Looking Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alexis looks back on when her life was a fairytale turned nightmare, a story when her once upon a time turned out not to have such a happy ending.

Submitted: January 16, 2012

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Submitted: January 16, 2012

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LOOKING OUT

I am Alexis Sage. I’m not going to tell you that I’m pretty, or that I give a damn. I’m not going to try to coax money or an ounce of sympathy out of you. I don’t want it; what would make you believe that I do? I’m 19 years old and I don’t need anyone, not anymore. If I’m going to tell you anything, it’d be this: you don’t need anyone but yourself. No one knows you as well as you do, your deepest desires, your dreams, whom you despise and whom you love. You can’t even trust in love anymore, it’s as fake as my hair dye. Let someone in and they’ll change you. You won’t think the same, or feel the same, heck you’ll feel new things but once you’ve let them in, they’ll never truly leave. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. How much it hurts to be convinced of all the stories, tales and songs. Of the magazines and the books and the happy endings. To think that you’ve found that one person that everyone’s always looking for. That one person who could make you love and be overwhelmed by that love. They say that the harder you cry for someone, the more you love them. I loved him a lot then, and he didn’t love me at all.

I know what you are probably thinking right now. I’m just another sob story, another girl that got her heart broken and will forever be bitter about it. That I’m going to spend the rest of my life hating him because he hurt me. Well, maybe. Maybe you are right and I will turn out to be the lonely old lady on your block; mean, horrid, terrible. But then again, what if it’s you? What if, because you didn’t listen, you become that old lady? Or old man? 

Should I tell you my story? Maybe I shouldn’t but I’m going to anyways. It’s not a very good story, or one with a happy ending; true stories seldom ever have happy endings. But if I started it like one, would it help you maintain your silly notions about someday having your own happy ending? News flash: no one gets a happy ending because there are no endings. Once you feel for someone, you’ll never stop no matter how much you try to believe that you don’t. Someone dies, but they are still there. You say you don’t care, but you do. Believe me, I know. But perhaps it’ll make you more comfortable-you sitting there reading this right now- at least for a while…..

Once upon a time there was a girl (Isn’t there always one?) and her name was Alexis, Lexi to those closest to her. Now this girl was not stunningly beautiful, or a saint to anyone who knew her. She was just there. A person in the crowd that no one ever looked for, or even saw. She was plain, not ugly. Quiet, not stupid. Alone, not lonely. The kind of person always off in some other world because they chose to be. Until her prince came and anchored her to this world, she’d always dreamed of someday seeing her father again so they could travel the universe together; side by side and hand in hand. Her father had been the only one to ever express any feelings of love or even a passive affection for her. She had not been a lovable child and she hadn’t changed over the years either, more out of fear that if she stopped putting her hair into twin braids and painting her toenails a bright, almost blinding blue, her father wouldn’t love her when he came back. She hadn’t known that he’d never be coming back anyways.

Not that it mattered much when she met her Prince Charming. The boy – which is exactly what he was, just a boy- became her everything the day he decided to steal her fragile heart. Had she then known his plan, his true intentions toward her, she’d have never stopped to say hi whenever she found him looking at her in the halls. She’d never have given herself to him, mind or body. She’d have never told him she loved him. He’d hidden his true personality under a fixed façade of broad smiles and a quirky, endearing humor. He was the villain and not her hero, but of course she didn’t see it. The sheer miracle of this boy noticing her when no one else did cast a veil of dreamlike quality over her love-stricken eyes that made her even more clueless to what he was really like. She thought that she knew him, really and truly knew him better than anyone and perhaps in a sardonic way, she did. He was older than Lexi; when she was a freshman, he was already a junior. He saw her as easy prey, a likeness quite fitting to the way he chased, then captured and devoured her heart and soul. For four years he did not release his hold on her, and each year he grew more comfortable around her. He started showing his true colors by degrees: first by losing his temper more and more often, then hitting her and smoking all the time. Her skin became dotted all over with blooming and fading bruises; every time one disappeared another would take its place. He yelled at her often and when he did he always left her ears ringing, the echo of  his terrible words stabbing into her heart. She cried every night and was only consoled by her repeated mantra, which was something along the lines of ‘He doesn’t mean it. He loves me. He loves me and I love him. It’ll be different tomorrow’.  Lexi forgave him for every wrong he committed, because she loved him. Even when he started forcing himself on her (even though she had willingly given herself to him half a year into their sham of a relationship) she uttered not a word of protest. Until That Day.

