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Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Young adult or teen  ➡  Social Issues

It Will Be All Right

 

 

IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AJAY JOSEPH

 

 

For anyone who needs a Savior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

PROLOGUE: MICHAEL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michael knew that Hailey had fallen. He knew that this day was coming, and now it was here. Everything in her life was leading up to this moment. This crucial moment that would decide her future depended on him getting there in time. He wondered if he was too late.

He remembered exactly how he had found her – neglected, alone, and in pain – as if were only yesterday. He never gave up on her even when she gave up on him.

She had been through so much in the past, and now it was all coming down on her. Michael needed to get to her right now because everything that they had been through in the past wasn’t for nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Chapter 1

Do you ever wake up one day, and all you want to do is go back to sleep and not interact with the world around you? That’s every day for me.

No one knew how scared I was of waking up. I didn’t want to go to school and see everyone who was better than me. It’s true. Everybody knows it. You never hear my name out of the mouths of the popular kids. And if you do, they won’t even say my name. They’d say, “that girl.”

That girl . . . this is what they called me. Not Hailey. I was that girl.

I didn’t know what people thought of me when they saw me, but I knew they weren’t thinking things like, she needs a friend. They were more like look at her! She has no friends!

I don’t need to be around anyone to know what they think of me. I know that they think I’m not good enough to be friends with them. And they make it as obvious as they can.

Like this one time, it might be little, but it meant a lot to me.

I was at my locker, spinning the wheel, when someone forced my hand to spin the wheel in the other direction, messing me up. I heard her and her friends laugh.

 

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Another time was when I was in the lunchroom. I was walking out of the cafeteria, and headed towards my table all the way in the back corner. But as I exited the cafeteria, I accidently collided with another girl who had a sandwich on her tray. It got all over her pretty outfit, and she looked angry. The entire lunchroom went silent.

“Is she really that stupid?” I heard one person say.

“Is she trying to get attention?” a girl asked.

“No, this comes naturally to her,” another girl said, responding to the question.

I threw my tray in the garbage can, and sprinted for the bathroom. I locked myself in a stall, and buried my face in my hands. I couldn’t believe what I’d just done. Not to mention how they all reacted.

I heard the door open . . .

“That girl seriously needs to get herself together,” a girl said. “Like, who does something like this?”

That girl. I knew who they were talking about.

“I know, right?” her friend agreed. I heard the water turn on. “No one can manage to do that on accident. Here, take off your shirt.”

 

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“I was supposed to go out to eat with Daniel,” the girl who got the food on her said. “Now I look like a mess.”

“Hey don’t say that. You weren’t supposed to go with him until the evening. You can come to my house, and pick something to wear. But for now, put this on.”

“Thanks.”

The two left the bathroom. Sometimes I wondered what it would be like to have a friend. Maybe I wouldn’t be the way I was because of what goes on behind the scenes of my life. I just really wished that every time I woke up, the day would go better than the previous did.

Today, I imagined being able to sit down and enjoy my lunch. I hardly ever ate when I was at school. My dad hardly has enough money. And whatever he gets from his unemployment check, he spends it all on alcohol. I was feeling so hungry. My dad never feeds me, why would he? He’s too drunk to even realize that he needs to feed himself.

I got myself ready, crept out of the house and began my mile and a half walk to school.

It was a cold morning. The air felt like invisible daggers cutting into my skin. I had to look down to avoid getting hurt.

 

 

 

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I was about to cross the street, when a random car appeared out of nowhere, honking at me. I jumped back.

That incident just lowered my chances of having a decent day. Looks like it was going to be yet another day where I would struggle to get to the end of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Chapter 2

I got to school just as the first bell rang. I had five minutes to get to my first period class. Maybe if I didn’t have to walk to school, I could get here a little earlier.

I went straight upstairs to the third floor, and opened my locker. I don’t share with anyone. When my homeroom teacher told us to pick partners for lockers, no one approached me so I got the whole thing to myself.

The pictures I had hung up in here made me feel comfortable. One of them was a girl sitting alone on a swing and her hair was hiding her face. Another was of a person hurting herself trying to put back together the pieces of her heart which was depicted as glass. When I first saw that picture, it reminded me of what I was going through with Mark . . .

I got my U.S. History text book, and headed for the classroom. The teacher, Mr. Patterson, wasn’t there yet, which meant that the door was locked. There were a few other people waiting in front of the room too. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, so I just stood there leaning against the wall, waiting.

I observed other people in the hallway, and they were all laughing, hugging, or just talking. I never really had any friends. Even as I was growing

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up, the stories you hear about playing out with the neighbors or going to the park with your friends never applied to me. Sometimes I wonder why my life is the way it is, but I don’t think there is a purpose.

Mr. Patterson walking down the hall was a relief. “Good morning, guys” he said as he opened the door.

A few people said, “hi,” and followed him inside. I went straight to my seat in the front of the classroom and pulled out my textbook. Mr. Patterson began doing his teacher stuff while I just sat there and leafed through the pages of the section we were looking at.

U.S. History and English are probably the only classes that I like. What we learn is like a story and I can become another person and figure out what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.

Just as the tardy bell rang, McKenzie and Francesca entered the room. These two were undoubtedly the prettiest and most popular girls in the entire school. They happen to have two other friends who are just as stuck up as they are.

Francesca had on a teal fitted skirt and a black shirt. McKenzie didn’t have on anything as extravagant has Francesca, but she still looked great. Both of them had long, shiny hair.

 

 

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“You ladies are late,” Mr. Patterson said, taking his position in front of the classroom.

The two just ignored him, and took their seats next to each other. I could smell their perfume from behind me.

“Okay guys, take out your notebooks,” Mr. Patterson said.

I did as I was told. Mr. Patterson turned off the lights, and the power point presentation began.

When it was over, he gave homework. “I want you guys to read pages 316 to 325 and try to find out exactly why the Americans were fighting for independence.”

The bell rang, and I got my things together. I was walking outside the door, when I accidently bumped into Francesca. “Watch it,” she said.

“Sorry,” I mumbled.

As I walked out of the room, I saw McKenzie wrap her arms around a guy. She leaned closer and closer to him until they were kissing.

I tried my best to ignore them. I had P.E. next and I didn’t want to be late.

 

 

 

 

 

11

Chapter 3

I went inside the girls’ locker room and went to my usual spot in the corner to change. I switched shirts, but wore a sweatshirt over the P.E. shirt. I didn’t like showing my arms.

