My Heart, It Beats
My name is Chloe.
Iím 18 years old and going to be a Senior at Clefield High School.
My boyfriend Jarred was my whole world.
He just broke up with me.
And after three years, my world is no longer in existence.
So why am I?
Whatís the point?
Maybe I should just end it all. Maybe things would be easier for all of us.
Do you want to know why Jarred broke up with me? He decided that sex with Sasha Morshe was better than no sex with me.
I tried texting him to ask him to take me back, but he said, ďYouíre just not the girl for me Chloe. Get over it.Ē
After three years, youíd think heíd have a little bit of consideration for my feelings.
I guess not.
Chloe please come down stairs itís time to eat.
Iím not hungry. I canít eat, I canít sleep, I canít even breathe anymore. At least I donít want to.
Sorry mom, iím just not hungry tonight. Bad stomach ache.
Chloe, I know youíre lying. You just donít have an appetite because of Jarred.
Come down here and talk to me.
My mom doesnít even come close to understanding how much I hate mother/daughter talks.
No mom, Iím tired. Iím going to bed.
The sad thing is, Iím not going to bed. I canít sleep. All I think about is Jarred and Sasha. Whatís so good about her anyway? I mean, yeah sheís a beautiful blonde bimbo with huge boobs and a nice ass, but who cares about that?
It just makes me more insecure about myself. Makes me hate myself even more.
Sorry I canít be your blonde barbie cheerleader, Jarred.
Things get really hard. I get so low that I cut myself. Mom doesnít know. And Hell would freeze over if she ever found out. To be honest, I just really hate myself. Iím obviously very awful if Jarred could just throw me away like he did.
Iím 130 lbs of pure fat, Iím too tall, and could truly pick out more than a million things that I canít stand about myself.
Itís just a matter of time until my insecurities eat me alive.
Mom found blood in the sink this morning. I told her I lost a tooth. Stupid me, of course she didnít believe it. I have scars on my arms. Goodness. She said her and my dad are going to have a talk with me tonight.
In the meantime I have to sit here and think about what Iím going to say.
Chloe, please come down here.
I walk down the stairs to my parents sitting at the kitchen table. Their faces white as ghosts. As if they were truly upset.
Sweetheart, you know whatís wrong.
You canít keep doing these things to yourself kiddo.
What are you guys talking about? Trying to buy more time.
The blood honey. Itís clear you did not just lose a tooth. You have scars on your arms, and no teeth missing.
Weíre going to get you help Chlo. We just canít sit here and watch you hurt yourself.
What do you mean youíre going to get me help? What kind of help?
Weíre sending you to Uncle Anthonyís ranch for the summer.
What do you mean youíre sending me to uncle Anthonyís? I havenít talked to him in ages!
Itís the best thing for you Chlo. We just donít know what to do. Anthony has had a lot of experience with things like this. Depression, and anger. Heís going to help you in a way we donít know how.
So, let me get this straight. You donít know what to do with me, because of a couple cuts on my arms, so youíre handing me over to Anthony so he can do your dirty work? Oh right, I get that.
I honestly canít believe this is happening. Uncle Anthony is not suitable for me to be living with. This is outrageous.
This is not a punishment Chlo, you just really need help and we want you to get it.
Whatever. When do I leave?
Tomorrow. Iím taking you at nine. So you need to pack tonight. I can come up and help if you need me to.
I donít need your help.
I stormed off. This is ridiculous. Anthony is my 37 year old single uncle that lives like ten hours away from Chicago in a small town in the most random state ever: Oklahoma.
No one goes there. Unless theyíd like a nice tornado or eight.
Packing is such a pain. I basically have to pack up everything I have because Iím not coming back for three and a half months. This is ridiculous. At least I donít have to say goodbye to anyone. I lost all of my friends because of Jarred.
He took everything from me. All things but my virginity. Thank God. We always came close, but there was always this voice in my head telling me it wasnít the right timing. And at the time, I almost caved many times because I thought I was going to marry him, but Iím so glad I didnít.
Todayís the day. Iím freaking tired because I stayed up until all hours packing my shit. Itís too early.
Do you have everything?
Uh, yeah mom. Whatever. Letís just go.
Donít you want to say goodbye to your father?
Bye dad, see you in three months. Hopefully Iíll be perfect like youíve always dreamed by then.
