Thank You, Sadness

By Natallie St. Onge

Just prove it to them. 

The sweet wind flew past, the smell of summer just over the horizon as the sun started to say goodbye to the world and hide behind the moon.  We sat beside the pond, the small pool of water reflecting the perfect moment we created.  Hand in hand, his arms wrapped around me, together we sat in a world of birds singing a soft melody with a rhythm of a new beginning, a new start.  The clouds collecting all the jitters and the feelings of excitement, filling with all the fear we had yet to face.  Its amazing, I thought to myself.  Youre just amazing.  He was sweet, his lips were a taste of heaven, and finally, I was wanted.  I was needed.   There was nothing that could ever take that away from me, not even the clouds as they grew bigger and bigger as the dark sky started to lure near.  Youre just amazing.     

Just prove it to them. 

The beach was our favorite place.  The sand allowed us to run wild, encouraged us to become the little kids ruling the playground, transforming into the adults we always wanted to be rather than who we were destined to become.  The waves splashed against the rocks, the twigs and everything in between, motivating us for more, wishing we could just become one with the erupting waters.  She was my best friend, I was hers, and together, we were invincible.  No stubborn wave could mock us, no seagull could pelt us with worry.  Together, we were two girls with dreams and ambitions, bouncing off of each other like a vital staying alive for a patient.  We were always together, always as one.  You're my everything, I thought to myself.  What would I do without you?  

Just prove it to them.

He was my favorite person.  The laughs he made with me, the songs he sang with me and the many driving lessons he taught me- it told me that we were the best pair.  I was short, but that didn’t stop me from looking up to him.  He was my staple to secure a laugh, my bond when I needed to know someone was there.  To pick me up when I fall, or to make sure that I would be alright, sooner than later.  Dad, I love you.  I told him every night.  I always will love you. 

 Just prove it to them.

The walls were bigger than I ever could have imagined them to be, the world spinning out of my hands, the lights flickering harder, every time a new word was said.  Can you believe her?  How dumb?  Youre ridiculous.  You will never be enough.  Just LOOK at her. WHAT is her problem?!  I swallowed, trying to bring back the water that left me with a drought.  My world was shaking, my mind vibrating with the stares, with the hard glares and the tattoo comments.  They were just girls, I told myself.  They are just girls

The clouds finally let out all the fear. 

A text message ruined his amazement.  The taste of the devil was on my lips, bittersweet to even touch.    

Two weeks later, the sun didn’t shine as bright as it did.  The waves left me alone as I walked the beach solo, death taking my best friend with cancer.

The lights welcomed me home with flashes of red and blue, and a man that I once loved, was sitting in the back seat behind the medal bars, shame on his face, and a stranger in his presence. 

The clouds let out the fear and I started to run, far and really, really fast. 

Just prove it to them. 

For quite some time, I couldn’t see.  I couldn’t see where the light was.  For a while, I couldn’t even have the courage to look for a good day, or a smile.  I needed to feel miserable, I needed to be sad.  There was no other choice for who I needed to be.  The sadness, the fear, the dark clouds had found me for a reason, they had consumed me with purpose, for a purpose, and here I was, destined to be the adult that was needed to be sad.  Who cares if the sand jumped up at me and told me otherwise, or that the water had finally started to wave to me again.  Who cares?  The sadness had found me, had captured me and wouldn’t let me go.  What was I supposed to do with the most important people in my life, gone?  What was I supposed to do with, what seemed as though, the entire student body judging me and my every move, waiting for my ticking time bomb to explode and create massive havoc?  What was I supposed to do?

What was I supposed to do about being me? 

Prove it. 

Prove that I am strong, beautiful, healthy and smart. 

Prove it, not for them, or any of them. 

But to me.  And only me. 

For the past year, I have struggled with immense thoughts of doubt, paranoia of all things high school, and the grieving loss of a best friend.  I’ve cried the equivalent amount of a monsoon in the tropics, and I have heaved and complained more than I ever thought I could.  For so long, I have been enveloped and consumed by the atmosphere of high school where every new gossip formed, I automatically thought was triggered towards me.  I’ve hated more than God ever should allow anyone to.  But, for the past year, I’ve learned more lessons that I ever could have imagined.             

The hurt stung, but the care warmed me with a hug.  He told me was I judgmental, that I was too cold to have feelings that lasted longer than a month. I must thank him for allowing me to love myself, before I could ever allow a boy to.  He gave me thoughts, he gave me ideas, but he never told me to change, or to force me to be someone else that he needed or wanted.  He gave me the opportunity to make a better me, he gave me the courage and bravery to show to myself that I am more than a kiss full of secrets and a hug that would never be comforting.  And for that, I must thank him.  I must thank him for helping me find that I don’t need someone to tell me that I am amazing, to be amazing.             

She was gone quicker than anyone ever thought, the cancer in her body tagging along like another friend.  She never let it show though, she never told it to be her.  I admired that.  She lived with poison, she grew up with the toxins in her body and she taught me, that it’s okay to have negativity in our lives, if we have the power to over smile, and let love grow.  After her death, she’s still teaching me, just in a different way.  And for that, I must thank her.  I must thank her for telling me that I am strong enough, to stand on my own. 

It had been rocky for a while, but my brothers and my sisters got used to it.  We were immune to yelling, to the shouting, to the hurt and to the tension in the air.  It was a background noise, a distant feeling that you can always fall back on just in case you were too numb to feel anything on your own.  But as soon as he was taken away, as soon as the cop cars circled out of the street, the house was eerily quiet.  And it has been for the last year.  But instead of the tension, there’s a new love blossoming, a family starting anew with a fresh love instead of building on hate.  And I must thank him for that.  I must thank him for destroying a love, and for allowing us to build a family we always wanted, even if that doesn’t include a father. 

The girls at school will always ever be the girls at school, and nothing more.  They won’t be my best friends.  They won’t be my staples for a good attitude or good day.  They won’t be anything to me other than girls at school.  And I must thank them for showing me the better people in life, for showing me the people who will be there and the difference between a girl at school, and a best friend.  I must thank them for that. 

But really, I have to thank myself, for finally allowing me to see the better, more important things in life that will, and already have shaped me.  I thank myself for loving who I have become, for loving where I am going.  For anyone who is reading this, and who is struggling to find a way through life that seems as though it is slipping further and further away, you must know that it will get better, and sooner than later, you will be thanking yourself for allowing to see the light.  That’s a promise.             

I thank him for that text message that ended it, but really started something.

I thank her for being my guardian through it all.

I thank him for leaving.

I thank them, for showing me better.

Finally, I proved it to me.