Continuing Tales

One

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 1 of 40

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One

Heartbreak

A face that looked nothing like her own stared back at her. Hazel eyes filled with tears, black mascara running down cheeks, a limp, defeated posture.

The thundering bass and heavy guitar riffs just outside the door only added to her growing headache. The screaming voice of the lead singer made her cringe inside. They only added to her heartfelt misery.

There was a different pounding that mixed with the other sounds. A fist on metal, the metal of the door.

"C'mon Sarah, open up. Pul-lease??" pounding again. "Are you going to let a stupid guy get the best of you? Forget about him, he's a jerk anyway! Come out and have some fun."

Fun? A bunch of screaming maniacs, jumping around, drunk out of their minds, spilling beer all over themselves and the people around them. Guys, grabbing other girl's butts when they walked by, even though their girlfriend was right there beside them. Girls so drunk they were dancing seductively with other girls. She was an idiot for letting Lee talk her into going to this club. She should have stayed home, curled up on her bed with a good book. It wasn't total excitement, but it beat this, and it beat the heartache she felt.

"Sarah! Come on!!!"

She slumped against the wall, gazing at her reflection in the mirror across from her. She definitely did not know the woman who stared back at her. Long dark hair matted with gel, eyes that were buried beneath makeup. Makeup! She had no worn makeup in years! Makeup that was now running down her cheeks, staining her pale skin. She wore a tank top, which made her feel fat, even though she had a wonderful figure that Lee had told her she should not be afraid to show off.

Lee, this was all Lee's fault....Lee and David.

She would have sunk to the floor, were it not so dirty. Toilet paper and trash was strewn everywhere, graffiti covered the walls. Scratched in the paint, words written in pen, marker, lipstick and who knew what else.

Her reflection was barely visible in the mirror that was so splattered with hair spray and powdered with makeup.

She should never have come. She should never have accepted Lee's invitation. Had she not, she would not have felt so low, so heartbroken, so bitter and vulnerable. She gazed at her tear stained eyes, outlined with thick black eyeliner. Damn it, she was 24, not 14. Yet age mattered little when someone broke your heart. You could be 5, 15, 24 or 50. No one, no matter how strong and powerful they felt, could escape emotion.

Her eyes misted with fresh tears as she thought about what she had seen. She didn't date all that often. She had not had a serious relationship since she was a freshman in college, a good 5 years ago. She had dated between now and then, but nothing soul shattering. Nothing worth thinking about. Time wasted. Karen never got off her case, constantly telling her she should just go out. She wouldn't find a nice boy working at the bookstore. Well, Karen didn't know that much then...or maybe she did...

She could still remember the day David had walked in, asking for an application. She had been stocking the shelves and old Mrs. Miller had eagerly given him one. She'd been looking for help for weeks. David was clean cut, nicely dressed. He looked intelligent. He was handsome, with his dark hair, his blue eyes, a small amount of freckles that lined his thin nose. He was tall and thin and spoke with a deep, passionate sounding voice.

He turned out to be very sweet, kind, totally unlike the guys at college or out in town that she saw. They had become fast friends, although she was guarded with what she told him. She was 24, loved fairytales, and still lived at home with her family. She didn't want to be thought of as a weirdo, a geek, whatever else she had been labeled at college.

David was shy at times, never talked about girls. He had only mentioned a girl once, and it seemed that he had been hurt by her. She knew that feeling all too well. He seemed very much like her, and try as she might, she couldn't stop falling for him. She barely knew him and she desperately wanted to know more about him. She wanted to ask him out for coffee, or if he wanted to see a movie, but she was afraid that she would mess things up. So she waited for him to make the first move.

She had overheard him say that he was going to the concert at the club downtown. When Lee had begged her to go with her to the same show, it seemed like a good idea at the time. She could see David. Maybe they could dance together or at least hang out.

She should have known better.... Things never worked out for her...why would they now?

Her life had been filled with disappointments, heartbreak and suffering. Her mother leaving her when she was 10, her father remarrying just a few short years later, being a geek in high school, not being able to go to the college she wanted, her relationship with John that had so terribly wrong, her inability to find a boyfriend when her other friends were paired off and getting married. Life really wasn't fair...

