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FunTimes Magazine

OMG! The Lost Love That Healed My Pain

Mar 10, 2016 02:49PM ● By Siatta Scott-Johnson
With a loud cry of pain, I woke up on the parlor couch. Beads of sweat coated my forehead and my whole body felt warm. As I lifted my head toward the old clock hanging on the wall, I knew I was running late for school so I hurried to get ready.

I pulled on a short gray sweater dress exposing a good portion of my body. Glancing at my appearance in the full-length mirror by my bed, I ran my fingers through my hair, trying to make it presentable. Grabbing the worn out edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from my bedside, I stuffed it inside my backpack and ran out of the house.

After a brisk 10 minute walk, I was already on campus. I walked around the wall surrounding the building until I reached the dense area full of shrubs. I slowed my pace and took every step carefully as if walking on egg shells so not to disturb the huge figure sitting in my favourite swing. He was the new boy in school. I tiptoed over to the clearing situated next to the shrubs and sat down on the ground, hiding myself behind a tall tree.

Pushing aside a thorny branch of thicket, I saw this manly figure swaying heavily alone in the swing. He wore a blue v-neck t-shirt which fitted tightly on his body. His hair was neatly shaved. I smiled at the sight. I loved the color of his shirt and the opening in the v-neck made me stare even more.

He pulled out a book to read and I noticed we were reading the same book. I forgot everything around me and just watched him swing--his strong legs made me feel good.

I looked up again to see him running his long fingers along the lines of the book while a smile bloomed slowly on his face. By then, I had figured out that Pride and Prejudice was his favourite book too. I could see him reacting to every part that he read. Sometimes he would frown probably at the rudeness of Mr. Darcy and sometimes he would smile, reading the cheesy declarations of love exchanged between Elizabeth and Darcy.

It wasn't that I'd never thought of introducing myself but I just couldn't make myself do it. I thought of him as a perfect gentleman that would think of me funny if I had done that. I felt if I went close to him I would taint him with my pain and sorrow. I felt content just sitting there and watching him read. I believed that I could carry on with my wretched life, only if I could see him there everyday.

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I clearly remember the day I discovered this place. It was around three years ago when my stepfather was drunk and attempted to molest me again. This time I decided to run away for good. The area around the school seemed safe and I stumbled on to my favourite swing in this quiet place.

Seeing him there on my favourite swing calmed me. Day after day, I watched him read. Soon, days transformed into weeks and later into months. I would always find him there after school and he never noticed that I was watching him. He was my inspiration for school.

Unknowingly, he had helped me to heal my emotional scars from my step father's abuses. Everyday the pain would hurt less than the previous day and everyday I would thank him in my mind. Was it love? I wondered. Is it possible to love someone who doesn't even know I exist? I really didn't want an answer. I just wanted him to be there and nothing else.

Then tragedy struck. When I went back he wasn't there. I waited for him till late that evening but he never came, nor the next day after that.

I tried to find him in school but never succeeded. Later a friend informed me that he had moved to England. It was like all the breath was knocked out of me and the ground beneath me had been pulled away. I wasn't able to comprehend why my life was taking one wrong turn after the other.

That evening I went back to the clearing with a heavy heart. I stood near the plants behind which I used to hide. I didn't go any closer to the tree or the swing. It just didn't feel right. For me, it was a sacred place, out of my reach. I just stood there, doing nothing. My mind and heart still hung on the hope that he would come back someday and then everything would fall back in its place. That was the last time I ever went there, until now. Today, I didn't just stand behind the big tree. I walked toward the tree looking at the swing which perfectly symbolized my condition: broken beyond repair. The place felt dead to me. It was no more the sacred place that I held in my memories.

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But look, my hopeful heart was cheered. He had come back. But he was completely different. He didn't come to read anymore. Instead, he hung out with the popular boys of the school. His hair was wrapped in a dread lock which I despised. His genuine smile that I had missed so much over the years was now replaced with a superficial gaze. The change bothered me beyond imagination. I felt as if someone had taken a part of my soul and replaced it with a new one that was not me.

Suddenly, a realization hit me like a strong wave. I did love him; I laughed sadly. "What bad timing to realize this after I've already lost him," I thought. Feeling my legs trembling, I sat down on the swing that had kept my memories alive and rested my head on the chain that bound the swing to the poles. I allowed the tears to escape from my eyes. I had not cried for a long time but at that moment I didn't care.


Today I am lamenting for my lost love, the love that never knew me, the love that he had wasted by changing. Or was I crying for myself because I hadn't changed? Or because I had?