Blindness. Confusion. Fear. Out of everything rushing through my terrified body, blindness was the most intense. Wait. Not blindness, but light, so much direct light that I felt blind. Slipping in and out of consciousness, I was having a hard time holding on to reality. Something rushed up and smacked me, my ragdoll body slipping under an inescapable pressure. I could feel myself, a mere thread, slowly snapping. My eyes flashed open. Ahead of me was a wall and immediately I had a sense of what needed to be done. I had to climb over that flowing, blue wall, but it wasn’t going to be an easy climb. I gathered whatever courage inside me that I could scoop out of the crevices and took a step forward. As I marched closer, the wall roared back at me. In awe, I stared at the wall. It reminded me of a lion: fierce, yet graceful and fluid. The strong, sapphire wall threatened to take me down, but I had some strength of my own. My hands grasped a small slab of wood, so little yet so powerful. My fingers tingled with the sense of empowerment. I charged towards the wall with a strong will and a small board, diving into the wall. Usually it would have quickly spit me out, but not this time. I broke through and rode my way to safety.
“Alena! Alena!” A man was in front of me smiling. He picked me up and swung me around. “You did it! I knew you could.”
Then it all shifted. The scene faded and my eyes slowly fluttered open. Startled, my eyes finally focused on a guy in front of me, the one screaming my name. At once it all came up. What felt like a gallon of salty ocean water, spewed out of my throat and onto the rough, sandy ground.
“Lainey! Are you alright?” he nearly shouted, obviously freaked out.
“What happened?” I moaned sluggishly, wincing as I turned my head to take in my surroundings.
I’m so sorry! This is all my fault.” He whispered as his faced crumpled with regret and fear.
“No, no, no. You couldn’t have done anything wrong.” I murmured, pushing through the foggy feeling and the roaring in my head.
“I never should have let you go out there! My instinct told me no, but you were just so excited! Your dad is going to kill me!”
“NO.” I shrieked, wincing as sat up furiously. “No one will know about this.” I whispered to him with deep concentration in my eyes
I said no, Coen.”
He leaned back, startled by my intensity and sternness. “Okay, okay” he surrendered, hands faced toward me as if to prove he means no harm.
I smiled at him and laid a cold hand on his bare chest. He shuddered at my touch and returned the smile with his goofy, crooked grin. “I’m okay.” I pronounce with a conviction that would make a murderer look innocent. “Now can you help me up?” I asked with teasing impatience.
He smiled and swooped me up like a husband would to carry his blushing bride through the threshold. I giggled and let him have his fun as he carried me up to the truck. I looked back and shuddered at the abyss that once threatened to take me under. Coen, mistaking my action, squeezed me tighter to keep warm. We got to his truck and I was shocked and relieved to see we were the only people there. Coen placed me in the passenger seat of his truck and before he could walk away I wrapped my legs around him. He grins, but I can tell he wasn’t in to it. Despite his reaction, I pulled him in and kissed him. He slowly kissed me back, but pulls away immediately after.
“I won’t be your distraction.” He states firmly
Dang it. Well I guess this is what I get for dating my best friend. “What are you talking about?” I ask innocently, trying to play it off.
“C’mon, Alena,” he said, smirking, “I know you well enough to be able to tell that you trembling wasn’t from the cold and you are kissing me because suddenly you’re in the mood after having a life threatening experience.” His tone was very patronizing which irritated me.
“Okay, okay, okay! You caught me.” I sighed, throwing my hands up in defeat. I looked down at my sandy feet to avoid his hurt look.
“Why though? Why not just tell me?” he asked, quietly.
I knew this could go two ways. I could either get defensive and push him away or I could tell him what was up and open up to him. Instinctively, I wanted to push him away because I push everyone away, but Coen was different. We had been friends our whole childhood before having a fallout then making up. While away from each other, we realized how strong our feelings really were for each other so we decided to go for it.
I ran away when I was fifteen and a half years old. My father died when I was five which triggered my mother’s alcohol addiction. My mother had passed out on the couch with a vodka bottle in her hand and the TV up loudly. This was my chance; I grabbed a duffel bag and packed my favorite clothes, a toothbrush, and my high-top converse as I was wearing slippers. Walking over to the dresser, I picked up the picture of me and my dad, smiled, and tucked it away in the bag. I slipped my bundle of belongings over my shoulder and hopped out my window. Our house has two stories and I was on the first floor while mother was on the second. Running as fast as I could, I headed to the park, a good mile from my home. It hit me like a brick wall. It’s winter! How I forgot, I am still not sure. It was the middle of December, snowing heavily at that time. I couldn’t go back now, it would be giving up and I was way too stubborn for that. I trudged through the thick abundance of white, shimmering snow; the moon my only companion. Half way to the park the wind started picking up, causing me to shiver profusely. My cheery, yellow slippers had transformed into a dreary grayish brown from the mushy snow. My perseverance came from the thought that if I just kept walking, I would be untraceable and no one would be able to find me. As I continued making my way to the park the temperature continued to drop sporadically. Almost biting my tongue off was the consequence of going out this late. My steps got slower and I felt lethargic. Next thing I knew I was in a man’s car….
