Author's note: This is the most honest thing I have ever written. The metaphors, imagery, personification,... Show full author's note »
William and ClaraTittle goes here
“Do you love me?” I ask, as I pulled her up on lap. She nods in response. “Tell me so,” it was more of a question than anything. There’s no answer, instead she just looks at me with those big eyes, filled with pain and emotion. I urge her to talk when she looks away by placing my hand on her chin and gently bringing it close to mine, then I wrap my arms around her tight. All I can see is this indescribable pain in her eyes. Her long brown hair falls in front of her face. Oh, how I wish I could do anything, anything, to just take that pain away. All I can do right now is place her on the bed, which is what I do. Then I turn around, heading for the door to let her get some rest, but when I take another look, she’s gone.
It’s only been a year, but I still remember her clearly. Her soft, long, brown hair- her distinctive freckles just around her little nose and her rosy cheeks. Her tiny frame covering her big heart needs me to be there with her. I need to protect her.
It doesn’t matter I haven’t slept all night. It doesn’t matter I haven’t eaten all day. Two days, it has been two whole days since I have last heard her voice and six months since I have actually seen her, the real her, Clara. No matter what, I just need to know she is okay. She just needs to be okay.
The walls are closing in on me now. My desk is shaking, rattling, getting closer. My heart is beating faster, faster, faster as my snake cage is getting closer, closer, closer, Gilbert wouldn’t eat me, no. It’s all a figure of my imagination. I am calm. Oh, Clara, where are you now? I need you, need you to need me. Suddenly the phone rings and everything shifts back into place and my heart stops. Who could that be? I can hear Mom answering, it’s not for her, I hope it’s for me. It is, she gives me the phone. A soft, little voice says “Hi.” It’s her. We used to talk every day. Then it slipped into every other day and now it’s every two days. She’s slipping. “Hello,” this time she emphasizes the “o” sound more, and sounds a little impatient and more aggressive. If she was okay, it would all be okay, but she’s not even happy. I can hear it in her voice-even when she tries to front. “I love you so,” I tell her. It’s the truth, the only purest truth that’s inside of me that I let out. I love her down to the core. Silence, tears are pouring down her face, I know it, I can feel it. Better tears than blood. Then again, she’s picked up sharp objects again. Nothing I can do now, she can’t see me torn up about it, even if I tell her, it’s not the same. It doesn’t have that heart wrenching affect she gets when she sees. She doesn’t have to tell me this either, it’s like her crying on the other end. I just know, I know her so well. We feed each other sadness, desperation, depression, but without each other it is worse. I don’t know who I am without her. Finally, she tells me she loves me, then hangs up.
I know I should call her back, but really, what’s the point? She won’t answer, she never does. Tears are probably pouring down her face over there, half way across the world, in Paris. And I’m stuck here in the middle of nowhere on the east coast of good old USA. I can’t dry her tears this far away, nor can I hold her, nor can I see her. Nothing. I can’t do anything. Get over her, they tell me. She’ll be back soon, they tell me. Occupy yourself, they tell me. I’ve worked my biceps, my triceps, even got my twelve pack back again. Defeated every video game I own-twice! Tried to like other girls. Now, all I can do is play, sit here and play guitar and loaf around the house. I love her more than anything, even myself.
It’s time for bed, I guess. Even though I won’t sleep, perhaps I could lucid dream. Hours pass by and no such luck. I walk to my bathroom to take a piss but get caught up in the mirror. I look at myself, really look at myself. My left eye is brown with a sea of green twirled inside, but my right eye is green with a twirl of brown inside. I am William, and I am unique. As a kid, I used to think I was defected, but then I hit puberty. God blessed me with a big ego below the belt, and gave me a full, thick mustache early on, and I work hard for my body. After looking over my scruffy face I take my piss and finally collapse on my bed.
