She's too young: The painful truth

What if everything everyone warned you about, was true? What if it was too late to turn back? And what if the painful truth let you drop to the floor, wishing everything was the same again? Would you give it a second chance?


3. Broken glass

I literally could not move. I was boring into the eyes of the person I loved so long ago. And all he did was stare at me. I repeated his name quietly, and my voice came out softer than I meant it to. "Louis?" He took a moment, obviously staring in disbelief that it was me in front of him. Tears still threatened to come out. "El." Was all he said, and hearing him whisper my name sent chills down my spine. "What are you doing here?" He asked. I wiped my eyes before I started crying, and pretended to act normal.


"I enrolled here. I'm taking summer courses." I responded. My palms were sweaty, so I wiped them on my shorts and tried not to look him in the eyes more than I had to. I stared at his arms. They were covered in random ink and tattoos that probably made no sense even to him. I looked at his shoes. He wore vans, and his ankles were visibly showing off tiny lettering I couldn't read. I examined his shirt. A muscle tee exposing, you guessed it, muscles. And after a good five minutes of my eyes glued to his body, I realized something stupid. He wasn't the boy in stripes anymore.


"Ellie, I would stay and talk but... I have to be somewhere at six." He frowned. "Yeah I do too." I snapped away from my daze, realizing I needed to be back at the dorm in ten minutes so I could get dressed for dinner with Hanna and her boyfriend. Honestly, I didn't know if I even wanted to stay and talk with him anyways. I prayed all the time to see Louis, and ask him why. To tell him I loved him. I stayed up restless nights over heartbreak, writing what I would say to him on a crumbled piece of paper. And now, I wanted nothing more than to run away and cry. Louis leaned down to grab the remaining books that fell from my arms, when I snapped. "Don't. I got it."


He raised his eyebrows and spoke lowly, "Are you sure?" I nodded, gripping the textbooks from the ground, and walking away without saying anymore. -


"Looks like you've seen a ghost." Hanna giggled when I slammed the door shut. I didn't realize how pale my face was, but I shrugged it off quickly.


"Oh, it's just... there's lot of people out there. I get kind of claustrophobic." She nodded in understanding, "You'll get used to it."


"I hope." I smiled, going into my bedroom to get changed before we had company over in a bit. In the kitchen I heard Hanna placing plates onto the small table, and I slipped into some jeans, following a t-shirt that hung off slightly tanned shoulders. I let my hair fall down from the ponytail over my shoulders, combing it out with my shaky fingers until I was finally satisfied. Before I walked out to help Hanna with the table my cell phone rang from across the room. It was my mom. I wasn't really ready to tell her who I ran into minutes ago, though a part of me suggested it might have been best to let her know. I always kept everything from her. "Hello?" I tried to keep my voice steady.


"Ellie I've been trying to get ahold of you all day, how are you sweetie, are you safe?" She sounded genuinely worried about me. I didn't really know why, it was just college.


"I'm fine, mom. I've just been unpacking and getting my books and stuff." I reassured her.


"No, your voice is low. Something happened and I want to know what." I didn't respond.




"Ellie tell me what's going on."


"I have to go, mom. I'm having dinner with my roommate, I just don't want to seem rude. I love you, bye." So I made my decision. I was not going to tell her I ran into the boy who walked out on me, left me broken, left me sad. I was hot, and when I hung up I wiped my palms on my jeans. Hanna called me out to help her finish up, so I pulled myself together and walked to the kitchen.


"We're just going to have spaghetti, I don't feel like cooking too much. And pizza is kinda old." Her nose scrunched up, stirring noodles in a pot while I took care of the sauce. I didn't know what to say, so it was a rather awkward silence. Communicating was one of my bad traits. Hanna smiled, "Hey. I know first days at college are kinda nerve wrecking. It'll be okay, okay?"


I nodded. For a second I believed it was going to be okay. And then the feeling of Louis' hand in mine disrupted my thoughts. I shivered.