P.E. is one of the low points in my day. I’m not athletic at all. I mean, I can run a decent seven minute mile, but no one pays attention to that. It’s all about basketball or volleyball. I was horrible at both.

I shoved my stuff in the little locker, and headed upstairs to the girls’ gym. We’re assigned numbers according to our last names, and since I’m Anderson, I got number one.

I sat on the painted one on the floor, and put my arms on my knees. Slowly, everyone else started coming and taking their seats.

“Ms. Montez!” McKenzie called out when she entered the gym and she ran next to her. Ms. Montez began taking attendance starting with me just as McKenzie got to her.

“What’s up, McKenzie?” Ms. Montez said sounding distracted as she took attendance.

“Can I play on Maria’s team today?” she asked.

 

 

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“Why do you want to do that?” they moved down the line of kids, but I could still hear the conversation.

“’Cause . . . I want to.”

“No, McKenzie, you need to stay with your own team.”

McKenzie groaned, and actually looked me in the eye. She put on an expression that I read as don’t make us loose today.

When Ms. Montez was done with attendance, she called out, “Start jogging!”Series of groans erupted from everyone in the class. Gradually, everyone was up and jogging.

I didn’t see this as something too hard. I preferred it over playing volleyball and totally humiliating myself.

Almost everyone here had a running buddy. McKenzie had about four girls with her. She and her little group all linked arms and were trying their best to jog without falling. They found that to be hilarious. Then they began chasing and spanking each other. Yelling out loudly when they got smacked, but also laughing about it.

Ms. Montez didn’t tell them to stop. No one else in the gym said anything to them. That group was in their own little world and no one was allowed to say anything to them.

 

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I couldn’t believe how they found that amusing. I was actually disgusted by it. But that’s what those pretty, popular girl types are like.

Ms. Montez blew her whistle. Everyone stopped running and went over to her. She told who was playing whose team and what court to go on.

I went to the middle court where my team was. I had McKenzie on my team.

I was thinking hard, do NOT screw up Hailey.

One other girl served the ball, and someone from the other team bumped it over. It was coming straight for me.

“Got it!” McKenzie yelled, and jumped in front of me, setting the ball in the air for Daniel – this guy on our team – to spike it. It touched the ground on the other side.

“Yeah!” Daniel said, giving her a double high five.

Our girl served the ball again, it went over, someone else sent it over, and it was coming for me, again.

“That’s you! That’s you!” McKenzie said, also repeating it a dozen more times.

 

 

 

 

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I tried setting it so someone else could spike it, but the ball hit the tops of my fingers, and it fell behind me. A point for the other team.

McKenzie groaned loudly. “Come on now!”

Whenever I got the ball, I either barely hit it, or completely missed it. McKenzie always said something new to me when I did badly.

“Just get the ball to me!”

“You could’ve got that!”

We ended up losing. The score was 26 to 19. I thought she hated me.

When gym was over, I went down to the locker room. I got my stuff, and went over to my corner. I had my nose to the ground the whole time. I took off my sweat shirt, and a girl walked past me. I gasped, and quickly drew my shirt over my head, hoping she didn’t look at my arms.

It was partly because I was self conscious about my skinny body, but mostly because I didn’t want anyone to see my scars. I’ve thought about it, and I knew that it wasn’t right. I kept up a two and a half month streak of no cutting, but somehow, today I felt the urge more than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 4

Later on in the day, it was time for lunch. I thought about what home was like. As I said before, there was hardly any food at home because my dad spends most of his money on alcohol. He does the groceries sometimes. He mostly gets bread, macaroni and cheese, and maybe a few cans of ravioli. The best thing he’s ever gotten was frozen pizza. He never cooks. Everything we eat at home is out of a box/can, or frozen.

I go to bed hungry every night. This has caused my weight to be very low, and my body isn’t like any other girls’ body I’ve seen. Most of them have curves and other appealing features. I’m not like that.

I’ll be frank: I weighed about 94 pounds. Sometimes I felt like my body was so weak. Like this one time when we were doing the mile as one of the tests in the beginning of the year, I got a 9:46 when I normally get somewhere in the sevens. My lungs and heart felt like they were bleeding when I was done. Ms. Montez told me that I should be getting about two-thousand calories a day. I was thinking I was barely hitting 800.

During the swim unit, I felt the most self conscious ever. I didn’t want to show my body to everyone else. I always had my towel draped around my shoulders, hiding myself. When I put my

 

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towel on the bench and got in the water, I was shivering the entire period. I had no body fat to keep me warm, and even shivering required a lot of energy from me.

I overheard other girls wonder out loud about me. “She looks anorexic. Do you think she ever eats?” Or something like, “maybe she’s starving herself.”

I hated that last one. I really hated it. No one knew what was going on at my home. They didn’t have any right to say that about me. When that particular day was over, I got home, buried my face in my pillow, and cried.

After the period was over, I felt so fatigued and hungry. I never had any money to go the vending machines, or snacks that I could eat in class.

Even during lunch at school, I was limited. I needed to eat more than what I was given. I tried getting the biggest hamburger, or the biggest slice of pizza, or the bowl with the most chicken in it.

Today, I was craving pizza, so I found the biggest piece, got a banana, a carton of milk, and walked out of the lunchroom. I got free lunch.

I headed over to my table all the way in the corner. I felt like it welcomed me. I took a seat and bit into the pizza. The taste of warm cheese, pepperoni, and the sauce exploded inside my

 

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mouth. I was sad when I ate it all; my stomach was screaming for more.

It was all over too soon. I threw away my tray, and went to writing in my notebook. This notebook was my only escape to a world that’s my own. I especially love writing stories. I can become another person and put myself in their situations and experiences.

I wish I could become my characters because their lives are better than my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

Chapter 5

Michael looked at her from across the lunchroom. He knew that she was hurting on the inside. Even though no one else could see it, he knew that she was trying hard to make her life better. She was stronger than any other girl he knew.

He knew that she couldn’t see him, but he wanted her to. He wanted her to know that he’s been there for her since the day she was born.

Michael looked over to where Brittney, Francesca, McKenzie and Whitney were sitting. Their table was crowded with those four, plus four more guys. Michael knew that those four girls gave Hailey a hard time. He knew what they thought about her, and he knew the kinds of things they said about her.

Michael knew that Hailey was so far away. He wanted her attention, but she didn’t know he existed. He knew that he could be the one to hold her. But he would wait for the right time. He would wait before she cried out for someone to help her. And when she did, Michael would be there by her side.