She’s back in her short baby blue dress, this time with her hair tied back. All I can do is look at her, take it all in, every line, every feature. She reaches up and touches my scruffle. Her soft fingers linger there a moment before her lips take their place. I close my eyes despite every instinct inside of me yelling at me not to. Automatically I am lost in her, and my pants get tight around the waste. Harder, she’s kissing me harder as her hands outline my intricate muscles and trace along the waste of my pants. We’re moving faster and faster, developing a rocking rhythm and she pushes me down against the bed before crawling on top of me. I can feel the heat of her skin, and I attempt to pull her shirt off, only when I pull it over her head-she’s gone.
Now, it’s my turn to fight the tears, and I don’t let one escape. It’s three am, witching hour, they call it. The chanced of actually falling asleep now are slim to none. No school for me again tomorrow anyway. Not like anybody expects me to be there, or do work, or even be okay. I get up and get a drink of water, then bring it into my room. I set it on the floor beside my bed while I go get some pills. Thankfully, the pills ease me into a nice sleep.
It’s six thirty a.m., normally I would be getting up and getting ready for school, but I’m not going. No, I’m going to Paris to work things out or… No, I won’t think about it. As I go to get up I fall on the floor, hard. Everything is spinning a lot faster than what I am used to. Actually, I don’t think I can pull myself up this time. “Help! Help!” I scream. All that does it make my ears ring louder, make my head pound, and make my blood rush. “Help!” I scream one last time before the blackness takes over my sight.
I awake in a big bed in a strange room. Clara, Clara is the first thought as usual. But where am i? This isn’t my room, or anybody else’s that I know. “Clara, is that you, Clara? You came back from me didn’t you? I didn’t have to go get you, you came for me.” I can see a dark figure turned away from me, it’s a girl with long brown hair. “Clara, I love you, please talk to me,” I’m practically begging her now. I try to concentrate on my surroundings, but everything is blurred all around her. Beyond these walls, there’s water rolling down something, rushing, pounding against these four walls. It wants in; it wants to drown Clara and I. Our love is too much for this world, it’s jealous. “Clara! Help me!” I whimper again and again until my eyes blur completely and everything goes black once more.
This time I wake up back in my own bedroom. My hands are all cut up along with the my side, there are shards of glass everywhere. My foot is also tangled up in my guitar string which I had at the end of my bed and are now spotted in blood. It looks like I fell on the glass of water which is why I’m so cut up. I don’t feel any pain, I’m too messed up emotionally for something as small as this to really hurt. Slowly I untangle my foot from the string and pick out the glass from my skin.
Finally, I pull out the last pieces of glass and limp to the kitchen for some food. Cereal and fruit is my only option and I gobble it all up fast with a tall glass of orange juice. Carefully I make my way to the bathroom for a shower, I can clean up my trail of blood across the house later.
Hot is the only way to take a shower. The water is almost scolding my skin, it feels like little massaging pin pricks pounding at my skin. Clara, I think, oh Clara. This time it’s good memories, not desperate ones. Memories of us; sneaking off in the middle of the night with a blanket and into the field. Memories of our first kiss, first touch, first everything. She gave me everything she had, as I did for her. We were always safe about it. Sometimes we would go at it five, six times a day; in her bed, in her sisters bed, in the showers, on the stairs, on the wash machine during spin cycle, on her trampoline outside, anywhere we could think of. These are the memories I reminisce about as my right hand relieves stress from my pal, peter.
After I finish another time and the water has turned luke warm, I go get something more to eat. This time it’s a much less healthier choice; cheetos, doughnuts, pringles, chips, everything there is to eat. This is how I plan to spend my day; eating junk food and watching Ridiculousness on TV, while waiting for the time I can call Clara and tell her I am on my way.
I should have known just watching TV all day is impossible. So I pop the last of my mother’s pills and let them ease my body, and I fall asleep.
