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Hell, Part 1
“I can’t help but feel sorry for you. You aren’t ever really happy. You can’t let go of your past. You hold on to it making a huge pessimistic pit to drag yourself in. You view life in a cowardly way. Instead of taking leaps of faith and making the most of life and doing the unexpected, you already see the worst coming and you expect it and prepare for it. That’s boring. You will never experience life that way.”
You can never expect to get the friendship you give out. All that bulls*** about “reaping what you sow” is just pleasantry talk, meant to make the world sound better than it is. The reality is that the world is that it’s not a happy place. The happiness people get out of it is from searching and hunting and fighting to find it; if you never look, though, you’ll find that the world isn’t happy on its own. And in today’s society, who has time to go the extra mile for something that honestly should come naturally?
These are my thoughts as I re-read Sterling’s letter for what I’m sure is the hundredth time. I can’t stop. It’s like watching a ship sink…its horrible and gruesome and cruel, yet you can’t turn away. Can’t stop looking and examining, even though it would probably be healthier if you did. Unlike me, the people on the ship have a good chance of survival.
There is no surviving hell like this.
Given, it was unhealthy to begin with to become so attached to someone, I reason to myself as I push the letter aside. You let your guard down.
I had. Majorly. When I was young I learned that the lower your expectations are, the lower the hurt in the end, the higher the joy if something actually happens. If I didn’t expect my dad to call on Sunday, it wouldn’t hurt when he didn’t; it would, however, be the best feeling in the world if he did. I don’t expect my friends to remember my birthday? Big deal, it’s near Christmas anyways. I’ll get presents regardless; why celebrate the passage of time anyhow? This—amongst other things—lead to the letter…
My heart clenched.
Stop. Stop it right now, don’t remember. If you remember, it will hurt. Block, brick wall, block it all out… like I always did with painful memories, I envisioned a brick wall in my mind and focused on its cerebral creation until the memory was no longer fresh on my mind. Possibly crazy or simply inane, yet effective nonetheless.
This is vital. The hell I’m in isn’t any of the layers of Satan’s world; its worse. It’s the hell where you have to live day-to-day high school life while your best friend hates you. You have to think, speak, function and act like you always have…just without your rock—the person you credit with who you are—in it. As in, the shoulder you cry on when you’re miserable. The walking diary who knows you inside and out. The soul you connected with and share seemingly everything with.
Hates you. Wants absolutely nothing to do with you. Because Y-O-U, is a pessimistic, sad, depressed wrench who is never happy enough. Never smiles enough. Is too realistic to be human and isn’t daring enough. You are the opposite of what they want you to be, therefore you are wrong.
“Dammit!” I screamed out loud, closing my eyes and trying to picture the brick wall that would block it all out. Instead I see Sterling’s face…his body…swinging?
Hell. Memories. Us swinging together in his back yard, our sisters playing kickball, his brother swimming, our parents sipping wine and gossiping…
Hell. Toby’s birthday party, we’re in our costumes. Arms around each other and goofy expressions…he had to borrow my beret, and he’s “buzzed” on wine, perfectly in character. He pulls on my gypsy scarf to annoy me…
Hell. Watching fireworks on the 4th, his eyes on me, talking about the future…
“Dammit…” I whispered, tears sliding down my cheeks. I curled up on my bed and reached for my tattered teddy bear, pulling it into my arms. I squeezed the plush against my cheek and sobbed into it as I broke down once again.
“I gave him everything…I was the best friend I could be. He even told me I’m great friend. So why this? It’s not fair that I give him my all and everything…and he leaves me when I need him,” I whisper into my bear, then cry. And cry.
Until my cell rings.
“Hello?” I answer, sniffling and trying to sound normal. Last thing I need is more drama, people wondering why I’m crying.
“Hey, are you still coming to the party tonight? At Kendra’s?” Haley’s chirpy voice inquires in her usual curt-and-excited fashion.
“Uh-huh,” I respond, because incoherent noises sound normal if you’re crying or not.
“Great! I’ll pick you up still, okay? It’s going to be fun! Remember your stuff to sleep over here afterwards,” She reminds me like the proverbial mother hen.
“Alright,” I bravely chance at real words.
“Alright! See you later,” Haley says, then hangs up.
I set my phone down on my nightstand and sigh. I know I look like hell. A glance in my mirror proves it.
“Better get ready,” I try to erg myself to get up. It takes five minutes to find the will to not sleep for the next eternity instead, but I finally find it in me to get up. I shuffle across my room and throw articles of clothing into a faded Tommy Hilfiger duffel until it’s at that mid-point of fullness, sufficing for the necessities of a sleep over. Given, I don’t really want to stay at Haley’s—or go to the party, for that matter. But I shower, and wear the outfit Haley picked out last time she was over…I do my hair, put on make-up, accessorize. All the girly things that you’re supposed to do before a party. The things overly happy people like Haley probably do singing to mainstream pop songs on the radio.
AKA, what people not in hell do.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
La Vergne, Tennessee
San Jose, California
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