Sacrifice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Isabel has a dark secret that she is hiding from everybody she loves, including her boyfriend, Jeremy. However, she's lost control of this secret and she sees only one way out that will relieve her suffering and keep her boyfriend safe and alive.

Submitted: July 11, 2013

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Submitted: July 11, 2013

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All it took was one look, perhaps just a glance, for me to realise that I was completely and irrevocably in love with him. 
 
The night was dark and cold; if it were not for the street lights surrounding us we would have been in complete darkness. Despite the snow falling gently and the rush of winds that caused us both to shiver, we remained on the park bench as I laid my head into his chest and listened to his heart beat. His bronze hair swayed gently in the winds and with it came his scent of natural beauty and all of its rarity. Jeremy is the only thing in this crazy world that I am absolutely certain of.
But it isn't enough. I hate myself for thinking this way - I just wish it were enough. I've been breaking for many years, years full of inflicted pain from heartless people, and now I'm finally broken. I can't be fixed, it's too late. Not even Jeremy can save me. 
 
I felt his touch as he caressed my cheek and despite the coldness, I didn't flinch. This moment was precious, it was late and only he and I were in the park, we were utterly alone. I liked it better this way. No one could hurt me now, not here. We had been lying here in complete silence for what seemed like forever but I didn't mind, the silence spoke louder than words ever could. However, Jeremy broke the silence moments later.
"Isabel?"
"Yes?" I replied. I didn't move to face him, my eyes were wide, my face was lifeless. I wish I could tell him. But I couldn't. 
"Are you happy?"
His question stunned me. I fell in silence for a while, it felt fairly long before I finally responded, I was surprised he didn't ask twice. 
"Yes," I lied. Eyes still wide, face still lifeless. 
"There's something you're not telling me. I can feel it. You're cold Isabel, you're so cold. You haven't been yourself in so long, I miss your smile, your laugh, the way your eyes used to sparkle."
"I'm okay." I wanted to scream out to him and tell him everything. I'm not okay, Jeremy. They hurt me; beat the life right out of me. They wait for me to heal, only for them to do it all over again, the pain is unimaginable. I'm scared. If I reach out for help, they'll hurt you, Jeremy. They are bad people and bad people don't change, they never stop so I have to end this, I'm so sorry. I have to do whatever it takes to keep you safe. 
"I wish I could believe you. I wish you would speak to me."
I'm trying.
I open my mouth in an effortless attempt to tell him, but I know that I can't. They promised me if I did, they would kill him. 
I turn my head and finally look into his eyes, I already find myself completely lost in them, trying to find an escape. I know I have to let go. He looked down on me incredulously. 
"I wish I could too," I whispered. 
Was I selfish for doing this? It didn't matter, there is no other way. 
"Then talk to me, please?" Jeremy pleaded. 
"I'm going to be okay, I promise you. I'm going to be just fine," I tried my best to smile for him and I almost actually managed it. At least this wasn't a lie - I would be okay soon. Not long now. 
"I don't want to lose you, Isabel. But I feel like you're slowly drifting away and I just can't bring you back." I laid my head back onto his chest and he tucked my hair behind my ear. "I miss you; I miss us."
Voices in my head started to fight against each other.
'He doesn't want to lose you, you're going to cause him pain either way. Don't do this.' 
'No, I have to.' 
The voice inside my head was torn in two, I wasn't sure which one I should listen to but my mind has been made. I know what I have to do to keep Jeremy safe.
"It's getting late," I said as I sat upright and held out my hand in front of me. Jeremy took hold of it and I found myself holding tighter than I've ever before. I wasn't ready to let go just yet. 
We both stood up, hand in hand, and made our way into the dark night. 
"I'll walk you home," Jeremy said. I could feel his poor attempt to squeeze my hand tighter than I am his, but my anger, sadness and heartbreak were overpowering his strength.
 
