“No, don’t leave,” he said, staring up at me with his huge, vulnerable eyes.
“I need to go, I have class,” I said, begging myself not to drown in the blueness of his gaze.
“Meet me later. Please,” he said, grabbing my hand and pressing it to his lips.
I had never felt butterflies like that before. He stood there, staring at me, silently pleading with me to stay there with him. My hands were in his and his eyes were on mine and in that moment, I knew he had me.
I walked away with a heavy heart that day, barely able to focus on my work. The brushstrokes on my painting were no longer deliberate and the piece went from strict realism to abstraction in one class session.
We were sitting in the spot– our spot, on a bright, sunny day. The pink flowers that finally bloomed were laying in patches around us. He leaned over and grabbed me with both arms, pulling me closer to him as he leaned in for a kiss, which I refused– I was too hesitant and it was too early. Over and over again, I refused and over and over again, he pulled me closer to him, getting more and more rough with each rejection.
He had shut all three doors to the classroom, and I wasn’t sure why. I had never seen all three doors closed, but once I looked around I saw why he valued the room that way. With so much privacy and little possibility for wandering eyes, he was free to do whatever he wanted, free of judgment. That day, he wanted me.
“Stop,” I said as I pulled his hands away from me.
His fingers kept trying to inch their way up my skirt, and it took all of my strength to fight him off. He stood at 6’4″ and I at 5’4″, and it was easy for him to pick me up and toss me around. Once I fought him off, I grabbed my things and ran from the classroom.
“You don’t understand,” he said, staring at me, that look of vulnerability back in his eyes. We were in that classroom again surrounded by friends, our projects laying untouched between us.
“What don’t I understand?” I asked, my feelings for him forcing me to forgive his previous advances.
“It’s the anniversary of her death, I’m really messed up. I just need to talk, please can we talk?” he asked.
I nodded. We walked to his car in silence as I wondered how I could possibly comfort someone grieving the loss of his mother. As soon as we were in his backseat, he attacked, his hands grabbing the waistband of my shorts. One hand moved to cover my lips and the other held my struggling body, his triumphant grin still flashing in my memories.
“Do you want to go out with me sometime?” a friend asked, holding his paintbrush in both hands as his head tilted to the side, awaiting my reaction.
“What, why not ask Shawna?” I asked, completely shocked.
“Shawna? She’s dating Paul,” he responded.
My heartbeat seemed to stop, and I wondered if I should ask him to feel for my pulse.
“What? For how long?” I asked.
“Like five years now,” he said.
I’m sitting back here, in our spot with the pink flowers. Somehow, I always miss when the flowers grow so vibrantly and intensely on the tree. Whenever I’m here, I only catch traces of what once was so pure and beautiful, now crumbled and brown, kicked onto the floor, all traces of beauty long forgotten. They blow in the wind and beg for attention, but I only sit and watch, wondering if the rest of the world is anything like these flowers.
Lorraine Biteranta is a student majoring in English Literature, hoping to get her MFA in creative writing. She enjoys all forms of creation, whether it be reading, painting, sewing, or playing music.