Ophelia's Heart | Teen Ink

Ophelia's Heart

March 9, 2011
By Kaitlynnk BRONZE, Randolph, New Jersey
Kaitlynnk BRONZE, Randolph, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

An Entry from the journal of Ophelia:

My name is Ophelia and I am nothing but a pawn. A piece played in the games of those around me.

Day after day I don my dress and I screw on my smile. I fill myself up only to be drained like a glass of fine wine, used for the benefit of others in their quest for domination, for information, for revenge. None of it is for my gain, never for my gain. I am a puppet, the strings pulled by the hands of my father, and the hands of my king, and the hands of my beloved. No. To Hamlet I am something lower. A dishtowel to be used, putty to be molded, a glass of water to be sipped once and then disposed of. I am a fluttering bird, trapped in the confines of his heart, and he will do anything to get me out. Anything to kill me.

And yet, I live. Like a virus he has invaded my mind, my body, my soul, and with every spiteful word I feel myself weaken, as though being eaten away from the inside out. My heart has been manipulated and mutilated. I am sure it still beats, still pumps blood through my living, breathing body, but I cannot feel it. I feel only despair, as though a hole has been deeply and violently carved through my chest by his refusal, by his denial, by his rejection.

He says he does not love me. He says he does not want me. But he did once—I know he did—with a love like the sun, burning so hot and so vibrant that I can still feel the lasting effect of it’s rays against my skin. I did not imagine that. I did not imagine that. How could I have imagined the touch, the caress, of his hand against my cheek? How could I have imagined the joy in my heart, the laughter in my eyes, the smile on my lips when he looked at me? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t—

At times I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. I study it, my eyes, my nose, my lips. I study it and I see the lines and creases that weren’t there before, the shadows, like purple bruises, pressed beneath my sunken eyes. The color in my cheeks has faded, and my lips, so long untouched, are icy cold. This is not me. I am not this girl whose reflection I study, because she looks as though her love has been stolen, as though her love has been taken and crushed beneath hard-soled shoes, changed into something wretched—something ugly. She looks as though her will has been beaten, has been burned and bruised and slaughtered until it has no more fight and no more power. A will that has lost its will.

I look into the mirror and I do not see a girl that was born full of life and love and laughter. I see a creature that is as worn as shoe leather. I see something damaged and vulnerable. Something used.

Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night to find myself standing at the edge of the stream, staring blankly at the shimmering reflection of the moon on the water’s surface. I kneel down, the hard ground cutting into my knees, and reach out to touch it because it is so beautiful and so perfect and so bright. Magnificent. I reach out, but as soon as my fingertips touch the water the reflection shudders, warping into something that I do not recognize, and I remember once again that it is merely an imitation. That it is faded. That it is fake. That it is nothing but a shadow.

I feel like a shadow.

My name is Ophelia and I am nothing but a pawn. A piece played in the games of those around me. I am a puppet whose strings have been pulled and a glass that’s contents have been drained. I am a dishtowel, I am shoe leather, I am a bird. I haven given my heart and had it maimed by human hands. I have been used and disposed of and underappreciated. I have been shoved into a chasm of despair.

By day I watch in the mirror as my reflection deteriorates and by night I stand at the edge of the river and wonder what it would to disappear beneath its shimmering surface. To stay there…

My name is Ophelia and I feel myself slipping. Slipping away…


The author's comments:
This was an assignment for my english class. I had to write a journal entry for one of the characters from Hamlet and I chose Ophelia because I think her character is so dynamic.

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