Caroline’s Story

October 10, 2008

She’s leaving him again. It seemed so right this time, but she was let down… again. Green florescent lights the gray walls, gray like her heart. Every bit of color was washed away by the dirt and dirty water of years painfully remembered. Even though her limbs are moving, her love is dead.

“Where will you go?” I ask as she picks up her bag. “Anywhere. Anywhere away from this dismal dwelling. I need to breathe again.” I offer to help her, but am flatly refused. She’s an independent girl.

I met Caroline five years ago, at a family camp, where we read scripture and sang songs of praise. She’s not singing anymore. Caroline was your average teenage girl, who had your average heartbreaks and average recoveries from that pain. Eventually, the heartbreaks were too often and the recovery became harder and harder. The only place to turn for help was another lover destined for another broken heart.

I remember one time while we were walking down a suburban sidewalk, talking back and forth as a good friends do. We shared our dreams, Caroline and I. We were not lovers, but simply friends who cared for each other. She hoped for true love and had big dreams in store. I was in the midst of despising love and didn’t know what I wished to do with my life. She knew where she wanted to go.

Until the baby came. No one knows how such things happen. Perhaps it is a gradual decline, where even the best of persons can end up living in death. Maybe it’s happenstance that thrusts some people into a situation they would never enter, apart from that single instant. However it happens – it is irreversible. The tides of life push some to sunny shores, while it pulls others out into the swallowing waves of water.

The child impacted us all; her friends, her family, everyone who knew her. We prayed, we cried, and we tried praying some more. You can’t pray to change a deed already done, only to change the people involved, change them into better people. Give them peace and love – we pray.

As the memories of the events fly past my mind’s eye, I wonder if I could have done something different. What words should I have said, how could I have shown her love? Was there any hope for a different outcome, or was her life destined to progress like this? I suppose the only way to help her now is to love her.

I watch her slender form disappear past the flickering lights. As she walks down the hallway, I find peace. I know I will see her again, and while she is gone, I know she will be held in arms much stronger then my own. Caroline – you leave with my prayers for a better life this time. Godspeed.

(Caroline is not simply a girl of my dreams, nor of my nightmares. She is a fragile, broken person who makes her life in this world and whose memory lives on in my head.)

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