January 18, 2011
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On June 13, 2009 he says my name. Butterflies rush through my stomach. As he leans in to kiss me, the world is at a standstill. The heat of the bonfire was caressing my body as our lips slowly touched. Gazing into my eyes he softly spoke, “Do I even have to ask?” That was the moment I became a somebody. I was given a purpose. I wasn’t just Ashley anymore; I was “his girl.”
Fourteen months later, he says my name for the last time. This time my stomach churns, my eyes water, and chills crawl down my spine. When he says the name Ashley, it’s as if razor blades are being stabbed into the bare flesh of my back. Curiosity takes control of my mind like a disease. Is he thinking of me or her?
My name is similar to a dog’s. Say it in public and ten heads will turn around. My name is nothing but a label. Once a dog dies it gets replaced, right? That’s how I feel, dead and replaced.
Desperate attempts to get a hold of him including late nights waiting up by my phone, listening to nothing but a dial tone. Not one reply. Not one call back. Endless thoughts of earlier mistakes toured my mind. Every ring shattered my heart a little more until there was nothing left to break. And hitting rock bottom was the event that empowered me to gain the strength and have the courage to respect myself for who I am.
It was time to think about my life. I am strong. I don’t need anyone else to define who I am. I am independent. I can stand my own ground. My looks and personality are unique. My name is Ashley. I am me.

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