That Day was Valentine’s Day, of all days. One of the most romantic days of the year was the worst day of Lexi’s life. She was 17 at the time and like most other teenage girls, she romanticized about making Valentine’s Day perfect for her and her prince. They’d be alone and he wouldn’t hit her like he always did when he came home from partying with his friends. He’d twirl her braided hair around his fingers and lightly tug on it to pull her in for a kiss.He’d call her his little Lexi like he had when he was still sweet and they’d make love in a real bed, not in the back of his van. He’d come in the door like the boys in the movies bearing flowers, chocolate, and giant teddy bears gripping plush red hearts saying ‘be mine’. He’d shower her with kisses and treat her like a princess the rest of the day. But, that did not happen. Instead of coming in the door bearing a cheap, sentimental gift, he had an angry spark in his eyes and clenched fists. Before Lexi could even finish uttering the words “Happy Valentine’s Day”, he beat on her like he wanted to kill her. And he most likely would’ve if he hadn’t noticed the blood splattered on his clothes and gone to go wash it in her laundry room, muttering curse words all the way.

He hadn’t stopped there. He came back to the living room and opened the half-closed door, revealing to Lexi’s drooping eyes some of his friends. From her painful position on the floor, they all seemed to loom and leer over her in a spinning daze. There were three guys and two girls, and for the rest of that horrific day, the former did things to her that she would take great pains to try to forget many nights after while the latter watched. Even her prince participated. Over everything that happened, this fact was by far the worst. It hurt to be betrayed by her own sex who clearly enjoyed seeing her abused and in pain, but it was nothing –absolutely nothing- compared to the heart-shattering ache she felt in her heart at the thought of her love hurting her this much. Sure he had hurt her before (and frequently) but never like this. She’d thought it was part of him relieving his stress and of making her completely his. As if only he was allowed to touch her in any way, tenderly or painfully. Besides, after he grew tired, he always became complacent and would adapt a carefree manner that made her remember why she loved him. But That Day was the last straw. She watched as if from someone else’s body what was happening around and to her, even in those excruciating moments when she thought it would never end. And it didn’t –not truly. It didn’t stop as she watched, beaten, bloody, and hurting on her living room carpet, their departure, including her prince, and shut the door on her. It didn’t stop as she lay there for hours in a catatonic state staring into oblivion in total denial of what had happened. Sometime during that mental drifting, she looked at her toes, her irrepressibly bright and childish blue toenails that shone even through the thick darkness surrounding her and she snapped. In that moment, the hard, odious Alexis was born. Something about seeing the one thing about her they –he- didn’t take away brought her back to life. The pain and passionate hate of all the people present in that room that night, That Day, are the foremost feelings she felt for months before she learned to contain it deep within her where no one could ever penetrate and she went as far as to make sure that no one even wanted to…….

 

Well, that’s my story. You may be curious as to what they actually did to me but that will always remain a secret between me and them. And they are dead; they all died in a car crash in the city. Dead men tell no tales, and you can be sure that I’ll never tell.

But do you understand, reader? Do you see why I felt I must warn you about the dangers of loving and trusting the wrong person? What that wrong person can do to you and your heart? All human beings seek the love of another because it’s in our nature to crave the illustrious deceiver that love can be and most often is. And like everything else, it’ll never leave. If you must be attached emotionally to anything, be attached to something that will not imprison you in its vicious grasp, a force that suffocates the very life and the will to fight out of you. I could not fight him; I didn’t even want to and that had almost been the death of me. I’ve grown past that now (it’s been almost 2 years since That Day) but he’s undeniably left his mark on me in so many ways that it’s as if he’s still here. And what did I tell you earlier? Before I even told you my story? I said that once you let someone in they’ll never leave. Do you still think I’m lying? You are probably still young, so naïve and trusting. So ready to fall in love with the first boy that sweeps you off your feet, or girl, whatever your preference may be. No, I’m not talking about your age literally, after all I’m only 19 but I’ve been through more than I should’ve. Don’t pity me. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. Your soft heart cannot comprehend the fact that I don’t want to love anymore. The thought is so unappealing and when I think of love I don’t see the happiness of a couple in love, or the bright happiness associated with it. My time for love has passed- I’ve had more than my fill of it.

Part of the reason I’m preaching to you now is to thwart you from going down the same path as me. I’d desperately needed and wanted the love of a person-any person- and I wasn’t careful enough. Maybe it was because I’d known the love of my father and I had already been waiting to be loved again. Maybe I had just been stupid and I’m just making excuses. Maybe. All of us have at one point been duped, but haven’t you heard of that famous saying? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I’ve done what I can to help you, dear reader, so that you won’t even have to be fooled the first time. I’m just looking out for you.

I say I’ve given up on love, but not all the marks that love has riddled my soul with have been bad ones. I still wear my hair in the twin braids of my childhood, my innocence. I still paint my toenails a bright, bright blue and maybe I always will. It reminds me that once upon a time, life was good and I was loved. Those were the good times reader, that come only once. Sometimes they are over before you’ve even realized it.

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Mira Pedraza. All rights reserved.

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