I remember the first time we met, you were so carefree back then, so beautiful. We were at the park, parents looming in the back ground like shadows. They just wanted to make sure you were safe. It took time, but eventually we understood why they felt it was necessary. That’s how a lot of the lesson we learned were like, I suppose. Seeing you grow and change from a baby to a toddler then a kid, it was simply amazing. You grew lovelier every day, though you didn’t need me to tell you that, mother and father made sure you knew. I was happy, as long as you were happy.
I remember you taking us out in the backyard to play with the dog our family had at the time, for the life of me I can’t remember the breed it was. Its name was Smokey though, I can’t remember the reason for it, but you seemed to enjoy playing with him. He loved you and protected you as much as I wanted to, he even got upset when our parents got too close. It made you giggle and laugh hysterically as a child. I enjoy how bright you seemed, I was happy, as long as you were happy.
Do you remember Evan? I’m sure you don’t, the memory seems so insignificant that you have to dig it out of a dusty box. It was the first time I was truly proud of the person you were becoming. He was just another kid in your first grade class, one day though he had an accident, everyone laughed immensely. Even after he got a new set of cloths from the nurse, he was still crying, still embarrassed by the situation. You went to him during recess and asked if he was ok? You gave him a friend when he really needed it. You moved shortly after so I suppose that’s why the memory of him is faded. At that time in your life, doing nice things made you smile, and I was happy, as long as you were happy.
There were those woods that connected to the neighborhood we lived in when we were a teenager, many fond memories rush back at the thought of it. Luckily for us there was a wide variety of kids to play with, to go on adventures with. You allowed anyone who wanted to join come along, you weren’t known to kick people out. A natural born leader you seemed to be as you led expeditions through the deep woods. Leading over creeks and over steeps hills, you found such things as a barn you claimed to be haunted, as well as an abandoned warehouse full of decrepit Christmas decorations. That last one you wanted to burn to the ground due to the creepy vibe that came from it, your friends all laughed and you seemed content with life. I was happy, as long as you were happy.
I mean there were some bumpy roads I guess, not everything can be sunshine, there will always be stormy days. Honestly though you handled it well, I still haven’t figured out exactly what Allison’s problem was. I mean why did she have to be so mean? I know you’ve been relying on me to figure that out, I just can’t though. I mean not everyone can be your friend, there were bound to be people that didn’t like you, whatever their reasons may be. I hoped I didn’t disappoint you. Remember, I was happy, as long as you were happy.
Someone had bumped into you in the middle school lunch room one day, the food plastered all over your blouse caused the cafeteria to erupt in laughter. You watched as the girl who remained nameless walked back over to Allison’s table. What was her deal? I could tell you were asking yourself that. I noticed it all was weighing on you more than you would like, the rest of the day was filled with people’s laughter as they passed you in the halls. I tried to tell you to ignore them, pleaded for you to focus on other things. I just wanted to see you smile again, I would be happy, as long as you were happy.
You had such high hopes for high school, so ready to put middle school behind you, to make new friends. I saw you smile slightly as you thought on the prospect of being able to leave the sadness behind. You bought a new outfit, one that made you look so beautiful, you got mother to take you and get your haircut. For some reason you needed something different, and I went along with it. The end result was wonderful and you seemed to truly enjoy the new style you had acquired. Then the rumors started, it was strange because by the time they made it to you, the whole school knew. It was a lie of course, but a lie that people wanted to believe in for the sake of gossip. Someone got it into their heads that you were having sex with multiple guys, it baffled you due to the fact that you were still a virgin, and only fifteen. I tried to tell you that everything was going to be ok, but you didn’t seem to listen. I just wanted you to be happy, so we could be happy.
Why wouldn’t you wear something different than hoodies and sweatpants? That music you listened to also, wasn’t helping anything. I wish you understood how wonderful you were, how amazing you could have been. I get that people were putting road blocks up on the path you were on, but you allowed it to control you, to cause you to stop. You stayed stagnant for such a long time that I honestly didn’t believe you were ever going to get out of it. I was so sad within that future for you, I was so relieved when he finally came along. When he finally picked you up and made you smile in a way I never could. I was happy, as long as you were happy.
Shane. I remember how you felt the first time he spoke to you, you were so guarded, afraid to let anyone in. You had your reasons and no one blamed you for having them, especially me, but I was filled with joy as I saw you hold a conversation with him. He made you laugh and you made him laugh, before you knew it a relationship began. He helped you out of the hole that you had dug since middle school, and though it took some time he seemed to be successful. Every time you smiled I would smile instantly, you seemed to become the person I saw so long ago. Senior year of high school was turning out better than expected, and you were happy, so I was happy.
