Rae of Sunlight

Part III.
Her Last Days

"Shut up bitch. You ain't goin' nowhere."
He slapped her hard across the face, she looked up, fear and surprise in her eyes. "You…" He began tearing off her clothes.

"C'mon baby! That's the way!! Welcome back this is Frank from WGBH, it's six in the morning and we're here to wake you up! WAKE UP!"

She sat up in her bed, abruptly. Who's in her room? Who's talking, is it him? Oh God it's him. No, it's just the radio. It was a dream. It was just a dream. No one was going to hurt her, not even him. Who was it? She doesn't know.
She rubs her head, feeling the pain that is always there. She looks at her alarm clock, now playing some boy band song.

"I can't li-ive without you, baby…"

She looks at her laptop. Still on. Good. She doesn't have to pay the electric bill anyways; she's in a college dorm. She rubs her head again, then her eyes to wipe out the sleepiness. She gets up out of bed, turns off her dark blue electric blanket, and wanders across the tiny room to her laptop. She sits down, and stares at the screen. It's cold.
No, still no inspiration. Even at six in the morning. The song has ended and Frank is talking again about some guy who he knew in high school. She leans back in her chair and stares at the walls. Not much to look at. A picture of her and her brother next to a lake, and an old painting of hers. She loves that painting with all of her heart. She gets up to look closely at it. She runs her fingers across the paint, feeling its texture. She hates her life.

* * * * *

Eight in the morning and still no inspiration. She is staring out the window. Light is just beginning to rise over the cold winter morning. She rubs her head.
"Light rising," she mutters. If light rises then all is alright. If all is alright then where am I and what am I doing here?
She runs across the room to her laptop, shaking it awake. She begins typing rapidly, her face inches away from the screen.

Light is reaching over the rims
I am reaching too
Reaching for you
And the light cannot prevail
For darkness is too near

She stops, leans back, and looks at what she has written. She rubs her head again, and deletes what she has just written. She begins typing again, occasionally stopping to review what she has written.

My brain is pounding;
This headache won't go away.
The pain is unbearable.
Waves of nausea pass over me.
My head weighs so much,
This headache is horrible.
I just want to cry and cry forever,
Because the pain is killing me.
I'm going to die.
No medicine,
No therapy,
Can get rid of this headache.
It's horrible.
Why can't this pain just end?
Why can't this headache just go away?
I know how to get rid of it.
I need to be free,
To be alone,
Where sounds cannot make it worse.
So now I leave.

She looks at what she has written she makes a sound of disgust and deletes it also. What is wrong with her why can't she write anymore? She has been trying to sleep and being unable because she wants to write, then when she tries to write, her mind goes blank, or she can only think of death. Is she going insane?
She stands up and walks over to her mirror. Stares at her naked body. Disgusting. A look at her face, her eye makeup is smudged, making her look like some sort of zombie. She looks again at her body. Still disgusting. She quickly turns away and grabs her locket hanging around her neck and plays with it between her fingers. There aren't any pictures in it, but it is nice to have.
She looks at her clock. Shit. Almost time for class. She wipes her face, puts on some clothes. She turns off her laptop, and as she leaves the room she blows it a kiss goodbye.

* * * * *

When she gets home she is smiling. She found him. She feels loved once more. The man from her dream is forgotten. She turns on her laptop, an automatic action now. She wonders if she should give her brother Joseph a call. He's so proud of her for getting into college. Her brother would really love to hear how well she is doing now. If only he knew how much she warred inside herself. But he would really be happy to hear from her, and she wanted to talk to him again. She picks up the phone and dials the familiar number.

