1 Fairy on My Doorstep
No one could have ever captured the spirit of the fair-haired fairy that appeared on my doorstep one day during a sunny winter morning, yet I knew she was mine from the moment I saw her. I had wished for someone like her, someone as beautiful and inspiring as her to come into my life, to be my companion, to help me through the bleak weather that hung over me like a dead man by a noose.
She was nothing but pure light. A burning fire danced in her pale green eyes as she looked me over for the first time when I opened the door of my house to find her standing there, holding my lost kitten, her in a pale pink rag of a dress that came down to just above her knees, and a pair of a worn old black boots. There was the softest touch of glow in her skin and her perpetual smile was so radiant, I felt I was going to melt from the heat of her being. It reminded me of being under the spotlight during a school play, my eyes teary from the blinding light and my head dotted with beads of distressed sweat.
The sun was setting, shining behind her head and creating a halo of pale sunshine around her hair that adorned her face and cascaded to her thin, pale shoulders. Her hair was the color of honey, a slow trickle of hair dripping down over her. But the best part of her shone brighter than her eyes and her smile and the halo around her, the brilliance of her mind. She was a vibrant character; her light burned her presence in my heart forever.
Perhaps you need to understand the state I was in to comprehend my immediate fascination with Arienette. I had been pressed under the merciless hand of depression like a bug for one year ridden with despair. I had fallen many times, I had given up many times, and had gone under, completely submerged in the comfort of death. Fortunately, like a phoenix that rises from the ashes, I rose again from the remnants of my broken self and began again with my broken life.
At most times I felt a devastating dip of loneliness. I moaned and complained like a bitter old woman about my lack of belonging in the world. I felt I didn’t belong here, and mostly, I felt that I didn’t belong to anyone. To someone, one person, a single person who would be with me and take care of me and I would take care of them, love them and suffer for them.
I badly wanted a companion in life when Arienette came into my life with her delicate words and her simple ways. She was free like a butterfly, freer than any butterfly seen in any garden. She had the most beautiful soul I had ever seen.
She said she had been in her backyard when she saw the kitten hiding under some bushes, and that she had been watching us look for it the other day, when it had escaped. I told her my name, Sarah. Her name was Arienette and my heart just stopped when she told me her name because it was so perfect for her. A perfect, delicate name like Arienette for my newfound, fragile fairy.
She was enamored with the kitten she had found, Milo. Then I brought out my other kitten, Lolita. She gasped and cooed over Lolita and her soft fur. She held the kitten in her arms and looked down at it letting her golden locks gracefully slip over her face. She was just so precious.
I offered her almost everything I had in my kitchen and she declined it all. I was distressed with her declines; I wanted to do something for her. Every once in a while the cats would run away from her and I would curse them and chase after them, promptly returning them to Arienette’s hands with her delicate fingers to see that beautiful smile crawl over her lips once again.
I kept her in my house as long as humanly possible. I never wanted to let this angel go. When she insisted on leaving, I couldn’t say no to her. I asked her if she would like to come over another time, and the heavens opened up and light came pouring down and she said yes.
That night I couldn’t sleep with the excitement tumbling around in my insides. I tossed and turned but I could not get her face out of my head, her glowing skin and beautiful smile and lively eyes. When I closed my eyes, I could see the outline of her face painted on the insides of my eyelids.
A few days later after that fateful encounter with that little piece of translucence, I was outside standing next to the mailbox taking out the mail when she walked up behind me and laid her dainty chin on my unworthy shoulder.
I looked back at her and she smiled at luminous smile of hers. She was wearing a floating snow white short dress and the same black scuffed up boots. She took a step back and walked over to the mailbox, leaning her arm against it.
“Hi,” I pushed out through my lips.
“Hey, you,” she smiled, all brilliance and glitter.
“Uhh… Hi, uh. What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Just stopping by to say a simple hello.”
She looked down at her boots and lifted one boot and rubbed the toe against the other boot. She nodded and bobbed her head, smiling with her eyes closed as if she were listening to music sweet to her ears, music only she could hear. She was off on her own little world and I stood there watching her as she nodded and bobbed, nodded and bobbed.