 

 

 

 

 

19

Chapter 6

McKenzie and Whitney were in English class when the teacher handed out an assignment about comma rules. It was implied that you can work with a partner, and that’s exactly what McKenzie and Whitney were doing.

“How was that girl in gym today?” Whitney asked.

McKenzie scoffed. “Terrible as always. She can’t even hit the ball straight.”

“Have you tried teaching her?”

“I don’t think I want to. She’s really weird.”

“What do you mean?”

McKenzie thought about how to answer. She didn’t really know what made that girl weird. Maybe it was how quiet she was. McKenzie couldn’t think of a time where she heard her talk. “I guess, like, she never talks. And she always has that sweatshirt on. And she’s really pale.”

“And that makes her weird?”

McKenzie thought about it. “Just a little. I mean, she isn’t like any other girl I know. And I hear stories about how she’s always writing in her notebook and walks like two miles to get home.

 

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And during swimming, she’s really skinny. Like she’s anorexic.”

Whitney raised her eyebrows at that. “Are you for real? That’s kind of serious. Do you think she has enough to eat at home?”

“I don’t know.” McKenzie didn’t know why they were talking about that girl. They had better things to talk about. “So … how are you and Daniel?”

Whitney smiled, looking down at her worksheet. “Why don’t we do this instead?”

“No! Tell me!”

And the rest of the class period, McKenzie and Whitney talked. Not once did they go back to talking about that girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 7

When school was finally over, I went straight to my locker and got the things I needed. I put on my coat, and prepared for the journey home.

Once I was outside, the cold weather slapped my face. I kept my head pointed towards the ground as I maneuvered through the crowd.

I clenched my hands into fists in my pocket and felt my muscles get stiff. I felt like I was getting tunnel vision. My body hardly had any energy to keep me moving; shivering to produce more body heat was out of the question.

When I got home, it was surprisingly warm. I didn’t know if dad would have enough to pay the gas bill. I closed the door, and headed to my room.

“Hailey?” he called out from his bedroom. I knew that it meant that he wanted me in there. I hated going into that room. It was where my mom used to lay before she died. It was where my dad drinks bottle after bottle until he’s knocked out.

I reluctantly walked into the room. “Hello.” His eyes were red and tired looking.

“What’s there to eat?”

“I’m not sure …” I chose to say.

 

 

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“Okay, do you have homework?” his speech was a little slurred.

“Uh huh,” I said. I hoped this conversation would end soon.

“Okay Hailey, you make sure you do your homework and get all the right answers. Then you’ll get into a good college and you’ll grow up to be someone successful and have a lot of money and a beautiful family and then you can . . . you can . . do other stuff.”

“Okay.”

“Good!”

I walked out of the room, hearing him mutter something like, “that was the news for this evening, up next is sports.” All that alcohol was messing with his head.

I went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Our meager supply of food was there in the fridge. We had a half a loaf of bread sitting on the counter – we didn’t have any sandwich meat. I put together a few slices of bread and butter, and a glass of milk. My dinner.

When I got in my room, I sank my teeth into the meal. It was what I was used to ever since my Mom died, last year. I remembered the day so vividly.

 

 

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I came home from school and walked right into the room and saw my mom who was bed ridden with rheumatoid arthritis it’s a condition where the joints in the body start to swell. It was so bad that it affected her skin, eyes, and heart. She could hardly move and she depended on me and dad for support.

Hi, Hailey,” she said, weakly.

Hi, mom,” I said, feeling an overload of emotion because it was so hard to see her like this. “How are you?”

I’m alive, and that’s all I can ask for.”

My mom was someone who would run in the park with me, hold me in her arms and swing me around. She was an athlete in high school, the captain of her cross country team who always got first place in every race. Now, she could barely move her legs.

Can I get you something?”

But I’ll never know if she needed something, because my dad walked into the room, his expression hard and frightening.

Do you know about this?” he asked, shoving a folded piece of paper in my face. I took it and unfolded it. It was a letter I wrote. I wrote it for Mark. “Are you writing love notes to someone?”

 

 

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I wrote it last night, the same night we broke up. I wanted to pour out all my feelings onto paper, and never look at it again. But somehow, he found it, and was shoving it in my face, as if I needed to be reminded of it. “No, this is something from a story I’m writing,” I lied.

I don’t believe you,” he said, taking the piece of paper and ripping it in half. I couldn’t believe it. That letter explained exactly how I was feeling from what I experienced with Mark. Now it was all gone.

I bent down to pick up the pieces, but then I felt my hair being pulled. I yelled as I stood up. He held my hair firmly. Even when I was standing up, he was still pulling. It hurt.

I don’t want you writing anymore love notes to any boy,” he said. “That’s final.”

But I use them in –” I said, but that’s when he hit my face and threw me to the ground. He took off the belt he was wearing and formed it into a loop. I remember that belt. I bought it for him for a Father’s Day present when I was a kid. I shouted at the pain as the belt hit me. I clutched the letter against my chest.

Hailey!” My mom cried out. “Brad, stop it! Please stop it!”

But he didn’t. He hit me a few more times. Mom was starting to cry. I could only imagine what

 

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would be going through her mind right now. She couldn’t get out of bed to stop him.

He was whipping me. I curled up into a ball, I couldn’t escape. I could feel the wounds forming and blood started oozing out. It felt like my ribs were being crushed.

He was shouting at me too. Saying things like, “you are too young for boys!” and “you will ruin your life by being with a boy now!”

I started to cry.

Images from my childhood popped up. Dad and I had these “Father and Daughter Only” days when I was in first grade. He would pick me up after school, and he’d get me six whole doughnuts just for myself. Then we would go to the park and he would push me on the swings, and slide down the slide with me.

Besides that, he’d cheer for me at my little league soccer games, buy the team lunch afterwards, and was friends with all of my teammate’s parents.

Everyone loved “Hailey’s Dad.” But now, he turned into a monster.

Suddenly, dad stopped. I wiped my eyes with my sleeve and saw my mom hanging onto my dad’s arms for dear life. She was standing, but everyone in that room knew that she couldn’t support herself. She forced herself out of bed to save me.

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No one said anything. There were just tears from my eyes, and from mom, and dad had his angry expression on.

Just then, my mom’s knees began to buckle. They were too weak. She tried holding onto her husband, but he just let her fall down.

Mom began crying out in agony. She said her bones were splitting and twisting. She was on her back, and couldn’t sit up to cradle her legs. She was dying.

