Without You, I'm Nothing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
I twirled my rolling chair around and rested my head against the top of it, looking over at the futon where my girlfriend Raine was sleeping soundly. The corners of my mouth turned up as I looked at her beautiful face.

I didn’t know why she wasn’t on our bed where she normally slept, but I was glad. It gave me the chance to inspect and admire her sleeping form, which always inspired me. She truly was my everything, my idea of perfection.

Submitted: April 02, 2007

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Submitted: April 02, 2007

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‘What I’ve always wanted is all consuming love—can’t breath, can’t eat, can’t live without you love. The kind of absolute adoration of another person where you wake up in the morning, function, socialize, go through the meaningless steps of what humanity calls ‘life’, just to see that person’s smiling face.  And I want someone to feel that way about me, too.  I think that it’s what most people are shooting for, really.  Everyone wants that kind of connection.  There are thousand of book, songs, and movies about love just like that.


The thing I’ve noticed, though, is that in those movies, books, songs, and even in real life, it never ends well. Great, passionate love seems to always to conclude abruptly in death. Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, and even Jack and Rose from Titanic are just a few examples of couples we put up on pedestals, couples that loved one another more than anything.  And in every case, they gave their lives for each other.


Sometimes I wonder what the point really is. Why love someone like that if, in the end, you will just lose them?  Once the one you live for is gone, you will have nothing left but the painful memory of the love you shared.  Some people are able to pick themselves up and move on, but countless others just don’t see the point, and I agree with them.  The chances that you will find that kind of love twice in your life is so small that it isn’t even worth it to look again.


The great thing about having that love once is that you will never really lose it. Love like that is unstoppable. When you experience it, you feel as if, as long as you’re with the person you love, you can do anything.  For some people, that’s what they need. It’s the only thing pulling them back from a dark, lonely place.  Sometimes it’s the only thing that gives them hope that there is anything good left in this world.


Take Titanic’s Jack and Rose, for example. The two started out worlds apart but in the end, they fell in love and, to quote the movie, he saved her in every way she could be saved. He was everything she needed, and he changed her life forever.  He saved her, and although lost his life in the process, it was all in the name of love.

Love is a blessing and a curse, if you see my point. It lets you soar to heights previously unknown, and it can sink you to unimaginable lows.  Some people wouldn’t want to take that risk, face the possibly of such heartbreak, but it’s everything that I want and everything I could possibly need. The reason I want it isn’t that I want the high that love can bring, but because of my parents.  They’ve been married for almost twenty-five years, and they still couldn’t be happier with each other. That’s what I want.  It may not be all consuming, but it’s close.  

A girl can dream, can’t she?’

I sighed as I finally finished my essay for philosophy class, knowing that I was lucky it didn’t have a minimum word count.  I loved writing, but sometimes I had problems with assignments, finding myself low on both ideas and ways to express them.  When my teacher had assigned us a paper on love and what it meant to us, I’d immediately felt my heart sink.  I didn’t have much to say about love, which was strange because I had the most perfect girlfriend in the world and I’d never loved anyone more.

I twirled my rolling chair around and rested my head against the top of it, looking over at the futon where my girlfriend Raine was sleeping soundly. The corners of my mouth turned up as I looked at her beautiful face.  I didn’t know why she wasn’t on our bed where she normally slept, but I was glad.  It gave me the chance to inspect and admire her sleeping form, which always inspired me.  She truly was my everything, my idea of perfection.

We met our freshman year of college, when we were assigned as roommates. I was always pretty unsure of my sexuality, but the moment I saw her I knew I couldn’t be completely straight. With just a little brush of her arm against mine, my breath would quicken and my mind would race.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her, regardless of the fact that I was under the impression that she was straight.  I wanted her, completely and totally.

In our junior year, I found out from a friend that she was bisexual.  I was dumbfounded, because we’d been hanging out for quite some time and she hadn’t told me, but I was thrilled.  It meant that I actually had a chance with her.  In some ways, I think I always knew.  I just didn’t want to take a chance on it and be wrong.  We were such good friends that I couldn’t bear to ruin it, but after a few weeks of pining, I decided that the benefits outweighed the risks.  I needed her.

The problem was that I didn’t know how to go about getting her to notice me, really notice me in a non-platonic sense.  I’d touch her or tickly her intentionally, trying to get her to look at me with something other than friendly affection in sparkling eyes, but Raine—being the adorably clueless person that she was—never noticed.  I’d always thought that her obliviousness was one of the cutest things about her, but at that moment, it was just frustrating.

Finally, about three quarters of the way through the semester, she took a weeklong trip home, and she asked me to come along with her. I was surprised, but I agreed of course, and we went up to her parent’s house. We shared her old room, but it was exactly like being at school, and I didn’t think we were really getting anywhere.  Then, during lunch on the last day of our stay, her mother absentmindedly commented, “Raine doesn’t bring a lot of her friends home to us.  She must really like you, dear.”