My dad has always strived to have the most perfect of everything. Perfect house, perfect job, perfect wife, and why not add to all the other perfectness and have a perfect daughter too.
News flash: Iíll never be perfect.
Chloe, thatís enough.
Sweetheart you know I love you. All I want, is for you to get better. Good luck. And have fun!
Yeah, Iíll have the best time.
We get in the car and mom immediately starts playing her country music shit. I pull out my iPod and turn on my ten hour playlist.
This is going to be a long ride.
We arrive in a small ass town, about ten hours away from my house.
And not beautiful as in, ďwow, this town is beautiful.Ē Beautiful as in, this blows.
We pull into my uncles driveway.
His house is much prettier than I remembered.
He lives in a large log cabin on the river. It really is quite gorgeous.
Chloe, why donít you just leave your stuff in the car and weíll get it before I leave. Letís just go inside and say hello to your uncle.
And hey, maybe you could like, have a good attitude.
She said that so sarcastically, I almost punched her in her jaw.
Sure, and hey, maybe you can like, take me to the closest cliff so I can jump off.
She thinks that by saying my middle name along with my first name that she sounds bad ass and Iím going to be scared of her.
I just smile with the satisfaction of making her mad, and start walking up to the door.
I ring the doorbell.
I could feel my momís glare burning through the back of my head.
The door opens and my huge uncle is standing in the doorway with the biggest grin on his face. It was almost scary, honestly.
My Chloe? Is that really you?
Of course itís me Anthony. Iím not a little girl anymore.
Well Iíll say. Youíve grown up to be quite the beautiful young lady.
What the hell? I hate when adults say stupid stuff like that. Iím not anything. Iím disgusting old Chloe. Same girl Iíve always been. Goodness gracious.
Well yeah! And hey there Claire bear. Itís been so long since Iíve seen your gorgeous face.
Oh Anthony, you havenít changed a bit. Greg would love to be here, but he had to stay in town. You know how dedicated to that business the man is.
Oh absolutely. Not a problem sweetheart. Please, come in.
I swear my mom and uncle Anthony have always had this secret love affair. Itís the weirdest thing. But I truly think my mom wishes she would have married Anthony instead of dad.
Can I get you two something to drink? Soda, water, milk, juice?
A glass of water would be lovely Anthony; thank you.
ďLovelyĒ? See, this is what Iím talking about. My mom never says the word, ďlovelyĒ. And the way she smiles at him, itís just so weird.
What about you Chloe? Would you like anything?
Got any vodka?
No, Iím fine. Thanks.
Chloe, why donít you go out to the car and start bringing your things into the house while your uncle and I talk for a bit.
Sheís officially stupid.
I walk out to the car and see three little girls riding their bikes down the street, laughing like they were having the greatest day of their lives.
When did life become so complicated?
What happened to a simple bike ride meaning the world to you?
I guess things change.
I grab my bags that literally feel like a hundred pounds each.
Oh yeah mom, I donít need any help, itís cool.
Damn, sheís freaking dumb.
I walk into the kitchen after getting all my stuff and the two of them grow silent.
Where do you want me to put my crap?
Oh, right this way darliní.
He leads me upstairs to my ďroomĒ. Itís actually pretty sweet.
I know itís not home, but this can be your cozy place to relax.
Although Iím insanely pissed off that Iím even here, that was really nice of him to say.
Itís actually a really nice room.
Oh this is beautiful!!!
And the nice momentís ruined.
Yeah. Can I have a minute alone please?
Of course sweetheart.
Yeah, weíll just be downstairs doll.
Shut up mom.
They close the door and go downstairs. Iím so freaking overwhelmed.
I just want my mom to leave..NOW.
I look around the room for a place to put all of my clothes.
Itís not like I really care. I donít even feel like hanging them up. Or even putting them in a drawer for that matter.
I sit on the bed and realize how soft it is. I canít wait to lay in this tonight.
I explore the room a little more and then get bored.
I wonder if mom is ever going to leave.
I walk downstairs and my mom and Anthony are sitting on the couch having what looks to be a very interesting conversation.
Hey mom, when are you leaving?
I want her out of here.
Oh hey honey. Iím leaving now. Your uncle and I were just going over some things.
She smiles that stupid smile of hers.
