She loved him and unlike most men, he had no problem telling her he loved her too. She remembered he’d told her how much he loved her that night after she had slipped in the shower and ended up with a busted lip. He’d said he loved her after she fell down the stairs and broke her arm. He told her he loved her after she went to the emergency room from tripping over the loose rug and her head went through the bedroom window. She wondered just how much more of his love she would be able to survive.
Connie is a cheerleader. With her bright, white teeth, smile and bouncing tits. Her short skirt legs running long and lean through indecent thoughts. Those bright Friday night lights are her stage. She uses the crisp November air as her makeup. Robert envies the night breeze for the chance to caress her skin and send that blushing red color onto her cheeks.
Connie is mysterious and foreign to Robert. She is the manicured lawn and a garden filled with flowers that only exist in his dreams. She is a white fenced house with a stone pathway, a refrigerator filled with food. She is Norman Rockwell family dinners. She knows Van Gough, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, lavender bath soap, satin sheets, silk pajamas and pink bed spreads. She knows Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie and Fitch. Although he has only talked to her a few times, Robert is sure she knows him too.
As they talked, he watched her piercing green eyes stare through his soul like holding a paper to a light bulb. He saw her cringe at the sight of his shriveled up insides, Salvation Army furniture, Batman comics, and cold bologna sandwich dinners. He knew she smelled his stagnant life in a broken down trailer on a filthy back lot where she could hear a life filled with “god damn you”, “fucking little punk” and “get the hell out”. She saw the empty beer cans stacked on the garage sale coffee table covered with cigarette ash. Yes, Connie knows him and she wants nothing to do with him. Connie is a cheerleader and he is not the quarterback.
Robert is a loner. With his sky blue eyes, crooked smile and fuck the world and let them kiss my ass attitude. With his broad shoulders and sad puppy eyes, he’s learned to survive and take the things he needs. She envies him for his freedom and strength. He is a no curfew James Dean adventure. He is “something much better than this” hope and “I will never leave you alone” safety. Things that she longed for in her dreams. He is strong and silent yet she has seen the gentleness in his stare. Though they have talked only a few times, Connie knew he read her thoughts with the ease of a first grader’s book.
He had looked into her eyes and cringed at the lies she keeps hidden in the shadows. He has seen her pretend life behind her parent’s money. He feels the fear of fatherly lust. He saw beneath the heavy makeup hiding her bruises. He hears the “better not tell your mother or else”, “you worthless little bitch” and “you’ll do what I say.” He flinches at the sharpness of the razor blade in her bathroom drawer. Yes Robert knows her and wants nothing to do with her. Robert is a loner and she is damaged beyond repair.
You are not the tears you shed
At the loss of childhood dreams
You are not the pain that led
To the sound of piercing screams
You are not the reason why
You had to face the world alone
You’re not the words they let fly
And turned your heart to stone
I know it is hard to comprehend
A future full and bright
But Just reach out and take his hand
And God will make it right