I honestly wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but out of the corner of my eye, I caught her blush.  I knew her well enough to know that little blush meant that it was true.  She did really like me, and not just as a friend. Even through my elation, I spotted a problem.  I wanted to just tell her that I liked her and to ask her out.  It shouldn’t have been a very big deal.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and we ended up dancing around the subject until the end of the year.

The next semester we left school, saying our sad goodbyes and telling one another that we’d see each other again soon, all accompanied by half-hearted hugs.  I knew I wouldn’t get up the courage the next year, and I’d figured I’d lost my chance of ever saying anything, resigning myself to the fact Raine and I would never be. Raine, though, had other plans.  The day school started back up, the moment she saw me she ran up to me, wrapped her arms around my waist, and kissed me deeply on the lips.  The two of us had been together ever since that moment. We had reached our senior year of college and moved in together, with the plan to start our own publishing company.

Rubbing my eyes and yawning, I walked over to the futon and sat next to her. I reached out and twirled soft strands of her mahogany hair around my fingers, stroking my thumb against her cheek. I loved the soft, silky feeling of her hair and the smoothness of her skin. I’d never seen someone as beautiful as Raine.  I pulled my hand back almost guiltily as her eyes fluttered open.

“Paige?  What’s up?” she muttered sleepily.

“Nothing,” I answered, giving her a little peck on the forehead.  “Nothing. Just go back to sleep, baby.”

Raine just barely nodded. “Okay.  Love you—,” she started, trailing off and falling back asleep.  smiled at her serene form, wondering if maybe she would become my all consuming love.

I looked at the clock, sighing as I realized that it was two o’clock in the morning. Since childhood, I’d always been a night person, an insomniac.  Even if I’d try to sleep, I’d end up lying in bed for hours, staring blankly at the ceiling.  Raine had been the same way when we’d met, but recently she’d been getting tired earlier and earlier—probably the stress from our finals—and I’d lost my late night partner.

I grabbed my laptop and plopped down in bed.  Even though I didn’t sleep until morning, I liked to relax at night, and I usually only listened to music or watched episodes of my favorite shows. 

That night I decided to do that latter and popped one of the disks into the drive, plugging in my headphones for fear of disturbing Raine.  She was usually pretty cranky if someone woke her at night, but she was a heavy sleeper, so it wasn’t normally a problem.  I reclined against the pillows and let the word fade away as I watched the DVD, eventually drifting to sleep.

“Paige!” Raine half-yelled, shaking my shoulder urgently to awake me. “Paige, come on!  We have class.”
 

Groaning, I opened one eye and begrudgingly looked at the clock. “Shit,” I yelped, realizing that it was almost one.  Class was starting in fifteen minutes, and I hadn’t even started getting ready.  Almost frantically, I jumped from the bed and quickly pulled on some fresh clothes. Raine had already shoved all of my books into my backpack and she tossed it at me when I ran to the door.  She gave me a quick kiss and we rushed to class.

It was a typical first day of class.  Raine and I both sat in the back row, and I tried not to fall asleep while Raine answered so many questions I knew I didn’t have a chance of keeping up.  Raine might have been a little thick sometimes with unimportant things, but she was really incredibly brilliant, and I couldn’t even compare to her.  

Just as I gave up on staying awake, my eyes were drifting shut and the teacher’s voice became a droning monotone, an elbow pushed gently into my side and my eyes flew open.  “Huh?” I groaned.

“Hey, do you want to go to a movie or something after my next class?” Raine whispered, giggling as the teacher shot her a look.

I rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand and looked over at her.  “A movie?” I repeated.  “Sure.”She grinned.

The bell rang and we gathered up our books, meeting at the door.  She leaned over, kissing me on the cheek and saying, “I’ll see you soon.”  I nodded and we headed off in separate directions.

 I had a free period, so I headed over to the library and hunched myself over a thick book.  Books had always been my escape, my way of becoming someone else for a short time.  It didn’t matter what the book was about, or who, it only mattered that I found it interesting and enticing.  I spent all my free campus time in that library, trying in vain to work my way through the entire fiction section of the building.  Raine always knew exactly where to look for me.  She showed up that day with two lattes and some cookies for the both of us.

“Ready to go, babe?” she asked, handing me the food and the coffee. I nodded, stood, tucked the book under my arm, and then slung my backpack over my shoulder.

We meandered leisurely towards the car, discussing the latest movies that had hit the theaters.  We were both movie buffs, with strange tastes for our personalities.  A warm breeze played with my hair and I took Raine’s hand, lazily stroking her palm.