"Hello?"
"Hi. Joseph?"
"Rae?"
"Yeah, it's me."
"Oh! How ya doin' sis?"
"I'm doing great. I'm acing all of my classes."
"Of course you are. You're one of the smartest people I know. You should really publish some of that incredible poetry of yours."
"Yeah, I would, but I don't have enough."
"Not enough? There was times when Mom couldn't pull you away from your room long enough to eat dinner! You must have a thousand poems!"
"Yeah, but I've lost my inspiration or something. I don't know."
"Okay… Do you want to come home and visit Mom and I?"
"No."
"Do you want to talk to Mom?"
"You know I don't."
"Okay. Well, listen sis, I gotta get goin', I have work in fifteen minutes."
"Okay."
"You're my favorite sister."
"Of course I am; I'm your only sister. You're my favorite brother."
"That's what I thought."
"Talk to you later."
"Okay, bye."
"Goodbye."

She knows what is going to most likely happen in twenty-four hours. Suddenly, her face lights up, and she rushes to her laptop and quickly begins typing in it.

I try so hard
To be what you want.
But the fakeness
That I wrap around me
Is beginning to spoil,
To cling to my flesh with its death grip.

She looks at what she has written, and scrunches her face up into a frown. The poem is quickly deleted. She sighs, and rubs her head again. She hums to herself as she gets up and changes her clothes into street wear. Glancing at herself in the mirror, she walks out the door to confront the heart that she broke two years ago.

* * * * *
She has been walking around town for three hours, but still has not seen him again. She walks along the filthy streets, looking up and down the alleyways for the person who she feels is her soul mate. The town is grey, everywhere. The streets are grey, the stout buildings are grey, and the clouds are ominously grey. It's like the world had turned black and white, except for all of the colorful clothes that the prostitutes wear. Even she was grey, her clothes were always black or grey. Grey inside and out.
Then, to her right she sees a flash of yellow. Turning abruptly to see the source, she sees that it is him, carrying several books. He is headed right towards her, and he hasn't seen her yet. Pretending that she doesn't see him, she heads in his direction. She casts her eyes down to the ground, still keeping check of where he was. She walked faster, her heart racing s she drew closer to him. She aims herself straight towards him, and prays that this works out.
She crashes into him, knocking his books onto the ground. She thanks the one to whom she was praying.

"Oh! Sorry sir! Let me help you pick up your books. I'm so sorry."

She looks up, and he is staring at her.

"Rae? What are you doing here?"

She acts confused, like she doesn't recognize him. Then, she allows the happiness that she is feeling to flood out onto her face.

"Todd! What are you doing here?"
"Well, I transferred to Northeastern just last week. What are you doing here, so far away from home?"
"Oh, I go to Simmons. I started during the fall semester."
"You got into college! That's fantastic! How are you affording it?"
"I sent in several of my poems, and they gave me a full scholarship, as long as I get good grades."
"And are you?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Ah, just like you to be embarrassed of your accomplishments. I bet you're getting all A's."
"Yeah…"
"It's been a while since I've seen you."
"Yeah..."

It is working out perfectly, just the way she had planned it all out in her head. Now it was time for her to make the final move to get him back.

"Y'know, it's been a long time since we've talked. You wanna go get some coffee or something and talk?"
"I thought you didn't like coffee."
"They'll probably have tea."
"Good point. Sure, let's go."

She had him. Now all she has to find out is if he was still with that girl he started going out with two months after she broke his heart. Or if he is with some other girl. That shouldn't be too hard.
They go to a small café down the street where there is nice tea. It is much better than the old, stifling coffee place that she worked at before she came to college. As they talk, she realizes all she has to talk about is that coffee place, her writer's block after she broke his heart, and the one poem she wrote during it that a dog had torn to pieces. She vaguely mentions her abusive boyfriend. Todd has so much to talk about, all of the great things that had happened to him, all the places he had seen, all the parties he had gone to, and all of the pretty girls he had met at his college.

"But none of them were as pretty as you."
"I'm sure they all were ten times as pretty as me."
"You are the most beautiful person I have ever met, because you are beautiful inside and out, and you just have this way with words…"

He trails off, staring at her.

"It's been so long since I've seen you, Rae."
"Yeah it has."

