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Because I Love You.
I slammed the door behind me and felt my back hit the door behind it. I stood there, gasping, for a couple seconds trying to calm the pounding in my head. Tears ran down my cheeks and I couldn’t control my breathing. How did this happen? How had my life turned from comfort and ease to hell and pain so easily?
I stripped my clothes in a flurry of anger and frustration, cranked the water in the shower to as hot as it would go and stepped under the douse of the shower. Boiling water poured down over me, searing my skin. I grabbed the brush, pour soap onto it, and scrubbed till my skin was raw, I rubbed at the skin of my arm and started to notice thin patched of blood. That gave me an idea. I reached for a razor and brought it to the red skin of my wrist, resting it there and debating. I hadn’t done this in a while. I inhaled carefully and pressed the blade down flat to my skin. I pulled it quickly and purposefully, lacking emotion. Somewhere in the background my mind registered a distant pain. I watched with fascination as blood began to appear. I did it twice more in clean, even spaced little cuts. The pain brought me back. I didn’t feel imaginary anymore. I felt real. I felt tear slide down my cheeks and then reality crashed down.
A ridiculous amount of blood began to spill down my arm, covering everything in a sticky viscous fluid. I panicked. I dressed hurriedly and tried to steady my breathing.
I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my arm. I wrenched the bathroom door open and entered my room, still slightly dizzy. My breathing was wild and my heartbeat was frantic. I leaned my back against a wall and felt my legs give, I slid down the wall.
The towel was soaked with blood and I didn’t feel too great. My brain was clouded and frantic and didn’t know what to do. My subconscious did. As if on its own accord, my body began to crawl toward my cell phone. I felt my trembling fingers grip it. Hitting speed dial one without hesitation, My hand pulled the phone to my ear and I listened to my own whimpers echo over the phone threading through two rings before a familiar voice answered, sleepily. “Grey? What’s wrong? Do you know how late it is?” whispered a voice, groggily.
I glanced over my shoulder at my clock. 3:52 am. “Yes. I know. But…” my voice cracked and was barely a whimper.
“Grey? What’s wrong? What’s going on?” his voice held panic; he had heard the fear and desperation in my voice.
“I’m in trouble. I need you.” My voice was barely a whisper.
“I- I’ll be right there, Grey. Don’t do anything stupid!” I hear the thrashing and sounds of him panicked and hurriedly getting dressed.
“You got to promise you won’t tell.” I told him, desperately.
“You have to or I won’t let you help.” Blood was seeping through my shirt and I felt dizzy.
“I promise. I promise. Just let me help.” Now were the sounds of him gasping and running. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Keep talking, Grey.” He told me, softly. “Let me know your still…” he trailed off. Alive, I finished for him in my mind. In the distance I hear a key in the lock. It was soft, barely audible. He lived next door. He had a key. A key I had given him.
I heard soft footsteps down the hall and kept my gaze concentrated on the doorway of my room.
I clicked the cell off in my hand, and he was so close I heard his breath catch and hear him quietly sprint the last few step to my room. My door silently flew open and in its doorway stood my savior.
Tristan stood about six foot three and was gaunt in an intimidating sort of way. His shoulders we broad and body was muscular, hic bones were angular and thin and skin looked almost translucent in full light, never mind the dim lighting of my room. His jaw was set, steeled for the worst. His features sharp and angular; A thin nose upturned slightly, thin dusty rose colored lips, snow white skin pulled tight over high cheekbones, his eyes soft and green in color, hair the lightest of browns. We locked eyes and as soon as he saw me, I saw the panic escalate in his eyes. He saw blood. There was lots of blood.
He pushed the door shut behind me in seconds and was kneeling before me. He took my blood soaked are and tuned it, gently. There was too much blood, he couldn’t see the cuts, but he knew what I had done nonetheless. He didn’t say anything. He picked me up, held me close and held me close to him. I rested my head against the chest of my best and only friend. He sat me down on the counter. He pulled me over and turned the sink on, running warm, soothing liquid over the shallow cuts. He let my arm rest there while he ran and got a couple of towels and two of my pill bottle. He opened both of them, spilled two pills from each in his palm. He brought them to my lips and I dry swallowed them easily. He opened a draw. Filled a shot with my medicine and rolled up my bloodied sleeve.
He injected into the fatty part of my upper arm and quickly began to work: Turning the water off, Wrapping and drying my arm, applying a copious amount of pressure, and then removing the towel to reveal that my arm was still bleeding ridiculously.
“This is why Hemophiliacs don’t make good cutters; they can’t really keep it secret.” He muttered as he poured peroxide over my cuts. I hissed. He took my hand and I squeezed tightly. I’m a Hemophiliac, as Tristan said. My blood lacks the ability to clot, at all, so any bodily injury can be fatal. I can bleed out. I don’t stop bleeding. This is why it was so incredibly stupid to cut myself.
He cleaned out my cuts. He grabbed a new towel and put all his weight onto that towel over my cuts, applying as much pressure as possible. While this was the first time I had cut myself, it was not the first time I had been injured. Tristan knew the drill. He was one of the only ones who did.
He hopped up on the counter with me and sat next to me. We sat there, his hands gripping my wrist in a vice like grip, for what felt like forever. I rested my head on his shoulder, my tears soaking through his shirt. Finally, he let up gently. Pins and needles filled my arm. He lifted the towel and revealed three razor cuts. I heard him sigh as he found a little thin tube of antibiotic cream and applied it gently. He dressed my wound and wrapped it tightly in an ace bandage. He tenderly lifted my shirt up over my head and disappeared into my bedroom, returning with a new one. He slipped it over my head. It was long sleeved.