I just laid there next to her and held her as she breathed her last. I felt like the loneliest person in the whole world. I just lost the one person that was always there for me.

When I was struggling with my homework, mom would stop everything to help me understand it all. She’s the one who I could always turn to when the world turned their back on me. She would never turn me away. Even though her sickness prohibited her from doing the things other mom’s did, that didn’t prohibit her from being there for me. Now that I was in high school, I needed my mom now more than ever.

I looked up at dad, new tears on the edge of my eyes. So many emotions were in these tears: pain, hate, anger, sadness

 

 

 

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I buried my face in her hair and shouted as I cried. I couldn’t believe that things were like this. My entire world shattered in a moment.

A few neighbors and friends came over and sympathized with us. They had no idea what really happened that night.

It was then when I first cut myself.

That night wasn’t the only night when my dad hit me.

The second time I cut, I did it because I was angry with my life and the way it turned out to be. It was then when the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I was terrified, so I promised myself to never do it again.

The night came, and I finished my homework. My mom died last year. Ever since then, I never looked once at that letter I wrote to Mark. I forced myself to never read those words. If I did, I would have to punish myself.

But now, I had to look at it. Just one more time.

I opened my folder that I buried in my closet, and took out the letter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

28

Chapter 8

And the memories came rushing back. Like how he broke up with me . . .

It was before school started. He said he wanted to meet me on the bridge in the park. I walked there and saw him looking out over the river. My Mark was looking sad.

He saw me, and went back to looking at the river. I stood next to him, and put my hand on his shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

Mark sighed. “Hailey, you know that I’ll always feel something for you, but whatever that feeling is, it isn’t strong.”

“What are you saying?” I asked, panicked.

“I’m saying that the years we spent together were amazing, but I think two is enough.”

I can’t believe this is happening. “Are you . . . breaking up with me?”

He didn’t say anything. Instead he looked at the ground. “Here,” he said, handing me a piece of paper. “I hope this clarifies everything.” Then he began to walk away.

“Wait …” But he kept walking, leaving me alone.

 

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I watched him get across the bridge, and another girl was waiting there. She was wearing a black lace tank top and short jean shorts. She had shiny, straight black hair and her skin was a beautiful tan color. She pulled Mark into a tight embrace and kissed him, for a long time.

I stood there, watching the only person that I ever loved kiss another girl. I unfolded the piece of paper Mark gave me, and on it said: Her name is McKenzie.

I’ve see Mark and McKenzie together in the hallways, her against a wall, him leaning in to kiss her. It was so hard to say goodbye when I see him every day.

McKenzie was such a mean person. How could he fall for someone like her? McKenzie was the perfect description of society’s definition of beautiful. She has it all: gorgeous skin, long shiny hair, a great body. As for her personality, that didn’t matter. Her looks were all she needed.

I was sick of it; sick of society’s definition of beautiful. It was point blank: Pretty on the outside.

If I was as pretty as McKenzie, would it matter? I wanted to be beautiful like her. Maybe if I was, then things would be different.

 

 

 

30

Chapter 9

I’m stuck in the lifestyle that he gave me. It’s as if his voice echoes in my safest haven and his face haunts my nights. My thoughts of him still cling to my mind and won’t leave me alone. I tried so hard to say goodbye; but he’s still here and I felt alone for so long.

I still remember how we’d stay up late for each other and barely staying awake in class the next day. Or how we’d wander in the mall, hand in hand, with an okay silence between us. Even how we’d walk around together when it was getting late outside and stop to look up at the sky with his arm around my waist, and my head resting against his shoulder. It was full of uncertainty. We didn’t know how long it would’ve lasted. It was a risk we were both willing to take.

I looked at the letter that I wrote to Mark.

I began to read:

I will never forget the days we once had the ones where you were everything to me. I thought that we’d be together forever, but now I realize that we are not who we thought we are. I never thought about the pain of regrets on that day; or how I would have to live to see you in the arms of someone else.

 

 

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I wonder what I am to you now. You used to tell me that I was amazing and I was your whole world. But now, am I just a face in the crowd?

I wish I had a second chance at meeting you for the first time I know I’d do it differently. But for now, I wait here silently holding onto the piece of your heart that you left inside of me. I hope that one day you will feel the same way and put back the pieces of my broken heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Chapter 10

Michael knew exactly what was going on through Hailey’s mind. He could see the images she saw in her head of her father towering over her, hitting his own daughter with his belt while her mother struggled to get out of bed to protect her. It was painful to watch as it was for Hailey to bear.

All he wanted to do was be there for her. That’s all she needed right now, and Michael could be the one to do it. But still, now wasn’t the right time.

Michael looked at her house. It’s hard to imagine that so much has been going on in there that no one knows about. Even though Hailey wasn’t there with him, he sympathized with her.

No one else understood Hailey the way Michael did. No one would pay attention to her the way he did. No one cared.

But Michael knew very well what would happen next in Hailey’s life. She wouldn’t be able to carry through the struggle on her own, and that’s when he would show himself to her and change her world.

 

 

 

 

 

33

Chapter 11

The next day, the highlight of it all was when I found a dollar on the floor. This was my dollar.

I went straight to the vending machine and inserted the dollar. I pressed the number and letter to get me fruit snacks, and I was so happy that I could do this. I can’t remember the last time I had fruit snacks.

School was as usual as it normally goes. We played volleyball again, and I didn’t get the ball once, besides to serve. I got my English test back and I got a 97 percent on it. Lunch was my favorite part as always. And those fruit snacks were like a bonus. For me, it was a good day.

I ate the fruit snacks on my way home, and I threw away the packet when I was done. I headed for my room to struggle with geometry and my dad called out, “Hailey!”

“Yeah?” I said from my room.

“Come into the kitchen.”

I got up and walked in. He was holding the fruit snack wrapper in his hand. “Where did you get this?”

 

 

 

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For some reason, the night Mom died came back to me. It was sure playing out the same way. I just hoped that it would change.

“I found a dollar on the ground … and I bought fruit snacks,” I said, hoping he would believe me.

“Did you save any for me?”

It was obviously a rhetorical question.

He threw the packet on the ground, and kicked it at my feet. He pushed himself past me and headed to his room. I heard him mutter something like “selfish girl.”

I felt like breaking something, my hands were craving for it. I went back to my room, and squeezed my pillow as hard as I could. If mom was here, things would be so different. I’d have friends calling me over on weekends and mom would take me and a bunch of friends out someplace where we would go shopping and eat out.

