I really wished I had done something. I thought to myself. But I hadn’t; and that has made all the difference. It haunts me every night. As I lay myself in bed accompanied by the eagerness to start a new day, a new beginning and a new life, something hinders me. It creeps through the room, nothing but excitement motivates it to crawl its way towards me in a blink of an eye. I can feel it now. I opened my eyes in a heartbeat and readied myself for the tears that would eventually flow out of my bloodshot eyes. Except nothing happened.
The epiphany came to me as I realised that I’ve shed an overwhelming amount of tears well enough to last a lifetime. I glance around the room and study its features when I came to a thought. I was alone. I AM alone. I awkwardly shift myself in a sitting position: my rather short arms gladly embracing my thinly, freezing legs. It’s imminent and no existing kind of preparation could ever ready me for what’s forthcoming; the one thought that doesn’t shy away from my mind no matter how hard I try; and it all leads to one person who I guarantee would be embedded in both my mind and heart forever.
The memories came rushing back faster than the speed of light. It was exactly a year ago on a stormy Thursday morning. I’ve just finished eating my weirdly-mixed lunch and was preparing my things when I heard it. At first, I decided it was no more than the continuous rustling of leaves, but it grew louder. I found myself walking towards what was producing the sound. Only I didn’t find what made it, but rather who it was coming from.
The person was a girl: a sickly-looking, petite, stick-thin girl who was sobbing uncontrollably in the corner of the empty corridor that seemed to have no end. I took an unsure step backwards as I processed my subsequent motion. It was evident I had never met this girl; nor had she met me. “Are you alright?” I muttered. What an idiot. I mentally swore to myself. She was nowhere near being okay. I looked up at both sides of the corridors hoping to find someone and ask them courteously for assistance. But no one in this school ever dared to stroll along the dimly-lit, tedious corridors in lunch or interval. I lowered myself to a kneeling position and held the gal’s face that has been filled with tears.
I steadily studied her furrowed face. She had bony cheeks, thin lips, slightly crooked nose that looked as though it had just been broken moments ago and eyes so dark they seemed soulless from the distant. I went over what I was going to tell her. “Come with me,” I requested slowly yet surely. I didn’t want her to feel pressured and mostly scared. I reached to my pocket and handed her my damp, crumpled, old handkerchief but felt no disgust whatsoever. This lass needed every help she can be offered right now.
“Th... thank y... thank you,” she responded as I wiped away the tears on her face. She was slowly beginning to look less like a mess. “I’m Dany by the way,” I introduced myself; inwardly panicking as I made the situation less uncomfortable by thinking of something to say. But even before I said something idiotic, she opened her mouth and made a sound, “I… I’m Arya.” And from that moment on, I felt something stir and change.
I gladly toured Arya around the school, keeping her company after she revealed that this was her fourth school this year. She was a curious person, Arya. Her mind full of inevitable conundrums that seemed to be asking for more. I didn’t say anything for a good half an hour. I couldn’t. Not after she had unintentionally divulged how her father mercilessly beats her. Lonely and alone she was, without her mother (who gave her life giving birth to her) to calm her reckonings at night, she was left with her drunken father who thought no more and much less of her and prioritizes two bastards of his own.
As lunch came to a halt, I extended an offer to amble Arya to her class. She was a year younger than me. I surmised I might trouble her with my unwanted presence towards the rest of the week, but decided otherwise. She was going through a lot and I wished nothing more than to uncomplicate her situation by giving her fewer things to worry about. We went to a halt as we reached the fourth door on the west side of the school. I positioned myself to look at her and manifested a warm smile. “If you need anything else, you only need to look for me in the library,” I reminded her. Had I known that would’ve been the last time I’d get to see her, I never would’ve turned around and walked away blissfully and without regret.
"Remorse" by Diana Batoon