Remember a time when you always said "I'm fine. Now leave me alone!" even if you weren't so other people wouldn't suffer along with you? Now, you come home to a concerned family and they want to help you. Because you're a shy and seclusive person, you yell at them, slam the door to your room and cry because you have nothing else to do. I was once like that. But my circumstances were way different from yours: I almost lost my life to some jackass drunk who was stupid enough to drive and just so happened to crash into my car, killing my mother and father, but somehow sparing me. I lost the only people who I could, WOULD, ever listen to. I used to be a popular person, one of "them." Now, I'm a loner, a social outcast, someone who I would have shunned away from a year ago. I sat in the library and wrote to myself, begging God to just end me, since I had nothing worth fighting for. I used to smile, but now I just skulk through the hallways, having to only wait one more semester for my miserable senior year of high school to end. I was like a modern Edgar Allen Poe, only female. Then I found something that changed my life forever: A transfer student named Blake. He noticed me even though I tried to hide my best. Then the worst thing (at the time) happened: he and I got stuck together on an English literature project. I knew I could do it by myself, but of course I got lumped with him. Our assignment: a twenty chapter novel due two weeks before graduation. Easy peesy, lemon squeezy. I walked over to him and told him I could do it and that he didn't have to worry about it, then walked away. He surprised me by coming over to my house after school, saying that I didn't have to do the assignment by myself. I sighed, realizing he didn't know what I was capable of. I walked over to my laptop and grabbed the notebook that was sitting next to it. I tossed it to him, saying he could proof-read it for me. Instead of leaving, like I thought and hoped he would, he opened my notebook and started reading. I said nothing and just started on my U.S. History AP homework. I glanced up after about an hour of silence and saw him with a red pen in his hand, approximately three-quarters through my writing. By the time I finished my homework, he had finished reading. He looked at me with a combination of what seemed like shock and pride. He asked me where I learned to write like that. I surprised myself by breaking out laughing. I hadn't laughed in so long it hurt. He just waited patiently for my answer while I just sat there laughing. When I finished, I explained to him that the reason I was such a good writer was that my father was a book editor and my mom an author. He looked at me funny, as if I didn't explain fully, then I remembered that he didn't know my situation. So I did something I wouldn't have told my therapist or my family: I told him about the car crash, going through my parent's death, and the fight for my own custody, since at the time I had just turned eighteen. I was surprised that at the end of my sob story, I was crying. Blake noticed and came over to sit by me and hugged me. I let him, deciding just not to fight it. We sat there for what seemed what like an eternity when we both heard the clock ring ten o'clock. I sighed and wriggled out of his hug, this time him not trying to fight it. I asked him to leave and he went without hesitation, shocking my when he kissed my forehead. But it wasn't only the gesture that shocked me, but the electric shock I felt shoot through my body. I decided to ignore it. The next day as I sat in the library, he came up to sit beside me. He asked how I was, and I told him I was fine. He looked at me questionably, but let it slide. He asked me about my past, and I told him. Then after a few fond childhood memories I shared with him, I asked him about himself. And that was our routine for the next three months: we sat together; we laughed at our separate childhood memories, and bonded. Then with a few days before spring break, he asked if I wanted to get together with him over break. I smiled enigmatically, saying we'll see. Of course, Blake wouldn't take "no" for an answer, so I just said what the hell. And that Saturday after Easter, we went to a nearby coffee shop and we did our normal routine. When we walked back to my house, I was shocked that I didn't want this night to end. We stopped at the door and we just stared at each other, not wanting anything to change. That's when my life officially restarted: he leaned down and kissed me. At first, I didn't know how to respond, then realizing that I should just let my instincts take over. I brought a hand though his hair, the other wrapping around his neck to pull him closer. As if we weren't close enough, he brought an arm around my waist and his other hand through my hair to bring me even closer. We stayed like that for what seemed like a long time and eventually we pulled away for air. My heart was slam-dancing in my chest, and I noticed his breathing was ragged. I looked at him; I saw a new light in his eyes, a mirror of what I now felt. We stopped and stared at each other. Finally, we said good night. I fell asleep that night with not only the kiss in playing with my senses, but Blake himself. I was sad that I didn't hear from him until we got to school. I sat there, ecstatic about talking to him again. But he just sat by me and said nothing, not looking me in the eye. I could feel my "depression" creep through me. He didn't sit with me anymore. He didn't talk to me. The only time I ever saw him was during English class. That cycle of pain continued for two months. Graduation day had arrived. I was already nervous, since I had turned out to be valedictorian, meaning I had to do a damned speech. So when I got up there, I saw the faces of my classmates for so long, and started to read. But halfway through, I saw Blake's face through the masses, smiling at me the way he smiled at me when he finished reading my novel. I stopped short, and started pouring my heart out instead of reading of a stupid piece of paper. I looked at the graduates and saw something I knew only I could see: all they could accomplish, all they could do. And I told them. I said my thoughts, my responses to my parent's death and the epiphany I just had: no more sorrow, no more pain. Just freedom, a freedom that my parents always taught me to always have. I finished with the usually used "Congrats Class of blah blah blah...." I stood there breathless while I got a standing ovation for my speech. I could barely move or think. After the applauding died down, I sat in my seat waiting to be called for my diploma. When we were allowed to leave, I received a lot of congrats from my fellow graduates, saying they missed having me around. I got and made a lot of promises to stay in touch with them. Then I saw Blake with his parents, smiling. I felt my heart start to tear in half. I knew I had to get out immediately. So I ran to my car and drove to home. When I knew I was safe in my own home, I broke down crying, realizing I would never find someone as amazing as Blake. That's when the knock came. I tied myself together and opened the door. It was Blake. I just stared at him with blood-shot eyes. He looked at me, concern martyring his face. Then I broke. I ran back inside and he followed, closing the door behind him. That's when the yelling began: my yelling. I yelled at him for deserting me, for letting me let him in, for kissing me if he didn't feel the same way... That's when he gave me a look that stopped my anger right in its tracks. He asked me softly if I thought he didn't like me. I told him that if he really liked me, he wouldn't have stayed away. He walked over to me and wrapped his arms around my waist and looked me directly in the eye and said he didn't like me. I could feel my heart being ripped out of my chest before he what he said next came out of his lips. He again said he didn't like me, that he loved me. I could feel both my body and brain go into shock at the deceleration: he LOVED me. I looked at him, and kissed him fervently, needing him to hold me close. He responded with a smile. After that, we were inseparable. We did all we could together, even went to the same college. We married a year after graduating from college, me with degrees in literature and creative writing, him in psychology. We had a beautiful baby girl 5 years later, and we named her Joan, as in St. Joan of Arc. That baby grew up to be a very unique individualist with both her parent's ideals and her own. She's now a senior in high school, listening to the unique story of how I met her father. He sat there with me in his lap, arms around my waist. Our love never faded, becoming an immortal flame that no force in the universe could blow out. I finally told her the moral of my story: Just cuz you say you're fine, just cuz you say you have everything you want doesn't mean either statement is true. It's not what you want out if life doesn't mean it's what you need. I needed Blake in a time when I saw the world as dark. And he needed me. And we've held each other up since.