But that’s the world I created for myself. If I could live in the world inside my head, I would be the happiest girl alive. I’d be who I was meant to be and I could smile and laugh.

I told myself that when I go away to college, I could live the life that I wanted for so long.

 

 

 

 

35

Chapter 12

It was Wednesday – half way through the week which meant that I had a little ray of hope for making it through the week alive.

In gym class, I stood there hoping the ball wouldn’t come to me. So far, it was going okay. I accidently hit the ball out of bounds, but that’s all. I looked at the clock, saw that we had only five minutes left in the period, and focused on ending the game quickly.

McKenzie was serving for our side. She threw the ball up and hit it with her hand. It sailed over the net and another girl sent it over.

Even though McKenzie was supposed to stay in the back, she ran up to the front row. She set the ball for another guy on my team to spike it. But it didn’t work because the ball came back over the net.

Right at me.

I didn’t know what to do. I just pushed the ball in the air and hoped that someone else would take care of scoring. But no one spiked it. Instead, McKenzie bumped the ball with her arms … and it hit me in the face.

It hit my right eye and I felt hot tears come. I pressed my palm to my eye, trying to keep them

 

36

 

 

from spilling. It felt like someone was rubbing cotton in my eye and it really hurt. I closed both eyes to try and ease the pain.

I don’t believe that McKenzie actually cared for my well being, but she was saying things like, “Oh my God, are you okay?” and other things to make sure I was all right. But I was not all right.

“I’m okay,” I said knowing it was a lie. This is not how things are supposed to be, I thought. I didn’t want any of this.

I slowly opened my eye and blinked several times. My vision was blurry and I had to look down. Just then, Ms. Montez blew the whistle and we were dismissed.

I got down to the locker room, my eye still burning. I had to look at the ground to make it hurt less. Half of these tears that were in my eye weren’t because of the pain.

When the bell rang, I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. My eye was all red and puffy. It looked swollen.

I felt like hurting McKenzie so badly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

37

Chapter 13

By lunch, I felt a little better. I first locked myself in the little stall in the bathroom and buried my face in my hands. It suddenly felt like everything that happened in the week so far was coming out. They were just flashbacks, but they hurt. It was as if I experienced them all over again.

I pulled my sleeves up, revealing my skin. The last time I cut was two months ago, and I decided that night to never do it again.

I always thought that spilling blood was like spilling out pain, but there will always be more. And I always thought that the scars can heal, but the pain can never go away.

Maybe if I had just one friend, maybe things would be different.

I remember when I was in second and third grade. I had a friend named Amanda. One time, we were having a sleep-over at we’d spend hours playing with our dolls. Then we’d eat pizza that my dad went out and bought for us and watch a movie together until we ended up falling asleep on the couch and waking up in my room.

But then, Amanda’s dad got a job opportunity in New York that they couldn’t ignore. She moved during the summer before fourth grade.

 

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And that’s when Mom began getting sick and dad’s dark side started taking over.

I couldn’t think about it anymore. I grabbed some tissue paper and wiped the tears that managed to escape.

I felt a little better when I was back in my familiar little corner of the lunchroom. I enjoyed my lunch, and I decided to read today. I was actually starting to feel a little better.

McKenzie and her crew were running around the lunchroom asking people if they were done with their lunch so they could throw it away for them. Why were they doing that? I don’t know. All that I know is that I had to get up and throw my own trash away. I was glad that I did.

About ten minutes after that, the four girls came near my table. Apparently, there were some guys they wanted to sit next to and were one chair short. My table was the only table that had empty chairs, so Whitney took one without asking. I simply went back to reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

39

Chapter 14

At home, I desperately needed a nap. My brain felt fried. I felt like it was getting stapled.

When I got inside, I found my dad bent over the kitchen sink. Maybe he was throwing up all of that alcohol.

He saw me standing there, and stood up straight and coughed. “How was school?” His speech was slurred.

“Okay,” I said, desperately wanting to sleep.

He looked at me closely with those tired eyes of his. “What’s wrong with your eye?”

I was pretty sure that my injury in gym today had healed. “I got hit in the face with a volleyball in gym.”

He had a hard look on his face that soon twisted with anger. I could see it in his eyes. Don’t hit me. Please don’t hit me.

“Go to your room and don’t come out for the rest of the night!”

I would have no trouble doing that. I went straight to bed, pulled down all of the shades and crawled into bed. I curled into a ball underneath the covers and shut my eyes from the world.

 

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I woke up at around nine. I didn’t hear my dad so I assumed he was knocked out. I snuck into the kitchen and found that there was cereal and milk. I was so happy that I quickly poured myself a bowl and went back into my room to eat it. Dinner hadn’t been this good in a long time.

As I tried to feed myself, I felt a few tears come out. I remembered my mom feeding me when I was a kid and just her being there for me.

Mom, I thought. I couldn’t even say that word.

I thought about McKenzie and how she probably shows an attitude to her mom about everything. But she’d never give up on her. A mother’s love is unconditional.

But where’s that in my life? Where’s any love in my life? I couldn’t take this life by trying to stay alive just one more day.

I buried myself in my pillow and let it all out. I told myself that I had to bear it only for a little while, but I’d been feeling this way for such a long time.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

41

Chapter 15

I don’t know what came over me, but I went into the bathroom and filled the bathtub with water. I was feeling so tried and sick of everything in my life. It was too much. I was too young to feel this way.

When the bathtub was filled, I got inside the tub. My heart was beating quickly. I slowly let myself slide down until the water was covering my mouth.

I forced myself to remember all that I had been through. I tried to channel every ounce of pain into my mind right now and force myself underneath the water, and stay there.

With each memory, I sank lower and lower until there was water over me. I still had my eyes opened, and I felt myself still holding my breath. I tried to let it go, but I couldn’t. I was just staring up at the ceiling, hoping to slowly let myself fall away. I didn’t even feel nervous.

But then, I felt pressure on my chest. It was like a heavy weight had been placed on it and was getting heavier and heavier. Like two invisible hands gripped me and were forcing me deeper into the tub. I couldn’t breathe!

I felt my breath go out of me and I got out of the water. I blinked the water out of my eyes and

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leaned my head against the wall of the shower. I put my hand over my forehead.

What have I just done[_?_]

I got out of the bathtub and put on my white bath robe. I stared at myself in the mirror; I brushed my hair back and tried to smile but I couldn’t do it.

