Wassup, y’all? I enjoyed all your answers to my surveys, and I learned your least favorite posts are writing advice. (Haha, guess those won’t be showing up on my blog. 😛 ) I was honestly astonished to see that encouragement posts were the top ranking, which makes me a little bit happy. What made me a LOT happier was to see that my rambling posts were the second favorite. 😉
(Oh, and if you voted for videos as your favorite, I plan to post more consistently on my YouTube channel, so check it out here. I won’t post every video I post there on my blog, so I just thought I’d let you know.)
Today I’m going to give you a short story I wrote for a contest. The theme of the contest was true love, and I wrote on a topic that is fairly close to my heart. Before you begin, however, I must warn you that it’s not exactly kid-friendly. If you’re under the age of 12, please ask your parent or guardian to look over it first. I try not to write anything that I wouldn’t read to my younger siblings, but this story is a more adult-ish topic. Thanks. ❤
A Light to the Past
This might never be told, or it might leak out on a rainy day, when only tears can wash it away. Lenna looked up from her notebook and let her gaze fall on the fire that crackled in the hearth. The mountain cabin was quiet, and most importantly, it was safe. But not safe enough to keep the memories from haunting her. The past was still the past, and she hadn’t let it go. The memories flooded in, faster and thicker, causing her to shiver even with the bright fire beside her. She drew a deep breath, shaking her head as she pulled her sleeve up and looked at her arm, scared.
“I can’t do it anymore,” Lenna said to her reflection in the mirror. The makeup had been taken off to reveal the black eye and the puffy lip that he had given her. Her body was full of bruises, and she knew she wasn’t the only one. A shadow ruled her house, and it loomed over her family, making everyone of them scared of their every movement.
“I have to do something. I can’t go on. I just can’t. Oh, I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.” The tears splashed on the counter, and Lenna’s eyes fell on her brother’s knife. Without thinking, she snatched it, the insults hurled at her flitting through her brain. She set her jaw and shook her head.
“I’m ugly,” she whispered, as she flipped the blade open and slipped it down her arm. A trickle of red followed, and the rage and hurt in her only grew. “I’m stupid,” she added, making another red line. “I’ll never be worth anything, I’m retarded, I’m unwanted.” Each time she added something, she let the knife cut deeper, but it didn’t cut deep enough for her. It didn’t make her arm hurt as much as her heart.
Lenna pulled her sleeve back down her arm and brushed her sleeve across her eye to dry the tear. She fiddled with her pen before she put it to the paper and continued writing. I’m free from that now, but if you’re reading this you need to know. I grew up abused, and in constant fear of my father’s shadow. Lenna sighed and bit her lip.
I didn’t know how to handle it, and so I began hurting myself and telling myself lies. I was anti-social, considered both awkward and shy, so the children at my church and school left me alone. Alone to my thoughts, to my fears, and to my tears. I had no future and no hope, so I tried to do the only thing I knew. I decided it was the best thing I could do.
Lenna felt another tear slip down her cheek, a tear for her past self. Now, she wasn’t only remembering, she was praying that she would have courage for the future. That others in her situation would have courage to speak out.
Lenna held the blade and idly let it cut up her arm. Her body was black and blue. He had just hurt her more than ever before…And there was nothing she could do. Nothing she wanted to do.
She closed her eyes to think. She was just tired. She could see no future that was any more appealing than the present or the past. She was tired of living, and as she thought on it, she realized something. Just one cut in the right place, and it would all be over.
She looked numbly at the picture she had pulled up on her phone. There, that was were the vein was, it wouldn’t hurt. At least, she had gotten used to the pain on her arms. It would be quick, and then it would be over. No more physical, no more emotional, no more mental pain.
It would be better for everyone. No one cared for her, no one wanted her. She wouldn’t be a worry to her mother, she wouldn’t be a bother to her brother, and he could never get her again. She would be safe.
Suddenly, a wave of emotion flooded over Lenna. It was like blood rushing to someone’s numb limb, and the pain of the emotion caused the tears fall, splashing to the floor. She savagely slashed at her leg, the only way for her to express her emotions.
“I hate myself. Oh, how I hate myself!” she burst through gritted teeth. She paused in exhaustion from the emotion and watched with interest as the blood dripped on the floor. A book was sitting on the bathroom counter, and she pulled it toward her. It was a Bible, and it flipped to Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you.”
Lenna’s thoughts whirled. If God knew, wouldn’t He stop this? But the verse went on to say they were plans of hope. Maybe, maybe she could get through just one more day.
Lenna wiped the tear away, and silently thanked God for saving her from that path. From taking a life that was only God’s to take. The dark clouds then seemed darker than she could bare, but a smile broke through, happy this time, when she thought of the next thing that had happened. The only bit of sunshine that had crossed her past.
“Hey, squirt, what’s your name?” Lenna looked up to see the new boy at church standing near her. Her eyes instinctively dropped to the ground, and she remained silent as the boy’s eyes looked her over. “I’m Andy, by the way.”
“I’m Lenna,” Lenna gathered enough courage to look up into his eyes.
“Why were you standing over there alone?” he asked, following Lenna as she started walking towards the woods nearby.
“I don’t have any friends,” Lenna answered, her eyes nervously darting around.
“Well, that won’t do, will it? But I don’t have any friends at the moment, either. Just moved, and so I thought I’d get to know you.” Andy grinned, and tried to catch her eye, but Lenna resolutely kept hers to the ground.
“Interesting,” Lenna said, finally sneaking a look at the boy walking beside her. Andy was lanky, with sandy blond hair, and blue eyes that continually sought the sky. He had a type of jumpy spring to his step that made one think he was going to take the world in one stride.
