She said that she was my best friend and then one day she wasn’t. Every day I live with the visible scars, but it’s the invisible ones that hurt the most. They are a constant reminder of everything I’ve lost as well as all the things that I’ll never have. I should be over this by now, it’s been years, but I can’t escape the memories that haunt me. Everyone around me is moving on with their life, so now I need to do the same. Tennis brought me to Columbia University, and I am quickly proving that I will not let anyone defeat me, past or present. I am in control now. Life has taught me the hard way to remember that. But after all this time, I’m still searching for an answer to the one question that is constantly burning in the back of my mind…why?
He said that he was my best friend, and then one day he wasn’t. It took one moment to change my entire life. What I thought I knew became a lie and nothing was ever the same. Slowly, I picked up the pieces and focused on what I could control…me. I live in New York City and attend one of the world’s most prestigious fashion and design schools. Day after day, I am getting closer and closer to making my dreams come true. I did this all on my own and no one can ever take it from me. I know my future is bright, even if my heart is destined to stay in the dark. The dull ache that still lingers is my daily reminder to rely on no one but myself. Although, after all this time, I still can’t help but wonder…why?
I push through the saloon doors into café and spot the customer sitting in one of the leather chairs up front by the window. My body reacts before my mind does and I freeze mid step. My heart crashes into my chest, my hands start sweating, and I am certain that my eyes are playing a trick on me. There is no way that of all the cafes in the city, he would walk into mine. It’s just not possible. But there he is looking almost like I remember him.
Ali, my best friend, must have told him that I work here. I’m going to kill her.
Instead of walking over to greet him, I stare at him. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen him and all of a sudden, all that time diminishes and it feels like it was just yesterday. I didn’t even know that he was here in the city. Ali never told me. I had just assumed that he would be coming up sometime later in July. I feel as if my world has just been thrown on a tilt. I wasn’t prepared to see him.
The morning sun hasn’t started to rise yet, so the windows behind him only serve as a dark backdrop, and the light shining down from above him has placed him in a spotlight like glow. If I was a photographer, I feel that this could be a beautiful photo. As it is, I have just taken a mental picture and will now forever see him sitting in that chair.
Sweat drips from my hair, over my forehead, and down the side of my face. I’m in the zone and nothing is going to pull me out of it.
I toss the ball high to serve and watch in slow motion as it flies over the net and Nate responds. His feet are quick but mine are quicker. The muscles in my arms are tense. They’re coiled so tight, just waiting to strike. Over and over the ball comes at me. Its speed has to be close to one hundred and fifty miles an hour and all I can think is the faster the better!
Tennis has always been my escape. My brother Drew swims and over the last few years, I’ve noticed that Matt has picked up running but for me . . . I need the impact to release the frustration, anger, and heartache that I am consumed with.
Dad was smart to put me in tennis. Although, I would not, and will not ever hit a person, hitting a little yellow ball brings me great relief.
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