Pain. Fear. Uncertainty. So many thoughts racing through my mind. Blood? Where did this come from? What happened? A searing pain flashes through my head. I touch the back of it and my hands are immersed in sticky warmth, u pull my hands back and they are covered in thick, red blood. Why am I covered in blood? Where am I? I look around for hints but all around me is forest. Looking straight up I notice its getting late. Panic seeps through my body, what if nobody finds me. Even worse, what will find me? I try to sit up to no avail. A large bloodstain is appearing on my white dress. My breathing is labored from shock and the sustained injuries. It scares me how I try to remember what happened and my mind goes blank. Who am I? A tear slides down my cheek as I attempt to think coherently. Realization strikes me that if I don’t get help I could die. I search the ground for a clue, anything to help me remember. My hand wraps around cold, hard metal. I face the object towards me and find myself looking down the barrel of a gun. I shriek and drop it on the pine covered floor. Is this mine? Confusion encases me as I question my identity once more. Lying on the ground, I suck in a gasp of air as I lean forward to grab the end of my dress. Whoever I am, I have impeccable taste! Very couture, high fashion outfit, topped off with stilettos that could kill someone with a kick to the gut (one, unfortunately, was a casualty to my mysterious accident). I rip the bottom of my dress of into long, thick strips of cloth. The strips are then wrapped around my ribs to slow the bleeding….
i stand there.. at the end of the pool. i know its my time. my two friends accompany on either side. one that has been there all along and another that i recently befriended. one grabs my arms and another grabs my legs and they swing me into the pool. by now all evil has been warded of to the brinks of the pool, unable to touch something so pure. there is a light descending from above, making the water steam and boil. i flip in the air and come face to face with the bright light, then the burning water. my body plunges to the depths, but by now im unrecognizable. where am i? all i can see is a faint figure in the distance. fear vanishes from my body, but pain, excruciating pain, replaces it. i squirm around like a worm in the hand of a human, slowly dying yet knowing its fate. this was different though. i knew something better than death was approaching me as i (whatever i was) made my way to the surface. the unrecognizable outline that accompanied me in the pool was above waiting for me. as my head broke through the line between water and air, i experienced something different. freedom? no this was better. realization? no i had that before… my head draws a blank as i try to attach this feeling with something i used to know. now in the shallow end, i stand in the pool with my mysterious guest while everyone else is crowded around the pool. they take notice of a sense of evil surrounding the edges where they were forced to, but they cant see them like i can. facing the person in the water, a puzzled look spreads across my face. i know him. i think i do. he smiles at me and says dont worry Natasha, everything will be fine. shock strikes me as i remember what happened! i traded my life for something different, something better. what is it? i cant recall any parts of my former life and im not sure who i am. i look up to the light and know everything will be alright. i look at the man. hes looks nineteen, a couple years older than me. he has straight, tangled black hair with bright blue gray eyes. his eyes smolder when he smiles, a brilliantly white smile. he laughed at my priceless facial expression and i smiled back at him. he grabs my hand and we walk up the steps of the pool.. my jeans and shirt transform into a beautiful white strapless dress. i look over to my man and hes dressed in a white tux.. are we getting married? im so lost.. he looks over and smiles at me. i cant help but smile back. “oh im adam” he murmurs. a light goes off in my head! i know this guy.. i was in love with him before he disappeared. i turn and hug him and he chuckles. wrapping his arms around me, he kisses the top of my head. i look up and smile at him and i tear runs down my cheek. “i found you” i announce….
he looks down, his eyes gleaming; making my heart tremble. a smile spreads across his flawless face. “im sorry, but it wont happen again” he assures me. “i trust you” i whisper, making the moment feel personal. he leans in slowly, guarded. in the back of mind i note a split second of pain flash through his eyes before my eyes shut and his lips were on mine. the kiss was hesitant, shy, sweet, and short lived. someone cleared their throat and my eyes fluttered open as i take a step back from adam. a little man, aged far beyond his size is impatiently staring up at us. slightly glaring, i feel to strongest urge to push him down and be alone with the one who steals my heart away whenever he pleases. my manners are quickly recovered and i grab adam’s hand, smiling at him. he didn’t see me at first for his head was tilted up to the skies and his mind was gone with the wind. water droplets fly off his beautiful black hair with the shake of his head. he looks down at me and smiles back, as if nothing happened. i cloud of confusion fills my head with doubt. i just kissed a guy that i feel like i have known all my life, but in reality i barely know him. i know we have a history, but what is it? and why was he holding back? a hold back any look other than joy so people dont worry. my attention focuses on the irritating man. “if you guys could follow me that would be great” he murmurs, obviously annoyed by our presence….