We didn't speak a word all the way home - I was trying to think of what I would say to him. When I found some words that seemed half-right, I repeated them over and over in my head until I changed them again. I must have changed them a dozen times before we were standing outside my front door. 
"I'm going to help you, I don't know how, but I will," Jeremy said. 
"I know I'm going to be okay, everything will be just fine now, you no longer have to worry." I smiled again, he needed to see me smile. 
"I'm glad to hear that," he smiled back and I was happy that I got to see his again. His pearly white teeth were flawless and his only dimple on his right cheek was something I had always adored.
Jeremy kissed me on my forehead and didn't let go for a few seconds. When he did he started to walk away. 
No, he can't leave yet. 
"Wait," I shouted quietly. 
Jeremy stopped and turned around as he made his way back towards me. 
"Do you remember the first day that we met?" I asked. 
"How could I forget?" He chuckled. "You spilt your lunch all down me, it took my mum days and endless washes to get the stains out."
I laughed too, it was rather strange to hear myself laugh. 
"I spent the next month or so in embarrassment, everytime I saw you in the school corridors I'd dodge. But that month of embarrassment was worth it."
"It was a new top. The yells I received off my mother were worth it too."
We both laughed together and he then surprised me by kissing me passionately on the lips. 
Then it was just us. We were back in physics exchanging notes, this was where he first asked me out. I never received the note in person, instead our physics teacher read it aloud and everyone laughed, even he and I. Then we were at the cinema on the back row, this was where he first kissed me, this was where I realised for the first time that I might be falling in love with him. Then we were both lying in bed, we were smiling, I had just given him my virginity. That was when I knew there was no going back, I had fallen. 
Then we were back outside my front door. 
"I love you," Jeremy said. "Goodnight, beautiful."
"I love you, too."
I took one last look at him, we both remained fixated in one another's eyes until Jeremy made the first move and kissed me goodnight on the cheek. 
And then he was gone.
I watched him walk away, tempted as I was to run after him, I knew it was time. 
"Forever and always," I whispered. But he was gone, I was alone now. 
 
I walked indoors and raced upstairs right away. I ignored my mother's calls about my dinner being cold and my father's yelling about me being ten minutes late. However, it only took me slamming my bedroom door for them to understand I needed to be alone. I appreciated that of my parents, I knew not all were the same. 
I immediately locked my door and then I walked towards my mirror, only to see a stranger staring back. 
'Who are you?' The voice cried. 'You're not Isabel. You may have her face but they stole her life, her soul. She is gone. You are not Isabel.'
'I know,' I shouted silently back. 'Everything's going to be okay now. I promise. I'm going to be fine.'
Never before had I felt so alone, so completely isolated from the rest of the world. I understood that the thieves who stole my life would get away with the atrocities they had committed but what else could I do. I had to protect Jeremy. 
The stranger continued to stare at me. Her eyes wide, face lifeless. 
'You can't do this', they said. 'You can fight this, you are strong. Don't give up.'
'I have to, you don't understand, this isn't about me anymore. This is about Jeremy.'
The stranger didn't respond. Maybe I'd won, maybe they'd listened. Or maybe they'd given up.
I let the stranger leave. 
I sat down on my bed and reached into my bedside table, I pulled out a notepad and a pen and I wrote: 'I wish I could give you a better explanation, but if I could I wouldn't be doing this. Just know that I had to. Just know that I love you all.'
Then I put the notepad aside and reached into the drawer once more. From it, I took out the knife I had been hiding there for quite some time. I know there are less painful ways of doing this but I had to ensure that I did this right the first time. For a while I did nothing but stare at the weapon that would soon be the cause of my death. I could hear my parents arguing downstairs. I heard my name getting tossed around and I understood what this would do to them. I hoped they wouldn't mourn me for long. I was doing this for them as well as Jeremy. 
I held the knife tighter and I stood up. I held it in the correct position - the position of my heart.
'No!' The voice cried. 'Please, stop. This isn't right. We can bring you back, Isabel, you can come back. We'll help you.'
'I need to end the pain, the suffering. It needs to stop. And I need to help Jeremy.'
The voices fell silent.
My hands were trembling but I was determined, I had to do this. The pain would be over soon. I'll be okay soon.
"Forever and always," I whispered aloud. 
Without another second to waste, I struck the knife in the place of my heart. I immediately fell to the floor. The floor painted red. 
My parents must have heard me fall, within moments I heard them rush upstairs, banging on my door and asking me to let them in. 
I couldn't. I would be leaving soon. 
I was screaming, the pain was unbearable and excruciating. More painful compared to what those monsters had done to me in the past? Maybe - just a little. I prayed that the process would hurry, my parents were still trying to get in. I had to leave before they saw me. I couldn't face the goodbyes. 
Bright lights appeared out of no where. I knew this was my cue. The pain would be over soon and I would be okay. 
I'm leaving now. 
They're telling me it's time, that I have to say goodbye, you're still trying to get in. I guess it's better this way.
I'm so sorry that I did this to you. 
 
I can no longer feel the pain. 
 
I am gone.


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