Cathrine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Cathrine has always been seen as perfect. Perfect scores, above-average physical capability, incredibly kind and undeniably beautiful. But no one notices the way she walks urgently to the bathroom every time test papers come out or why her eyes become teary out of the blue. She's been in pain, until she can take no more.

Submitted: April 26, 2012

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Submitted: April 26, 2012

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"Could you hold this for me." she managed to choke out. She was handing her test paper to me, again. This happens to us after every trimestral exam.

"Sure" She handed it to me as fast as she could. As if it was made of scum at the bottom of the ocean.

She fled out to the classroom and went to the washroom. But I heard some sort of tic tac in her pocket as she ran. I ignored that. She would be crying there. I scanned her test paper and saw she got a perfect score, again. I know she hated it. I wasn't as close to her as her other friends were but I know the true Cathrine.

When she would tutor me, she would sometimes space out and her eyes turn watery. Others don't really have the guts to ask for her tutoring. They seem to be intimidated by her. I wasn't. She was just an ordinary girl, who apparantely has twice the IQ Einstein has.

"Okay. Let's see who the highest scorer is. Who got a perfect score?" the teacher asked excitedly, even though the answer is obvious.

"Cathrine did" I said

"Where is she?"

"She had to pee"

"Well, either way, let's give her a round of applause." The class looked very happy. Because of Cathrine we were called the genious class.

I didn't clap. I know why she hates getting high grades. It was first grade and she went to the washroom again. I finally got the courage to follow her. I found her, curled up in a ball with her shiny auburn hair, shrouding her face.

"Cathrine?" I asked

"Go away" She sobbed

"What happened?"

"Leave me alone!"

"No"

"Don't stick your nose here!"

"I will not go away, until you tell me why you hand your test paper to me, why you go to the washroom after, why you are crying now, why you cry during random moments, why you hate perfect scores. Cathrine, you're my friend and my seatmate. Even though you're a braniac, and someone everyone sees as

perfect, but to me, you're just an ordinary girl." At these words, she looked up. "C'mon let's go to my house after school. She just nodded weakly.

I helped her get up and wash her face. When we went back that day, teachers don't bother to ask. Cathrine would have just said something so legit, that the teacher would be reminded once again who has the higher intelllect.

At my house, she explained that her mother has too much hopes for her. She sees that her mother has megalomania and perfectionitism. She does not do drugs nor does she drink. She just doesn't see her daughter as a girl anymore. She sees Cathrine as a machine or a program. A program that once has any flaw or virus, she would beat the crap out of her. She always wants more, Cathrine explained. Once, She even expected Cathrine to do something to get a point higher than the perfect score.

Cathrine always comes out once she hears the bell ring. But she didn't I ignored it. This is the last test of grade school. Maybe she was scared of high school. I left her alone. She prefers it that way, she said.

Another period passed by. I was getting worried. If another period passed, and she still wouldn't come out, I would go to the washroom already.

RIIIINNNGGGGG!!!! I ran to the washroom, unprepared for what I saw. Cathrine, her pale and perfect body lying down. Her brown eyes that see through all. Closed. On the floor surrounding her, bottles of drugs.I cried. That's all I could do. She's gone.

It took seconds before the teachers came. I was kneeling on the floor sobbing for the girl who didn't deserve this. I really loved Cathrine. I was still crying until the teachers asked me to go away.I flailed in their restricting arms. But I couldn't get out. They hustled me out of the washroom.

Hours later, her mother came. This is the first time I saw her. Whether parent-teacher conferences or report card day, she never goes to school. I could only tell with the resemblance of her brown eyes and similar posture.

We were in the nearest hospital. The doctors are doing everything they can to revive her. It's not going so well. They brought me along just in case I got traumatized by the incident.

After an hour of sitting and waiting, the doctor came out.

"She is in a critical condition. The littlest things could kill her whether mental or physical. This may sound impossible but it seems she lost the will to live."

"I will go talk to her." Cathrine's mother said, her face expressionless, with no trace of sadness or worry.

"No" I stood up "You have no right to go to her. You're the one who caused all of this. You HURT her."

"Know your place boy. This is none of your concern"

"I am the one who comforted her from your torture. I have a bigger place in her heart than you ever had" I don't know where all the confidence came from but I love her. I don't want to loose her. "If you go there now, we might lose her."

"If what he says is true, to be safe, we will have to let him go in first." the doctor said.

Cathrine's mom's eyes narrowed but she didn't say anything. I ran to her room and burst into tears.

"Cathrine, don't die" I was stroking her soft hair. She was so pale. "You have something to live for; someone who loves you. I love you." I held her cold hand "I love you Cathrine. Please live for me" I watched her face, tears streaming down from mine. We stayed like that for minutes that felt like hours.

The doctor escorted me out of the room. In the hallway, I was face-to-face with her mom.

"What do you see in her?" she demanded

I thought about this and spoke without thinking

"Cathrine may be undeniably intelligent and physically capable but, she doesn't see the joy in doing things anymore. She does them out of fear of you. She trusted me and helped me but I have done nothing for her. She was not nurtured in love but perfectionism. Despite that, she is so kind, so pure-hearted to everyone around her. When she gets out of this hospital, I want to be the one to show her that you don't need to be perfect; nothing is perfect. You weren’t given life to be perfect and live perfectly. You were given life, simply to live.”

Her expression was still impassive as she left.

I visited her everyday. Her friends were always with me. They were filled with guilt for not knowing. Sometimes, some of our classmates came along. Her mother never came again.

Her condition was getting better. And soon, the doctor said, she would awaken.

On her sixteenth day, I came alone for the first time. The atmosphere was different compared to the past days. I brought a bear with me this time. I put it on her desk. She seems to be fond of stuffed animals. I always see her look at the stuffed animals on display in shops as we walked home. She made it look like her eyes were just wandering but I can feel the change in her expression and the longing sensation she was emitting.

I sat beside her and held her hand.

“When you get out, we’ll do all sorts of things.” I said aloud “We would go to the beach, watch movies, go to concerts. Then when you turn more confident, I’ll fall in love with you all over again. I’ll buy you stuffed toys everyday and we’ll laugh together when I make idiotic mistakes when you tutor me. Everyday, you’ll smile and laugh and be as absolutely imperfect as you could ever be. No one would judge you, no one would sneer. You’ll live your life.”

Was it my imagination or did she just smile?

“Then, everyday I’d grow stronger but when I fall you’ll always be right there.” She whispered but loud enough that I can hear. “I’d never be lost and I’ll drown in the sunshine.” She opened her brown eyes and looked right inside me “I heard what you said before. I was falling and had no intention whatsoever to climb back up. But then, I heard you say you loved me.” I could feel the heat go to my face “I have never felt love and it intrigued me” it feels like she’s calling it a science experiment “but it was warm and it tickled my heart. I was not raised in love. It felt so good to be loved. So warm, like the sun; warm enough to see that life is worth living. Thank you Leon”

I hugged her tightly, never wanting to let her go.

She moved out of her mother’s house and has her own apartment. She pays for her rent by writing novels and writing in her blog. Now, her smile is pure and her eyes have a soft light in them. We graduated medicine and we are currently dating. I plan to propose to her a week from now. Cathrine makes mistakes and falls down; she’s far from perfect but it doesn’t matter to her anymore as long as you get back up.


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