Why had she expected things to be any different with David? Why has she allowed her barriers to fall, allowed her world to be filled with him and when she didn't even know him? She had set herself up for this heartbreak....it wasn't Lee's fault or even David's. It was her own.

Her eyes misted when she thought of David. He was out there right now, amongst the chaos, dancing with that blonde. She closed her eyes tightly. She must have looked like such an idiot. Starting to walk up to him, the way he smiled and she thought he was smiling at her. And then that blond had pushed her aside to walk into his arms. The way he had wrapped his arms around her, had not even noticed her standing there and he and the blond walked off together... Fresh tears streamed down her face. It wasn't fair...

No..no, she wasn't going to cry. She was stronger than this. She didn't need a man. She could do things on her own. She'd been saying that for years. She would one day find her prince, she'd live happily ever after, or she would be strong on her own. She didn't need anyone. She was still young. She pushed the heartbreak down and away. She would deal with it later. She ran the water and washed the offending makeup off her face. She combed her fingers through her hair, making it silky and soft looking instead of hard and dead. She untied her blouse from her waist and put it over the tank top she wore.

She opened the door and nearly passed out at the size of the line waiting to use the bathroom.

"Geez Sar, s'about time." Lee slurred. She'd obviously had a few too many drinks while Sarah had been in the bathroom getting herself together.

A few obscene words were shot at her by other women in line. They all looked drunk or stoned. Sarah ignored them and started walking toward the back door. Lee rushed after her, stumbling the entire way.

"Sar, where are you goin'? The good band isn't even out yet."

Sarah spun to face her. "I'm going home."

"Home?" Lee whined. "No!"

"Look, you can stay if you want. I'm catching a cab and going home. I have to work tomorrow."

"You're hiding again...and running away." Lee shook her head. I can't believe it Sar, he's just a stupid guy! Get the fuck over it!"

"You don't understand, Lee. Ok.?" She turned and started to leave. Lee was drunk...impossible to talk to like this.

"I do understand, Sarah. You know that I do. I wuz trying to help, inviting you out with me and the girls tonight. If you want to stay a silly bookworm, sealed up in your room, then fine! See if I care! You can't figure out why guys don't like you. Damn...you're a bigger idiot then I thought"

The tears welled in Sarah's eyes, but she didn't cry. It was the alcohol, right? Lee was drunk, she didn't know what she was saying. Sarah pushed past her, bee-lining it for the door. She didn't care that people were staring at her. She didn't care that she was crying now.

She pushed through the glass doors that were covered with black paint to keep people from seeing inside. Once outside in the cool night air, she pushed through people who were standing outside the doors, listening to whatever they could hear through the doors. She started running, not caring where she was going, just wanting to get away from the building, from the place that had opened her heart to being stabbed and injured again. She saw a cab sitting at a red light and waved it over. It squealed to the curb and she got in, telling the driver where to take her.

The neon lights of the club faded as they drove away, the pounding in her head gradually faded, but the searing pain in her heart only became worse.

She paid the driver and climbed out, she'd walk the rest of the way home. Her steps were slow, tedious, the house seemed so far away, when in reality it was only a few blocks. It was well after midnight now and the house was dark. She crept inside quietly, locking the front door behind her. She rushed up the stairs and went to her room, not bothering to brush her teeth, wash her face or even change into her nightgown. She threw herself onto the bed, burying her face in her pillow, letting the tears flow freely. The pain in her heart was great, the loneliness she felt was overwhelming. She cried herself to sleep that night....

Things have never gone right, from the beginning

Can't explain why, I thought they would now.

I guess I was hoping, for some kind of miracle,

To help me make, this decision.

Oh how it's pounding, in my mind.

I sit in my darkness, shielding all the light away

I build a wall, that no one can break

And then I wonder why, I'm all alone....

Alone...

I've been a prisoner for so long, even though I can escape

I'm sewn within, my own hold.

I've been waiting for someone, to put me together again.

But I keep pushing, everyone away...

Alone....

One

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 1 of 40

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