Will you come give me a hug?
I love you darling. I truly hope this helps you. Youíre going to be just fine.
Yeah, I know mom.
Donít lose touch. Iíll call you everyday.
Just to check up on you.
She finally left after hugging my uncle for like, four hours. Whatís her deal?
So kiddo, what are you into now-a-days? I feel like I donít know you anymore!
You donít. You never have.
What do you want me to tell you?
Whatís your favorite color?
Nice! Whatís your favorite thing to do on the weekends? Or even just in your spare time?
I like going to shows, and seeing bands. And I like watching movies, and road tripping to the city with friends.
Shows huh? Whatís your favorite band?
Huh. Iíve never heard of them. Did someone have a stroke?
He laughed like a complete moron at this joke.
I almost threw up.
Just a joke darliní.
Well thatís interesting. I got a boy that works in the shop with us that likes to go to those shows. Maybe youíll meet him.
All I want to do is go to my room and sleep. I never want to see another male as long as I live.
Itís quite unfortunate that I have to live with one.
So, youíll be working in the shop with me tomorrow right? Or is it too soon for you to start working?
Is this man half retarded? I donít want to work period.
What would I be doing?
Youíd just be answering phones and maybe cleaning around the store. It gets pretty dusty sometimes.
Does that not sound very appealing to you?
Honestly? Not really what I had in mind. At all.
What would you like to do then darliní?
I didnít know I was supposed to work?
Oh darliní, youíll get bored quick. Plus, donít you want to make some cash? Itíll be good for you. And a great way for you to meet new people. Everyone here pretty much knows eachother. So youíll meet people quick.
Can I go cut myself now please?
Iím gonna go get some sleep now. Iím exhausted.
Alright sweetheart. Iíll get you up in the morning. Get a good nights sleep.
What the hell is he doing piling all this shit on me, when I just freaking got here. This is outrageous.
Iím pissed. I wont sleep tonight. Thatís for sure.
I sit in my ďroomĒ and think. I think way too much. But this time, Iím thinking extremely hard. Itís weird.
What the hell am I doing here? Not only at Anthonyís, but just in general. Like, whatís so significant about my life? Whatís so special about me?
So many questions.
I didnít even think about the fact that Iíve hardly eaten anything today.
Whatever, I donít need the extra fat.
I lay here, writing in my journal until 3:30 am.
Good night, world.
Chloe darliní, itís time to get up.
I slowly wake up in a daze.
Is this man sane? Seriously? I thought heíd just let me sleep.
What time is it?
Itís 8 am baby girl. We have to be at the shop by nine. So get up and take a shower. Breakfast is cookiní downstairs.
Nice. Canít wait to spend my first day of summer working in a shop.
Oh lighten up Chloe. I promise youíll like it.
Now get up and get ready.
I hate my life.
I get in the shower and just stand there. Iím dreading this day. I just want to sleep all day.
Suddenly I notice my uncleís razor in the shower. My perfect opportunity.
I grabbed the razor, and cut two perfect lines on both forearms.
Afterwards, I clean the cuts, I put on a hoodie and jeans and walk downstairs.
Well hey there. What would you like? I made eggs, pancakes, bacon, and toast. A little of everything?
No thanks. Iím not hungry.
Chlo, you really need to eat. You didnít eat dinner last night either.
I donít want to eat anything, Anthony.
Well youíre going to.
He sat a full plate in front of me and smiled sarcastically at me.
Weíre going to sit here until youíve taken a bite of everything on your plate. And as long as it takes for you to do this, is the longer amount of time weíll be working at the shop.
Well, I hate him already.
I take one bite and say Iím done.
You know Chloe, I really love you. A lot. But this attitude you got goiní here isnít going to help you at all. Your parents sent you here for a reason. Iím not going to let you get away with talking to me like that because you feel sorry for yourself. Buck up and get through it, and you may find yourself having a good time.
Now eat the breakfast so we can get to work.
He walks away and Iím left alone in the kitchen.
I take a bite of each of my foods, and get up leaving the food on the counter.
I sit in front of the garage door, waiting for the tyrant to hurry the hell up.
Ready? Oh, and thanks for eating. And next time you leave a plate of food on the counter, Iím going to put it on the floor of your room.
He smiled at me, and walked out the door.
