for the record...

for the record...

A Story by J.E.M
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Have you ever been betrayed? Have you ever retalliated and found yourself responsible for more than you can handle? If you have then you will understand Everly's story Its approx 2400 words

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I’ve always felt safest in the dark. For most people it’s not like that, but it has always been an obvious fact for me. In the dark nothing could see you, nothing could touch you, and I truly believed that nothing could hurt you. Everyone was impaired. Everyone was at the same disadvantage you were. You could escape easily and everything you have inside you stays there. Inside. All the secrets, the disgraces, the things that disgust you about yourself, your shames, your lies, all of the contemptible and unholy things about you remain best hidden in the dark.

There are many dark places in the world, too many depending on how you looked at it. I ran to the nearest dark place I could find; the back of the park near Warren's house.

I sat on my knees and retched. I separated the tastes, popcorn, chicken, stomach acid, and a hell of a lot of vodka. There was too much of it, the vomit, way too much, I couldn’t have ingested all of that. I heaved once more, hardly believing my eyes, adding up all that I remembered drinking, I swore it wasn’t that much, but the evidence was there.

“D****t Everly, I’m taking you home,” Jaiden yelled at me. I could say that he said it out of anger, but that would be a colossal understatement. Anger couldn’t have been the only thing he felt, frustration, worry, anxiety, fear, stress, that about covered it. I was throwing up with no sign of ceasing soon and Akari was bleeding to death in Warren’s living room. I had really messed this up.

“Why are you still here?!” I yelled at him through my tears. I took comfort in the fact that he couldn’t see them in the downpour; he might’ve guessed I was crying but I was willing to believe he was oblivious. I ran from emotional displays, people being able to see too much of me made me uneasy to say the least.

“You want me to go?” he accused, climbing back onto his bike, probably tired of me, even I wish I had nothing to do with me.

“No,” I screamed without thought, realising how I must’ve sounded, “I didn’t mean it like that,” I paused to gag again, “I just meant that if I were you I probably wouldn’t be here right now,”

“I didn’t really have time to put much thought into it, you ran so I ran after you. I’ll always run after you,” he said pulling me to my feet, not that I wanted to stand.

 

I thought back to the previous weekend. How we’d all been hanging out together at Akari’s house, chomping down pizza. We’d all been friends for a lifetime, a least that’s what it felt like, but Jaiden and I were together. I left early, my nose wouldn’t stop running and I felt myself coming down with a fever. I made the mistake of insisting Jaiden stay behind and enjoy himself. When I realised I’d forgotten my bus pass, I went all the way from the bus stop back to Akari’s. Akari’s older sister let me in, and when I entered the living room Jaiden was all over Akari. Akari was all over Jaiden. They were all over each other and I didn’t know what to say. I felt one of the deepest forms of betrayal, excluding my direct family; these two people meant the most to me in the world. How could they do this? Why would they hurt me? For what reason? I was miserable for 2 days before the anger took over.

 

“Do you think you can hold yourself together long enough for me to take you back?” he asked recapturing my attention. All I saw was exhaustion and what I could only describe as defeat.

“But they’ll be back there, I don’t know if I can face them,” I thought of how I must have looked when I’d ran full speed out of the party, how could I come back now? Dirt stained clothes, puke ridden hair, I looked like a wet dog and smelt worse, “I know I can’t face them,”

Fury swept across his face, “Akari could be dead Everly! Are you just going to hide here and cry, then find out the gossip on Monday at school!?” he yelled at me, appalled, “If you cared about her at all, then you’d go back for her. You know she never would have left you,”

          I broke into sobs. Jaiden couldn’t be more right, Akari was just so much better than I was. And you don’t even have to be Mother Teresa to stay behind with someone when they're dying, you just need to have some standard decency.

Going back would be like walking into the light. Out of the security of the dark, and into the exposure.

          Jaiden rode me back to Warren’s house on his handlebars; I allowed him some peace to think, while anticipant thoughts plagued my mind.