When I wake, I glance at the clock, seeing I can now call her. No more leaving it up to, no more letting her reach out to me and giving her space. No, this time I am reaching out on a lim, it’s either going to be hit or a miss. Just thinking about calling her makes me break out in a sweat. I choke as I feel my throat swell and my stomach churns like it was churning butter, but instead it’s churning my nerves. As I pick up the phone it begins to ring and make me jump out of my skin. “Yea,” I answer, it’s an old friend, Liza. “Hey, William, I know you haven’t been in school in a while and I was just wondering if you’re okay...” Liza is gorgeous with curves in all the right places, yet she has an athletic build. Her perfect skin with deep green eyes is what attracted me to her a few months ago. Oh, and her perfectly rounded boobs might have playes a part, or the way her hips stir when she walks in a hurry. “Hello! You there?” she sounds confident, but unsure about something small. “Hmmmph,” I give her some noise. “Well, I was just wondering if you wanted to go out for some ice cream.” I accept, and as always she takes charge by telling me to come around after dinner.
Liza was my main attempt to try and get over Clara. Obviously it didn’t work out, by my Peter seemed to like her very much so. What do I do now? Should I still call Clara? It’s not like I have to tell her, or that we’re even still together technically. Yet somehow we are. Instead I go against it, giving myself the excuse that she will know something is up and I don’t have the heart to tell her. So, instead I start on banging out fifty push-ups and finishing off with two hundred sit-ups.
Dinner is over and I’m on my way over to see Liza. Just ice cream. It’s just ice cream, I keep telling myself. Damn, now that I really think about it, it’s been over three months since I’ve last had sex. As a matter of fact it was with Liza too, the only other girl besides Clara I’ve ever had sex with. Sure, I’ve hooked up with other girls, just not had sex with them. Before I reach the door I have to calm myself down from thinking about Liza and our last encounter. She doesn’t even give me a chance to knock because before I am even on her porch, she pops out the door in short, flowing, purple dress with her tied up in a messy knot.
We walk in silence until she feels the need to break it. She tells me all about her depression and how her eight year old brother tried killing himself and that it runs in the family. The only reason she’s telling me this is because she’s scared for my life. So am I. If Clara and I don’t work things out, I don’t know what I am going to do. I try my hardest to not think about it, but it slips into my thoughts every now and again, then when I look at Liza though-it just goes away and I don’t know what I feel. When we reach Joe’s Ice Cream Store we both order milkshakes; chocolate for her and vanilla and for me. Like old times, she asks me for a taste of mine. Everything about the way she pulls my cup towards her and wraps her lips around the straw while making direct contact just screams sex appeal to me.
We finish up and she takes my hand, leading the way home. This time she talks about how well she’s doing in school and the latest drama. Somehow she fits the last two and half months I’ve been out all in the short walk back to her house. Even as we reach her door she doesn’t let go of my hand, and I continue to follow her with ease into her house. “Come inside for a visit. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you and it’s still early,” Liza requests and I can’t deny her anything tonight it seems. By the quiet greetings of her house I can tell nobody else is home, but I still push for an exact answer, “Where is everybody?”
“Gone. They’ve been gone all week. I’ve been bored out of my mind, people are just getting so boring, and I’m sick of them. I needed a new face, but I need some company now too. I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore. That’s why I called you. I figured we could be alone together,” she explains all this with such ease and confidence in her voice. She’s definitely a natural born speaker. It’s not that I’m expecting anything from here, but yet my body is. I’m hoping for something more, something to get my mind off things, something to let me disappear.
