I just wanted to be left alone.
weeks had passed and it seemed like i spent every day lying in my bed. The dark purple walls. The grey metal headboard. Clothes strewn about all over the floor. Nothing mattered. I had given up. David had tried to talk to me but it all resulted in a fight. "You're pathetic," he told me.
"please stop David, you're hurting me," i said.
"You know what Gena? Confidence is sexy. So why don't you grow a backbone?"
I could not believe what he had just said. And at that moment as my face was lit up by the computer screen I realized that i did not deserve this. He was no longer the same person I met. I deserved better. I finally realized that I was not ugly, I was not week, and that I would rather be alone than be mistreated. After that day I have separated myself from him and everything that has to do with him. It does get hard sometimes. I still think about him. And I think there will always be feelings there. But I have to keep my head up and push on.





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