Now and Forever Unconditional

December 14, 2011
By , Bristol, CT
Have you ever read a book where the girl leaves her family to live with her boyfriend, and she comes crawling back shamelessly to their doorstep and begs them to let her back in? And, sentimental and teary-eyed, they take her allow her to live with them, even though she put them in one of their worst nightmares? I've always thought these stories were cliché and stupid, because who would give up their entire family and relatives for one person who may not even love them forever? Well, reality is shattering, and on October 16, it left me lying in thousands of pieces.

Nadine (19) was taking out the garbage for what seemed like the first in ages, and Oliver and I knew why. She had gotten into a really nasty spat with my mom about her supposedly “gay” boyfriend, and was furious about how Nadine lied to her face. She threatened to leave, but after a hushed discussion, Nadine ended up with the decision that she’d stay.

“What’s she doing?” I asked Oliver (12), genuinely curious now that she started to bring bag after bag down the stairs. Nadine will take out the excess trash in her room to placate my mother after a fight, but never from the upstairs bathroom, or anywhere else for that matter. Oliver craned his neck from the computer chair to look out the window.
“Just taking out the rubbish, I think, except she just put all of her shoes into that bag……….”
“Oliver, I think she’s leaving.”
“Emma, seriously there’s no way.” Oliver shrugged and looked to his computer for tennis shoes once again. He seemed confident that she wasn’t going anywhere, but I knew better. I went and sat next to him to try to take my mind off the thought, when footsteps came behind us.

“I, uh, don’t know how to say this, but I’m leaving.” As the computer screen in front of me started to blur, I felt confused. Nadine and I always would compete with each other even though there’s a five-year difference between us, and I’ve always thought of her as my sworn enemy. Regardless I felt a sharp pain in my chest as she bent slightly to hug my brother and turned to me. Tears started to stream down my face silently as I clung to her green pea coat as if it would make her stay.

At the sound of a car pulling up to the front curb, she straightened herself and walked out the door. The driver’s door of the large black car opened, and although I’ve never met the man standing on the front lawn waiting for Nadine, I knew exactly who it was: Wesley Williams. He didn’t so much as look at her as he began to load bag after bag of her belongings into the trunk. Nadine was crying slightly, but he didn’t even bothered to ask her if she was okay. All of the oxygen seemed to escape from the living room as I gasped for air, and started shaking. I walked quickly upstairs to my room so my brother wouldn’t have to see me break down entirely.

Behind my bedroom door, I started sobbing. My lungs felt constricted and tight, while I silently prayed. “Please come home mom, please come home mom, please…………” But soon it became apparent that Alice, Coley and my mom wouldn’t be coming home in time from shopping.

“Emma,” Nadine called quietly up the stairs. I wiped the excess tears from my face and tried to walk bravely down the stairs. Nadine was standing about halfway up the stairs, and despite my efforts, tears started pouring. Nadine started to cry as she gave me a final hug good bye.

“I’ve never hated you, you know.” She said between shaky breaths. “It’s not your fault or Oliver’s. I love you both so much.” I nodded tearfully, and I couldn’t seem to speak. “I’ll send you a letter soon. And Emma, I’ll always be there for you.”
Time stood still for a moment, and I wished that it could just stop here, never reaching the final “good-bye”. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and she already walking away. I followed silently behind her, and looked out my living room window to see her straight black hair billowing in the wind as she approached the car. She disappeared into the large black car, and Wes sped away down the street.

As soon as they were out of sight, Oliver ran out of the house, and stood in the middle of the street, with a hand on his chin. He was staring at the black asphalt, confused, as if he couldn’t understand how this was happening to him. It was a beautiful fall day; the first in a week, and the sky was a brilliant blue. A slight breeze shook the tree leaves gently, and the sun shone brightly, even though one of the biggest disasters of my life was unfolding right before my eyes. A rectangle of canvas and wood was wedged between the two lawn chairs, and I went to take a closer look.

I picked on the abstract heart painting and started to cry softly. It was the first gift Nadine got from Wes, who painted it himself, and the first indication that she wasn’t telling the whole truth. I was torn between keeping it and tossing it in the road for a car to run it over. Nadine’s disappearance kept replaying in my head, and a torrent of thought rushed in my mind. How was I going to explain this to Alice, only ten, that Nadine is gone from our lives entirely? Or tell mum? Does Wes actually care enough for her that he’ll marry her? Or will he just send her packing if she ends up having a kid?

Last Sunday marked exactly eight weeks since she’s run away, and it still seems as if she left yesterday. Nadine’s sent along a few emails, as well as Wes. While her e-mails haven’t really given much insight on how she’s been, Wes’ were long messages never failed to make us cringe in disgust. My mum has been inspiring, and hasn’t dropped everything because Nadine disappeared. Despite this, life is still a little difficult. My mum’s been really worried though, and tends to get upset easier. Whenever someone mentions Nadine, it feels as if she’s dead, and the conversation ends abruptly.

I finally understand now why the parents of a runaway girl would let her in again, even if she ripped their hearts out: love. Nadine felt as if mum and dad hated her and constantly were criticizing her, but they were only looking out for her. Their love is the most official, pure and unconditional there is out there. To think a random guy who hasn’t known her for her whole life could match theirs is insane. Parents are the ones who will always be there for you, no matter what you’ve done, but close behind are their siblings. Hopefully Nadine will realize this and come back, if only to tell mum she’s all right, but unfortunately, nothing in life is guaranteed. So if you happen to come across this Nadine, please return. We’ll all be waiting, now and forever.

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Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Jan. 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm
I think this is good :)
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