Liza doesn’t fail me. She must be as lonely as I am. It doesn’t take long for her to lead me into her room. I thought we would have at least finished the movie. It’s displaced feelings, for both of us. Neither of us really want this, we just don’t want to feel what we are feeling right now. Our hormones are too strong, they’re nagging at us to continue. Her lips taste sweet; I’m such a sucker for strawberry lemonade lip gloss. We make it to her bed, and she’s stripping herself so I follow suit. It’s not long before we’re both naked and ready. This is where I lose myself, where I am lost, where I can forget everything but the movement of our bodies and sound of our breath. Nothing else exists but the moan from Liza, it reminds me I am capable of happiness, of a normal life, of being good enough for somebody. Finally I close my eyes and let myself drift away as she works me. I’m almost there, she’s almost there, I open my eyes to make contact for the moment our bodies connect and simultaneously come. Only instead of seeing Liza when I open my eyes, Clara catches me off guard, in my peripheral vision I can see her standing beside the bed. She’s standing there, watching, with tears cascading down her face and blood dripping down her arms. Over anything she looks mad. Automatically I jump and twitch, forgetting Liza is even touching me, forgetting she’s even making any noise. Now she’s crying blood and I remember Liza, I look up and see her face, she looks frightened. My whole body suddenly starts to compulse after twitching for so long. Liza gets off and asks frantically “Should I call the cops? William? William?! Talk to me!” I can’t say anything, I’m losing consciousness and slip back into the blackness once more.
This time I awake in my own bed. I glance around me to find all my blood and the shattered glass has been cleaned up. Somebody has fed Gilbert; I can see him consuming a small mouse. Right now, I wish I were that mouse, being consumed but so poisoned I barely feel anything. Still, nobody’s here to great me awakening. Not even Clara. Wait, Clara, I never called her nor did I order those tickets. I have to call her, visit her, go to Paris. But wait, she’s here, only she’s different, it’s different, less whole; more transparent and eerie. “Clara, is that you? Oh Clara, I’ve missed you so much, I’m so glad you’re here with me for real this time,” I clamber, “I’ve been meaning to go to Paris. I was going to fix things, we ARE going to be together. I love you, Clara.” I don’t expect a response, but like I said, something is different. She looks… peaceful, at rest even, at ease. “I love you too. And I’m sorry. I really am, but you’re right we will be together. Just not now. I love you, take care of yourself,” she whispers ever so softly. I am completely shocked, but before I can say anything else she’s gone.
This brightens my spirits and I call out “Mom! Moooom! Mommy!” It takes her a while to come and when she does I ask her to retrieve the phone and she complies. When she returns she asks who I am going to call and I tell her Clara and her face becomes sullen. Her mouth drops open and her eyes get all glossy. Breifly she composes herself before telling me the news, “Honey, you’ve been sleeping for a week and a half. Liza called me and I took you to the hospital. By the way I must add that I hope you were being safe since I am assuming you were doing more than getting ice cream on account your were naked and passed out when I arrived. Anyway I ran you immediately to the hospital, where I was told you had a heart attack and you may have some other issues. Based on your skipped sessions with the psychologist and poor health, your doctors think you may have depression and I agree. There’s a lot going on right now and I don’t think you need to talk to Clara now.”
What does she know? I try to hide my anger while asking “Well, did she call while I was out at all? If so, what did you say?”
“Yes and I told her everything. I though it unfair to the both of you not to. Even the part about you being with Liza. Listen, I think Liza is good for you, she’s here and she’s smart. Clara is too far away and she just seems to make you upset more than anything. I thought you had moved on honestly, and holding Clara back wouldn’t have been right. You’re better off without her, she’s gone and even if she comes back who knows.”
Frustration and anger boil inside of me. They tear at my skin and scratch at my lungs. “Go,” I tell my mother sternly but yet remaining calm. “Go. You had no right meddling in my life. You don’t even know me. Just. Go.” I hope she obeys, but she doesn’t.
“I only want what’s best for you. I love you son, and I’m just trying to protect you,” she replies before finally leaving. I begin to shake and tremble, my forehead breaks out in s sweat. I am almost in tears, but I keep myself collected. Luckily for me, she at least brought me in the phone. Anxiously It only rings a few times before a strange guy answers the phone.
“May I please speak to Clara?” I ask as kindly and politely as I can.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t. May I ask who this is?” the strange voice replies.
“This is William, her boyfriend from back home. Who the heck are you pal? If Clara doesn’t want to talk to me, why don’t you let her tell me that herself?!” I let my temper get the best of me, but this guy doesn’t. He remains calms.