This isn't right. It all is moving much to fast. Things like this don't happen in real life. At least not in her life.

"Hey, you wanna come with me to my apartment? I have to drop off my books. Then we can take the T to Harvard Square or something."
"Okay. I love Harvard Square."

This strikes her as odd. It makes sense that he wants to drop his book s off at his apartment, but why doesn't he just ask for her number and then call her later to do something. That's what he used to be like. He didn't like things to move too fast either. Yet he still pushed her too quickly by saying he loved her after only knowing her for three weeks.
They head to his apartment, which is surprisingly nearby. He still is about a foot taller than her, still mysteriously dark and tan, and still has those shocking blue eyes that make her insides melt. He unlocks the door to the apartment and shows her in. He has a nice apartment, small, but nice.
As soon as he puts his books down, his arms are around her, and he is smothering her with kisses. She feels trapped. This is what was supposed to happen, but it doesn't feel right. His hand is sliding up her shirt, and she pushes him away.

"Whoa. Okay, that wasn't really what I expected. I think we should calm down our raging lust for a moment and think about what is happening here."
"Rae, don't you miss me? I have wanted to see you for so long. I just want to be with you again."

His words are soft, but there is a hungry look in his eyes that she has never seen before. She doesn't understand what has happened to him. He has his arms wrapped around her again, like a python holding its prey. She pushes him away again.

"Look, it's been about two years since I've had a boyfriend, and it just wasn't a pleasant experience. So if you could please just take it slow with me, I would feel much better."
"Okay honey. I'll restrain myself for you. Would you like to go sit down? Y'know, be more comfortable?"
"Okay, that sounds good."

They sit down on the bed, since there is no couch in the house. He slides his arm around her waist and she puts her head on his shoulder. They sit like that for a few minutes, and she feels safe and secure, until he turns her head towards his face and starts kissing her again. She pushes him away one last time.

"Look, Todd, we need to stop this. I can't handle it right now. I think I'll just leave and maybe we can see each other tomorrow. I want to see you again, honey, but this is just too much. I'll leave you with my number at school."

As she speaks, his face twists into a mass of fury, and she doesn't recognize him anymore. She has never seen him like this before. He stands up and stares down at her.

"Shut up bitch! You ain't goin' nowhere!"

He slaps her brutally, and she stares in horror and surprise as her dream unfolds in her memory. This is the dream she had last night.

"You..."

She feels horror and disgust as she remembers the next part of her dream, where he began to rip off her clothes. She closed her eyes trying to shut out the infuriated face that hovered over her as hands tore off her clothes and held her down.

* * * * *

i cant believe you did this to me
i thought it all would be perfect and now you have violated me, made all of my dreams explode into one big heap of shattered mirror glass
i am sitting here in my dorm room, i finally got to college i finally have my poetry back, enough for two poems
i wrote a poem for Joseph because he wont understand it all and he needs to know that it wasnt his fault no it wasnt at all
it was two nights ago that you violated me
you keep calling but i dont answer i havent gone to class i just cant make myself go all i have left is my laptop sitting blankly and looking at me, knowing the inner depths of my soul it scares me now
i feel so dirty
ive taken countless showers scrubbed myself clean but i keep feeling so dirty im terrible
i cant believe i let you do that to me it was all in my dream i knew what you would try to do next, but i didn't try to stop you oh i just cant believe this all has happened
you were supposed to be my hero my savior the one who rescues me from myself but all you have done is drive me deeper down in my insanity at least thats what my brother will say
i dont feel insane actually i feel quite in control of myself and i have decided to go through with my plans that i had for myself for yesterday i think things will work our nicely for me
i feel so bad for Joseph but one day he will understand i hope
god i feel so dirty like there is little dirts and worms and your evilness crawling all around my skin and laughing at me i can hear their laughter they mock me because i just cant get rid of them what did i do to deserve all of this?
i just want to be free like i wanted to before so now it is time to prepare for my next journey you know i had plans to do this before but then i saw you and i thought it all would be better but i guess i was wrong because now i want to start my journey more than ever
so i put on my nice dress, the one i got from my brother when he found out that i was going to college, and i put on my nice heels, and make sure they're tight i sit in front of the mirror for an hour, fixing my makeup so that it is perfect, and fixing my hair so that is it perfect i look just like a queen i can understand why Todd said i was beautiful now
my dress is long and blue and Joseph says it brings out the blue color in my eyes, making them seem even more blue then they already are my long brown hair is tied back into a bun, and for once i got it to stay in place
staring at myself in the full-length mirror i see how the body i said was disgusting is really very beautiful but i think it might just be this dress
i open my drawer and take out the rope that has been stored there for about a week now i feel so void of emotion like this is an everyday thing
before i go, i decide to print out the poem i wrote for Joseph, and i write his name at the top at the bottom i write that i love him and that i will be watching him i also write that he should tell mom im sorry and that i love her
i hope he understands
i tie the rope in a special way that i read about on the internet and i tie it to the ceiling i push a chair over to the rope where it is hanging
after this there is no turning back
i slip the rope around my neck
i still feel empty, void of emotion
i jump.