Iím going to bash his head into the wall.
I get in the car and rest my arm on the arm rest and look out the window.
The only thing I can think about is how Iíd rather be anywhere but here.
Look Chloe, I donít want to be this asshole of an uncle that has to crack down on you every second of the day. I wish you understood how much I just want to help you. I really promise if youíll give it a chance, Oklahoma could really show you a good time.
Will you please just try to enjoy yourself.
He sounds so pathetic. Which makes me feel weird. Like, almost sorry for the prick. So I guess itís only fair to apologize.
Okay. Iím sorry Anthony. Iíll try.
Great. I promise you, I wont disappoint you.
I smile, and go back to looking out the window.
I might as well try to enjoy it here. I mean, Iíll be here for three months.
He looks really excited.
Which for some very odd reason, makes me a little excited too.
We walk into the shop and a man about uncle Anthonyís age jumps out from around the corner.
Anthony! My main man! What the hellís good?
Shit man! Actually, a lot of things are good, bro.
Meet my niece Chloe.
Chloe, this is my best friend Rick.
Well hey there pretty girl. Iíve heard a lot about you. Welcome to Oklahoma.
So glad youíre here. Your uncle Anthony couldnít wait for you to get here.
I look at Anthony, and he starts to blush and just smiles.
Itís great meeting you Rick.
Rickís basically your boss. Heís kind of your go-to guy. Iíll mostly be in the back doing repairs.
Jason, and Jeff will be here in awhile. Jeff will be in back with me, and Jason will be up front with you and Rick.
Youíll be with him most of the time.
Anthony winked at Rick, and walked toward the back.
If you need anything, let me know darliní.
Rick walks toward me and whispers in my direction.
Go ahead and chill for a bit. Iíll wait for Jason to get here for you to get started.
Iím not much of a tell-people-what-to-do type a guy. Well, as far as work goes.
But donít tell your uncle I said that.
I laughed and sat down. I pulled out my iPod and listened to some music and played solitaire until I felt a tap on my shoulder.
And of course, me being the idiot I am, jumped.
I turned around to the most beautiful smiling face in the world.
Hey there. Iím Jason.
I just looked at him for a minute. And not just admiring his beauty, but specifically, his eyes. He had the most beautiful green eyes I had ever seen.
Hi. Iím Chloe.
He laughed. Probably at my Iíve-just-seen-a-rockstar-face.
Nice to meet you Chloe.
He took a seat next to me.
What are you listening to?
Um, The Strokes. You ever heard of them?
Heard of them? Theyíre my favorite band!
Really! Theyíre my favorite band!
Right on! Whatís your favorite song by them?
Definitely ďIs This ItĒ. What about you?
Great song. Iíd have to say mineís ďTake It or Leave ItĒ. Why is that your favorite?
Well, itís the first song I heard by them. Itís the song that made me fall in love with them I guess.
I smiled, but expected him to make fun of me for saying I fell in love with the band.
But instead, he stared at me for a good minute.
I felt weird about it, but I stared back.
Oh, Jason! Youíre here. Nice to see you two met already.
Jason slowly pulled his gaze away and focused those beautiful green eyes at Rick.
Oh yeah man. Just kinda getting to know eachother before I show her the ropes.
Not a problem. Keep talking. Weíre dead today. If things start speeding up, thatís your cue to start teaching her. Have fun!
He walked away.
Jason and I talked for around two hours about music, and art. All I wanted to do was know more about him.
So, what brought you to Oklahoma?
I just sat there for a minute trying to think of a better reason than, ďWell, I hate myself and my parents donít know how to deal with me, so I had to come stay with my uncle Anthony for the summer.Ē
Just getting away from my hometown for a summer. I went through some stuff back home. So I guess I just needed a break from it all.
He smiled sweetly.
Iím glad youíre here.
Thanks. Me too.
I smiled back. And just then, I realized I havenít smiled this long in a while. As well as the fact that I havenít connected with someone so easily in a really long time.
Not to mention that I didnít have one single thought about my ex at all today.
So uh, thereís this party Iím going to tomorrow night at my friend Stevenís place. Would you maybe want to come with me?
Itíd be a great way for you to meet people our age.
Awesome. Iíll definitely talk to Anthony about it.
Anthony will say yes. He loves me.
He smiled and stared again.