She opened her eyes and bit her lip and her eyes moved around as if looking for something that might’ve been floating near her head. She took my hand in hers and pulled me to her side. We walked down the sidewalk in a carefully crafted silence until we reached a tree with intimidating height.
Arienette tapped my hand lightly and pointed to something at the foot of the tree. She walked up close to the tree and bent over a bird’s nest with a group of chirping little baby birds.
She got as close as she could to the birds, watching with the fascinated eyes of a 5 year old. I felt like a moron just standing there a few feet away so I walked a little closer and knelt down beside her and watched the birds chirp helplessly for their mother that would never come.
“They’re so tiny…” she said in awe.
“Yes, yes they are,” I couldn’t find anything remotely interesting to say, I felt so stupid.
She gazed at them for a little while longer and then slowly back away from them. I got up and stood by her. She was so close to me, I could smell the scent of roses coming from her.
She quickly turned around and smiled a big smile. She straightened her shoulders and began to walk back to my house and I followed closely behind. When she reached my house, she sat on my doorstep and I sat next to her. I asked her if she had just moved her, because I hadn’t seen her around.
“I just moved here a week ago, I don’t know anybody. I feel so incredibly lonely,” she said with a despondent face and downcast eyes.
Story of my life. I asked her if she was going to my school, and indeed, she was. I was excited, that meant I would get to see her every day at school.
She unexpectedly jumped up and said she had to leave. There were people to see, places to go, things to do, she said. She backed away from the doorstep waving bye to me and then ran off down the sidewalk with her hair dancing behind her.
I didn’t see her again until a Monday morning at school. She was getting out of a car and I rushed over to her in a flurry of excitement and flushed cheeks.
“Hi!” I said brightly.
“Hey! You seem happy today. You’re usually seem so sad, so very sad. It makes me sad too...”
She ran her fingers through her hair and then placed a chunk of hair behind her ear and looked down at her feet and then up at me. Then she pressed herself against me in an embrace.
“Don’t be sad! Be happy, there are so many things to be happy about! Just think of the baby birds we saw the other day. They’re starting a new life filled with discovery and enlightenment.”
I started to wonder about the mortality rate of baby birds, but I just hugged her back and smiled.
“Now, you have to introduce me to all your friends so I won’t be lonely anymore because it’s a sad, sad thing when I’m lonely. We don’t like sad things, we don’t like them at all,” she informed me.
I introduced her to my friends. She was such a doll; she was so nice to everyone.
“Oh, hi, nice to meet you! You have the bluest eyes I have ever seen! Hi, what’s your name? Oh, that certainly is a lovely name. That’s my cousin’s name, but I don’t think that name suited my cousin as well as it suits you.”
Everyone loved her, as they should. When the bell rang for us to go to our classes, I asked her what classes she had. She didn’t have any classes with me, and my stomach dropped and I felt such a disappointment wash over me. I had hoped to take her around to my classes displaying her like the found treasure, or precious prized figurine that she is.
“I have art class first period. Oh, how I love art. Colors are so beautiful and rich, you just want to fall into them and drown in them…” she closed her eyes and her hands up to her face and smiled.
She said goodbye to us all and strolled off to her class.
I didn’t see Arienette not once during the day. I saw her at the end of school, and she offered me a ride home. The car ride was awkwardly silent, her mother had the window rolled down and was smoking and murmuring to herself. Arienette would occasionally look over at me and grin at me and I would smile back.
I went over to her house for a just a little while. I got to see her room. It was painted pale pink and there were millions of pictures ripped out of magazines of paper-thin models plastered all over the walls. It was then that I noticed how tiny Arienette was. But Arienette was different from those models on the walls. Those models had harsh, sharp angles, and my Arienette was gracefully tiny.
The room was dotted with small fairy figurines placed all over her room, sitting on her dresser, by the window, on top of her TV, on the table next to her bed. I was delighted with the fairy figurines because to me, Arienette was my fairy. She was a faint, translucent thing of a girl. She was tiny like a fairy. All she needed was some wings and she was set. I never told her that she was my fairy. I never had the nerve to. Sometimes I wish I had.