 

After becoming so swelled up with anger " and a sense of vengeance which I mistook for a desire for justice " I made it publicly clear that I and Jaiden were over. They’re excuse was that Akari was depressed from her long-term relationship breakup, and just wanted to be comforted. Jaiden blamed himself. Akari tried to share the blame. I chose to forgive Akari, she was the vulnerable one and Jaiden should have known better. Though I told myself I’d forgiven her, subconsciously I didn’t think of her as my friend anymore, and all of my actions toward Akari seemed to be aimed in the direction of some sort of punishment through humiliation. My better judgement was clouded and in one way or another I might have lost my best friend.

 

          We were nearing Warren’s house now, which was swarming with cops and our friends were all being questioned. There was a definitive moment of silence as I was scrutinized by all, the partiers, the police, and the neighbours. There was not a breath to be heard, but it only lasted a second, as everyone one went back to reality.

          Someone came to us with blankets, which seemed too kind a gesture for what I deserved, but of course, they didn’t know. I didn’t feel like I needed it, but then remembered learning something about how alcohol makes you feel warmer, when you actually get colder; I accepted a blanket.

 

One of the uniforms asked us if we’d been at the party and had seen what had happened. I nodded and Jaiden asked how Akari was; we were told that she was in coma and had lost a lot of blood. The vice grip of the guilt tightened around my chest, constricting my heart.

Our statements were taken.

 

What had happened was my fault. A guess that I’m sure you would have made by now, but I needed to admit it to myself, if not to anybody else, least of all the coppers.

I urged Akari to sneak out a go to the Warren’s party, for my own enjoyment, and I didn’t care if she got in trouble or not. Some friend. Akari’s parents didn’t trust Warren's, they thought they were dodgy, which was understandable, they’re philosophy on teen drinking was ‘better in the safety of the home that sneaking into club, or in random dangerous part of town'. I didn’t care. I wanted to get pissed. I never turned to alcohol for recreation, like other bored teens, I turned to it to make me feel better.

Regardless, Warren’s parents had been arrested. Even though it was to a lesser extent, I felt guilty for creating a reason for the police to turn up, and arresting his parents, and probably crushing his home life. God only knows I know what that felt like.

          When Akari and I got there I made sure I was tipsy and Akari was drunk, maybe I could force her into a hangover. At some point I noticed Jaiden, and seeing as he kept popping up everywhere I was, I started making out with as many people as I could find in my drunken haze. I could tell I was winding him up. I came up with a game, I called it ‘find your phone’, I made Akari go first. We blindfolded her, span her around and look for her phone, as we played random ringtones to confuse her even more. Some people were getting a kick out of it, but it was obvious that I, in particular, was trying to torment her, I was in hysterics, until she fell…

She was dizzy, drunk and blind; because of me she stumbled and fell through Warren’s mom’s glass coffee table.

I remembered how the class shattered, sobering us all up for about 3 seconds, long enough for us to realise what happened. I remembered dropping her phone, and taking a fearful step backwards. I remembered her unmoving body and how hot my skin felt and how fast my heart moved. I remembered how rapidly the blood spilt around our feet, how Tara Mackintosh fainted at the sight. Someone switched the light on and the music was stopped as we all crowded round, people were freaking out and calling 911. Akari lay lifeless. Some people looked at me and whispered, and Nasmeen Murtar looked at me and uttered the words, ‘look at what you’ve done, how could you?’

That was when my hand clapped itself over my mouth and my feet continued to back away. It was my fault. There was no denying it and no way to escape the instant and suddenly overwhelming guilt but I couldn’t help but turn and do a runner.

The park wasn’t too far from Warren's house so I took myself there; I lost my heels in the process, and the most surprising thing of all was that Jaiden followed me.

 

A whole week passed. Akari died at 4:12 am, she just lost too much blood. And it was because of me.

As the days went by I found myself at her house, comforting her family, writing the English Funeral Invites to anyone who wasn’t Japanese, watching Hana and Daichi while they were too busy, staying for dinner most nights. I even found myself reminiscing with Mariko one night, Akari’s older sister. I told her it felt like I had my best friend back for a moment, she said it felt she had a sister again. All the while, I knew exactly who was to blame for her death, but I let them think that it was out of love for my best friend that I stuck around.

“They’re gonna find out,” Jaiden said to me, the night of the funeral service, which was always before the burial.

“What?” I replied before a second before realising what he’d meant. I looked up at Mr Oshiro, standing up and saying his last speech about his daughter, tears spilling down his face and his wife sobbing at his side.

