The Heart of Caroline

August 11th, 2019 by Patrick Starks

Caroline… She was only sixteen when we became ocial partners in crime, we were just teenagers then, high schoolers, with no clue to what the world had to oer us, or what we had to oer it. She, of course, was drooled over by all the boys, the jocks, in which I hated the most, and they’d always come around us during lunchtime singing that annoying song by Outkast called “Roses”, and it was obvious they only sang it because her name was in it. But I couldn’t blame them, Caroline was definitely what I would call alluring, wielding eyes brown like honey in green tea, along with a smile so bright, like when the sun touches the sea.

I, on the other hand, I was just the opposite, the loner, the rebel if you will, no one really gave a crap about me, not any girl, but for whatever reason Caroline did. It was hard for anyone to understand the relationship she and I had. I mean, who could. Caroline and I lived two separate lives. She was a cheer captain and I was just, I, I guess, if that makes any sense at all. But what people didn’t see after school was where the true facts lied about the connection of Caroline and me, more so of who she truly was. No one would ever believe me, but Caroline was quite the master Yu-Gi-Oh player, wielding a card deck that not even Yugi himself could handle, and like always, she would rub in my face her favorite Ghostbusters song, leaving me defeated saying, I’m too hot to handle, too cold to hold, they called the Ghostbusters and they’re in control.

Yup. And you guessed it right. We were nerds alright. But screw you, Yu-Gi-Oh was dope, and any would be a fool not to play such a memorable game, and Ghostbusters, obviously, was just the icing on the cake. But we’ll save that for another discussion.

As good as I thought I was, that my card deck was, that my blue eyes white dragon was, that of which was level three thousand might I add, Caroline would always find a way to beat me. My Sorceress, I’d tell her, and she’d once again give me the smile that would bring light into my life over and over, as it always had.

Three years went by and we were now seniors. It was a happy time for our peers, however not such a happy of time for us. Caroline was accepted to Harvard, where she would pursue in her dream as a geologist, and I was to go on to a technical school where I would pursue in the arts. Since she and I were going on separate paths, I figured that this would be as good of a chance than any to finally have the balls to ask. And without a doubt, I asked her poorly. She wasn’t at all that impressed, I thought. But then Caroline would give me the most beautiful smile I had ever seen, dimples from cheek to cheek, highlighted with a dash of cherry. And if it were an anime, I’d say her eyes had stars in them as well.

“What took you so long?” she asked.

I hesitated, I froze even, I couldn’t think of any excuse but for the fact that I was scared, and thought a girl like her would never want to be seen with a guy like me, at least not in a romantic setting. Although, by the end of it all, I would be picking up Caroline an hour before the Senior party that would be thrown that night. I was a lucky, and what a miracle it was to literally be on thirty-fourth street.

Bur before heading to the party I figured she and I could get something to eat, some alone time. With Caroline’s popularity rapidly growing and my declining, it was almost impossible for us to ever spend time together, for the jocks and the prima donnas always found their way into an A and B conversation.

I took Caroline not to a McDonalds if that’s what you’re thinking, but a fine restaurant, one a princess like her deserved. One could say I had my connections.

There the two us sat. All were dressed to impress, people chuckled, plates cling and clanged, and violins played in the background as they harmonized to movements of the candle lights in the room. It was magical—something that could’ve easily been depicted from a scene in Beauty and the Beast, however, this is not that kind of story, not in the slightest. Caroline had always talked about one day eating at such a place, yet there we were, losing our virginity to extravagance, together. Seeing her across the table from me was something I thought I could have only dreamed of. Our first date, like our favorite song from Blink 182.

Being the cheerleader that she was, Caroline wanted to dance. Her head laid against my chest as my chin rested on top of it. And for the moment, everything felt calm, life was no longer a worry, at least not when I was with her. She then pulled her head from my chest in fear I thought and looked me in my eyes once again. Her eyes sparkled just as bright as the chandeliers that hung above us, her lips were red as strawberries, and it was that I was sure they would taste like. Any other guy would have thought this was my chance to go in for the kill, but no, sadly the opportunity had slipped faster than a bar of soap from a penitentiary.

Caroline was ready to leave and insisted that we took a walk for she loved walks more than her cheerleading. Although I knew it was more so about her guilt of the food she had just eaten; cheerleaders had a particular diet to stick to I guess. We’d walk for miles that night, talking about the future, our goals and who’d we become. And before we had realized it, we were at least three hours late to the graduation party, but we didn’t care, we enjoyed each other’s company, and going to the party we both knew would only destroy the romantic vibe that we were on. But it was getting late. So, I figured I’d take Caroline back home before her father roundhouse kicked me in the short shorts. He was a strange man, but her mother loved him more than anything in the world. It became apparent to me that the nerds, the weirdoes, the rebels, whatever any calls us, that at the end we have our day, at the end, we get the girl and plenty more.

As we walked back to my car everything seemed to be like the perfect dream, one of which no one would ever want to wake up from. But then things went bad fast. I didn’t hear it or see it, but Caroline did. Bright lights came dashing from the road swerving right into us, but as it approached us, my body went sideways, as if someone pushed me. Everything was in slow motion and all I saw were flashes—a twinkle here, a twinkle there, yet none of the stars I examined were Caroline. I looked everywhere but she was nowhere to be found. And the car that had once swerved into our direction had gotten the hell out of dodge, just peeling off with no care to see if anyone was okay or not. And the sad part to it all was that it wielded a sticker that said baby on board. Some mother she was. I thought, mother fucker… to be exact.

My hands then started shaking and the anxiety started to kick in. I yelled for Caroline, but still heard nothing. I turned a few clicks to the left and there she was. It scared me and I didn’t want to believe it. I loved her, I always had and there was no chance in hell I was letting anyone, or god takes her from me, not on that night, not then. I approached her and she was just like Snow White herself—a sleeping beauty. I thought I hoped if I gave her a kiss, she’d be with me again, but I knew it was unlikely. Why her? I thought, why now. And then she opened her eyes. Her honey eyes… all of which I feared I’d never see again. With a voice subdued only by the pain in her heart, on that night Caroline would tell me that she loved me for the first time. Her soft hand rested on my face. And as much as she was in pain, she told me that night was the best she’d ever had. I cried harder than any newborn child but Caroline continued to wipe them away.

Caroline then told me that she wishes she could keep me, that the world didn’t deserve me, didn’t deserve such a kind-hearted soul and one that sucked at Yugioh. I laughed and cried even harder, and she would wipe harder still remaining to be gentle with me as always. I wasn’t ready to let her go. And seeing her fade brought me to a Titanic moment. Although, wasn’t it me who was supposed to die? If I could trade places with her, I would do so with no hesitation, but I know deep down that’s not what she would have wanted. But maybe in the afterlife love, we will have our debate on this.

But let me get to the point and why I’m here speaking about this angel we had on earth known as Caroline. I’d like to thank you all for being here for Caroline. She was the greatest person in the world, she was my world and I’ll never forget what she taught me. Caroline would want us all to just be ourselves, as she had never gotten the chance to do so for she was more than just a cheerleader or prom queen, she was inspiring. I know she watches over us today and is with us right now, so if you all would stand up and make this vow, to never judge but to love. Most importantly, let us remember who Caroline really was, and not who she wasn’t, let us remember the heart of Caroline.

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