If I Could Have Said Yes.

Ozan Culha

"Stop!" I exploded. I didn't want to, but I had to because I have definitely kept quiet for too long. So many years of longing, waiting and wishing and I couldn't get what I wanted but instead had to slowly die from inside until I couldn't take it anymore.

The atmosphere in the room was so tense as my parents stared at me with disbelief. I wouldn't blame them because everyone expected me to always be calm and put together. The vibe in the room was so awkward and I knew I had to say something to cut through this awkward silence. I tried saying something but nothing could come out of my mouth it was as if I became dumb all of a sudden. They needed an explanation and I had to give them one for my outburst.

I tried talking again only for me to hear the sound of sobs coming out of my mouth. I was crying and I hated the fact that I was crying in front of them. Everyone was so confused but for me, I knew what was happening. I knew it was regret that was going through every fiber of my body and immediately I thought about the past of what happened.

I met Gold at a spelling bee competition. I immediately liked the aura he had around him. He was outspoken, confident and had a killer smile. He won the spelling bee competition and so, I decided to approach him to congratulate him.

"Congrats Gold, you earned it." A smile was set my way and I was so smitten. He thanked me and asked for my name.

"Jemima Ford, at your service. Pleasure meeting you." And he immediately let out a bark of laughter. I was so giddy that he found me amusing.

" I see you're from Comprehensive Heights high school. I'll be resuming next semester and I hope to make you my first friend." Gold told me all this and I couldn't imagine my luck being any better than this.

True to his words, Gold transferred schools and we became very close. We would talk about everything and laugh about nothing in particular. We were inseparable and I started to catch feelings for him. I could show the real me with him without any care of the world. Gold, even though he wasn't perfect and had his flaws, he was someone I could say was real but everything changed when I got a letter from him when he asked me out.

"A black rose is what I would call you. Beautiful but at the same time having thorns which could hurt anyone who's not careful. I want to be careful enough with you to see your beauty and I hope you allow me too. I would want you to be my girlfriend. Expecting your answer at our usual spot".

Our usual spot was an abandoned staircase at the old library of the school. We would go there most times because of the solitude it brought and we've had a lot of special moments there as well. Walking up the staircase, it made creaking noises and I made sure to take my time climbing it as I never wanted to face what was to come. As I approached the spot, I saw Gold with one of his killer smiles waiting for a reply. I could see the little nervousness in his eyes and it really crushed me because I was about to make his fear happen.

Yes….I was going to reject his proposal. Coming from a family of mine, being in a relationship at such an early age was forbidden and I feared my parents so much to want to engage in such.

"I'm sorry Gold, I can't do this".

It was as if his heart crumbled before my eyes. Immediately, his eyes began to water and his face fell. I had never seen Gold in such a state before and it broke my heart to see that I was the cause of it all. We tried remaining friends but it didn't work out. Gold later moved away and I so much regretted my actions.

For years,I would wake up at night to cry at the misery I call a life and wish I hadn't become so agitated to please my family. I am now a thirty seven year old woman with no intention of marriage despite the fact that I want to be in one. All this caused my sudden outburst to my parents who again tried to dictate my life.

I am tired, I am exhausted. I wish I could go back and undo some certain things. Maybe, just maybe I and Gold would have gotten together and maybe life would have been better for me.

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