I just stared at myself in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. I wasn’t pretty. I looked at my wrists. The scars were still there. I don’t know if they were going to go away. But for now, they serve as a reminder of my past.

I turned away from the mirror; I was scared to see myself. I had just attempted to end my life. I had become my own worst enemy.

I went into my bedroom, changed, and sat on my bed, hugging my knees, burying my face in them.

I need a Savior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

43

Chapter 16

Michael knew Hailey’s thoughts. They were painful and sad thoughts, but it was on her mind and he knew how to help her.

She didn’t know that he had been waiting for this moment for a very long time. At first, Hailey thought that she could live her life on her own strength, but now, she realized that it wouldn’t work like that. She admitted that she was weak and needed help.

Michael couldn’t be a part of her life just when he pleased; she needed to admit to needing help so that her wish could be granted.

Tomorrow, he would be able to reveal himself to her. And when he did, she would reject him, but Michael was prepared for that. No matter how long it took him, he was prepared to be there for Hailey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

Chapter 17

Thursday after school, I was at my locker getting ready to walk home. I had worksheets for Geometry and English, and a reading in our textbook for U.S. History. It looked like I couldn’t spend the rest of this day sleeping like how I wanted to.

I hate to admit it, but what dad said to me on Monday after school was like my creed: Make sure you do your homework, get good grades, get a job that makes a lot of money and leave the life that you live now.

I closed my locker and was about to leave when I heard someone call my name. I slowly turned around and looked at a boy about my height with curly brown hair. I didn’t know who this guy was, but how did he know me?

“Yeah?” I said, my voice shaking. I never knew how to talk to strangers.

“I’m Michael,” he said, sticking out his hand. His hand was warm as I shook it.

“How do you know me?”

“I know you because I know that you’re hurting.”

 

 

 

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I didn’t know what to say to that. How would he know that I’m hurting? Is he a stalker? What does he want with me?

“What do you know about pain?”

“I know that you don’t like the way you’re feeling right now. I know that you feel like you need someone to be there for you. I can be that person.”

I tried to put on an expression that said, who do you think you are? But then I realized that someone was actually trying to be my friend. I never had companionship. I don’t even think I had a friend other than Amanda. Working for group projects forced me to communicate, but no one was looking to me as a keeper.

But Michael was. This opportunity was one in a million for me and I didn’t want it to slip away.

“I know that you just met me,” he continued, “but give me a chance.”

“To do what?”

“For me to show you that I can be the one to help you feel better.”

I stayed quiet.

“Why don’t we hang out tomorrow after school? I’ll meet you here after eighth?”

 

 

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“I don’t know, maybe.”

“Okay, then. I’ll still be here, just let me know if you can go. Nice talking to you!” We shook hands again and then he left.

I already knew that people judge me before they get to know me, which is why I’m better off alone. And that meant that I wouldn’t be spending time with Michael tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47

Chapter 18

At school the next day, I tried my best to avoid Michael. I was at my locker minding my own business, when he randomly came up to me and told me that I was hurting and needed help.

How did he know that? Had he been watching me? What does he want with me?

Throughout my first three classes, I hadn’t seen Michael at all and I was thinking that I wouldn’t see him for the rest of the day – which would be a good thing. He’d probably give me advice and say something like, “don’t worry” or “you’ll get over it.” He doesn’t know what it feels like to go through what I was going through.

After lunch, I had to go to my locker. I spun the combination and the locker opened and a folded piece of paper fell. I picked it up, and there was a drawing of a heart on it. I didn’t get my hopes up.

I unfolded the paper, and read the note:

Nice shirt you got on there, Hailey.

I already knew who this was from. It was from the four girls.

I crumpled the paper and threw in the garbage. I couldn’t believe how rude they were.

 

 

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I went to the bathroom, and looked at myself in the mirror. I loved this shirt. This shirt had so many memories that I will never forget.

One night when I got home, I went to my mom’s bedroom where she was sitting, reading a book. She looked so weak, but I knew that she was strong on the inside.

“Hi, Hailey,” she said, putting her book down. “How was school?”

“Okay,” I said. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m hanging in there.” She chuckled but then her face got serious. “Hailey, I need to tell you something. I’ve been having this problem ever since I was about your age. We all knew that I would live a life full of pain. I often thought that I wouldn’t make it, but I’ve been blessed with this life. It’s a painful life, but it’s all I have.”

I didn’t know where she was going with this.

“And when your father and I got back from our honeymoon, I put the shirt I was wearing in a box for you. Hopefully, it will serve as a connection to me.”

I wanted to cry. My mom was basically saying, when I die, you can have my clothes. I wanted to hug her tightly, but I knew that I couldn’t; it would hurt her. Instead, I gently rested

 

49

 

 

my head on her shoulder and she was able to put one arm around my back. It was a painful hug.

Now I was wearing that same shirt – the one with a crown and cross bones under it. It was my mom’s shirt. I loved this shirt. She gave it to me the night before she died.

When school was over, I was at my locker trying to hurry up and leave because I was afraid that Michael would show up.

I closed my locker, and saw him standing there. “It’s you again.”

“Yes, I’m still here,” Michael said. “So, are we hanging out?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

I nodded. I walked right past him, when he told me to wait. I turned around. He gently reached for my hand, I pulled it back. “What are you doing?”

“Let me show you . . .”

He held my arm gently, and pulled up my sleeve. We both looked at the scars that were there. I snatched my arm away. “What are you doing?” I pulled my sleeve down over my hand. “Who do you think you are?”

 

 

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“I know that you don’t know me, but I can help you, Hailey.”

He was right. I didn’t know him, and I wasn’t waiting around to find out. “No, you can’t help me. You don’t know my life.” I turned around, and practically ran out of the building.

I couldn’t believe it. Someone, a stranger, saw my scars. I was so vulnerable to Michael. How had I let myself fall apart like that?

I didn’t want to think about that. I didn’t want to think about anything. I just wanted everything to be all right. I was tired of feeling like I was worthless and not good enough. No matter what I tried to do, I never seemed to feel better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

Chapter 19

I went to the park after I left school. I looked out at the rushing river and let my imagination get the best of me.

I wanted to see myself as a girl beautiful like McKenzie. I would have friends that listened to me and an entire family that cared for me. I imagined what it would be like if I was pretty and popular. Everyone would love me, and accept me. I would be the one to change the people’s lives and maybe change the world. And if I wasn’t there tomorrow, somebody would care.

But I knew that I will never be any one of those things. I will never be what I want myself to be. I have to live with what’s inside of me forever.

