‘Letting Go’ by Charlotte Le Lohé
“When I look into his eyes it’s as though I’ve fallen into the bluest ocean. When his lips part to smile it always makes me smile too. When he clenches his teeth and his jaw flexes it gives me goose bumps. When he runs his hand through his hair I want to be in his arms. When I’m in his presence I feel complete.” There was a steely silence as I stood motionless, my lips quivering, looking down at the floor, and a second later the room was in hysterics.
“That’s quite enough class. Thank you for that rather...‘moving’ monologue Abby.” Mrs Green had her ways of making you feel like the most inferior human being on the planet, not to mention the stark sarcasm which rang in her voice.
“I don’t see what’s so funny” I mumble as I turn and walk out of the room.
I hated school. It was a place where if you didn’t match up to a certain stereotype you were branded a loner, loser, weirdo, and cast-out. “Why me?” I had always wondered, not that it bothered me much; I liked my own company.
Walking out of class was not really allowed, but I did it all the time.
“Why do you let them mock you like that?” I carried on walking as he followed me; I could feel his stare burning into the back of my head.
“Why won’t you talk to me? I know you’re frustrated, but you always talk to me” he kept on.
“I just feel like being by myself right now, please just go” I muttered over my shoulder.
Feeling his hand on my arm I swung around, anger rising.
“Did you not hear what I said? Leave me alone, and take your hand off me!” I tried to control the tone of my voice but I couldn’t help it rising.
Over his shoulder, I noticed the door to the classroom I had walked out of open slightly. Mrs Green was standing there completely motionless, staring at me. It was hard to see her facial expression but her eyes displayed confusion.
I could think of nothing else to do but run. I kept running until all I could hear were the birds chirping. It wasn’t even a nice day. The sky was grey and everything had an air of eeriness to it, even the birds’ song. That day, time stood still. Being left alone with your thoughts can be lonely, only I couldn’t shake him from my mind.
“If you’re going out at least put a coat on, it’s absolutely tipping it down out there.” It always annoyed me how mum would do that, undermine my judgement… who wouldn’t put a coat on when it’s tipping it down outside?
I politely ignored her and headed out to his car. He always arrived at the right moments, my saving grace.
The headlights of the oncoming cars lit up his face with such radiance you would have thought he was centre stage in a play. I couldn’t stop staring at him. Maybe it was because I was in a world of my own that I didn’t process the screeching of tyres, the shattering of glass or the impact the car was having with whatever had come our way, but darkness filled my body so quickly anyway.
“We hope she’ll be very happy here as well as it being a stable institution for her.”
I hated having to sit outside the door. It always baffled me why parents never realised that you can still hear everything that is being said, just because they are speaking behind a closed door.
“Well, thank you for your time Mr Cooper, I am most grateful for all you have done,” I could hear my mother reply in a distant voice.
In that moment, before the door to the office opened, two girls walked past. They both fell silent. As soon as they passed, one started whispering and I managed to catch a few words.
I had been sat outside in the gloominess for hours now. A ladybird was slowly making its way across my hand; I couldn’t even find the energy to flick it off.
“I’ve been worried about you.” His voice came from a distance.
“You always know where to find me.” I looked up and there he was, standing in front of me; his hand was extended, waiting for me to take hold of it.
“I feel so lost and unhappy. But I don’t understand why; you’re here with me.” I took his hand and he pulled me up. His irresistible big blue eyes sparkled at me and a wave of peacefulness came across me. Nothing would ever be able to tear me away from this, from him.
Months went by slowly and I became another year older. One day a new girl joined my class. She must have been new because she came to talk to me at lunch. No one ever did that apart from him.
“Hiii, your name’s Abby, right? Can I come and sit next to you?” She did anyway.
“So, why are you sitting alone? Have you been at this school long? What classes do you take?” So many questions, it was making my head hurt. All I could notice anyway were the stares coming from all directions of the room.
PE was the next lesson after lunch. I always locked myself in the changing room toilet; I managed to stay skinny without having to exercise, I’m pretty sure most people thought I was bulimic.
“Why does she talk to herself all the time?” I overheard one girl saying as they all came clattering into the changing room.
“Didn’t you hear? A while back she was in a bad accident with her boyfriend. She woke up in hospital without a scratch on her and claimed she couldn’t remember anything. She had absolutely no memory of the crash. She was the only one who survived and never accepted his death. She still thinks he’s alive. I think she thinks we’re real too.”
The room was cold; a dull grey concrete coffin. The walls were stark, on one was a high raised miniature window with messy white painted bars and on the opposite wall was a heavy-looking iron door. The room was fitted with a wooden desk which was covered in illegible carvings, a chair, a sink with only a cold water tap, and a bed with minimal bedding. When I looked down, I noticed I was in a cotton nightie. It scratched at my skin. The buzzing sound which meant the door was opening hurt my ears and startled me. I cowered back in the corner where my bed was.
“Abby, it’s time for your shower.” A woman approached me. She was wearing a bright white uniform, I felt like my eyes were blistering looking directly at it. I noticed behind her stood a man. He was in an expensive looking suit, wearing dark rimmed glasses, holding a note pad and pen. He never took his eyes off me.
“Abby, come on, it’s time for your shower now” The women repeated. This time she was closer, too close, towering over me.
“I...I don’t understand” I managed to faintly reply back.
“What is this place? I’m supposed to be at school right now...you need to let me go back to school otherwise they will notice I’m missing” No one ever noticed I was missing, I thought to myself. I kept talking, I couldn’t stop talking and my voice grew louder and louder.
“Simon it’s happening again, she’s relapsing.” Everything was fuzzy and the room was spinning, I heard the woman speak those words and then the man came towards me. He was holding something, I couldn’t make out what it was but I struggled as the woman in white tried to restrain me.
The last I remember was a sharp pain in my arm, and then, as if by magic, the room began to fall away, leaving no one but me. I felt like I was in heaven. Tranquillity was all I could feel. Then there he was.
“I told you I was worried about you” His voice echoed.
“I can’t let you go” Was all I could say.