* * * * *

The police had called him after two days from when she called him. They said that she had been reported as to have been missing excessive amounts of class, and since her scholarship depended on her grades, one of her teachers went to talk to her.
The teacher found her hanging from the ceiling, dead.
Joseph cried when the police told him, fell to the ground. His mother would probably have the same reaction. It might even kill her. He decided to save the news for a little while.
The police said that there was a letter for him, and that he should come down to the college to take a look at it. They said it was obviously a suicide.
When he got to the college, he was surprised to find that there were only two police cars in front of her dorm. He went into the building, up to the seventh floor, where her room was. He saw that in front of her room was yellow tape, and there were few people standing around.
He walked over to the policeman standing guard around the yellow tape.
"Excuse me, sir," he said nervously, "I'm Rae's brother, Joseph. The police officer called me and said I should come down to see the… the… s… note she left behind."
Tears were streaming down his face from grief, but the police officer seemed to feel that it could be an act.
"Can I see some ID, sir?" he demanded.
He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and showed the officer his driver's license. Embarrassed, the police officer let him through. The first thing that he saw was the body bag. He froze.
"Ah, sir, come here," a round old policeman with grey hair said, "I know it's hard. Here's the note she left."
He took the note, but did not open it. He was still staring at the body bag.
"Can I… see her?" Joseph looked up at the policeman with a pleading expression on his face.
The policeman hesitated, and then slowly unzipped the body bag.
"She died from her neck being broken, very quick. Her teacher found her just a few hours later, then called us."
Joseph didn't hear him. He was staring at his sister, at the wisps of brown hair that fell down her face, the blue dress that he had given her. She was wearing makeup, something she hadn't done since Todd had been her boyfriend. She looked like she was sleeping, in peace at last. He broke down in tears, wailing for the sister he had lost.
When he had composed himself, he opened the letter that had been left behind. Inside was a poem; one final poem.

Dear brother, you should know
That you were always there for me.
You cared for me,
Though others did not.
This is not your fault,
It is mine for my
Foolishness.
I am so sorry
For all that I have put you through,
But
You must understand
That if I kept living
I would die of grief,
Of self-hatred.
You see, dear brother,
There was this night I dreamt
Of things to come
And it has come to pass,
And now I am
Stained,
Broken.
I have found that daydreams clash with reality,
And now my heart has been broken
By the one who I thought
Could save me.
It would always haunt me if I lived,
The night that I was
Raped,
But I will always love you,
Because you love me.
I need this freedom,
I need this purification.
I start now on m new journey,
To a place where I can be
Whole once more.

I love you. I will be watching you. I hope you understand. Tell mom that I'm sorry, and it's not her fault either. Tell her that I love her.

When he finished reading, he broke down once more and howled for the sister that he had love and lost because of another.