She Was

I wrote this in 7th grade and just found it as I was cleaning off my computer. It’s a little hipster-esque in today’s world and has some weird teenage angst parts but reading it I still feel the same sense of pride as I did when I wrote it. Mostly posting so I don’t lose it again, but if you do read it, go easy on my 13-year-old self.

Bare dirty feet, loose ribbons blowing in the wind, a girl. She wore a stained sundress and her nails were broken and jagged, though the remnants of pink polish could still be seen. Her features were harsh; jutting collarbones, hollowed out eyes, thin lips, an eerie splash of freckles. She was beautiful, but in the way a forest fire was beautiful, something to be admired from far away, not up close.

She lay in a field choked with lilacs. Beneath her, far beneath her, lay all the wonderments and secrets of the earth. A bramble was stuck in her raven hair, but she didn’t bother to pull it out. It reminded her of Jesus and his crown of thorns. The thought soothed her as a tear fell from her eye weaving a trail of salt through the grime. Acknowledging the tears building up, she gently closed her eyes. She wouldn’t cry. And of course, she’d always loved the smell of lilacs.

Her hair was matted in the back, and her dress clung to her thin, wiry frame. How long she’d lain there, she could not say. The clouds passed across her, leaving dark awkward shadows across her, but still the sun burned her cheeks. She would not move, let her thoughts fully encompass her, only the faint flutter of her eyelashes confirmed she was alive, if barely.

She thought about all of her adventures, the exploring she’d done, all the memories made. All the laughter and giggles of her life echoed through her ears; all of the kisses, all of the tears she felt. When a bad thought snuck in, she replaced it; it hurt too much, and she didn’t have time to be sad.

She thought of her love for living. She had loved the simple things; she had loved the elegant things. She refused to ever stop loving. She thought about all her wishes. Oh, how many wishes she’d had! She’d thrown countless pennies into fountains, witnessed so many shooting stars, blown out so many birthday candles. Even now, she wished that all infinity of her wishes would come true. Perhaps though, that was part of life, not getting what you wished for. She thought of those broken wishes and about how her heart and soul ached like an old woman who had lived nine hundred lifetimes, though she was just seventeen. Per chance she had been, once long before, but she couldn’t say, all she knew was that she was tired. So very tired. She thought of who she was and what she believed: insanity, a dreamer, an addict of unusual things. She still believed that she was everything in the world and that eventually, someday, it’d all be how she wanted it. She wasn’t giving up on all her dreams and beliefs; instead she was just coming to peace with what was.

All these thoughts accumulated in her head, composing a bittersweet melody of life. She let it embrace her, like a drug taking hold, it swept through her veins. She could feel it everywhere, in every place; over every scar, every muscle, every groove. She basked in each moment, reliving it in perfect clarity, soaking it all in as if getting browned by the sun. It was then that she knew that it was almost time.

As if the spell had been broken, her eyes snapped open. They were still hollow but they looked wiser, older somehow. Sunset had come, a musty gray orange. The clouds hung low and gray, too. It smelled like rain; no, rain and lilacs. Emerson had gotten it right, she thought. Nature seemed to let loose all her emotions and mix them together. It was saying everything she couldn’t say or, the strength she didn’t have to say it. Lifting herself off of the ground, she stood. The now, brutal wind whipped her hair around her face and her dress around her knobby knees. The sage ribbon in her hair, already loose, carried away in the hands of the wind. Yet, the bramble remained. She smiled then thinking of that bramble stuck in her hair. Though her teeth were white and perfect, it was a wicked smile, nightmarish. That face could haunt you, though she seemed more beautiful than ever.

It began to rain, just lightly, but it was enough to wipe the smile from her face. Gracefully, she bent onto her knees slowly bending lower and lower toward the ground, until her dry, cracked lips seemed to kiss the surface. “I don’t care,” she said in a whisper hidden by the rain, “I don’t care about anything. I just want to be happy.” With that, she sank down onto her stomach and lay down, resting her arms at her sides.

As if the earth had understood her meaning, it gladly welcomed her, and she was gone.

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