"So, Ellie, since we are dorm-mates, I want to know more about you." She strained the pasta, and I added sauce whilst thinking. What was there to tell? I had not much excitement in my life. I answered her question with a question. "What do you want to know?"


She chuckled, "I don't know! Do you have family?"


"Yes, I have a mother, three sisters." Her face lit up,


"I've always wanted a sister. How old are they? What's their names?"


"Oh they're a pest. There's Nicky, Lily, and Sara. Nicky's eight, Lily's nine, and Sara is eleven." I felt a regret of how I detached myself from my sisters, we were no longer close. I had never checked on them in the middle of the night and crawled into bed with them. I never allowed them to escape from my mother's fighting with our father over the phone, or bringing strange men to the house for dinner to feel less lonely. They never watched films with me, and they never again promised that I'd find my prince. A little part of me inside believed it was true. I honestly didn't care. Hanna smiled. "That's cute." I only nodded. I felt obligated to ask her about herself as well. So, reluctantly, I did.


She told me about her parents. Her mother worked at a hospital, her father an architect. She had an elder brother who already had a family of his own. He never came around. She was twenty two years old. She held odd jobs at clothing stores and wanted to become a designer or a magazine editor. Her arm raised to show a tattoo of a cleanly worded quote that read, 'Let it go.'


All the while I was intrigued by her. She had so much to tell, and so much to do, and all I had going was a shitty dad, a psycho mother, mental sisters, and a boy who I used to lay with that I now called a stranger. Of course I'd never tell her any of that. She'd probably run out of the dorm before I could explain myself. I asked her what her favorite novels or stories were. She replied Romeo and Juliet, along with Pride and Prejudice. So we had a common interest. She asked me what my favorite film was. I replied that it had to be The Outsiders, though it never compared to the book. Hanna agreed, and again we had something else in common. She told me about restless fights she had with her family, that they disagreed on a lot. I told her about my parent's divorce, how my father had an affair with my aunt, and then ditched her for another woman whom he eventually knocked up.


"Ouch." She bither lip, "I'm glad my parents weren't like that."


I sighed, "It was tough. It still is." 


Then we ripped the metaphorical bandaid from the conversation and she began to ask more serious questions and tell more serious and personal stories. She had apparently had her first love when she was sixteen, with a boy who kicked her to the side the day after the slept with each other for the first time. She really loved him, a lot. I could see it when she spoke. When I slept with Louis I was fifteen years old, which made me feel low that I was so young. But I loved him. And I was grateful he hadn't kicked me to the curb the next day like she. At least he had given me a grace period to recover. And then, he left me. "So," She poked my shoulder, "What about you?" My cheeks burnt red. Hanna nearly jumped into the air. "Tell me the details. Was it romantic? Did you love him?"


I thought for a second. It was honestly romantic, and I did love him. I remember pulling him down and kissing him in the hallway. I remember walking to the bed and how fast my heart was beating. I remember the pattern of his breaths. And I remember how he told me I was beautiful, that he loved me. I caught myself twisting and fiddling the charms on my bracelet while I reminisced inside my head. I opened my mouth to spill the details when I was saved by Hanna's cell phone buzzing. She picked it up, and whispered, "Oh we're not through. You're telling me the rest later." I laughed, rolling my eyes. "Yeah, babe. It's like, I don't know, the first or second door up the stairs. I haven't memorized the room number yet- I know. The stupid elevator. Okay, okay hurry up there's someone I want you to meet." She hung up the phone, and I reached up to the cabinets to grab a couple glass cups to drink out of when I heard the flat door open up.


She greeted him with a hug, whoever he was. He was out of my sight while I grabbed at the last glass, and Hanna spoke in a cheered tone, "Hey, Ellie, this is Louis." Just like that, I dropped all the cups which made a loud clatter of broken glass, and I felt my heart tear into two.

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