I found the perfect girl.
You see, it all started one cool autumn, a girl moved into the house next door. She came in old dulled clothes, all her mother could afford. Her father… he abandoned them years before. She was new, from across the country where even there she had nothing. She struggled. To fit in, to adjust, to do a lot of things. And although we came from different backgrounds, she and I became friends. Not very close friends, but I visited her house often and we talked a lot.
The moment I laid eyes on her I knew she was the perfect girl for me. Unfortunately, she didn’t feel the same way. She was attracted to boys who were handsome and confident and popular; everything I wasn’t. She made it clear that I wasn’t her type, so I decided to wait.
She didn’t have any friends of her own to talk to, so she confided in me. She would mostly complain about her life, telling me how her mother would beat her, how the girls in her class were mean and excluded her. She also told me about a boy she had a crush on. He was very popular with the girls in the school.
As she talked about her problems, I just sat there and listened.
One day, she stopped coming to school. As it turns out, it was because she was being bullied. She told me that one of the popular girls had found out she had a crush on her boyfriend. The popular girl and her friends would bully her every time they saw her, they even spread vile rumours about her to the other classmates. She told me they we’re making her life a living nightmare.
I just kept quiet and listened as she vented.
Her behaviour began to change as she reached high school. She would stay out until all hours of the night. She began to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. I heard a rumour she was even doing drugs. She fell into a bad crowd. She was even arrested by police once.
Meanwhile, her home life grew worse and worse. She would frequently have raging arguments with her mother in the middle of the night. All of the girls in school hated her. Someone sprayed graffiti all over her house, calling her horrible names and saying disgusting things about her. Someone even killed her pet cat and stuffed it through her mailbox.
Eventually, she dropped out of high school. She became withdrawn and locked herself in her bedroom. She wouldn’t speak to her mother and went days without leaving her room. She rarely came out, even to eat. She looked pale, sickly and painfully thin. Her mother took to leaving food outside her door. She would only come out to use the bathroom or in the middle of the night when her mother was asleep. She lived a miserable life.
A long while went by, and eventually I went to see her. She refused to come out. She refused to even answer, even when I yelled through the keyhole. Her mother gave me a bowl of soup to take upstairs to her. I caught a glimpse of what she has become when she opened the door to take it. She looked very sick. Pale”,drawn, haggard and emaciated. She looked like a wet rag that had been wrung out.
I went to see her every day. After a while, she began talking to me through the door. She told me how she constantly fought with her mother, and how all her old friends had forgotten about her. She told me how all the kids at school would bully her, how someone shoved a note in her locker telling her to jump off the school roof. She told me how she had fallen in with a bad crowd and went out with them at night, stealing, partying, and even doing drugs. She told me she was caught shoplifting by the police and had a criminal record.
She told me that her mother tried to help her at first, get her out of it, but when she wouldn’t listen, her mother flew into a rage and beat her with a belt, leaving cuts and bruises all over her body. Her life had become unbearable. She told me she wanted to die and how she had tried to commit suicide by slitting her wrists.
Just like the old days, she would talk, and I would listened. She sometimes asked for my opinion, but I just shrugged or made some innocuous remark.
As the days went by, her mood began to brighten. Little by little. Day by day. Eventually she decided to leave her room. Things were looking up, things were getting better. Her mother broke down in tears and thanked me profusely.
One day, the girl went up to the roof of an apartment building in the neighbourhood and jumped off. The building wasn’t very high and she landed in some bushes. That was probably what saved her life. It wasn’t all alright though. Her spinal cord was injured in the fall and she was paralysed from the neck down. The doctors told her that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
I went to see her as soon as she got out of hospital. She lay in her bed, unable to move. She burst out crying and apologised to me over and over. She sobbed out that she wished she didn’t survive the fall and told me she was sorry for all the grief she had caused her and her mother.
I tried to soothe her and stop her crying, but i found it was hard to comfort someone who’s lying down. I embraced her awkwardly. She was weeping so much that her whole body shook in grief. She couldn’t even wipe away her own tears.
I held her in my arms for a long while, then I asked her to marry me.
She was like, “Really? Are you serious? Me? Really?”
She couldn’t believe anyone would want her. I had to propose several times before she even believed that I actually meant it. She cried so hard her tears ran dry. I tried to reassure her and told her I wanted to marry her because I had always loved her.
She was the perfect girl for me, always has been.
Even when she ignored me and didn’t return my feelings.
Even when she fell in with a bad crowd.
Even when I had to listen to all her stupid problems.
Even when she was hiding in her bedroom for days on end and became so thin.
Even when I told the popular girl that she fancied her boyfriend.
Even when I was spreading vile rumours about her to her classmates.
Even when I sprayed graffiti all over her house.
Even when I killed her cat and put it through her mailbox.
Even now that she is lying there in her bed, small, weak and unable to move.
Even now I still love her.
You see, she is the perfect girl for me.
Soon, we’ll be getting married.