by: Lena Holdman
I’m standing in the middle of a large field of black, dying roses. A dark sun is slowly setting, making the sky crimson. Withered petals waltz in the wind and blow in my auburn hair. Shaking the petals off, I pull up the hood of my favorite gray hoodie, for the wind is brisk. I can see a run-down barn in the distance but there’s no sign of life of any kind anywhere. I’m so confused, slightly dizzy, and my head is pounding. Where am I? How did I get here and why am I here?
Then I see you, Dave, the guy who always comforted me, made me laugh; the best friend who always danced with me in the middle of my living room, making me feel like a real princess. Ever since we were teenagers, I’ve carried a torch for you. I don’t know how many times that I tried to tell you about my deeper feelings for you, how many times that I whispered “I love you” but you were blind to it all. Even now in our twenties, my love for you still hasn’t wavered.
Now, you seem to appear out of nowhere but I just want to know what’s going on. I call out to you but it seems like you don’t see or hear me even though I’m only steps away from you. In a louder tone, I ask, “Where are we?” Still, you don’t answer or even look my way; your olive eyes scanning the darkening sky.
I desperately ask you, “What’s wrong?” I try to walk towards you but I can’t. Some invisible, strong force holds my legs tightly in place. I scream in frustration but try to remain calm. Is this some kind of joke? Are you going burst into laughter at any minute? I giggle nervously and say, “Alright Dork, you’ve had your fun.”
Then Lilly appears beside you and your gorgeous face lights up. She’s your girlfriend of two years, the luckiest girl on Earth; the one with long, blonde hair, legs that went on forever, and a perfect, model-like smile, and the one who you gave your heart to. I’m happy for you. You’ve finally found someone who you could love with all of your heart but I must admit, sometimes it was difficult to watch you give her all of your affection while I just was the third wheel, still being secretly devoted to you.
I assume that she’s going to see me and talk to me now, end this silly prank but she doesn’t even acknowledge me. At first, I’m very offended but then, I become extremely afraid. Am I really invisible? Am I dead and now just a reckless spirit that you’ve already forgotten?! I scream out your name again, again, and AGAIN! Neither of you can hear me.You just start dancing with her, twirling her around and around, both of you being blissfully oblivious of me and the hideous, dying flowers around you. Your love for each other is beautiful enough. I feel helpless, alone, abandoned!
Now, her baby blue, short sundress is growing longer and turning pure white, as all of the color in the world gradually disappears. It’s like we’re in an old black and white movie stuck on slow motion. You keep twirling her around and I keep screaming your name. You kiss her hard on the lips and I frantically beg you to just listen. You laugh with her and I sob, pleading, “PLEASE HEAR ME…LOOK AT ME!! PLEASE REMEMBER ME, COME ON! DON’T DO THIS, I LOVE YOU!!!”
My legs suddenly are able to move but instead of running towards you, I walked backwards, hysterically crying, screaming, still beseeching you to hear and look at me. The world begins to spin quickly, uncontrollably like I’m on a demonic top and I lose my footing. A car appears behind me and not paying attention, I hit my head on the side mirror. I scream again before darkness consumes me.
When I open my eyes again, color is back.With a massive bump on my head, I’m lying on the ground beside your blue Mustang, a field of red roses being only a foot away. I see you running towards me and that’s when I remember what happened:
You were taking Lilly and me to dinner when she’d seen the rose field. We pulled over to pick some. Just as we were about to get out of the car, I got a text from my younger sister and I told you two to go ahead while I quickly replied. When I was done texting, I left my phone in the car and walked towards the field. From a distance, I saw you two standing in the middle. You whispered something to her, making her giggle. Then, you held something up to her and knelt down one knee. I thought that you were proposing to her. I should’ve been happy for you two, should’ve been cheering but all I felt was overwhelming shock and fear of abandonment. I slowly walked backwards back to the car, for I didn’t want you to see me at that moment. I knew that my face didn’t have a look of joy. As I walked backwards, my eyes still glued on you, I slipped on a rock and slammed my head on the side mirror, passing out.
“Are you okay,” you exclaim, rushing towards me, “What happened?”
“I’m fine…” I say drowsily, “just…slipped.” You help sit up and make tell you how many fingers that you’re holding up. As you’re checking me, I abruptly say, “Congrats on your engagement.”
“Huh,” you exclaim, looking puzzled, “Engagement?”
“Such a jokester,” I think to myself. “I saw you starting to propose to Lilly…,” I say with a small smile.
You give me one of your charming smiles.
Thinking up of quick lie, I continue saying, “That’s why I tried running back to the car…Wanted to get my phone so I record you proposing. It is a special moment.”
Then you burst out laughing. Why are you laughing?
“Sorry to disappoint you,” you chuckle, “but I wasn’t proposing.”
“But I saw you getting on one knee,” I say, feeling perplexed.
“I was just goofing around,” you explain, “I was only giving her a rose.”
“Oh…,” I say, feeling very idiotic, “so I bumped my head over nothing.”
“Looks like it,” you smile, “but thanks. Don’t you think that I would tell you if I was planning to propose? You are my best friend. I tell you everything.”
Warming my heart, I smile at your sweet words.
Lilly now runs towards us with exploding panic in her eyes. She frantically asks, “Is she okay? Does she need to go the hospital?”
“I’m just a klutz,” I told her with a sigh.
“Yeah, she hit her head on my side mirror but it didn’t break,” you tease, “Thank God for her hard head.”
“Oh ha, ha,” I smile, “Dork.”
“Come on,” you say, helping me stand and giving me a picked rose from your pocket, “I promised to take my girls to dinner.”
As we get into the car, I’d be lying if I said that I’m not feeling relieved that you aren’t engaged tonight. I’m ashamed of that fact. You deserve to be happy. You’re my best friend and if I really care about you, I should be supporting you. Tonight, I’ve learned that I have a selfish fear of you not being in my life, of being forgotten and I realize that those feeling are foolish. I know that you wouldn’t just push me away and Lilly wouldn’t replace me. We’re only friends…period. No matter how much wish for a romantic relationship with you, nothing will ever change things. I love you but you aren’t mine to keep. I’ve just been acting like a self-centered child so tonight, I’m deciding that if there ever comes a day that I need to let you go, I’ll walk away. Even though I’ll always want you, I’ll be at peace, knowing that you’re truly happy.
Dark, Fiction, Love, Sad, Teen, Young-adult, Growing up
(c)Lena Holdman, all rights reserved 2014
In this story, the narrator faces her fears of abandonment and learns that if you love someone, sometimes you'll have to let them go. The truth hurts but it's part of growing up.