When the Lights Fade Away

         A damp flushed face stares blankly at me. As I inch closer, she shifts toward me as well.  I look very deeply into her bloodshot empty eyes as I watch a tear slip away. I could feel the heat generating from her red hot swollen face. She's hopelessly standing there with what seems to be nothing left to hold on to. Behind her the bath was running and the lights overhead were dimmed. An irregular melody was playing around her. The room was full and neat, yet everything seem so scattered. When I turn my head from her she does the same. I couldn't stand looking at this pathetic figure in front of me anymore. She was tearing me down with her, but I couldn't help it. So I watching her.
        Freshman year is always tough, especially when you go to a new school away from all your friends. On the first day you wonder who you'll sit with, if you even sit with anyone at all or who you would spend your free time with. I had the upper hand because preseason started a week before the school year. Preseason soccer allowed me to meet my teammate first before I met any other person. I can say that I loved my team. Everyone was so nice and all the upperclassmen took us youngins under their wings. I found my group of friends that week and we stuck together. Most of our down time we were together laughing and having a good time. I always wondered why people hated freshman year because it wasn't even that bad. I was in with the older group of varsity girls. Life was good.
       The water to her bath had now reached the middle. We both backed away giving a bigger distance between us, but we were both in each other's sights. I studied her every move and she watched mine. She mimicked me and I wish she hadn't. Every time I tried to move from her she was still there. I was getting angry, but then I could feel her hopelessness. She was crying for my help, but I couldn't give it to her. I tried to hard to help her. She was to far gone. 
       I look forward to going back to school almost everyday. I didn't really have classes with any of my teammates because I was one of the only two freshmen on the team. It didn't really matter though because my free period was one of the most popular, lots of my friends had it.  Lunch was practically another free period so some of us would sit outside taking in the nice warm breeze before winter's bitter nips came. When it was time for class, we all went our separate ways.
        The sound of the water caught my attention. Her bath was almost full, but whenI looked up to warn her, her eyes froze me.  The one of hte bulbs on the overhead light had blacked out making the room unevenly lit. She didn't move and I didn't either. We beamed into each others eyes waiting to see who would give up first. Neither of us would look away. I tried hard, but she pulled my attentions to her. I wanted to help. All I wanted to do was save her from her misery. But she was too far away.
        When the school day came to an end, everyone rushed to change for practice. I hated soccer, but I loved being there.  Soccer took my mind off of things. This was my first high school sport and I am a very competitive person. Practice was fairly easy. We didn't do too much running, just mainly possession drills. The goal of possession is to keep the ball away from the other team so, posses the ball. I'm pretty sure we played that every single practice of the season. When practice was over it was time for me to go home. My ride was always waiting for me. I walked slow to the car.
        The girl's sad pitiful face was still looking at me. A strong annoyance for this girl had grown on me. I no longer felt bad for her, I was just angry at her. Her shoulder slumped forward giving her horrible posture and her head was bowed down, but her eyes were still on me.  The room was dimming more than before and the water had now reached the very top. Around her there was a bunch of different bathroom supplies; used toothbrushes and squeezed paste, mouthwash, a gross hairbrush, a razor, mini cups, a slightly ajar pill bottle, and her make-up. On the floor were her clothes. She brought me back into her woeful trance. No matter how much I hated her all I wanted to do was speak out to her. But she wasn't listening.
       After practices I always wanted to stay longer and have fun, but I knew I had to go home. I really didn't want to go I would have much rather stayed in the dorm then drive all the way home. Whenever I would get the call that my ride was waiting for me I would roll my eyes and take my time getting my stuff to leave. I would drag my feet to the car pushing off going home. Car rides were typically silent. There were many things that I would love to share about my day, but the vibe in the car was dead. So, I sat in the passenger seat staring out the window watching everything we passed. The car rides really put a damper on my day. When we pulled into the long driveway and the car was put into park, I rushed to my room avoiding any contact with the rest of my family. Most nights I had to go to a different sports practice separate from the school. My dad drove me to those. 
        Her whole body looked weak. By just looking at her she shared her headache with me. She moved closer to the counter with everything organized on it. She was carelessly standing in a giant puddle of water. I tried to tell her to turn off the water. But she was still not listening. 
        I hated being in the car with my dad. He only spoke to criticize my play.
        "Kim, I don't understand how you can let yourself play like that! I don't know why I keep wasting my time and money on you."
        "Dad, I'm tired! I just got done with school all day and soccer prac---"
        "Stop making excuses! College coaches don't care about what you did before you played. Do you ever think that anyone is going to want you if you always play like that?"
         "That's what I thought."
         I don't think he understood that it was practice not a game. I don't understand why he can't give me a single compliment. Even when I do play well all I hear is what I could do better. According to him everything about me could be better. He was pushing me too hard. I was only fourteen. And I was so over it.
       She looked tired. She looked done. She was done. She moved even closer to the counter. She reached for the hairbrush. She combed the knots out of her hair and set the brush back down. The last light above was starting to burn out. We both moved directly in front of each other. She reached her hand up and I did too. She was controlling me and I didn't have the power to make her stop. Our hands met. We both moved our foreheads to touch. She leaned back and I did too. I lifted my hand to my cheek and she did too. We both rubbed our fingers feeling the dampness from tears. I leaned on the counter in front of me accidentally spilling the bottle of pills. She did the same. She was broken. I was broken. The light flickered. I grabbed a handful of the unknown pills and let the pain slowly relieve from us. My reflection disappeared. Everything was gone.
       The last light faded away. 

Kiana Melvin '16