…Kahlan McArdle

I gazed at the stars, feeling heartbroken and tired. Tears streamed down my eyes as I reminisced about the things that had happened today. I was drunk, broken and I just wanted to die.

If I took just a few steps, everything will be over… just a few steps and I will be okay. I couldn possibly live with this embarrassment, shame and being held bound by the chains of immense suffering and poverty.

”Life isn fair. Its just not fair, ” I yelled, speaking to no one in particular as I stood on the edge of a bridge in an area where everyone was fast asleep by now. Back in the ghetto, everyone was wide awake and hustling, but I didn want anyone to see me in pain right now, and thats why I had used all the strength that I had left to come to the middle of nowhere, gulping down the alcohol that I had carried along in my bag and contemplating suicide.

Not only had I been embarrassed by loan sharks, I had also been fired by my boss and I had just one week to pay all the money I was owing and get back the offices computer before I could even make any claim on my salary. How was that even possible? Wasn it better for me to just end my life and forget all the problems I had on earth?

I scoffed, looking up to the sky. ”Is there truly a god somewhere? I don even know. If we were all created by someone, why then is that person so partial? Why did I have to lose my parents at a young age? Why did I have to be left all alone in a brutal world? Why is my life upside down? How come some people have it easy in their lives, and I have to work all day like a goddamn horse without any results showing? Why were some people born wealthy, while others like me are so poor? ” I asked, yelling into the clouds.

My phone began to ring, and I rummaged through my bag, then upon seeing it was my younger brother, Waylan, who was calling, I immediately answered the call. He was probably worried since I wasn home yet, and I needed to inform him that I was okay.

”Hello, ” I said.

”Kay, where are you? ” he asked, urgency ringing in his tone.

”I am… ”

”Anyways, thats not important, ” he said, cutting me off. ”A friend of my friend informed me of a particular textbook that I need to buy in order to get into the university, and it costs just three hundred dollars, ” he said.

”What?! ” I asked, shocked.

”You heard me. Once I get into school and become a lawyer, Ill refund you in full. Just give me the money. I know you have it. Its the end of the month, so, they must have paid you, ” Waylan said.

I scoffed. ”Are you freaking kidding me right now? You didn even care to know why I am not home yet, but you have the guts to ask me for money? ” I yelled, tears streaming down my cheeks even more.

”Come on, Kay. You
e my elder sister. If I don ask you, who should I ask? I am studying all day and night to ensure I get into Harvard Law School no matter what, thats the only way Ill be able to give us a better life. You graduated from a community college and our parents didn even complete high school, and thats why our lives turned out this way. I am the only one capable of changing the pathetic life of this family, ” he said.

”When… when will that happen? You said the same thing two years ago, last year and you
e saying it again this year. Enough is enough! Just give up already. You can get into Harvard, ” I told him, through gritted teeth.

”How could you say such a thing? ” he asked, and I could sense the hurt in his voice.

”Im only telling you the truth. Even if you get in, I can afford to pay your tuition fees. Haven I tried? I took care of you ever since I was just sixteen years old. Let me be, Waylan. I have so much on my plate already, ” I told him, then hung up.

I moved closer to the edge of the bridge, staring down at the water and I smiled. It was a tired, bitter smile. I couldn take it anymore. Trust me, I really wanted to be strong, but I just couldn . I wanted to be there for my younger brother, but I was too tired to do that.

My phone began to ring again. Angrily, I threw it far away from me.

”Leave me alone! Just freaking let me be! ” I screamed, grabbing unto the bridges railings as I tried to calm myself down.

Suddenly, I began to hear footsteps approaching me. At first, I thought I was probably hearing things, but it drew closer and closer to me. I held tighter unto the railings, thinking of what to do as my eyes twitched back and forth.

What if it was a bad person? A rapist? A stalker? Hell, a murderer? A few seconds ago, I badly wanted to die, but not anymore. What was I to do? What?

”It gets better, you know, ” I heard a deep voice say, just as the smell of a cologne a with lovely fragrance hit my nose.

”It – – it does? ” I asked, with a stutter, not having the courage to look up.

I felt his hand on my shoulder as he patted me gently. ”Yes, it sure does, ” he replied.

I didn know why, but I felt a little bit relieved, and when I cried this time around, it wasn because I wanted to die. I was just feeling so much pain, and didn know what else I was supposed to do.

Surprisingly, he drew me into his arms and began to pat my back softly. I cried harder and harder, but I felt safe, and it was satisfying in that moment to know that someone cared.

When I had calmed down, I slipped out of his embrace and wiped my tears with the back of my hand. I felt a whole lot better, but I was highly mortified by the fact that I had cried in the arms of a total stranger. It made me feel so ashamed.

”Thank you, ” I said, in a hoarse whisper.

”Shouldn you look at the face of the person you
e grateful to? ” he asked.

”Im sorry, but its too embarrassing for me that I cried in the arms of a stranger. I can look at your face, but thank you very much. Im grateful. That hug really helped. I needed it so badly. It felt like you were telling me that its okay, Ive got this. I thought I needed to get wasted, but it turns out that all I needed was a hug. Thanks again. I… I have to go, ” I told him, sounding as politely as I could in that manner.

”I understand. Will you be okay on your own though? I could take you home, you know, ” he said.

I scoffed, as I finally raised my head to look at him. ”Is that how you perverts and women harassers act nowadays? You pretended to be nice, and now you want to take me home. Why? To have your way with me? ” I retorted.

”Is that what you think? ” he asked, furrowing his brows, but I couldn really make out how he really looked like because of the darkness and dim streetlamps.

”Why else would a man help a woman? Don you want something from me? ” I asked.

It became spookily quiet between us, but after some seconds, he did something that shocked me.

Tilting his head, he pressed his lips against mine, making my heart come to a complete stop as I stood there, filled with shock and unable to grasp the situation.

A few seconds had gone by before I got a hold of myself again and pushed him away.

”What are you doing? ” I asked, eyeing him all over.

”Hey, do you want to marry me? ” he asked.

I looked at him as though he were out of his mind. ”What? ”

”Marry me for 100 days, and I will bring an end to your suffering, ” he said, a smirk playing around his lips.

There and then, I knew that things were going to change. What I didn know was that they were going to change in a manner I hadn seen coming.

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