She showed me her sketchbook with pictures of what else? Fairies. She had drawn all sorts of fairies, with all sorts of character traits, all sorts of stories behind the fairies. I was fascinated with her work, I wanted to stay in her room forever but my mother didn’t know where I was and I needed to go home.
I said goodbye and gave her a hug and walked home buzzing from the day.
With all good things come disappointments.
The next morning I was walking to the bus stop when I saw Arienette drive by in her car. The car stopped abruptly and then drove backwards till it reached me. The window rolled down.
“Hi, Sarah. Do you want a ride to school?”
“Oh, sure,” I looked at the crowd of kids waiting at the bus stop. Yeah, they were sure going to miss me.
I opened the car door as Sarah scooted over. I sat next to her and closed the door.
“Your mom’s really nice to be giving me rides everywhere.”
“Oh, she doesn’t mind.”
I looked over at her mom. She was smoking her cigarette and yelling at someone on the phone. Her voice hurt my ears; I worried over Arienette and her ears.
We arrived at school and Arienette got out of the car first. I got out of the car and got all my stuff and when I turned to look, Arienette was talking to three girls that were standing by her.
I stayed wary of them and walked up, staying behind Arienette as if they were going to hurt me. They gave me a look, like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Arienette was talking animatedly to them and soon they lost interest in me and went back to Arienette.
Who were these people? Why were they talking to my Arienette? She was mine, I saw her first! I glared at them until they left. When they left, Arienette turned to me and searched my face.
“Who were those people?” I asked.
“Some girls from my classes, aren’t they nice?”
Arienette bit her lip and looked up at me and then down at her feet. She played with the ends of her hair for a little while, and then yelled out, “Michael!” and went running towards some guy, leaving me standing alone.
I was deeply disappointed. I hadn’t expected to share Arienette. I thought she would be mine, all mine. My best friend, one that would do everything with me, who would always be with me, but here it was, her second day at school and she had already left me.
I couldn’t be angry with her. Of course not, because when she went running after that so-called Michael, her light brown hair billowed out behind her like the smoke that came from her mother’s cigarette and it tiptoed on the edges of the wind with such grace, I stood there staring behind her at her hair for a quite a while.
A few days later, Arienette got her schedule changed around, and although she still didn’t have any classes with me, she had lunch with me now. I would wait for her by the girls’ bathroom religiously every day.
I would hear her big clunky boots pounding on the school’s tile floor and I could already feel the smile on my face. It was incontrollable; I just couldn’t help but smile whenever she was around. She made me so happy.
“SARAH!” she would yell and then run me over with a hug.
I would then feign injury. Aah, you crushed my hand! Or, ack! You stepped on my foot.
“Ow, you hit my head!” I complained… with a smile, of course.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry! Where did I hit it?” she asks with worry lining her eyebrows.
“Right there,” I point to spot on my head.
She leans over and places a soft kiss on my forehead, soft like a wing of a butterfly had brushed against my skin.
“There, all better.”
Excitement the color of roses rushed to my cheeks. My head felt heavy with happiness. Oh, Arienette.
People talked, I knew. They talked about my Arienette and me. But it wasn’t like that at all. I loved my Arienette with every little piece of my broken heart; I would’ve done anything for her. She was the best friend I had. She was a precious gem among a cave of coals. If other people weren’t so blind, if other people could have seen that, they would’ve loved Arienette as I did.
I could’ve explained this to them. I could’ve… But I let them think what they wanted. It didn’t matter what they thought, their thoughts had no influence on my life. All that mattered was my Arienette, and she didn’t seem bothered by the rumors circling around the school. If it had bothered her, I would’ve set everything in its place for her. I would’ve never wanted any trouble to come to the mind of my Arienette. Never, never. If only I knew what she had been going through, I could’ve helped her. If only she had told me. I had had my own share of woes; I knew what it felt like. I could’ve helped her through it.
I waited in line to buy a pizza in the cafeteria. Arienette stood next to me in line and was doing little dances because she was bored. I was bored too, but I wasn’t the dancing type of person.
I finally got my cheap pizza and Arienette and I walked outside to the courtyard and walked around while I ate my pizza. I offered her some but she didn’t want any.
