Actually, I too remember her very well. She appeared in my life for... like... half an hour or so and we talked about a lot of stuff. She was three or four years older than me, a short, cute girl, who didn't wear any make-up or fancy clothes. She was just a normal girl, who was wearing normal clothes and a ponytail. Yeah, I remember that day...
It happened nearly four years ago. I was sitting on a bench in a park and was going through a lot of trouble and stuff, which I'd rather not talk about. A lot of things were going through my head, some of which were kinda creepy. While I was having my sinister meditation, she took a sit next to me. At first, I didn't notice her, but I only needed to hear a sound from her to wake up. I looked at her and couldn't even say a word. I couldn't believe that somebody was sitting next to me. After a minute or so, she said her first words:
'What are you doing here all alone?'
I didn't know what to answer. I already thought that I was a weirdo. Should I had told her that I was contemplating death and other sadistic stuff, maybe that cute girl would have left and called me a nutcase. But she didn't wait for me to answer her question.
'Oh, sorry I didn't introduce myself,' she said. 'My name is Sally.'
'My name is Owen. Nice to meet you.'
'So what's a cute young boy like you doing all alone on a bench in a park?'
'Well... I am...'
I bit my lip and looked down, not knowing what lie to use to get out of this situation. Still, she was the one who found an answer, as if I was an open book and she was reading me.
'You're a little depressed, aren't you?' she said.
'I guess so.'
'Don't worry. Feel free to express yourself. You don't seem to have talked too much about it with your friends.'
'Well... I don't usually talk to anybody lately. I feel better by myself, thinking about stuff. Maybe I'll find a solution to my problems.' I said without looking at her.
Sally sat quiet for a couple of seconds. That was when it went through my mind that I might have offended her. I looked at her and tried to find an excuse for my stupid words, but she was the first to talk again.
'I know that feeling, Owen,' she said while looking at a tree ten meters away from our bench. 'You know, I went through some crappy stuff myself. I think I was even younger than you when it happened. That was when I found out that I was totally different from all the people I knew, from all my friends I used to spend my time with. I stopped talking to them and used to go on long, lonely walks in the city, passing by hundreds of people and judging each and every one of them. Don't get me wrong, I didn't think I was perfect or anything. It was just that...'
Sally took her hands to her mouth as if she has been close to saying too much. I was feeling kinda weird sitting next to her in this condition. I didn't know how to react, but this was one of those times when my heart takes control of my body. I closed my eyes and put my arms around her and hugged her so tight, that my heart started beating faster. While keeping her in my arms, I felt that she started crying. I hugged her even tighter and kissed her on the top of her head. We sat like that for a couple of minutes. When I let her go, she said:
'Thanks. I really needed that. You know, this is the first time I have ever felt someone really cared for me.'
'You're welcome.' I said while looking at her and smiling. 'It's sad if you think that nobody ever cared for you until now. You just told me that you had some friends.'
'Friends?! Hah... They never cared for me the way you did. They always wanted something from me. Money, drinks, sex...'
'No, I'm not a whore.' she said while shaking her head. 'I'm just a girl who left home and started college, but had no money. I had to do something for a living, so I started doing what I did best: dancing. I looked up for clubs that were hiring young dancers and I was lucky to find a job very fast. The pay wasn't bad at all. It was enough for me. But you know what happens when a cute girl, dressed in a provocative style, is a dancer in a club. Most guys treat her like a slut and think she's easy. That's what drunk guys thought about me each night and even tried to pay me to sleep with them. At first I was tempted to do so. Actually, I went with a guy. He was good looking, tall, athletic. But it was when I entered his house that I realized that I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. I left without giving any explanation, but he followed me, took me back in his house and raped me as if I were an inflatable doll. But this wasn't the most shocking moment of my life. I left my job as a dancer, citing personal problems, and tried to get over what happened. I tried telling my friends at the college, but it always seemed as if they weren't listening. That was when I found out that they thought that I was a bitch. How could I have been so blind? I thought that I was a strong person, but how could I not be depressed when I saw that the ones I had trusted didn't want to be by my side? I actually thought about killing myself, but I gave up on these thoughts and started taking those long, lonely walks in the city, swearing that I would kill any son of a bitch who would try to rape me. You wanna know what made me give up on those suicidal thoughts?'
'I don't know what could make you give up on them, but I'm surely glad it did.'
Sally smiled like a kid and continued her story:
'Two years ago I was having those suicidal thoughts. I was about to give up on life, but I was really scared of dying. You don't know what happens after you die and that was when I thought I had to go find some counseling. My first option was to go to a mental institution, but I knew some people who went there and were treated like crap. If I would have been treated like that, I would have surely killed myself. No psychiatrist nor psychologist could have helped me more. As I was passing this monastery built inside the city, I said I should go to church for the first time in years. And that was the best decision of my life. I met this monk, Anthony, who gave me a beautiful and useful piece of advise and helped me give up on suicide. The simple things in life make it worth living, he said. And try to see the beauty in each piece of God's work. Maybe at first I was skeptical, but the next morning I woke up a little different. I didn't think about taking my life anymore. The only things I couldn't give up on were those walks and my wish to get revenge on the first son of a bitch who would try to rape me. But I also did not give up on visiting Anthony at the monastery. He gave me even more pieces of advise and, in the end, I turned into the girl I am today. I don't have much, but I'm happy. I'm working as a waitress at the pizza restaurant on Boulevard No. 3. You have got to know it.'
'I ate there a couple of times, but I don't usually eat pizza.'
'Well, maybe you will. I'd love to meet you again, 'cause now I have to go.' she said while looking at the Sun.
'Can you give me your phone number?'
'Uh... I don't have one. But can you give me yours? I promise I'll call you very soon.'
I don't give my phone number to strangers, but I didn't think she was a stranger to me anymore. I really liked Sally and I wanted to meet her again, so I wrote my phone number with my pen on her hand, because we didn't have a piece of paper. We got up and hugged and then she left. I was feeling strange. Those sinister thoughts I had had earlier disappeared. And I didn't even have to tell her about my problems, which were nothing, compared to the stuff she went through.
She promised to call me very soon. I couldn't wait for it. Two or three days later, I went to the pizza restaurant where she told me she was working as a waitress, but I found out that they didn't have any employees called Sally. I felt kinda disappointed, but at least my depression didn't come back. I was a new person and I felt it was thanks to her.
Four years have passed and I haven't heard anything from her. Since yesterday. I was just sitting at the TV, watching some random shows, when I heard my phone ringing. It was a private number. I never answer such calls, but then I received an SMS, which said 'Remember when you wrote your phone number on my hand? I couldn't ever forget that day. Sally.' This message gave me chills down my spine. I had just given up the chance to talk to her again. I hoped that she would call me back, but it didn't happen. Last night I dreamed about her. We were standing at the same table at a restaurant and we were having dinner together. She told me she had something important to tell me, but that was when I woke up. What could this possibly mean? Who really is she? I may never find out the answers to these questions. I just know what she is to me: an old friend. An old and unforgettable friend.