Story: The Life of a Lonely Girl
Author: Serafina Claremond
Prompt: A Narrative Essay for English class
Author’s Note: it’s on my personal, but this is the revised edition. If you can recognize the origin of the quotes, you’ll get something special.(;
The Life of a Lonely Girl
“Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.”
There are moments where you feel like you control your life and the universe will never stop you. There are days where you feel like everything is going as it should. But then there are the days no one ever talks about: the ones where you realize you can’t control life - it controls you. That day, for me, is today.
I sit on my bed, the house completely still. My arms are shaking as they grasp the object by my side. A breath escapes as I open the scissors and press it against my skin. For a brief moment, I am relieved. I am without pain. I am alone.
December 2011 (Present Day)
“Some friendships are so strong.”
I stand there, looking down the side of the mountain. My friends and others slowly make their way to the bottom. I had started to as well but after that first stumble over a pinecone, I made my way back up and planted myself on a log. I sat there in an awkward silence with myself, struggling to do the tasks we were given.
I sat up straight, gathering my strength to whisper from memory, “Deuteronomy 31:6. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.’” The words rolled off of my tongue without pause. But I was still hesitant to continue. I buried my hands in my pockets and looked down, my eyes scanning over the brown terrain and my ears picking up on every little sound in the forest. It smelled like pine trees and the air blew gently through my hair. I smiled to myself, knowing that this type of beauty was rare and untouched and natural. For a second, I almost felt happy.
“Destiny is our friend.”
Happiness. It’s the feeling you get when you can’t stop smiling or you feel completely content with your life. That’s what I was. I was happy I was okay. I was healthy with a functioning body, intelligent with good grades in school, and free with amazing friends.
I sat there at the lunch table in my little corner seat on the bench, watching my crowd of friends yell and argue and eat. I laughed at what they said and they smiled when I spoke. Everything was okay in my life and in theirs - nothing could bring us down. No agony, no drama, no worries; it was just one of those times where you could say “Hakuna Matata” and mean it. It was like destiny was on our side and everything was going to be perfect.
“What happened to me?” I asked. “When did I become unhappy? When did I become this girl? I don’t even recognize myself!” The anger boiled and the questions sat on the tip of my tongue. My whispered-shouts startled the cluster of birds and they flew away from my log.
I covered my face with my hands, the tears getting ready for their journey. I pictured myself, face gaunt, eyes dead. The only memory that refused to leave me on my own - the one that dared not give me peace.
“In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.”
I forced myself to look. My eyes fought me, trying to look away, and my mind felt weak, not wanting to make this a memory. But if I wanted to fix myself, I had to stare myself down. This girl looking at me was someone I never wanted to become.
Her eyes looked alive with death. Her face seemed so hollow, so thin, and her skin was pale, almost ghostly. Her hands shook as she tried to move that one piece of hair that was always falling into her line of vision, trying to mimic the actions of someone she used to be.
I could not recognize the person across from me as myself; I was done with her. I was going to change, I was going to get better. I was going to leave her far behind - but a small part of me knew she would always be lurking behind the mask of hope I was about to put on. I just had to be strong enough to keep her away.
But that was behind me, wasn’t it? I was supposed to be over her. I told all my friends that my pain and my weaknesses were gone. That’s what I had told them because that’s what I believed. Then I thought maybe I was back to where I had started: alone. It had taken me forever to tell my friends about where I was headed in life because I always assumed I was on my own. Now though, I knew differently, and yet, I was refusing to acknowledge - to myself and them - that my past was again catching up to me.
The speaker had said, “This is not a solo journey.” And I wanted to so strongly believe him and believe that I was not alone. So why did I still feel the way I used to?
“Always thinking you need to do things on your own without anyone’s support.”
I was walking home from practice alone, like I always did. I would usually listen to music to drown out my own thoughts but I had forgotten my iPod in the midst of organizing my friend’s “surprise” birthday party. So for the first time in a long time, I was alone in a quiet atmosphere while the rest of Cerritos was just beginning their day.
I began to walk across the overpass that had played a tremendous role in many of my elementary school outings; I thought about the times where I would cautiously remind myself that I was not going to fall over. But something was different this time: I was alone and I found myself wanting to fall over. I knew I was at my breaking point; I knew no one could help me at this point. It was too late and I was too far in to be pulled out and rescued.
My friends proved that I was wrong that day because I had been saved. I was suffocating myself for so long, I hadn’t realized people were there for me.
“I was always so afraid that I would isolate myself to the point of no return. But You showed me I had friends who loved me,” I whispered to the skies and the forests and the wind.
“While it is always best to believe in one’s self, a little help from others can be a great blessing.”
I smiled through my tears when he responded with, “You just have to believe in yourself the way I believe in you.”
“You may think you’re worthless, but I love you.”
“You’re my best friend.”
“There is nothing wrong with letting people who love you, help you.”
“I’m used to doing things on my own. You know I hate worrying people because of my family. I always felt like a burden to them,” I said softly, not wanting to break down completely.
“We love you,” one of them said, “and we will always worry about you. You always seem strong and I envy that but sometimes you need to be weak and let us help you. Okay?”
I nodded and I let go of every perceived notion that crying made you weak. I let myself become vulnerable in front of the people I cared most about. I let and I didn’t resist.
“Deuteronomy 31:6. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.’ I am filled with your courage and I am not alone.” I stood up to watch my friends become one with nature among the trees.
That’s when I knew.
I’m never alone.