We would walk by a crowd of people sitting by the wall having lunch and everyone would say hi to her. She was already well-known. The boys all smiled at her with those suggestive smiles and I wanted to pound their faces in for smiling at her like that. Only I was allowed to smile at her. Me, only me. Not them! Me! I hate boys. All they do is break your heart and steal your Arienette away from you.
“I want to go to the center of the world,” said Arienette, looking off somewhere.
“Over, that field. Have you been there?”
“Oh. Yeah, I’ve been there once. I ate lunch there once with my friend Ben.”
“Well, yesterday at lunch, I went exploring and I went to that field, and if you stand right in the middle of it, it feels like you’re in the center of the world.”
“Yes, Sarah! Yes!”
“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon!” she tugged on my sleeve and started off towards the field.
Aw, she reminded of a little child. I followed after her. Arienette stood right in the center of the field, and then started to spin around in circles facing up at the sky with her eyes closed and a smile. I stood watching her twirling on that massive field with the dying lawn until she got tired and fell back onto the scratchy grass. I went and stood beside her.
“Come lay down next to me, Sarah.”
I obeyed and laid myself down next to her.
“Look at the sky. Look at it.”
The sky was bright and silver and I was afraid it was going to make my eyes hurt but it didn’t.
“It looks like marble,” I said.
“Don’t you feel it? Don’t you feel it devouring you?”
“It’s so big and… and colossal. Massive! And it seems so close. It’s like if you’d reach out for it, you’d be able to touch it,” she put out her hand to demonstrate.
I looked up at the sky. I kind of saw what she meant. The clouds seemed like they were right next to my eyes, it did seem like the sky was going to eat me.
Arienette sat up and stared down at the grass, picking at the blades and tearing them apart with her delicate fingers. We sat in silence until the bell rang and we walked back to our classrooms.
Once upon a time my days had dragged on for years and it was difficult to get through life. When Arienette came into my life, the days passed quickly and life went smooth like Arienette’s pale skin.
I had stopped going on the bus. Arienette’s mother gave my rides to school every day now. When we got to school, I would stand around like an Indian besides Arienette while she socialized with her other friends. The few friends that I had, I had grown apart from. It didn’t seem like they missed me much.
My classes were the only thing that would drag itself out. They would last ages and ages. And then there would be lunch, half an hour with Arienette all to myself. Then there would be more classes, and then I would go to Arienette’s house after school for about an hour, then walk home and do my homework at home.
It was morning and I was in Arienette’s car. We were on our way to school, and we drove in silence as always. I don’t know if it was something about Arienette, or maybe it was both her and her mother, but they were really big on silence.
We got to school and got out of the car. The usual friends came flocking to Arienette’s side. They were talking about a party they were having that night. They wanted Arienette to come.
“Your friend can come too,” they said.
“How about it, Sarah?”
“What, uh? Uh, okay,” I responded shakily. I really hadn’t talked in front of Arienette’s friends.
Later that day at lunch, I was waiting for Arienette at the girls’ bathroom as usual. I waited. And I waited. And waited and waited and waited. And she never showed up. I didn’t know what to think. Maybe she went home early? Maybe she didn’t want to eat lunch with me anymore? I didn’t know what to do. I wandered the school alone for a while until I ran into some of Arienette’s friendlier friends.
“Oh, Sarah! Arienette wanted me to tell you that she can’t eat lunch with you today, she’s going to eat lunch with some of her other friends.”
“Oh? Oh. Oh, okay. Thanks.”
She didn’t want to eat lunch with me anymore. I knew it. I knew this was too good to be true. I had had my suspicions. Why would anyone as breathtaking as Arienette want to hang out with someone as homely as me? I turned right back around and went into the girls’ bathroom. I picked a stall and went in, leaning against the wall and starting to cry.
Arienette didn’t like me, she didn’t like me at all. She just felt bad for me because I was sad and pathetic. She’s just being Arienette, the super kind person that she is, she can’t stand to see me be lonely. But she doesn’t really want to be with me.
My face felt feverish and burning tears fell down my face. It was too good to be true. It’s my own fault for being so stupid as to think she could really like me.
I saw Arienette again after school.
“Sarah!” she said, coming up to me with her usual greeting hug.
“Hi,” I said, without a smile.
