LEARNING TO LIVE
All I wanted was to be able to make it through my senior year. I didn’t need the stares, the jokes, or the bullies. I thought I could do it all on my own, but I was wrong. He filled my veins like a poison, the kind you can’t run from. Harsh and uncaring, he was broken, but somewhere along the way he seeped into my pores. There was no way out, so that left me with one choice: to open his eyes to the beauty around him. To help him live.
She wasn’t on my agenda; it was fate’s cruel way of telling me I needed to get my shit together. To be fair, my head was so far up my ass, I’m not sure how we extracted it. I knew the power I held over my peers, I exuded it daily. I could have any girl I wanted at the snap of my fingers, and yet I found myself fantasizing about her-someone so far off my radar it wasn’t even funny. She helped me understand that sometimes you need to let go to really live. Sometimes being alive means taking risks.
I was empty inside. I was lost. I was settling. I had no idea of the potential I had inside of me.
I was whole. I was happy. I was in love. She made me better.
I never imagined I would find someone who completed me, just to lose her. I never imagined the love I felt could be overshadowed by the deepest depression I've ever lived through.
It's been two years since she touched my life. Since she was taken from me. I don't know that I'll ever experience an ounce of the love she made me feel. I hope I'm wrong.
My name is Topher, and this is my story.
Life can be cruel and unexpected, ripping your heart out when you least expect it. You never think it can be you and then it happens and you’re left to pick up the pieces of your broken life. I was grieving, understandably so, each stage pushing me further and further from him. There was never a doubt in my mind that Parker and I were soul mates. No one had ever made me feel the way he did, and I don’t want them to. Through all the hard times, he was there. Parker was the only person I could lean on, the only person I could talk to about my feelings. He pulled me out of my depression. He helped me see the light again.
She was hurting and I wanted to be there for her. When my brother Bo passed, I slipped into a deep depression, and even though I pushed Madalynne away at every turn, she never gave up on me. I owed her my life, and I wanted to spend the rest of mine making her happy. Even with our connections to others, my love for her never wavered. It was something embedded so deep inside my bones, she would always be a part of me. That’s why I never gave up hope that somehow, someday, we would be together again.
I’m messed up. I could say it was a result of my childhood, but honestly I blame myself. The medicine made me feel numb, the blood made me feel high. He wasn’t supposed to be mine, but although he was scared in the beginning, he didn’t run from my demons. He found beauty in my flaws, beauty in the cracks that barely held me together.
I had it good, any girl of the week, my dream job, stability, and even then, I knew deep down something was missing. Madalynne opened a door for me, Jacqueline lit the flame. She wasn’t perfect, far from it, but underneath the pain and the scars, I saw her. Sometimes the ones worth fighting for don’t know their worth. Sometimes being broken is beautiful.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
He was my everything from the first moment I laid eyes on him. He could have asked me to marry him the first month and I would have said yes. I knew he was the one. He used to make my knees weak just at the sight of him. No one could have predicted it. That's life I suppose. Full of unexpected twists and turns. There were so many times I contemplated walking away; contemplated how much simpler my life would become...but it wasn't that easy; he wasn't easy to walk away from...
There was never any doubt in my mind that Austyn was the woman I would be spending the rest of my life with, I just didn’t see the rush to the alter if we already knew that. My eyes never wandered, and, why would they? She was a modern-day goddess. No one could have prepared me for that day. Had I known, I still believe the outcome would have remained the same. I know it was difficult on her, it would have been difficult on anyone, but she stayed strong for me. I honestly believe she saved me-she saved my life.