After school, for a change of pace, I decided to go out with some of my classmates. Usually, I would just go home do homework, and write in my journal or pop a movie in. But
today felt different.
“Did you hear about the fight that happened at the high school?” One of the girls, Alice I think, chattered gossip with everyone as we walked toward the mall inside the campus.
The whole college was like its own city it was so huge. About three thousand students resided within it, so of course there would be things like a mall or a café or a club inside. Yet I had never gone into any of these things, either the library or home for me. We all went inside and the first thing I see is a small Wal-Mart on my left, while a star bucks was on my right. The whole place was just as big as the library, but much livelier. Chatter passed y loudly as everyone was doing something interesting, or to be witty, nobody was doing nothing. I was happy to not be nobody that day. Most of the girls entered a small boutique, and while I also wanted to go to Best Buy with all of the guys, I kind of wanted to look at dresses.
I stared at this one blue get up for a few minutes while some of the other girls were trying on things. It was a short sleeveless design with a glittery fading skirt. If only it was in green.
“You would look sexy in that.” Alice, popping out of nowhere, nudged me, looking at the dress then back at me.
“No!” I automatically said, forgetting that she wasn’t just Ben making fun of me.
I thought I had insulted her, but instead she just laughed.
“You’re so shy! Oh my god, Sheena, help me get her into the dressing room!” She shouted to another girl who came with us, who suddenly appeared out of the dressing room.
A tall pretty blonde, she looked a little bit like the dark haired Alice, but only in shape of the face. She was wearing a long coat reminding me of London, with a white belt to shape her hips.
“Does it look nice?” Sheena twirled around, giving a big shiny grin towards us as she stopped and posed.
“Yeah yeah, Sheena! You look great in everything, we’ve gone over this! Now help me get Nel in the changing room, she’s putting this dress on!” I yelped as Sheena just picked me up like I was a toy, and moved me towards the dressing room.
I was a decent height, above average girls, but She was like an Amazon! It felt both thrilling and concerning to have someone treat me like a tiny little girl. Alice was laughing in the background as the other girls giggled from the sight. They shouldn’t be laughing, especially Alice, I’m sure Sheena did this to her all the time! Compared to her, Alice looked like a midget, but she of course tried to make it up with her ridiculously big and ridiculously cute platforms. I believe she told me once that every outfit she made for the day was based on the shoe she chose. But even with the platforms, it was scary how short she was near Sheena. But, then again, even I was short to Sheena. Everyone there was. This was so odd.
“Do you need help getting changed, or will you not run away?” She asked as she was putting me down in the tiny room.
“I don’t dare even try thinking of running away with you around!” I laughed, and she smiled before leaving the room.
After getting the dress on, which took far too long due to the ridiculous strings that had to be laced up on my back, I left the room to see everyone waiting for me. Those girls cooed and ahhed and told me I looked amazing. It was too much attention for me, I blushed and fidgeted with my fingers as they touched the laced up back and played with the hem of the dress. Why am I wearing this again? They pushed me over to the three sided mirror, passing a working lady who automatically commented “That looks lovely on you miss.“ which automatically made me question the sincerity of all of them. But when I saw myself in the mirrors, I think I saw what they did. The light blue made my partly colored skin look creamy and soft, while the sparkles on the bottom gave the same effect for my legs, as well as elongating them. The short style of it made my arms look slender in a sweet kind of way. I looked nice. It looked good on me. For once, I was able to say “I love it” and smile. But Ben was wrong. Green would not have looked good on me. It had to be blue. Light blue looks good on me. I did end up buying it, even when I knew there was no occasion for me to wear it, but everyone seemed happy for me.
“Haha! See, aren’t you happy we made you try it on?” Alice commented, laughing. She was always laughing.
“Made me? Why, what are you talking about? I did that on my own.” I joked, teasing with her about the situation.
One girl in the group pushed up to touch my shoulder. “I’m glad you’re looking so good, Nel. A lot of us were worried about you.” and I turned to look at her. Was I really worrying others?
Not just that, how do they even know me? I barely spoke during class. But this is a strange world. I guess people can know my name without talking to me too much. It’s a good thing, to know there are people who care about acquaintances. Maybe I should get to know my classmates better.
“Thanks.” I told her, which was an odd response, but it seemed to be the right thing to say for me.
She smiled and said “You’re welcome!” Though she also looked a little confused, and rushed over to see one of the guys at Best Buy.
The guys rejoined us and talked games, and I followed suit with my latest Call of Duty session. Mia, the girl who was best friends with the one I had just talked to, joined me, mentioning one place she was stuck on, and everyone was talking and arguing and laughing while walking to the café. Before I knew it, it was ten already, and they had to get home to the dorms before the RA’s caught them. We all waved goodbye and I walked home perfectly content with the street lamps leading my way. Nobody was down at the lobby when I closed the door, and I noticed that stupid book from this morning was on the counter near the phone. How in the world did it get back here?! I grabbed it and throw it out the door, making sure not to have hit anyone. Who in there right mind would pick that thing out from the trash? Maybe it was my arch rival Gary trying to bring me pain and irritation by putting that book back into my life. Wait, that’s ridiculous. I haven’t played Pokemon awhile, so of course Gary wouldn’t do that right now. Well, whoever it was, fictional or not, if I find out who they are I will give them a stern talking to. Huh. Then again, I’ve never been the talkative type. I guess I should work on that.