He took you to an amazing restaurant one night, the menu had foods that you’d never seen before. You didn’t want to cause him to spend too much so you tried to order a salad, before the waitress could leave Shane stopped her though. He asked you what you really wanted, as you told him he proceeded to order it for you. A grin broke out curving the end of your lips and as Shane noticed it he called you beautiful. I was happy, as long as you were happy.
Shane found you after school and took you to a local park, once there he brought out a picnic from the back of his car. Luckily for him it was a beautiful day, birds were singing within the trees that surrounded the area. He had packed sandwiches and chips, most of them being favorites of yours. You smiled and how much he listened to the things you told him, how he was observant in the things you ate and did. As you ate the food and talked about the many interesting things in life he told you he loved you. You told him you loved him as well. I thought you were moving too fast, but I was happy, as long as you were happy.
Senior year went by faster than expected, and before you or I knew it you had graduated. Mother and Father threw you an amazing party, family, friends, and Shane came to it to celebrate. The wide range of cards all saying a form of congratulations made you smile over and over again. The day went by too quickly and towards the end of it Shane offered an idea for you to take, he wanted to move in together. Now to say I was a slightly against the idea would be putting it lightly, I wanted you to think about it. You were following your heart though, so I stood back and allowed you to do so. I was happy, as long as you were happy.
You found a job at a local coffee shop to help pay the rent that you and Shane now shared, you didn’t seem to mind. Talking to people came easy to you even when you went through hard times. You enjoyed hearing stories from random people and you didn’t mind sharing some of your own. I could tell you weren’t thinking of college anymore, you seemed to feel content in the job you had. You were good at it I suppose, but I was still worried that you were falling off course. Though I was still happy, as long as you were happy.
Shane looked at your phone and found a text from Alex, he questioned you about it. You told him he was a guy who worked at the coffee shop with you. You showed him that Alex just wanted to know if you could cover a shift for him. Shane told you not to talk to him anymore, for some strange reason you laughed and stated “It was cute when he got jealous.” I was worried it was something more, but I was happy, as long as you were happy.
It was a bad morning, your phone was unplugged overnight so it was dead and your car got a flat tire outside of work. A coworker offered to take you home, you had no other choice but to accept the offer. You smiled and nodded but stayed silent except when giving them directions, you smiled and thanked them as you got out. You had called a tow company so the car was being taken care of. As you walked inside Shane didn’t look happy, he asked you who that was? You tried to explain, but he wouldn’t allow you to. Told you to never do that again. I tried asking if you were ok, you insisted that you were happy, so I was happy to.
Someone didn’t come in for their shift causing you to be stuck there longer than expected. The shop was busy during the time of day, people wanting to get their coffee’s while on their breaks. There was no chance for you to call Shane and tell him what was going on, you tried many times but the customers kept you busy. Going home I could tell left you with this small amount of fright in your stomach. You barely made it through the door before the yelling began. Where were you? He asked, who were you with? He berated, you’re cheating on me? He stated, and as you tried to explain that you weren’t his hand collided with your face. That night I tried to get you to leave, I tried tell you to go as he slept. You kept saying it was your fault, that you should have called, that you were happy he cared so much. I couldn’t be happy, as long as you were crying.
From all the lessons that we learned together, from family, friends, and the many classrooms we resided in. I watched you learn the lessons so I know for a fact that you know right from wrong. So I keep asking you why? You never give me a straight answer. YOU SHOULDN’T LET HIM HIT YOU. You shouldn’t allow him to get away with that. It got worse though, he began telling you that no one would love you. You kept covering bruises with makeup and cuts with stories of clumsy accidents. Your parents wouldn’t allow this; they wouldn’t want to see you like this. You barely see them anymore thanks to Shane, and you keep telling yourself he does it out of love, I keep telling you it’s bullshit. Listening to your heart is what got you here, screw your heart. I need you start listening to me, your mind, because if I have to keep lying about how happy I am. I’ll break.
This story is actually one that I thought of when I was sitting in bed one night, I had recently at the time found out a co worker was in an abusive relationship. It infuriates me that people allow themselves to be subjected to such barbaric behaviors. I got to thinking that maybe the mind is just a bystander like everyone else. That maybe it doesn’t want this for their body either but is helpless to stop it.
The story could still use some work, but I am happy with it enough that I want to share it with you all. I hope that it conveys the message that I was trying to show throughout it. Is that when in a terrible situation such as an abusive relationship you can’t lie to yourself and say you’re it’s ok forever. Your mind will catch on, and that’s when the real damage begins.