Sidewalk Plants

Introduction: If You Really Knew

"Do you even love me?" tears streamed down Alyssa's brown face and she began to quiver. The sound of thunder resonated throughout the lot, further adding to the depressing atmosphere. She hugged herself as the realization of her words forced her to admit the truth. He didn't love her. She took a leap of faith into the cloudy waters hoping to be embraced by warmness only to be faced with the harsh reality she was a fool. Sweet words turned her into a pile of Jell-O and became putty into the hands of Connor. She searched desperately in his steely blue eyes for any kind of response.

He bit his bottom lip and gazed staring into the vast starless sky. He took a deep breath and after what seemed like eternity finally answered: No.

Alyssa said nothing but salt water drops continued to be emitted from her brown eyes. He took a step forward and tried to hug her; she just swatted his arms away and turned her back. "I wish you didn't take this so seriously, I didn't think you'd be like this. I thought you knew…" he paused for a second. He attempted recollecting his thoughts and tried to choose his words wisely "this was just a fling. When you said you loved me I just knew I had to break it off…"

The words fell on her ears like a ton of bricks. He continued again "Don't make this into a big deal ok? You're young, you're 17 years old. You're going to have a lot of relationships, don't try to get so tied down. Just fun have ok?"

She turned around, and was facing him. She opened her mouth to find something to say, but the reserves in her mind drew a blank. There was nothing to say, it isn't possible to make someone love you. Alyssa started shuffling on the balls of her feet and looked around the parking lot.

Smells of cigarette smoke and pungent garbage filled the humid atmosphere. It was ten o clock and the streetlights illuminated the parking lot behind the record store. Car alarms were going off, noisy neighbors were screeching, and starved dogs were howling letting their discontent be heard.

Connor leaned on the hood of the gray 98 Corolla with the broken windows and run down tires. He was such a beautiful thing too good to be true. Connor towered Alyssa at 6'3 with a body of an Adonis. Connor's skin was tan with bulging muscles. His blonde hair complimented his cobalt eyes which were framed with many pale eye lashes. His pouty lips with a tint of red were perfect for kissing and his teeth were perfect for nibbling all the sensitive spots Alyssa liked. His square jaw muscles tensed up, chewing the piece of now flavorless cherry gum.

"I guess this is it," Alyssa cried. The words were so heavy exiting her plump lips. They hurt her throat, and the depths of her soul. She felt so gullible and stupid, standing there with her heart in her hands ready to be given away only to be rejected and holding broken pieces of her former core.

"Yeah that's it," Connor let out a sigh of relief. Alyssa started picking at her fingernails, she was unsure of what to do next. "Do you need a ride? It's getting pretty late."

"No. I'm just going to walk." She looked at the dirty concrete that was alive with bugs and covered in used up condoms and mysterious green slime. Even though the environment was dirty and full of smog, plants still found a way to break through.

"Why can't I be like those flowers," she found herself asking aloud. Connor seemed confused but he kept silent, listening to her strange words. "I mean even in places so ugly they find a way to live. Why can't I be as strong as those sidewalk plants?"

"Ally those plants are pests, no one wants them around. Don't be silly," Connor added to her outlandish philosophy.

"I guess that pretty much describes me," she whispered. With that she walked away and her heart turned into stone.

When folks looked at Alyssa they thought she was a quite girl who kept to herself. She hid behind purple coke bottle glasses and a mass of black frizzy dried hair. In between in her soft lips revealed white teeth strained together by purple elastic and metal wires. Whenever she laughed her wide nose always scrunched up. She was self conscious of this; she didn't like the wrinkles that surrounded her mouth when she started to laugh either.

Also, she wore clothes two sizes too big, however it concealed her thin waist, and her medium sized hips and thighs. In addition to her small width, she was 5'1. Alyssa was just average it seemed, she did however have good grades, her only claim to fame.

If you only knew the truth.

It always began at 7PM with Ally looking in the mirror in her bedroom. She stared at her naked body, observing and critiquing every flaw. She studied herself at different angles still not satisfied. Bruises and scars were scattered all over her brown skin. Today she had a hand print on her face. It was fresh but it was starting to develop into violet. She lightly pressed her finger tips across her cheek, but she winced. She whimpered and held back tears.

"Ugly," she whispered staring back at her corpse. "Do you hear me?" her voice elevated "I think you're ugly!" Hot tears ran down her face and her fists clenched. Her reflection of course didn't answer back. Ally tried to calm herself down by thinking of life two years before. Two years ago she had a voice, now she could barely whimper.