She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’
I met a girl at the bar. She had a smile and youth that seemed unbreakable. I sat beside her, and she carelessly sipped her glass of white wine, and playfully flirted back.
On the surface, she was like an untouched, tropical beach island with a bounty of treasures. A paradise. But what lay beneath was a stormy sea of shipwrecks.
Later that night she invited me over to a hangout. Her and friends were seated around a table. A couple of bottles later, the music grew louder, the group gained laughter. It was a good time. And then her vice appeared. A single line of snow sailed across the table and she sniffed.
I passed it off as nothing, thinking perhaps it was a little adventurous fun. I went back to her house.
And she told me her story:
Several years back her parent’s separated. She mixed with the wrong group in high school. Had a couple bad relationships. Turned to narcotics and the nightlife to numb those knocks.
She stays with her mother, younger brother, and older sister. Her mother is the bread winner and works to provide for all 4 of them. It’s a little apartment in a residential complex just off the highway. You can see the front door on the second story as you drive by. Her mother sleeps on a mattress at night on the living room floor. The two bedrooms are for herself and her sister. The house is crowded, messy, yet is empty of many necessities. There is little to no food in the fridge. The microwave has been broken for some time. She shares what little clothes she has with her younger brother. Half her outfit is borrowed from her girlfriends and step sister.
For the past two years, she has been drifting around. A drop out. A druggie.
Just under a year ago, she was in a toxic relationship with a guy who broke her already fragile soul even further.
A guy who gave her no attention. A guy who controlled her. She said she would stand on the one side of the club and he would ignore her from the other side. Only noticing her when it was time to leave, where he would take her back to his house.
Never acknowledged, never appreciated. Blinded by inexperience and the fear of being alone. She hung on to the strings as he played puppet master. And as quickly as he had trapped her, he let her go. And now he pulls the strings of another, most likely innocent, victim.
Yet she called it love. She is haunted by him.
I’ve seen her body shake in the middle of the night when she lay asleep. Her breathing quickens and her nails scratch. It looks like she’s drowning in pain. An anxiety anchored in darkness and depth. You can feel the wave washing over her. Gasping for air. I witnessed the suffering.
I see the scars on her hand. The scars on her heart.
Just over a month ago, she came out of a clinic. Fighting depression and drug abuse.
I took her out somewhere fancy, she said this was a first. Never had she ever been treated like a lady. A heart-warming smile when I opened the door for her. I complimented her for more than she realized her worth. I tried to show her what else is out there. I tried to help her dream. I tried to make her feel again.
So very young, yet she has seen so very much. Fate’s mishap.
How does life decide who to curse and who to blame? A tale not yet fully told, but already tortured by events beyond that being’s tail. What can this young girl do to escape it?
You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she’s been there
Probably been moved on from every place
Cause she didn’t fit in there
The shadow of her past chases her every step. Each time she makes progress, she drifts back even further.
Struggling through her grades, struggling to get along with her parents, struggling on no income, no real friends, no food on her plate, no family to turn too. No paradise.
Through no fault of her own, she’s been outcast, washed out to sea.
I tried to throw her a lifeline to shore, I tried to reel her back in. But she waved, and it washed her away.
Orginally published on my blog: Aron Frost