“What do you enjoy doing?” Andy asked, his blue eyes locking with Lenna’s.
“Nothing,” Lenna said quickly, crossing her arms over her chest.
“C’mon, you have to like something,” Andy answered.
“I like quiet, walking, the woods.”
“I like the woods and walking as well, but I doubt I’m ever quiet, so I guess I don’t like silence.” Andy broke into a wide smile, a smile that scrunched his eyes and added a twinkle to them.
“I don’t talk much.”
“Then we’ll get along,” Andy flashed another smile. “I’ll talk for the both of us, as long as you help. Oh, and I heard we’re going to the same school.” The random fact made Lenna feel wary. She couldn’t let him find out, and yet, as time went on, it got harder and harder.
One summer day, Lenna remembered, they had been walking out in the woods, and Lenna had gotten hot, so she had carefully rolled up her long sleeves.
“Why do you wear long sleeves in summer, anyway?” Andy had asked.
“Oh, just do,” Lenna shrugged, looking at the ground.
“Here, take that jacket off, silly,” Andy said, but Lenna backed away.
“No, I don’t want to,” she answered, looking around for an escape.
“Why not? It’s hot, you might get a heat stroke.”
“I’m good,” Lenna said stubbornly, slowly backing away.
“Just roll your sleeves up, it won’t hurt you.” Andy coaxed as he walked closer. “Is something wrong?” He paused when he saw Lenna’s face.
“No, I’m fine,” she sucked in her breath. “I’ll take the jacket off.” Lenna let the security of the jacket drop off her arms, showing the scars and a few new red lines.
“Lenna…” Andy trailed off, a puzzled expression on his face before a look of understanding flashed. “Lenna, I…”
Lenna squeezed her eyes shut, trying to keep the tears from falling. “Andy,” she breathed. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“Lenna, don’t go,” Andy grabbed her hand to keep her from running. “It’s all right. You don’t have to do it anymore.”
“You don’t understand,” was her only response before she ran away. Away to a different part of the woods where she could hear Andy calling her for the next fifteen minutes.
Lenna smiled as she picked up an old journal and flipped through it. There was a red rose, the rose she had found on her doorstep when she came home, left there by the person who knew her problem, and the person that was trying to understand. The person who actually stayed.
Andy hadn’t left, but he didn’t know the whole story. At least, not enough. She had never had enough courage to speak her mind, to take the time to tell him and take him to her past. The past that had scarred her, and left her with a burden.
But then, she smiled again as she remembered something else. The love and concern of a humanly friend had led her to the real sun, the Son of God. In a way, that to her was as magical as the fairy tales she had delighted in when she was younger. She had learned about the love of a God. A love so strong, that it wasn’t even destroyed in the second strongest force on earth…Death.
Then, there was that Valentine’s day in the last year of highschool. Andy had already graduated the year before, and he had astonished everyone by skipping college and working for his family’s business.
“Hey, squirt,” Andy greeted, as he pulled up in front of the school.
“What are you doing here, Andy?” Lenna asked.
“Thought I’d bring you home. Your mom invited me to dinner, and your school is on the way to your house.”
“Yeah, but it’s three in the afternoon, not six,” Lenna answered, opening the car door and dropping into the passenger seat.
“Coffee can fill the time.”
“Really?” Lenna’s brows went up in mock surprise. “I thought we would just go home and pass the time staring at each other.”
“I like staring at you anywhere, so it’s up to you where we go.” Lenna squirmed at the tone and words, and yet, they warmed a part in her heart that had been locked up her whole life. But she couldn’t trust anyone. She had to protect herself. “Lenna? Where are we going?”
Lenna swallowed before pasting the smile she had grown accustomed to wearing on her face. “Let’s go for coffee. It’s an adventure, right?”
Andy let out a laugh, scrunching his eyes and adding the twinkle that made them irresistible. Soon they were at the coffee shop, sitting across from each other. “So, what are you going to do once you get out of highschool?”
Lenna shivered slightly as she thought about her home, and she knew she would do anything to get away from it. “I don’t know.”
Andy leaned halfway across the table. “Lenna, I love you, and I want to share the rest of my life with you…”
“No, Andy,” Lenna interrupted, “You don’t understand.”
“Don’t I? You’ve stopped hurting yourself, and you can move on. I’ll help you, and I need you to help me. I want you to love me, Lenna.”
“But, Andy, what is true love? What is love in action? How can I love you?” Lenna felt a cold fear settle on her. She had known Andy for almost four years now, but could she really trust him?
“The greatest love the world has ever known came through Jesus.” Andy answered. “All throughout my life I have wondered, how do I give that to others? When I first saw you all alone, I knew that I should show you the love of Christ. You stood as a withered flower, asking someone to help, someone to show you the love of your Heavenly Father. And I tried, Lenna. Now I realize that God has ordained it that we should become one, and model Christ’s love for the church. Lenna, will you trust me?”
Lenna fingered the two rings on her left hand, and looked up with a smile as a well-known step walked down the hallway. There were still tears on her cheek, and she knew that tonight, as the blizzard roared outside, she would tell Andy about the things she had been too scared to talk about before. Today, she had the courage to bring a light to the past, because today she had courage enough to forgive and to love the father who had abused her. She looked at the Bible next to her, and read the verse about love before Andy sat down.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” And then she remembered what her Savior had said when he walked this earth. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
Lenna took a deep breath as Andy sat beside her and threw his arm over her shoulders. “Andy, I have a lot to tell you…”