Tears And Love
Cate Ward, Grade 9, Loreto College -
I didn’t know what to do, all I knew was that I couldn’t say that back. I dodged his gaze, my eyes moving to the ground as he stared at me with eagerness, overcome with hope and excitement. I felt my stomach clench so tight that nausea spiraled through me. I couldn’t say anything, couldn’t move. My throat had become dry and scratchy, making even breathing a painful experience. The dread of what was to come held me back. My whole body prayed for some relief from this immense hurt, that seemed to grow stronger with every shallow breath I took.
I raised my head to meet his eyes, to stare into the deep crystal ocean that usually looked at me with so much kindness and laughter, praying to see a smile grow on his pale face. Maybe it was all a joke, he didn’t mean any of it, maybe his eyes would once again look at me with that same laughter, but with every second I stared at his face it only filled with more and more despair, hope slowly draining away.
I would have done anything to stop looking at that face, to stop hearing his words over and over like a taunting rhythm repeating in my head. It slowly became louder and louder clearing all thought and logic from my mind until all I could hear were those words on loop. Never-ending.
I knew what had to come next, but I couldn’t do it. I opened my mouth only for it to shut rapidly, as though by reflex. As though my body knew the immense danger of saying what had to be said. Everything that could be lost.
Finally, as I forced the bitter air surrounding me through my lungs and swallowed the fear pitted deep in my stomach, I said my piece and from that moment, everything changed. With each second that passed, I felt his gaze sadden as he realised the words he yearned to hear weren’t coming. He didn’t look at me as the amazing, beautiful woman he used to. The one who he had spent so many hours lying on the couch with; who just being with and holding was enough. I was a stranger. I was the person who filled his eyes with the pools of tears in them now, not kindness and laughter as I used to. I was everything that was wrong with the world.
I wanted to hug him; to hold him; to be with him. I wanted to love him, but I didn’t.