I’m scared. I’m scared that I will never become a better person. I’m scared that I’ll live alone without anyone to be there for me. I won’t have any friends who will stick by me or someone who thinks that I’m worth it.

I’m tired of feeling this way. I didn’t ask for this life, but why does it have to hurt like this? I don’t want to feel like this tomorrow.

Why should I wake up tomorrow morning? What’s left for me here? I had already lost my sanity; there’s nothing left to lose.

 

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“Hailey …” I heard someone say from behind me. It was Michael. I turned away from the river and I found myself falling into his arms. He held me as tears ran down my face. His cheek was resting on my head. I didn’t understand how, but I felt like I could forget myself.

When I let go, I said, “Sorry.”

“No, don’t be,” he reassured. “I always think that crying is like a sign admitting that you’re weak and need help.”

I smiled weakly at that remark.

“And no smile is more beautiful than one that struggles through the tears.”

Michael was different. It’s not like I knew what guys were like, but I knew that based off of what I saw, something about him was different. And I liked it. When I was in his arms, I was able to forget everything on my mind and just let the world fade away.

“So, do you still want to hang out?” I asked shyly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

53

Chapter 20

Michael walked around in the park. He didn’t pester her about her life, or her past. He knew that she didn’t want to talk about it, and he would oblige.

He only walked with her. That’s all Hailey needed; someone who was hers to hold; Michael was there for her.

He heard her laugh, he saw her smile. He saw her eyes light up with happiness, and he knew that she wasn’t thinking about why she was hurting.

When he held her, he couldn’t believe that he was holding someone who was going through so much. When she held onto him, Michael felt like he had a purpose in this world.

He knew that Hailey would be able to get over it as time went on. Time was going to erase all of what Hailey was going through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

54

Chapter 21

I felt like a missing piece was put inside of me that day. That piece was Michael. In just a short time, I had made a friend. He made me feel like I didn’t have to worry about going home, or being scared about my future.

Unfortunately, I had to leave because it was getting a little late. Michael said that he didn’t live too far away from where I lived, so we walked home together.

When we were in front of my house, I looked into his angelic eyes. “Thank you for today.”

“Anytime,” he said. He pulled me into another embrace and I got another surge of happiness before I walked inside my house.

Once I was inside, I couldn’t help but smile. I had too much of a good day for me to be afraid of being home.

“You want to tell me where you were?” I heard my dad call from the living room.

I froze. I knew that I had to confront him. I slowly walked into the living room but didn’t say anything.

“Sit,” he said, gesturing to a chair with a cigarette in his hand.

 

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I would not sit down. “I have a lot of homework to do.”

He stayed quiet for a few seconds. “Oh, sure. Just leave like her!” I stood still. “GO!” He got up, and shoved me into the hallway. “Go, do your homework!” He pushed me again, harder. I fell to the floor.

I looked up, and he towered over me. I was suddenly intimated. I imagined Michael again. I shot through the memories of the day with him, and it gave me strength to stand up.

I don’t know if I was hallucinating, but I saw Michael appear from behind my dad. I blinked a few times, but he was still there. He nodded.

“Stop,” I said.

He looked at me stupefied. “What did you say to me?”

“I said ‘stop.’ Stop thinking that you can get away with hurting me. You miss mom just as much as I do, but there’s no use taking that anger out on me.” I glanced at Michael and he nodded again. I took that as a good sign.

My dad looked at me. I looked back into his eyes. This was the first time I ever really looked into his eyes. They looked tired, and red.

They looked like that because he stayed up late crying about the loss of his wife. He probably

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buried his face in her pillow, trying to catch her scent. He reached out across the bed where she used to lay, and crave for her body to be there so he could hold onto her.

He resorted to other means to appease his anxiety and they were unhealthy for him. And that caused him more distress.

I understood my dad’s pain.

He didn’t say anything; instead he walked past me and shut the door to his room. I watched him walk away; however, when I turned around, Michael wasn’t there.

Maybe I was hallucinating.

I went inside my room, and lay on my bed. After being with Michael, I felt happy, and when I got home, I understood what my dad was going through. I wonder why it took me so long to realize that.

I was able to smile for the rest of the night, and I wanted to see Michael again tomorrow, and all the days after that.

He was being a good friend to me who needed help. I was starting to feel better, and I wondered whether Michael would still be there.

 

 

 

 

57

Chapter 22

The next day at school, I was able to go through it without any sort of pain. I could hold my head up and walk. And for no particular reason, I smiled. I was just happy. I felt like I found everything I thought I lost before.

Everything was going great, until it was after eighth.

Once again, I was at my locker. But before I was done with it, I felt surrounded. I turned around, and the four girls were standing in front of me.

“Hi, Hailey,” McKenzie said.

I didn’t know what to say, so I just mumbled a “hello.”

“We saw you hanging out with that guy in the park yesterday,” she continued. “What’s his name?”

“Michael,” I said. “Why?”

“We’re just warning you. You can never be able to hold down a relationship,” Whitney said, with a little smirk, as if she knew.

“And you’re telling me this because?” Normally, I would let the insults sink in, but now, I wouldn’t let them do this.

 

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“Because look at this!” McKenzie said, grabbing my arm and pulling up my sleeve, revealing my scars for the other girls to see. I tried pulling it back, but she held on firmly. “Do you think someone would ever love you with these?” The girls looked at my scars and laughed. “You’re a freak, Hailey, for having these.”

“Are you that desperate for attention?” Brittney said.

I pulled my arm back fiercely and curled my hand into a fist. I wanted to hurt them all. Michael, I need help.

“Hey,” I heard Michael say from behind the girls. “Leave her alone.”

“You’re the guy she was at the park with, right?” McKenzie asked.

“Who wants to know?”

They stayed silent.

“Who are you to say anything against Hailey?” Michael took a step closer to the group. “What if I took a tissue and wiped your face, Brittney? How much make up would come of? And how much would that show that you want attention?

“And the rest of you, being loud and looking around wondering who noticed you? What does that say about attention?”

 

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Everyone stayed quiet. A few of the people walking past us were enjoying what Michael was saying. They congratulated him, actually.

The girls looked at each other, and then they left. Michael walked up to me. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” I said. “How did you know that I needed help?”

“Everyone needs help, Hailey. We just need to be strong enough to admit that we’re weak, and then help will come.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

60

Chapter 23

Ever since then, I have had the best few weeks in a long time.