“What’s wrong?” her face fell.
My stomach dropped. Seeing her face fall like that made my whole world shake. I didn’t want to see her like that.
“Nothing,” I forced a smile.
“Are you sure?” she said, worry scrawled over her face.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Okay…” she looked down at her boots and fiddled with the ends of her hair.
There was an awkward silence. Usually the silence between us is a comfortable, comprehensive silence. No one is compelled to say anything, no one feels like they have to say something. But today there was tension in the air.
“There’s my mom,” Arienette pointed out her mother’s car.
We pile into her mother’s car. Her mother notices the tension.
“Are you girls okay?”
“Uh huh,” we answer with nods.
3 Hugs, Not Drugs
That night, we had a party to go to. We had been invited in the morning. Arienette was super-excited.
“Should I wear my pink dress or my white dress?” she asked anxiously, stressing over clothes. I’d never seen her stress over something as trivial as clothes.
“You look stunning in anything, Arienette,” I answered.
“Aw, thanks,” she smiled.
She ended up picking the pink dress because she always wore white. And of course, her old black boots. I wondered if she owned any other pair of shoes.
“Can I go through your closet?” I asked.
“Sure,” she replied.
I fished around her closet for shoes. I found a pair of hippie sandals and a pair of Converse sneakers. Ah, so she did have other shoes. Okay then, I was satisfied.
I sat on her pink frilly bed and watched her look at herself in the mirror. She put her hair, she put it down. She straightened it, she curled it. She straightened it again. She put on make-up, she ran into the bathroom and washed it all off. She put it on again. I thought it was funny.
After a few hours, she was ready.
“I’m ready!” she announced.
“So soon?” I asked.
She gave me a look.
We went downstairs and Arienette went to go talk to her mom. Well, she tried. Her mom was on the phone, so she was trying to get her off the phone first. I stood in the kitchen looking at the bare refrigerator and spotless counters. I called my mom and told her I was sleeping over at Arienette’s. I didn’t think she’d let me go to the party, and even if there was a chance that she did, I didn’t want to go through all the hassle.
Arienette finally talked to her mother, told her the address of where the party was, and we were off.
“Call me when it’s over, okay?” said her mother as we got out of the car and went into the house.
It was like one of those parties you see in the movies, with all the beer and cigarettes and the drugs and the dim lights and the loud music. I felt out of place. I hadn’t been to a party in ages, and that was a hokey birthday party.
Arienette and I stood around in the cigarette smoke for a while, then Arienette’s friends showed up. Oh joy.
“Hey Sarah. I’m going to go with them, okay? I’ll meet up with you later,” Arienette yelled over the music.
I nodded and looked away. Yeah, yeah, yeah. She was leaving me again. At least I was prepared this time.
I wandered around the house in the cloud of smoke for who knows how long until I got tired and walked out to the back yard. I sat on a white lawn chair and sighed. I felt lonely, horribly lonely. The fact that I didn’t have anyone in this life had just set in, and I was feeling horribly depressed.
I looked around and everyone was smoking marijuana. I raise an eyebrow and wondered how I found myself in this predicament.
“Hey, you want some?” some guy asks me.
I turn and look at a guy with blue eyes offering me marijuana. I stare up at him for a while.
“Uh, no. No, it’s okay, I’m okay,” escapes from my mouth.
He smiles and looks at me for a long time. I look around and then at my feet.
“Come here, I have something you’ll like,” he said to me.
I came closer to him and he pulled out a handful of pale yellow pills with the number 20 on them. He put one on the table and split it into pieces and gave me a little piece of the pill.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Just try it,” he reached behind him and pulled out a drink.
I stared at the broken piece of the pill for a moment and then popped it into my mouth. I took the drink from his hand and took a little sip from it.
“What did I just take?”
“Something called Oxycontin.”
About an hour later, when Arienette came to find me, I was smoking the marijuana he had offered me. Arienette looked at me and then at the guy with a bewildered look on her face as if she didn’t know what was going on. It wasn’t that hard to figure out.
You could tell she was really let down by what I had down. Oh well. I was really let down when she left me for her stupid friends.
