I never heard from him. He ripped my still beating heart out of my chest and left me there. I cried for weeks, my face swollen to the point where I slept for three whole days. I'd turn on my iPod, look out my window and cry to myself thinking about what he'd done to me. I never received any texts, no emails, no phone calls. He even deleted and blocked me off of Facebook and Twitter. I'd never hear from him again, this I knew.
I had sat there waiting to receive some message from him. I'd wanted to know he'd arrived in London safely, I'd wanted him to say he was coming back. I had hope within me, but somewhere inside, I knew that would never happen. I knew that I'd never see him again and I wanted to get away.
When university started it was a blur. I got lost on my first day, Louis still occupying my thoughts. Classes turned out to be nothing. I'd sit there and stare off into space until everyone around me stood up to leave, and I'd follow.
To be completely honest, I fell into a depression. I'd never leave my dorm. I'd never contact my family or friends. I barely even ate, losing a hefty 15 pounds in the two months of starting university. The only person I'd talk with was Marissa, my roommate. We'd see each other a lot, and so we'd become good friends.
I'd begun to skip classes a lot, and Marissa knew about it. Though, she'd never lecture me, she knew that I was dealing with a lot, and she was very similar to me, so she understood and gave me my space. Marissa was studying acting, like me, wanting to someday move to LA and live out the dreams of being in a Beverly Hills mansion.
When I looked in the mirror I saw someone different. I didn't see the geeky old me. I was skinnier now, my cheeks beginning to hollow out, and my collarbones protruding more than they ever had with my sudden weight loss. And to be completely honest with you, I hadn't worn makeup in weeks. I didn't want guys chasing me, and so each day I'd leave the dorm, I'd arrive to class in sweats and a messy bun. I didn't want attention, I wanted to sink into the back of the room and play with my phone until the bullshit was over with, and that's exactly what I did.
When my nineteenth birthday came around in August, I spent it alone in my dorm with a small bottle of illegally bought whiskey. Drowning my tears in the burn of the whiskey. I blacked out on the floor, only to regain consciousness with Marissa holding my weak body.
After three months of living in the dorm I was miserable. I'd lost yet another five pounds, and I became scared of my own reflection looking back at me in the mirror. I was a ghost. When Louis left, he took Tarin with him. I wasn't who I used to be, and I knew that with every fiber of my being.
This is when I started cutting, although I avoided the soft skin on my wrists, fearful that others would learn of my self-harm. I began cutting other areas of my body, which could be hidden with clothing, often cutting the soft flesh on my hips, or my stomach. And though I knew it was wrong, it was a release. It helped me forget. It helped the ghost of myself feel a little better with what had happened to my life.
After four months of living with Marissa, she'd begun to talk about leaving university. At first, I hadn't taken her seriously, but then I thought about it. I knew inside of me that I'd wanted to leave. University was eating at me. It didn't agree with me and I wasn't going to let it kill me.
Secondly, I needed to leave this town, everything in it reminded me of Louis and that tore me up inside. I hated being reminded of him. I knew we'd never see each other again and I needed to move on before this depression killed me.
When five months of university came around, the two of us were serious about leaving. We'd gotten part time jobs, and hopefully saved up enough money to leave this god-for-saken town. My parents were aware that I was dropping out and they were mad at me. Of course they were mad at me, I mean, why wouldn't they be?
Marissa and I were saving up to move to LA like we'd always dreamed. When we'd first arrive, we'd work regular jobs until we got big acting jobs. We were being adventurous, and right now in my life, adventure was what I needed.
When Christmas holidays came around, Marissa and I had packed up our dorm, clearing it out, paying final dues owed on our tuitions and packed our bags, heading home for the holidays.
And when the ghostly figure of myself arrived home, it was accompanied by a series of, "Tarin, you look terrible," and, "my gosh what happened to you," statements. Every face adorning a concerned or shocked face to see what my body had become. Thankfully they couldn't see my cuts, though they clearly could see the weight loss. My mother hugged my small frame tightly, nearly sobbing at the sight of my sunken cheeks.
And when we ate Christmas dinner I brought up the news that I was moving to LA. That I needed a fresh start, a fresh life. Which was accompanied surprisingly by a lot of support. I think deep inside themselves they knew that I needed a fresh start. They knew that Louis destroyed what used to be me, and then university destroyed the rest of me. They knew that university wasn't totally out of my future, that it just wasn't right for me at this time in my life.
But of course when I met up with Marissa in January, it wasn't time yet to move. Neither of us had saved up enough money, and so for the next six months we worked our asses off. I babysat, I waitressed, and I worked at the local supermarket, while Marissa also worked three jobs. My parents were shocked at my determination to save up money to move, and so they even helped us out, giving me an extra wad of cash to help with whatever I needed, and though I refused several times, they gave it to me anyways.
And then in July, we finally moved. We flew down to LA, leaving everything behind. I brought specific pictures, ones that wouldn't remind me of my few months with Louis. I brought clothes, ones that wouldn't smell of him. I didn't bring much else than that. I'd wanted to start absolutely and completely fresh. I'd buy whatever I'd need in LA. I had been saving up for nearly a year now, along with Marissa.
The next few months were slow. Marissa and I moved into a small apartment which we could afford. We both got jobs waiting tables and we'd both hop on any acting opportunity we could. There really wasn't much at all. We'd acted as pedestrians in a few car commercials, earning a measly fifty dollars for each. And though it wasn't much, we knew it was something that we could put on our resumes.
Some days we'd walk around LA, handing in our resumes to any employer who would take them. We'd walk for hours in the scorching heat and the sea of bodies until it was sunset. We were trying our best, and that was all we could do.
When Christmas came around once again we flew back home, wanting to see our families. Though I'd talked on the phone with my mother a lot, I'd been excited to see her. I wanted to show her that I was doing okay. Over the last six months of being in LA I'd learned that Louis lost out on me. I'd realized that him leaving me didn't matter, that I'd live. I had moved on, and I actually thought that in the next few months I'd be ready to date again.
I'd gained weight back, gaining a healthy ten pounds so far. My cheeks were no longer sunken in, my collarbones protruded slightly, but not to an unhealthy degree. And I had stopped cutting, but of course the scars marked my hips and stomach quite clearly and I knew that they always would. They'd be a reminder of my past. But they were also a reminder of how strong I'd become.
And when my mother saw me her face lit up and I immediately knew she could tell that I was healthy and happy. I felt good knowing that she finally didn't have to worry about me.
That I was going to be alright.