“That all of what you’ve been doing is out of guilt. They’ll find out at some point, you should tell them now,”

I didn’t want to fight with Jaiden, we were back together now, and I wasn’t strong enough to handle this on my own. Ever since her time of death was announced, my head had felt surprisingly clear, I could’ve fought back, said something along the lines of 'what they don’t know can’t hurt them,' but I knew he was right and I had committed to doing the right thing from now on.

“I’m scared,” I whispered, “They’ll hate me, forever,”

“Maybe,” he shrugged. That shrug made me realise that I had to. I had no choice. I wasn’t straight out lying, but I was omitting the truth, something they needed to know and something I’d want Akari to tell my parents if she had been the one standing here now.

I carried on listening to what Mr Oshiro was saying, “… Akari, your name means light; you were the light in our life,”

 

She was the light… It just clicked, I had always been afraid of the light, and the darkness was my sanctuary, now it time to step out of my hiding and away from my fears and live life in the light, for Akari.

 

Her parents asked that we say a few words about Akari, Jaiden began. He told childhood stories and memorable jokes we’d shared and mentioned in many different ways how great Akari was and how sorry he was to see her go. It finally came to my attention that Akari wasn’t just my best friend, she was Jaiden’s too, I’d been selfish enough to forget how much he must’ve been hurting, and how strong he’d been keeping me together when I was about to fall apart. I had forgotten that he needed someone to hold onto too.

Silent tears fell down his cheek as I stepped up to the podium, taking his hand in mine and saying my piece. Or rather discarding the things I’d written and saying how my last week with Akari was, and how much part I’d taken in the events that had occurred. I couldn’t remember seeing anything, as if I was temporarily blind to all the shocked faces staring up at me. But not in shadows, blinded by light.

 

I came to funeral the next day, dressed from head to toe in white, as was the Japanese funeral custom. I offered again my condolences awkwardly to the Oshiro’s, knowing that it would take some time for them to process and recover from what I’d release to them. Until then I would keep my distance, but I knew what I’d done was right. As I was told by Jaiden, and my parents. It felt slightly empty though, it took too long for me to do the right thing and it cost a life, but I can’t change the past, I’ll try and change the future.

I’d always felt safest in the dark. Though the dark was not a safe place, it was a trap that kept your insecurities hidden and generated new clandestine ones, and released them at some unexpected point. You feel terrible and go running back for the comfort of the dark, just for it to happen over and over. The dark is not a safe place.

The light is, everything is true, and righteous, and it’s a place where you learn and forgive and in time are forgiven. I chose to live in the light now. I chose to live in Akari.

© 2010 J.E.M


Author's Note

J.E.M
this was an original writing peice (piece?) i wrote for English, the theme was culture so it is very loosely based on youth and oriental culture.

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Reviews

I like the beginning, especially the first two chapters. Good contrast about him liking the dark and her being the light.

Posted 11 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I usually don't read stories but this caught my attention.
I really enjoyed the imagery and descriptiveness of this.
Powerful and emotional story. I like it.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. Thats was very, very nice. For some reason kind of speechless. lol I'll write a little more when im not. But my favorite part was at the beginning. this: "I’ve always felt safest in the dark. For most people it’s not like that, but it has always been an obvious fact for me. In the dark nothing could see you, nothing could touch you, and I truly believed that nothing could hurt you. Everyone was impaired. Everyone was at the same disadvantage you were. You could escape easily and everything you have inside you stays there. Inside. All the secrets, the disgraces, the things that disgust you about yourself, your shames, your lies, all of the contemptible and unholy things about you remain best hidden in the dark." I feel exactly the same way again.
you get a 100/100

Posted 11 Years Ago



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Added on June 7, 2010
Last Updated on June 8, 2010
Tags: young adult, fiction, death, teenage, love, light vs dark

Author

J.E.M
J.E.M

London, West, United Kingdom



About
So I'm J. (I'm a seventeen year old girl from London, but with Caribbean heritage) a writer by nature, since I was four years old (first story was 'Aladdin and the Magic Teapot;', horrible reviews) an.. more..

Writing
Before Dark Before Dark

A Book by J.E.M


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