“I’m her friend she had over here. I’ve been with her everyday for the last couple of months. Even the day she called and talked to your mom, William. Because of that day, you can’t talk to her.”
“What do you mean I can’t talk to her because of that day? What’s going on?” I protest.
“Clara’s dead. She left you a letter, I sent it out yesterday.” Click.
I waited and waited the next few days, isolating myself. Get up, s***, shower, shave, take a few pills and sleep off the day. No more Clara, no visions, no ghost, no hallucinations, just a blank slate. I’m sitting on the couch, watching Ridiculousness, fading in and out when I hear the mail pop through the door. As usual I rush to the door and flip through the mail; bills, bills, more bills, college notes… oh, and a letter… from Clara? It has no return address, it just says love, and of course it’s addressed to me.
Part of me is enraged and wants to rip it up. The other part of me can’t open it soon enough. Neither do I follow, instead I lay it on my bed and go take a shower. It’s my second shower, but this one is hotter, almost scolding my skin. This one washes away all the emotions left inside of me, it even washes away the blackness, leaving me an open canvas. Eventually the water runs cold and I drink from it until my stomach is full and gurgles, then I spout out the water I can no longer contain. Slowly I ease of the shower as if I am walking to my own grave. Now, I am going to open her letter.
My Dearest William,
Remember the night we met? I do. You were such a dork, yet such a bad ass- it was confusing yet the funniest moment of my life. You were peeing off the rooftops as I was walking by. Undoubtedly I screamed up at your crew on top of the building, calling you guys out. Instead of fighting back, I was invited up and even talked into trying to pee on the street as well. Turned out it was harder than it looked. What a sight?! From that day on I merged into your crew, I fit almost perfectly and it wasn’t long before I noticed you were the odd man out. Do you remember our first date? I do. You took me to prom because the rest of the crew had dates, minus me, even you had a date. Seeing as how I wanted to go, you cancelled your date and took me instead. Not too long after that I was hooked on you and I think it’s safe to say you were hooked too. Things were great, until before I left. I started slipping, daydreaming, feeling as if reality were just a dream. Then suddenly I moved and things got worse. We started to slip and little did you know you were my rock, my foundation, but it never should have been that way. I wasn’t your job to make me happy, to keep myself from cutting with the threat of cutting yourself. So I started seeing somebody and immediately they diagnosed me with depression. It was that obvious and it was getting worse quickly. Without you I fell back into old habbits of cutting, tearing my arms apart. Twice I was hospitalized and I knew you knew I was doing it again and I couldn’t handle the disappointment and sadness in your voice. So I stopped calling as often. I just fed you sadness and greif. My depression got so bad life wasn’t worth it. Then when I called and talked to your Mom, I realized you were the only thing holding me up, but I was sinking you. I can’t sink you anymore. Before I finish this other half of pills( I took the first half before writing this letter), I feel I need to tell you I love you. You’re capable of so much more than you think you are and now you’re free. GO! Live your life, stop moping around and live. I love you very much, more so than this life of mine. Farewell and so not blame yourself, for it is my choice alone.
Forever, xoxo Clara
Shocked and numb, I decided to flush the last pills out from my system. I started by drinking an all cranberry juice diet and it didn’t take long before I was blowing up the toilet and had nothing left inside me. It’s only been a few days since I started my only fluids diet and I am feeling the repercussions. Today is the day, I think as I look at myself in the mirror. I reach for the switchblade and carve CLARA, deeply into my left arm. Blood surfaces and begins to build before escaping down my arm. I know nobody is home, of course not, they never are. Clara, I’m coming baby, Clara, my sweet, sweet love. Clara, the only one who ever loved me, who could love me so passionately, whoever would love me as damaged as I am. Clara, I see her as I fall to the floor. Darkness swells over my eyes, what I can see is blurred. Permanent darkness, but there’s light somewhere, there has to be light. Clara, I see her as the everlasting darkness fills what is left of me and my body is drained of all my sin.