“Well, what about that one—shit, what was it called?  The one with Jim Carry?” I asked.

“‘Twenty-Four’?” she prompted.

I nodded, taking a bite of cookie and a sip of latte.  “Or ‘The Three-Hundred’?”

She shook her hand and squeezed my hand back.  “Too violent.  What about ‘Music and Lyrics’?  The one with Hugh Grant?  I love him.”

“Sounds good,” I agreed.  We reached the car and I climbed into the passenger’s seat.  Raine opened the driver’s side door and started the car, giving me a wink and a smile, and saying, “Off we go.”

We pulled out into the street and headed onto the highway, still half-heartedly arguing movies.  
“Why can’t we ever see anything with Matthew McConaughey?” I asked playfully.
Raine rolled her eyes.  “I don’t like him.”

I gasped in mock horror.  “You—you don’t like him?  How is that possible?  Everyone loves Matthew McConaughey!”

She shot me a look.  “I don’t hate him.  I just—.”

The sound of her voice was drowned out as something rammed straight into our windshield, shattering the glass and plowing into our bodies.  I screamed as my body jarred against the car and I heard Raine moan next to me right before everything went black.
 
I awoke to the smell of leaking fuel and pain. My memory was fuzzy with trauma, and all I could remember was that Raine and I had been driving somewhere.  Sticky fluid dripped down my face, mixing with my tears.  I reached my hand up to touch it and when I pulled it away, it was a deep red—blood.  My entire body was numb, and I couldn’t tell if I was badly hurt but with this much blood, I knew that it couldn’t possibly be good.

“Raine?” I groaned. There was no answer, only a deafening silence.  Pain ripped through me as I maneuvered myself around to face her.  Spotting her limp body, my voice died in my throat.  I choked out a sob.

She was stained with blood, her eyes open, but glassy and far away.  A piece of metal from our now dilapidated car jutted obscenely from her stomach and blood leaked from the wound.  I tugged on my seatbelt, ripping it off haphazardly in my hurry to get over to her.  I crawled the few inches to her body, becoming more and more agonized with each movement.

 Reaching her body, I shook her shoulders, trying in vain to make her regain consciousness, to speak to me—anything. “Raine!” I shouted, tears streaming down my face. “Raine, wake up!” I pleaded.

“Pl-please wake up, baby,” I choked, still trying to save her even as I realized that it was beyond anything that I could do. With my last bit of strength, I pulled myself up enough to kiss her pale, cooling lips, and then I collapsed onto the seat in a mess of blood and tears.

Sirens screeched in the background but I stayed completely still and didn’t bother to let anyone know of my presence.  Eventually, my door was pried off its hinged and thrown to the ground, and I was lifted out of the car.  They carried me into the ambulance.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was floating above my body, watching them tend to my injuries.  I wouldn’t talk to the nurse at all and she gave up, calling over a police officer when she was satisfied that I was stable for that moment.  

“Miss?” the officer asked.  “What happened?” He was a very neat looking man, with dark, combed hair and a pressed uniform.  He averted his eyes when he spoke to me, seemingly afraid to address me.  In that moment, I let go of my last bit of hope that Raine would be okay.  My heart sunk into despair, and I stared at him blankly, not strong enough to speak.

“Miss, what happened?” he asked again.  I just shook my head and looked past him to the car through the open doors of the ambulance. Emergency personal were pulling Raine’s body from the car. I winced and turned my head away sharply.

“Okay,” the officer said uncomfortably.  “We’re going to take you to the hospital now. Miss, can you hear me?”


I bit down on my lip hard and finally grunted, “Alright.”  I honestly didn’t care by that moment.  They could have taken me anywhere they wanted, but it wouldn’t have brought Raine back.  They could heal my injuries, but I knew they’d never really make me whole again.

A few days later, I lay in my hospital bed, still recovering from the accident.  I looked up as I heard footsteps in the doorway and found myself face to face with Raine’s pale, tearstained parents.  They stared at me sadly and didn’t speak.  Finally, I looked away, staring down at my hospital sheets, tears stinging my eyes.


“She’s dead isn’t she?” I croaked.  Raine’s mother’s eyes slammed shut and her husband stroked the back of her head lovingly.  She nodded.  “She died in the accident, didn’t she?” I asked, prying even though I knew it was only causing everyone unnecessary pain.

Raine’s mother took a step toward me, reaching out a hand.  “The funeral is Friday, Paige.  We wanted to give you time to get better.”


I didn’t answer them and they eventually left, both with identical expressions of heartbreak that I knew must be wearing as well.  She was gone.  Raine was really gone.  Never again would I wake up to her smiling face.  Never again would we eat our dinners together, mock arguing and discussing our days.  I was alone again.


I had found my all consuming love and it ended just like it always does. In death.


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