Authors: Heather Allen
Published by Heather Allen
Copyright 2013 Heather Allen
Cover Art by
All Rights Reserved. This book contains material protected under International and Federal copyright laws and treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without express written permission from the author/publisher.
Dedicated to my little, Carly
may your imagination always tak
e you to the sea. Where the mermaids are!
“I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”
How did this happen?
This question keeps a mantra through my mind. Any other clear thought evades me. The concrete curb I am sitting on is so uncomfortable and I think my foot is falling asleep. I can’t seem to get up or even look up at him. It’s as if the air has slowly leaked out of me like a bicycle tire with a nail in it, I can barely move.
“Ever, did you hear me?” Michael asks loudly.
I slowly lift my eyes and meet his. He has a questioning look on his tanned face.
, here come the waterworks. His hands are poised out in front of him with his palms faced up, waiting for me to answer.
I just want to float away and pretend this moment never happened.
A tear trails down my cheek and his expression softens. He walks over and sits next to me on the curb. He grabs my hand, “Come on Ever, I know this is tough but we are still so young.”
His hand is soft against mine. I turn to look into those golden brown eyes, I know so well. The tears flow freely now.
He wraps his arm around me and tells me, “I know it’s hard but, I just think… this is the right thing to do. We’ve been together for so long and...”
nod, numb from the shock and glance back down at the street in front of me. I focus on the small bits of rough gravel under my Converse.
All those tiny bits and pieces that fit together to form something so tangible. Something so simple yet so complicated if you consider all that is involved in the formation of it
Yet it crumbles so quickly.
He places his hand softly under my chin to turn my face toward him, “Ever, I am so sorry.” My eyes search his face for what, I don’t know.
He lets his hand drop. Now I can’t seem to move my gaze. The word that has always come to mind when I think of Michael is, nice. He is considerate and has always been such a good person to everyone. I have always admired him for that kindness. Why at this moment can't I be furious and angry at him? He's just too nice and I hate him for it.
He averts his eyes and continues, “So, I was thinking maybe take the year off and see…um… where that leads us.”
I can feel his arm around me but it’s as if I’m looking down on the entire scene from above. The words won’t form for me to respond. I can feel it building but I can’t do anything about it. I’m losing my grip but I welcome it, my body tenses and then darkness.
I hear his voice from far away at first then really close to my face, “Ever, Ever, wake up. Come on Ever.”
I feel his arm around my shoulders and his hand patting my cheek gently. Slowly I open my eyes and he comes into focus. He looks so worried. I realize then that we are in the midst of breaking up, I must have fainted. I push myself up to a sitting position quickly, embarrassed. What is wrong with me, I can’t even deal with my emotions.
He lets go of me realizing my reaction, “I was about to go and get your mom.”
I shake my head absently, “I’m glad you didn’t.”
He asks, “Are you going to be alright?” I gaze longingly at him.
He realizes the loaded answer to that question and gets up uncomfortably running his hand through his short blonde hair. He glances down at me and states, “Well I have to go. I guess…I guess… I’ll see you in school.”
He stands there waiting, but I can’t find my voice. As he walks down the street to his car, I gather the energy to watch him leave. His hands are shoved in his pockets and his shoulders are hunched.
As he drives away I realize,
I didn’t ask him why. I didn’t tell him how important he is to me. I didn’t even protest or tell him no, this isn’t what I want.
Suddenly, my whole body is wracked with sobs. I can barely breathe and my face is burning up, my hands are clammy and my heart is broken. I notice the sun setting but I can’t bring myself to get up and go into the house.
Time must have passed because the next thing I know, my mom comes out of the house looking for me.
She walks out glancing down at me and asks, “Ever, are you alright?”
When I don’t answer, she realizes I am not. She sits down next to me and puts her arm around my back. I rest my head on her shoulder.
She asks, “Was that Michael I saw, drive away a little while ago?”
I nod against her shoulder.
She asks, “Not so good news, then?”
My hands cover my eyes and I start sobbing again.
She soothes, “Oh honey, I am so sorry.” She lifts my auburn hair out of my eye.
“You are so beautiful. He doesn’t know what he just lost.”
We sit like this until the only light around, is that of the moon.
My mom gets up and coaxes me to stand up too, “Come on sweetie, let’s go get some hot tea and ice cream.”
My mom’s belief, since I was little, is that ice cream can cure anything. I can barely move, literally, because my legs are cramped from sitting there for so long.
As we walk back to the house, I choke out, “Thank you mom, I love you.”
She chuckles, “That’s my job, Ever, I love you too."
She takes a deep breathe, "Honey, you will hear this many times, but this will be the hardest heartbreak, your first love always is.”
The next weeks are a blur...
Michael Brooks officially broke up with me after three years of dating exclusively. I was absolutely devastated once the realization of my new reality set in.
So far I‘ve gone through many steps of the grieving process or so my mom and Gam-aw have advised. At first I was in denial. The whole scene out on the curb seemed like a distant bad dream. I reasoned so many excuses for him, maybe he had a sudden lapse of sanity, maybe he had second thoughts. He must have been mistaken and didn’t really mean it. I waited by the phone every day for a week, thinking he’d call and apologize. What a complete waste of time.
Denial gave way to anger. I snapped at anyone who tried to reason with me. My family went days without speaking to me. They completely steered clear of any room I inhabited. I was very hard to live with for a while, to say the least.
Later I started believing everyone when they said I was too good for him and I should take a dive, because there are other fish in the sea. Of course, my response was that it’s easier said than done.
So after some encouragement from my mom, I accepted a date with a boy from my literature class, Tad Moore. I’m just embarrassed to even look at him now. It didn’t go well at all. He took me to a movie, a love story of all the coices and I cried the entire movie. I was completely inconsolable, so he just left me at the end of the drive, without a backward glance.
This leaves me now with downright sadness.