I stared at myself in the full length mirror, glad that it was December; otherwise the cuts would have been impossible to hide. My curly jaw length auburn brown hair framed my heart-shaped face. Freckled sprinkled my cheeks and over my upturned nose. My pouty, pale lips set in a straight line. I was as pale as Tristan if not more and my skin almost as translucent. My eyes were a purple amethyst, a unique trait by itself, and had long eyelashes. I stood in a purple sweater and a black mini-skirt; black leggings clung to my legs with black ballet flats. I wore black eyeliner and purple eye shadow. My cheeks adorned with a duskier blush. I looked slightly Goth, but my light colored haired wouldn’t allow it.
I sighed, figuring it would do, grabbed my white shoulder purse and was just applying my brown sugar cinnamon perfume when a car honked. I hurried out the door, yelling a goodbye to my parents. Tristan waited expectantly in my driveway in his blue Camaro. I opened the passenger door and slid inside. He pulled out and everything felt normal. We talked like normal, we laughed like normal, and we were best friends like normal.
We got to the high school and as he parked I first noticed it. The difference in the way he laughed, the way he smiled, the nervous tension that seemed to surround him. Something was on his mind. It was something important.
“Alright, what’s up, Tristan?” I asked as he shut the car off and opened his door.
“What do you mean?” He asked as I opened mine and stepped out, meeting his eyes from above the car.
“You know what. Something’s up.” I said.
“Nothing’s wrong, Grey. I’m fine.” He reassured me as he started in the direction of the High School.
“I never said you weren’t.” I murmured, now more than worried.
“Ms. Bakersfield, can you send Grey Destine to the counselor’s office?” asked the women over the loud speaker in my fourth hour class.
Ms. Baker said she would and sent me; I walked idly down the hall, enjoying my time out of the classroom and then stopped dead in my tracks at what I saw. Tristan, My Tristan, Tristan Detrien was coming out of the counselor’s office and all at once everything clicked. Tristan had broken his promise. Tristan had told. We locked eyes. He must have seen the betrayal in my eyes because he looked away, guilt ridden.
Reluctantly, I entered the counselor’s office. My parents were in with her.
I avoided Tristan all day. I was more than p***ed off. And naturally, since I wanted to avoid him he wanted to reason with me, for me to forgive him. I couldn’t. I walked away from him all day, pretended he didn’t exist. But after the last bell, just as I was walking out of the building, it hit me. He had driven me to school. I had no way home. I didn’t have much time to think about my options because before I was five feet in the direction of the parking lot, I was grabbed by the arm and dragged in the opposite direction. I fought him the whole way but he just told me to shut up and follow. He pulled me behind the school in the little alcove that was just ours, and then he planted me in front of him.
“I can’t take this anymore. You want to yell? Fine. Hit me? Go ahead. Scream at me? Sure. Avoid me? No. I can’t take that anymore.” He told me, desperately.
“I trusted you! You promised! You promised you wouldn’t tell and you ratted me out! How could you, you jerk! You pro-“ I started to yell, but he cut me off.
“I said you could yell at me but I didn’t say I would just take it. I was not just going to stand by and watch you kill yourself. There is no way in hell you could have expected that from me and you know that wasn’t fair. I can’t stand for you to be hurt! I can’t stand the thought of losing you! Forever! Gone for good! So you can’t expect me to-“ he yelled back and I cut him off.
“Why should you? Why are you even my friend? Why do you care? You don’t have to. It doesn’t make any sense! Why should you-“
Before I knew what was happening his lips were against mine and I gasped. E took advantage of my open mouth and slipped his tongue inside running it over every crevasse, as if trying to memorize every little detail. My legs went like rubber beneath me. His arms went around my waist, pulling me against him and holding me up. We broke both of us gasping and he leaned his forehead against mine, his arms still wrapped around my waist.
“Why do I care, because I love you more than anything in this world? I love you because you are the sweetest, smartest, kindest, compassionate, most beautiful girl I have ever met. And I’m in love with you, I’m sorry, I can’t help it, but I am. And I’m not going to stand by and watch you kill-“ this time I crushed my lips to his and kissed his with everything I had in me. Kissed him with a loved and a passion I didn’t know I had in me. When we broke I pressed my forehead against his forehead, “You won’t have to. “ I whispered with a smile, “I love you too. I always have.”
He grinned and swept me up off my feet, bridal style, and held me that way close to his chest, “You still p***ed off at me?” he asked softly in my ear.
“You love me?”
“Then no, I’m not mad at you.”
“Good, so if you’re not mad at me, can I ask you something?” He asked as he started back toward his car.
“You can ask me anything.”
“Want to be my girlfriend?” he jested with a smirk.
I giggled and pressed my forehead to his neck. “Love, I thought you’d never ask.”
He pressed me tighter against him and when I looked up he pressed his lips against mine and I felt dizzy and couldn’t breathe and a million thoughts dissipated and a million feelings replaced them. I let my body melt against his and for the first time in my life felt like I had control of my life. I tightened my grip around his neck and lost myself in that kiss, in my best friend, in the love of my life, in Tristan…
Palm Desert, California
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There is nothing better for the inside of a person than the outside of a horse.