She sits on the cold, unwelcoming stone floor in the small bathroom, leaning against the tub. The shower is running, steaming up the room and fogging up the large mirror directly in front of her. That’s good, she doesn’t want to see what she’s about to do. Her delicate body of fifteen years old quivers as tears flow from her bright blue eyes. Perfect black hair spills over her bare shoulders as she leans over, looking at her body in disgust. There are bruises appearing on her neck and waist. Two large, circular bruises are covering her inner thighs. This unbearable ache rips through her chest as a new, unknown rejection sets in. She smiles cruelly as she knows what’s coming. Standing up, she walks with great difficulty over to the sink. A small puddle of blood is left behind, a sign of her uncomfortable pain. She opens up the medicine cabinet and reaches up to the top shelf. Blindly tapping around, her hands wrap around something cold and familiar. She grins, and limps awkwardly back to the floor. Opening up her hand, she reveals her own means of escape, a small blade. A hysterical giggle escapes through her trembling lips. Flipping her left arm over, she presses the sharp piece of metal onto her delicate skin and lets her emotions burst out of her body. A swell of relief fills her body as she repeats the harsh strokes against her smooth skin. She closes her eyes and lets the pain obscure greater problems that must be faced. This routine, a problem solver, comforts her every time. Scars are layered over more scars which are all under these new wounds that she just inflicted on herself. A sharp rap on the door shocks her into reality “LAINEY GET OUT OF THE SHOWER NOW!” her drunken mother shrieks. Lainey groans in frustration. “Yes, mother!” she says with a sugar coated voice. If there was one person she could manipulate, it would be her mom. She carries booze with her almost everywhere, making her incoherent most of the time, but she was the complete opposite when sober. Lainey is proud of her intelligent, insightful mother. Unfortunately, most men only see her drunken half naked state as she sells her body to the shadys (a term Lainey prefers to “customers”) for money. Scrambling to turn off the water and clean up the blood on the floor, Lainey experiences this well-known accomplishment of hiding her problems from her mom. Besides, she has plenty of issues and stress to handle and it would be unfair to pile on some more from her daughter. Lainey wraps the soft purple towel around her broken body and makes her way to her room. Fearing she won’t make it to her destination before being interrupted, she scrambles down the hall. She looks back and realizes her efforts were unnecessary because her mother had passed out on the living room couch, grasping a half empty bottle of vodka. Lainey sighs and opens the door to her personal sanctuary…
I slammed the door shut and made my way up to my room, my sanctuary. Unfortunately, it was up on the third floor. On any average day it would have been no problem, but just one look at me and someone would instinctually know that today was no ordinary day. The walk up was its own odyssey. With every step I took I broke down a little more inside. A simple task took such a drastic toll on me. The pain was excruciating and only seemed to grow stronger and stronger with each breath. By the time I reached my room, tears were flowing down my formerly dazzling face. I just wanted to crawl into my bed and block out everything, but some damage control was a serious priority at the time. I turned into my bathroom and quickly locked the door. Scrambling through my drawers, I searched for the “fix it” I needed. Relief rushed through me as I uncovered my makeup bag. I shifted through the contents of my shiny, black bag until I stumbled upon the best way to fix it all, my concealer. The bottle read, “Covers up all those unwanted blemishes and scars!” PERFECT, I thought. As I spent the next half hour slathering on the cover up to hide all my imperfections, my mind slipped to a place earlier today. It was dark and blurry. I struggled to grasp the memories from just a few hours ago, but they all slipped away into the deepest parts of my brain. Starting the masking of all my flaws, I was exhausted and after finishing, every part of my body was screaming with protest. I crawled into bed, wincing as I carefully wrapped myself up in my soft comforter. Comfort. That’s what I wanted, but no one was there. I let out a deep sigh of longing which painfully tingled my sides. Although there was a need to sort out the reason for all my pain, my brain almost wouldn’t allow any deep thinking. I felt scrambled so I let my body drift off into a simpler world.