She called her mother and her mother came to pick us up. She sat in the car with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face that put a damper on her beauty. We arrived at her house and she got out of the car, slammed the car door and stomped upstairs to her room. I came in after her and closed to the door. She threw herself onto her bed and laid there while I went around and took another look at the fairy figurines.
“Why did you do that?” she asked.
“I had nothing better to do.”
“That’s not a good enough reason, pick a better one.”
“I don’t have to be giving you reasons.”
She stayed silent.
“You know, you come into my life and I think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread and I worship the ground you walk on and try to do everything just to please you, and then you just turn around and leave me for your stupid friends,” I go on.
“Is this what this is about?”
“No, but the fact that you weren’t there didn’t help me when that guy came up to me with those pills in his hand,” I responded.
“There were pills too? Oh, Sarah! Did you take them?”
“Only a piece of them,” I said.
“No! No, no, no! Why? You don’t have to be doing that! You’re so much better than that, Sarah.”
“But not good enough for you.”
“Don’t say that. Why do you think these things? Sarah, you’re the closest person to me. There is no one I treasure more than you. Those other friends, they mean nothing. I wouldn’t care if I lost all of them, but if I lost you, I don’t know what I would do,” she said as tears started to form in her eyes.
I had made her cry. Great, great. I was really on a roll tonight. I walked over to her and wrapped my arms around her.
“Don’t cry, I don’t want you to cry, I don’t want you to be sad, especially because of me.”
“You can’t help but cry when you see that someone you love is hurting themselves.”
“You don’t love me,” I said.
“I do, Sarah.”
“Why would you love someone like me?”
“You’re my best friend, you’re always there for me. I know I can always count on you. I know that I can act like myself around you and you won’t laugh at me.”
“Anyone can do that.”
“You’d be surprised. People think I’m weird. They don’t understand me. I have to change the way I act so I can fit in, but I don’t like myself that way. I like it when I’m with you.”
I looked down at my feet.
“I’m sorry, Arienette. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“It’s okay. It’s my fault too, I shouldn’t have left you alone like that.”
I rubbed my eyes.
“Are you tired? Do you want to go to sleep? You’re sleeping over tonight, right?”
“Yeah, we need to get the mattress from under the bed.”
Arienette kept a mattress under the bed for me when I slept over. We took it out and we got me some blankets and then we changed into our pajamas. I still felt weird from the night.
I didn’t sleep for hours. I got up and walk around the house, went downstairs and got something to drink, then went back upstairs. Arienette slept like a rock. The moon shone its light through the window and unto Arienette’s every curve. I stood next to her bed and watched her sleeping like an angel, and then I made sure she was tucked in alright and went back to staring at the ceiling from my mattress.
I awoke and saw the face of my angel standing in front of me. Arienette had been watching me in my sleep. She smiled when I woke and pulled up the blankets over my head and hid from her.
“Aw, that’s no fun,” she said.
We had breakfast and then we sat laid in her bed talking.
“I’ve attempted suicide too many times to count,” I told her.
“Aw, why would you do that?”
“Life sucks, then you die, and I got tired of waiting for the second part.”
She stared up at the ceiling and folded her hands over her stomach.
“I know. I know that sometimes life seems repetitive and you wonder what the point of it all is. Everyone suffers, Sarah. Even I suffer, although it doesn’t seem like it because I’m always smile. But there’s a lot of suffering behind the smile. And it’s very tempting to just give up. But don’t do it again, okay?”
“Don’t try to kill yourself again, okay? No matter what happens. Promise me, no matter what happens. Even if we stop being friends, or if I move away, don’t kill yourself.”
“I can’t promise you that.”
She sat up.
“Sarah, please. I won’t be able to sleep at night knowing that there’s a possibility that you’ll kill yourself.”
“Eh. Don’t worry. I don’t think I’m going to kill myself anytime soon, because you’re here, and you make me happy and you give me a reason to live. So don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.”
“But what about when I’m not here? I have to think about things, you know.”
“Why, are you planning on going away?”
She played with her hair, and then put it behind her ear. She sat quietly for a long time.
“No, of course not. But you always have to plan for these things., you know.”
“We’ll worry about it when the time comes.”