Going up the stairs, the mahogany colors seemed brighter to me, and the creaking of the wood with each step caused by my feet seemed more pleasant than annoying this time. How amazing one outing can be! I rummaged for my keys as I was in front of my apartment door, the silence a peace I took in stride. Opening the usual door, I went inside my usual room, where all the usual things were. But still, it all seemed brighter. But, it all was dull beforehand. Is this how it usual looks like? I suppose sight isn’t always as reliable as we’d like to think.
Things were usually like this. I would think something profound and then if I didn’t write it down I would forget about it. But it is a wonder how I manage to think so much during my boring every day days. I wake up, go to school, go home, read or write, and go to work on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Not too much exciting, not too much sad either. Just regular. I’m regular. But I’m also not. Geez I’m boring. But today seemed exciting, Oh, too much thinking again!
Throwing on some pajamas, and after washing my face of all the residue and cover-up, I sat down at my desk. It was across from my bed, positioned on the wall next to the window, because I wanted some kind of openness when I wrote. Flicking the desk lamp on, I plugged my ears with headphones and turned the music u, keeping the shades up to stare upon the night sky. So many stars shone, and I wondered if anyone else was staring at them like I was. Soothing instrumental music played on my ipod, and I returned to the task at hand.
The journal wasn’t in some secret compartment or taped under the drawer, that would just be stupid. Nobody comes to my place anyway, let alone comes to snoop, and I have no real reason to be so secretive about my feelings. Almost half of the journal had already been filled, all from me, each piece of paper worn out and imprinted from my pen, there were some stains from simple things like dirt, and there was some bad handwriting here or there. But all the pages had something special in them, and flipping through it all makes me feel like I’ve been doing something fulfilling, something important that’s accumulated over time all because I’ve made it so. It had a brown velvet cover, with the design on the front centering on a cloud in the sky. On the side where it opens like a book a red silk ribbon tied the journal shut loosely, so I could easily open it later. I was proud of this journal, from the content to the wait it looked. I opened up from the last page I had written, pushing aside the ribbon to the edge of my desk. Everyday, either just before bed or in the morning when I wake up or even during the middle of the night, I would write in my journal about the day. It never left my apartment, and I was content on spending my alone time with my journal and my world of thoughts.
October 12th, 2010
Today was extremely unusual. I saw Morgan today, and she was looking nice, but she seemed late to school. Last night I had a dream about Ben, but also about me. . .
After class, a bunch of my classmates asked me to the campus mall, and surprisingly enough, I went with them. It was the first time in a long time I had ever gone anywhere other than the school or home. I bought a beautiful dress I was forced to try on and ended up liking. Ben would have liked it, t wad down to a tee for what he wanted me to wear, except it was light blue instead of green. But I think light blue looks better.
This was the first day I barely thought about Ben at all. No, I don’t mean he’s suddenly disappeared form my mind completely, but I mean he didn’t appear in any of the conversations or nothing except the dress. And the concern from my classmates about how I acted after he left. Some of the people, like the group with Alice and Sheena, mentioned they were worried about me, but they were happy I was feeling better. Morgan mentioned something like that too. Am I “getting better”? how exactly did that happen? Maybe it’s true that time heals all sorrows. But after a long year of complete solitude and empty, I did think I was maybe an exception to that. That maybe I would just live like this forever. But maybe, within that silent year I was also growing during that time.
Am I moving on? It doesn’t hurt anymore. And the fear is starting to fade. I’m thinking this might be ok. So it should be time to try. Maybe I should put Ben away in a box for awhile, and learn how things are by myself, who knows, they might turn out for the better.
All at once I’ll make a dramatic change for the better. It’ll be like a brand new start. The colors are returning now, and the sounds are getting better. This will be better. I’ll make it better.
To Whomever Reads This,
The clock struck twelve, and I forgot to feed the fish again! I rushed to the bowl, checking to make sure nobody died, and went straight to bed after that. I closed the journal, and put it in the drawer. In there, along with mine, was a journal with a green design of the same suit. It belonged to him, his adventures chronicled that I just couldn’t read yet. His parents gave it to me during the funeral, because they knew it was what he wanted. But I didn’t know if he wanted me to read it or not. So I left it closed until further notice, of which I had no clue what kind of further notice I was looking for. I put my journal on top of his, and closed the drawer. I slept easily, the room felt heavy and I felt tired from the day’s activities. It happened simply, I flowed into a dream as soon as my head hit the pillow. Truthfully, my last thoughts were Biology class tomorrow. But there was a smell of human body and softener, Ben’s constant smell. It was in the pillow and in the sheets, and on my closet. His smell was everywhere.
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