“And that's when I know it's over.
As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end.”
–JUNOT DÍAZ, This is How You Lose Her
INNER CITY STORIES
Middle school was horrible. Everything I did was “wrong.” Everything I said was stupid and people kept repeating it as a joke. Maybe they weren’t making fun of me but that’s what it felt like. I felt alone. I lost my friends because of that. They were fake. They were nice when they needed stuff. When they needed the homework or they needed help with it, of course, they asked nicely and were nice the day after. I was always afraid and too shy to stand up for myself. I kept thinking bad stuff about myself. I kept trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I could never figure it out. I was lonely. I felt like the world was crashing down and I had no one. My best friend started going to another school at the beginning of 7th grade. I missed her. She was the only one I could trust, the only one who was there for me. I acted tough. I didn’t let anyone see my true feelings. I hid my hurt. I still hung out with my so-called friends because I didn’t want to seem different. I didn’t want them talking behind my back.
A boy started going to our school in 7th grade. I thought he was annoying and always ignored him. I just thought, oh great, another new kid I will have to teach English to. Then one of the girls I hung out with wanted his number just because she wanted to have everyone’s phone number. I asked him for it and gave it to her. I thought nothing about it. Later that week we decided to pull a prank on him because everyone always said he had a crush on me. He didn’t say anything back to them when they asked, so the both of us decided to figure out if he really did. I texted him, asking him out. I wrote a big paragraph of lies about how I really wanted to be with him. So we started going out. I didn’t break up with him because I knew it would hurt him. I started catching feelings that I didn’t realize I could have. They weren’t huge feelings, so that summer I left him for a guy I thought would be better. The relationship with him didn’t even last a week, so I was alone again.
When summer started I realized I missed the boy I’d gone out with earlier that year. I started talking to him again and started having feelings that were stronger. For that whole time he thought I still had a boyfriend. Even though I had feelings for him, I didn’t show them because I was too afraid. It took about a month and a half for us to get back together. That day was October 12, 2014. We stayed together a long time. We went through fights but we were mature enough to get over them. Some people say your first love is the worst, and I can see why, but for me it was really pretty good. He was there for me through everything. He made me feel more confident. He made me show my emotions more, but only to him. I trusted him enough. He knew how to make me feel better and how to make me feel good about everything that I do and everything that I am. He made me feel proud of my work and proud of my mind. He was the one that made my confidence go up and my bravery rise. He was the one that showed me when to be tough and when to show my emotions. I’m tough around people so they don’t and can’t hurt me, and I showed my emotions only around him.
Because of my past, though, my confidence and bravery isn’t as high as I’d like it to be. I wish I could be proud of my work around everyone. I wish I could show people what I can do and not be afraid of getting made fun of. Just because of everything that happened in my past I am now afraid of everything. I can’t talk in front of the class, I can’t say answers in front of the class, and I can’t even talk about my talents to people because I think I’ll get made fun of. I want to be able to talk to people and be loud and express myself, but I can’t. My past ruined everything for me and I can’t change that. I’ve tried to change it and change myself, but it never worked. Every time I do something, I think it will be in my head forever, because it will. Others will forget it but I never will. I’ll always remember it and always be afraid because of it. I hope that the people I love will never have to go through what I’ve gone through.
At the beginning of 2016 I wasn’t very happy and I was still in a relationship. Most of you might think, how that can be? -- a relationship should make you happier. It didn’t for me. It put stress and pressure in my life. It made me blind. Love does that sometimes. I never noticed anything was really wrong. We argued a lot and I wanted to fix it, but it couldn’t be fixed. I tried my hardest. Love can hurt you and harm you without you even noticing. I loved and I got hurt. I gave everything, but I never got as much back. The relationship ended during the summer. We fell apart, became distant, and said some stuff that we probably both regret. You might think, wow, she’s heartbroken and she can’t move on. You’re wrong. I’m trying and I’m much happier than I’ve ever been before. When you’re hurt you realize who will be there for you through everything and anything. A few people were there for me. They helped me become happier and helped me realize stuff that I never thought I would ever realize. They were there and for that I love them. Some people think I regret being in the relationship or I wish it never happened. I am so happy it happened the way it did. I accepted my mistakes this time. I learned from the mistakes I’ve made during the last nearly two years of the relationship. I learned that I’ll go through heartbreak and that people break their promises, but you have to move on and try again. People say I’m happier and more confident in myself. I am. I feel better about myself now than I ever have before. I just have to keep trying and not give up. I’ll get through anything and I won’t let my past affect me anymore. It took me nearly two years to realize it, but I was in a bad relationship. The truth comes out at the end and it hurts, but it’ll change you for the better. I’ve changed. I am a completely different person and it’s a good thing. And to the person who hurt me I just want to say, thanks, but also I guess now we know who loved who more.