4 Behind the Smile
After the night of the party, we tried to get everything back to the way it was, but everyone had seen me with the people who were smoking and taking pills, and it was hard to get past the reputation that had been stamped on me from one night.
I saw the guy from the party at my school. It’s funny how sometimes you’ll walk by some people without so much as a second look because you don’t know them, but once you know them, you see them everywhere.
I saw him at lunch one day. He was really nice to me, he asked me if I wanted more of the pale yellow pills, but I said no. He was fine with that, and he said he’d see me around.
Arienette was ambivalent; she didn’t like him nor dislike him. We went to the center of the world that day at lunch. I lay down on the spiky grass while Arienette danced around the field.
I started to think that life was bearable, that maybe I could actually make it. Arienette had made my life so much better. She was exactly what I needed.
Arienette stopped dancing and knelt down near me, and then laid down next to me, putting her head on my stomach and laying her arms over my hips. I reached down and stroked her soft honey hair. She was my Arienette. My Arienette, no one else’s, just mine.
I packed my bag with my cell phone, some money, a sketchbook, pencils, and a camera. I then set out towards Arienette’s house. The walk there was a peaceful, quiet one. The air was cold and cut my cheek like a knife. I arrived at Arienette’s house and Arienette was waiting for me out in the front yard. When she saw me she smiled and ran towards me attacking me with a hug.
She laced her fingers with mine and we walked like this to the nearest park. When we were there, I put down my bag and I took out the camera. I told Arienette to do what she normal does.
Arienette stood in the middle of the park for a while, thinking of what to do. I took pictures of her standing alone in her frilly white dress. I had noticed that Arienette wore a lot of white. That or some kind of light color. Her dress was snug around her body and then flew out when it hit her hips.
She started to spin in circles and then she took the skirt of her dress in her hands and started dancing and twirling. Then she went to go look at the trees. All the while, I was taking pictures of her. She started to climb the tree but then realized she had a dress on and stopped and smiled sheepishly.
She then walked up close to me and I took close-ups of her face and her brilliant eyes and her pretty mouth. After a while she tired of posing for pictures and took out the sketchbook and pencils I had in my bag, which I had intended for her anyway. She started to draw trees and landscapes, anything she saw in the park. I put away my camera and lay down on the grass.
She tilted her head to the side as she drew. She sat with her legs straight out in front of her like a limp dolly. Her hair fell down around her face. The sun shone behind her just as it had on the first day I met her, and I saw the same halo around her head.
Arienette was so beautiful in a fragile way. I wanted to hold her in my arms day and night just to keep her from collapsing on the filthy floor. Her colors, the color of her hair, her eyes, her skin, were all faded and faint, as if she was fading away right before my eyes. She was so thin and frail and tiny. So very tiny, sometimes I cried a tear because I thought she would disappear altogether.
“Time to go?” I said.
“Yeah…” she picked up the pencils and put them in my bag.
We started walking away from the park. I had my bag slung over my left shoulder, and I held Arienette’s hand in my right hand. She sauntered at my side, and then she turned and stood in front me facing me, walking backwards, pulling me by my hands. She wore her smile on her face as she pulled me awfully close to her. I ran my hands along her hips and smiled at her as she leaned in and kissed the corner of my mouth. Then she suddenly jumped out of my grasp and ran away from me smiling, stopping every once in a while to let me catch up.
When we left the park, instead of going to towards her house, Arienette went towards my house.
“We aren’t going to your house?” I asked her once I had caught up to her.
“No, I’m sorry. I really am. I have something very important to do. Very important.”
We walked up to my doorstep. Oh, that same doorstep I had met her was the last place I ever saw her. She stood looking down at her boots and playing with her hair.
“Sarah, I…I have to go.”
“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow,” I said. How stupid could I be.
“No, but. I have to go. And I need to tell you that I love you.”
She stopped playing with her hair and gave me a long hug.
“I have to go. But, I love you, Sarah. I really do. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Arienette.”
She smiles and starts walking away as I open the door and walk into my house.
Later that day I receive a call from her mother to come over the house immediately, it was an emergency. I hop on my bike and ride to her house. When I arrive at her house, there’s an ambulance in front and my Arienette, my dear, my darling Arienette had put a bullet through her head.