Her | Teen Ink


October 1, 2018
By Celebrian9 PLATINUM, Syracuse, New York
Celebrian9 PLATINUM, Syracuse, New York
20 articles 2 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” -Winnie the Pooh

She runs as fast as she can, breath torn from her lungs by the cold air of the city,  feet pounding on concrete, hair flying as she glances behind her. He’s still there, right there, almost within arm’s reach, but she can see the end of the alley, and her car on the other side of the street-

His hands reach out and snag her jacket, and she goes flying to the ground, the world going black before returning in full color, his jacket already off and thrown to the side, smelling of cigarette smoke, the small clink of his belt being undone, momentarily flashing in the dim light before hitting the ground with a click, the smell of smoke and grease as he leaned closer and closer, alcohol heavy on his breath, slurring his words. She tries to scream, to make some noise, to get back in control but her words stop in the throat and she chokes on them, all the bottled up thoughts and screams that might have saved her but don’t, because cold air is on her legs, her jeans thrown casually to the side, and from here she can see the glow of her cracked phone screen, lying on the concrete. But her attention is jerked back to the present as his hand clamps over her mouth, rough calluses cutting into her lips, and she almost blacks out from the pain but suddenly he’s gone, disappearing into the night like smoke in the wind, the reminders of him lasting far longer than the lingering smell of alcohol and cigarettes, and she knows she will carry them forever, like a backpack full of stones, drowning her in an ocean of helplessness.

She lies there for a while, ignoring the rising sun and the urgent texts from her roommate, until the light shines directly in her eyes and she rises, gathering her belongings and walking across the street, praying that no one notices her. But her prayers are ignored, and a man calls out to her from the street corner, voice rough and heavy with alcohol, and for a second she freezes, but he keeps walking. She slips into the front seat of the car, locking the door. She sits for a moment, before searching her bag for keys. She finds them and, hands shaking, puts it in the ignition. The engine roars to life, the dashboard blinking to life, needles flying upward before settling back down. Her hands grip the wheel, the leather worn, textbooks piled in the passenger seat. She feels a small prick near her collarbone- her name tag has come unpinned, her name hanging crookedly down the side of her shirt. She had forgotten to take it off after work, something that man had mentioned before he started chasing her, grabbing for her, and she had started running-

She pushes the gas pedal down and drives herself away, running three stop signs and a red light, before pulling up haphazardly parking in front of her dorm, the sun glazing the sides of the building, igniting the windows into a fiery reflection. She slides out of the seat and goes up to the third floor, room 312 on the left, unlocking the door and slamming it behind her. She sits on the ground, back pressed against the cool aluminum, the crown of her head grazing the doorknob, and then she starts to cry.

She sits tall and still, and although she looks strong, inside she is still drowning, memories pouring out the floodgates, barely contained by the crisp suit she wears to court, and although her hands are clasped neatly in front of her, no one notices that her knuckles are white and her palms are slick, and even though she was strong enough to fight him, she isn’t sure if she is strong enough to fight herself. No one but her knows that she replays every moment of that night, from when she walked out the door of the restaurant to when she got to her dorm, replaying over and over the sound of his voice, rough and cracked, the smell of alcohol and cigarettes heavy on his breath, that she wakes up from nightmares wondering what she should have done instead, the what if’s and if only’s always there in the back of her mind, filling the gap that he created, replacing a sense of completeness with doubt and second guessing. So she retreats inside, running away, always running, but somehow always finding herself back in the alley, haunted by memories that are tied to her, pulling her down in the ocean of helplessness.  

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