I wasn’t scared of going to school, or coming home. I was feeling good about myself. I had realized that I was not worthless and that even if I felt lonely, I knew that Michael would be there. If it wasn’t for him who saved me from myself, I don’t know what hole I’d be stuck in.

I didn’t have to fake being all right because I was.

Everyday, I looked forward to spending time with Michael after school. I never saw him in the hallways, but that didn’t matter. He’d take me to different places like parks, or other serene nature filled places. When I was with him, I didn’t feel so alone. Even when he wasn’t there next to me, there was no stopping the love from coming through. We were two good friends who grew close together, and that’s just what I needed.

I didn’t think about McKenzie or Mark at all during that time. My mind was drained from all of the anxiety and pain that I felt before.

But that doesn’t mean that I suddenly turned into the world’s happiest girl; there was still things about me that I wish I could change, but I know I

 

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can’t. I was made this way for a reason. I don’t know what the reason is, but I would soon find out.

I found my smile and my laugh. I could go through the whole day without wishing I was someone else, or wondering who would care if I left tomorrow.

It was all thanks to Michael.

I knew that I wasn’t the only one who felt pain. There are others who felt just like me. If Michael were to step into their world, I could only imagine how there would be no more hurting or tears in their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

62

Chapter 24

Michael knew that he couldn’t stay there forever. He had other places to go and several other things to do.

It wasn’t goodbye, but it felt like it was.

There wasn’t much more he could do but let Hailey decide her life for herself, unlike Michael who didn’t have free will. He did his best, and now, the rest was up to someone else.

He was sitting on a park bench, writing a letter to Hailey. He didn’t want to leave her. He knew that she wouldn’t be alone, but he wanted to be with her.

When Michael was done writing the letter, he appeared in Hailey’s room. This was the room where tears were shed and where pain was at its worst.

He put the letter under her pillow. He wondered whether he would see her again.

Michael closed his eyes, and disappeared into the world.

 

 

 

 

 

63

Chapter 25

I got home that afternoon, still thinking how those girls wouldn’t be causing me any trouble anymore. Michael showed them up, and I was glad that he did. I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore since I had Michael.

I felt like a new me when I was with him and I liked the new me. Everything would be okay since he was in my life.

I walked into my room, and saw a little piece of paper under my pillow. How did that get there? I unfolded it, and began to read.

 

 

Dear Hailey,

You are the strongest girl I’ve ever met. I’ll always remember how you never gave up on tomorrow.

And I hope you remember me too. I have to leave, Hailey. I have to go to another place and I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again.

I put my hand over my mouth. I knew who was writing this letter. I couldn’t believe it. How could he do this? After all he helped me through, now he was just going to leave?

 

 

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The thing is, I’m not who you think I am. I can’t stay in one place for too long; I need to keep moving. It’s not my choice where I go, or what I do, but all I know is that I have to do it. I don’t think you’ll understand.

But know this, through it all, I’ve been watching you. I knew how you felt even before we met. I know how your father treated you and how your mother protected you. It was me protecting you from ever trying to take your life. You just never saw me. Until you admitted that you needed help.

I felt my throat close.

How had I not noticed Michael watching me? How could he have protected me from ending my life? Was he even human to begin with?

So many more questions ran through my mind, but I had to finish the letter.

I know that you feel happy with me, but I can’t stay. You need to trust that even though I’m not there with you physically, I’m with you in your heart.

Promise me you’ll never try to find me.

Maybe one day, we’ll see each other in another life. But for now, I have to go.

Goodbye, Hailey.

 

 

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I was silent. “Why would you leave me alone?” I whispered. I sat on my bed. I remembered my happiness and it was the best feeling in the world. It all came because of Michael. Now that he was gone, would the happiness go too?

I didn’t know what to do. We knew each other for only a few weeks, and I knew that Michael was amazing; whoever met him was lucky they had.

Like how I was.

I trusted Michael. If he said that he would be in my heart, then that’s where he was.

I lay down on my bed and looked up at the ceiling. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t looking up in desperation. I was looking up in happiness. It was like everything in my past had faded and the future was going to be better. After all, I had someone in my heart guiding me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EPILOGUE: THREE YEARS LATER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m not who I used to be. I’ve grown and matured into someone that I like better. I wasn’t scared about my future, because it was looking good. I was going to a great college with my best friend, McKenzie, and we would dorm together. The day after I read the letter, McKenzie was the only one to apologize for the way she treated me. I decided to forgive her and let it go.

The other girls never talked to me after the day Michael told them off. McKenzie, however, wanted to be friends.

In fact, she broke up with Mark. I think it was complications with Mark that brought us close together.

I forgot about him. I ripped that letter I wrote for him. There was no point in living in the past; adding in the things that I wished had happened. It was a waste of time.

As for my dad, he’s in rehab and he is slowly getting over his addictions. Things have never been better between us. We talk, we laugh, we enjoy each other’s company. We don’t dwell on the past. It’s behind us.

I was the president of student council, a leader for a group who mentored incoming

 

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freshman, and was an assistant to a psychologist at the rehab clinic where my dad was.

I met a boy named James in my junior year, and there wasn’t anyone like him. He actually had a passion for love and supported me in my decisions if they were good ones.

I learned that Michael was really “inside of me.” When I needed to make an important decision, it was the person inside of my heart that gave me wisdom and direction.

I suppose that someone, somewhere, is always watching out for us; planning out our lives before we even exist to make it the best for us. When we take our life into our own hands, we mess it up because we have no idea what the whole picture looks like.

When I forced the issue, I thought that everything was falling apart. When I didn’t, the pieces were falling into place.

I can’t run away from my past, and I don’t want to. I learned from it to become the person that I am today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

AJAY JOSEPH has been writing stories ever since he was six years old. His passion for books and writing continued well into his high school days. He is the author of Once A Stranger featuring Ava Parker. He lives in Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It Will Be All Right

Hailey Anderson's life has taken a turn for the worse. Ever since the loss of a loved one, her world crashes. She doesn't think she's good enough, she doesn't think she's ever going to amount to anything, and she doesn't see a point in living. A mysterious boy who knows all of Hailey's secrets comes into her life and tells her that he can be the one to take her pain away. But Hailey doesn't trust this stranger. A remarkably moving tale, IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT by Ajay Joseph is a testament to the power of finding hope and how it can change your life.

  • ISBN: 9781304849984
  • Author: Ajay Joseph
  • Published: 2015-09-12 05:05:42
  • Words: 11965
It Will Be All Right It Will Be All Right