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This is the story of a senior who has asked to remain anonymous. Her story is being told by Bianca Avalos-Gonzalez.

Children are curious about the world. They want to explore everything, touch everything, taste everything. They want to know the unknown. But in exploring the world children run the risk of getting hurt.  I  did and a I did it a lot. I was and still am very clumsy. So as a child, for me that meant endless bruises and cuts, but surprisingly never any broken bones or sprains. I have experienced many physical injuries, but none have been as painful as the emotional pains I have suffered. Those hurt more and I would come to know that as I grew older.

My childhood wasn’t dark, it was what I thought normal homes are like. My older sister moved out when I was seven. I don’t have many memories of her. I can’t remember all that we did together. But what I do remember so vividly, is when she left. I just arrived home from school. I wasn’t allowed to attend her wedding because of school. My father wasn’t okay with her wedding so he didn’t go. She had gotten pregnant during her first year of college, she had wanted to become a nurse. Her now nine-year husband is a couple of years older than her. He had already had a child my age.

I was heading to our shared room when she walked out with a huge suitcase. I just stood there quietly as I watched her leave. I didn’t know what to do.  All I knew was that my sister would no longer live with us, hat my father was angry, but most of all hurt. I was hurt too but mostly, I was just so frustrated. I went from seeing her every day to not seeing her for months on end. We weren’t really close, to begin with, but she was a constant in my life. I thought that she would always be there. So watching her leave, hurt a lot. That stability was gone. And I didn’t know what to do, I knew that she wasn’t coming back to live with us. My mother explained that she was making a family of her own so she won’t be around as much as before. That was the first time that I ever felt emotional pain, and I didn’t know what to do. I still don’t know how to handle emotional pain, but slowly I am learning.

As we grow to become young adults, teens, we start getting into “romantic” relationships. So the pains that we suffer are less about physical pain but more about “heartache” (at least for some). My first boyfriend was in middle school. We only “dated” for about 9 months. We started dating in April, but it didn’t work out. He had multiple relationships before me. He was my first kiss. He was the first person to tell me “I love you” that was not family. I thought that it all felt like everything was happening too soon, so I didn’t say it back. I knew that when I would say those words I wanted them to mean something. I didn’t want them to be just three empty words. He had told me a couple more times after that. And after a while of him saying it, it annoyed him that I hadn’t said it back. He had demanded that I tell him. And in not wanting to upset him even more, I told him. After saying those three words so much they lost their meaning. In the beginning I had meant it. We eventually broke up, he wanted the commitment that I was not able to offer, we were both too insecure.

Middle school and high school relationships are different. After my failed first relationship I wasn’t really looking to get into a new relationship. “I love you” had lost it’s meaning, and I stopped saying it. I couldn’t say it to anyone anymore. I refused to say those words because they had lost their meaning to me.

The first semester of freshman year my friends were in and out of relationships, and I was okay with that because I didn’t want to suffer that same heartache that I had suffered previously. It took me a while to finally get over him. And when I was finally fully over him, I met someone. I met this person second semester of freshman year. I hadn’t noticed him in the beginning, for this writing I will call him Lee. Lee had started to sit with my friends and I. I remember him because he had tripped on a bag on the way to the back of the classroom. I had seen the whole thing so I laughed, but what made him tripping funny was the fact that he carried a huge backpack with him as well as a duffle bag with his baseball gear. No one really noticed that he tripped. I turned away quickly when we made eye contact. I had felt guilty for laughing. That is when he had started to sit near my friends and I.

And each day he would walk in and trip in the exact same spot, and he would he sit near my friends and I. He talked to my friends and I. I wasn’t the most social person, but he had been sitting with us for a while. So I decided to talk to him. I thought that he would be a new friend. I eventually started to like him and my best friend noticed. She tried to find out if he had liked me back as well. And so it began.

A few months passed and my friend insisted that I ask him out. I liked him so I didn’t see why not. I ended up asking him out on May 2, 2017. We dated for about two years. I later learned that he actually tripped on propose, he said that he did it on purpose because he liked making people laugh. But thinking back I had been the only one laughing. When we dated he had teased me for not noticing the fact that he was in my first-period class as well as my science class freshman year. The first time he had told me he loved me I had just gotten back from my trip to Mexico to visit my grandpa. It was around mid to end of January. I had been away for about ten days. When I got back he had told me “I love you, and I missed you,” and that scared me because I didn’t know if I could say those words back to Lee. So in my panicked state, I said: “I missed you too, buddy.” He didn’t pressure me to say it back. It took me months to realize that I indeed love him. He was the first person I was able to say “I love you,” and mean it.

We actually recently broke up. On September 3. He had become someone important in my life, I had become so reliant on him, I trusted him. He was the first person that I was able to be open myself to. But in the end, one argument is what made him crack. We have had two major arguments previously. And he had stated that he didn’t want that, instead of actually trying to find a solution. He gave up. He gave up on me. I tried to reason with him to not break it off, but he had stated that he didn’t care what I had to say. He wasn’t able to understand why he had become so important to me. He had said that we only started to date because of peer pressure. The last few days he has been avoiding me. Even went as far as posting a quote “If you want to fly, you have to let go of things that weigh you down” and wrote “Isn’t that right?” implying that I weighed him down when for two years I had tried to be supportive. I tried my best to be there for him. Maybe it just wasn’t enough in the end.

Lee still doesn’t really know why he had become so important to me. He seems fine. I am the only one to seem visibly affected. What makes this heartache worse is that I continue to love him, even though lately he has just been causing me a lot of heartache. So If I ever show this to Lee (which I highly doubt) I want him to know why he had become important to me.

Dear lee,

I know you say we started to date because of peer pressure. But I actually

liked you. I asked you out because I wanted to. So you may have done it

because of peer pressure, but I did it because I wanted to. You became

Important to me because you often tried to be there for me. Because

When I needed you, You were there. Because you were the first person I

Opened up to. I felt I was able to talk to you just about anything if

I had wanted to. I felt comfortable around you. You gave me a sense of

security. Because I loved you and continue to love you. Because I am

able to say I love you and meant it.

Yours truly, B.

In the end, I can not make myself despise Lee. I want him to be happy, and hope him the best.