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You Sat and Thought
You sat and thought. Everyday she wondered, what had gone wrong? She was a high-schooler who was very serious about her work. She was going to be the star of the spring ballet, for she was fond of dance, ever since the age of 5, she had done ballet almost everyday. And during the summer, she took time to go to the best ballet schools in Paris. And she was the best they would say, she would dance for the greatest. Was this not enough?
Long, dark brown hair, with subtle jets of gold. Her eyes reminded me of the Blue Morpho butterflies that hung around in my backyard during so many summers.
She had made a lovely collage on African Children. And her article about child abuse, and how we could help by donating money to special causes, was a great success.
Her best class must have been English, she had won an essay contest were she had told a story about a young girl who had run away. If not a ballet dancer, then a writer. But she was always so alone, she didn't try to make friends with anyone, she let people come to her. She was shy, but when she would dance, her heart was devoted, she was a completely different person, not afraid, feeling the air batter against her sticky skin. She was like a lizard, once she was dancing, she let go of the rest of her life she didn't need, and what she didn't care about.
Chris joined the school 2 months after the school year had started. They would talk and sit next to each other, trying to disregard the boys jeering or the giggles of the girls. Some were jealous and so they started to talk to him, and gradually, they were chatting so much, she was kept from him.
And she didn't now, how could she have known how she had felt about him. It had crushed her heart when she saw him walking with them, laughing like she used to with him. He was her only help, her only guidance, but now the light had turned off, and her confidence had left she. Were you meant to be alone after all?
After some time, he tried to make contact again, but he knew what they had was gone. He tried to find her, but those girls followed him everywhere, keeping him away from her. They reminded him of the mall, a constant chatter of to many conversations in to many languages.
Nicole wept in her bedroom, night and day knowing he was gone for good. And those girls, they would haunt her, their relentless hate, all in her dreams. And she felt more alone than she ever had before, she felt like Pluto, so far away from the light.
And if only Chris had felt it too, if only he had listened to the beating his own heart would make when he would see her, if only he had heeded to this need to be besides her, but instead he left her for them, just because they were popular. Maybe he would finally be accepted in this school. But what Chris didn't know was that they didn't like him. They just wanted him, they were like paparazzi, all they want was juicy info, they published a magazine about it, and then they forget about you. Everyday, it hurt her so bad until the day she had enough. She decided that it must have been her fault and wished the make herself bleed...internally.
To make it go faster she decided to stop eating. This decision was the only good thing she could do for him, right? Her parents were always working, and she was now of age to stay home by herself. And this disease made her feel better, like she could breath again, and she didn't have to worry about Chris anymore. she was free of her own thoughts again, depending on no one to find safety.
And then 3 months had passed since she had spoken to Chris and she had a smile on again and she was friends with people. Of course, not best friends, just friends. Everyone thought she was so nice and happy. She had a chance of being one of them now. They shared their secrets with her and told her their inside jokes. They made space at their tables for her.
But Nicole wouldn't. She had made a pact with herself. She had decided that everyday, she would hit herself in the stomach with a bat, and when she ever dared to eat, she would hurt herself even more. No one could see it, but her baggy clothes were getting to big and her pants needed belts. Her chest had sucked in to your ribs and the purple bruise running across her abdomen had grown to become a dark maroon color that etched it's way farther across her body. And her stomach was starting to swell.
Then the school pool party came up. It was a sunny day, and she wanted to take off her clothes and run into the pool, but instead she contented yourself with a white shirt and short pants with a bathing suit underneath, just to feel what it was like, to be swimming again.
For the first time in months, she looked at Chris and as if he had felt her penetrating eyes from within, he stared back. And her heart started to pulse, as if alive again.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, 4 boys howled and took her limbs, and threw her in the pool.
They rejoiced of getting her into the pool saying how easy it had been, how light she was. Everyone laughed feverishly. Yet, something wasn't right, and it went quiet until they noticed that she hadn't come up from the water. But slowly the figure started to emerge back to the surface. Someone grabbed her arm and pulled her up. She got out of the water and reached out for a towel.
A boy then yelled, “Hey, take your shirt off.” She giggled thinking he was being silly. But then all of the boys were saying it and the girls too, saying that it was to hot to stay in a shirt. But she got serious and told them no. She then walked away, without another word.
An hour had gone by and she was half hoping to leave. It was so boring to watch others swim, when she new that if she tried, they would all ask her to take her shirt off. No one else was wearing one. She got up to go and get another water and hadn't walked two strides when 2 girls and 3 boys grabbed her. While the girls tickled her, the boys jumped at her shirt, then hadn't lifted it half way when they put it back down and told the girls to stop. Confused, they shrugged and walked away.
Nicole got to her feet. The 3 boys looked at her and softly said, “We won't tell.” Nicole ran toward the bathroom but on her way she ran into Chris. She looked into his soft, blue eyes and wondered if he could feel it to. He cupped her chin and wiped her tears away. Below a whisper he said, “I won't tell, if you tell me what's going on between us.”
Her eyes, blurred by the constant shedding of tears, stopped and then there came a look of horror upon her beautifully woven face. She couldn't possibly tell him. Not now, to much had happened. She must think of her future. She backed away, but he grabbed her arm firmly. She tried to get away, but he held her arm tighter. The agonizing pain made her want to scream but nothing came out, only a low buzzing sound. As he brought her closer to his chest, she pounded against it, but slowly ran out of force. He said then in a soft but steady and stern voice. “Who do wish to hurt more. Me, yourself, or him?” She looked up to him and looked confused. “What are you saying?”
Chris took a deep breath, and in a forbidding tone full of love and passion he announced, “Is that my child, that you carry inside you?”
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