“All I ask,” she told him, “is for you to be here because you want to, because you want me to be apart of your life, because you can’t imagine life without me, because you love me.”
She paused as flashbacks from the endings of her last couple relationships sailed through her mind. Was it possible to be asking for too much? She understood the nature that all her past boyfriend, and potential best friends, had felt whenever they saw her in pain. She understood the feeling they must’ve experienced all too well. Before, she would’ve thought it was a good characteristic and a good trait that she possessed. That abruptly ceased when being on the receiving end of this characteristic in others caused her the worst heartbreak she had ever been through.
“D-don’t…” She stammered, as if not sure whether or not she had the courage to say the second half of her thoughts truthfully, “…don’t be here in attempts to fix me because I might seem broken; don’t be here in hopes to be my light in the dark; don’t be here out of empathy or any kind of pity in general…”
Continuing to fidget with her jacket’s sleeves, she avoided his eye contact not wanting to know whether they carried his worry or love for her. Her own words ‘might seem broken’ ran through her mind as she started to feel regret for saying something misleading. She knew and she had known for years that she was, in fact, broken. She grew up without parents; she grew up always being the weight everyone had to carry; she grew up and became depressed at such a young age; she grew up thinking suicidal thoughts were a normal thing every kid dealt with; she grew up not ever knowing friend from foe; she grew up hiding in the corners of the room, never seeming to be able to disappear far enough to find relief from all the pain she constantly felt. She was broken.
“I know I’ve gone through a lot. I know I’m dealing with a lot. I know life is difficult, in different ways, for every single person your eyes land on though.” She continued, not sure where her rant was going to lead her, “We all have our devils. We all have our demons that live in our heads. We all have our problems. We all have…shit to deal with…but I don’t need your pity. I don’t need you to fix everything. I don’t need you to mend the broken pieces of my heart or anything like that. But what I do need from you is, for you to be there, for you to care, for you to love me…if you do.
I know what it’s like to worry; I know what it’s like to want to badly to make someone else’s life a little better for them. And the words I hate the most that always come from my friends is ‘Don’t worry about it’, because I know…the emotions that come with turning around and not finding anyone willing to help you or be there for you; I know the thoughts that creep into your mind when you ask for help and everyone looks the other way; I know what it does to a person who is forced to face the majority of their life alone in the cold.”
Choked on the tears that we begging to fall, she continued to stare at the cement ground in silence. She remembered the nights she cried herself to sleep, while being yelled at to stop crying every few minutes because she was making it hard for her parents to sleep. She remembered the days she faced the incoming traffic at a stop light with the curiosity about what it would feel like to be hit by a car going at least 40mph seeping into her mind. She remembered the nights she would sit in the blackest corner of her pitch black room and want nothing else but to be hundreds of miles away. She remembered…every feeling of uselessness, of hopelessness. She remembered.
Suddenly she felt a gentle hand on hers and looked up. He barely smiled and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close and letting her rest against him.
“I’m here because I want to spend the rest of our lives together. I’m here because I love you.” He squeezed her hand slightly in reassurance that his words were the honest and brutal truth, “I’m not going anywhere.”
And she, so much, wanted to believe him. But, ultimately, she didn’t. She couldn’t.