A New Year, A New Leaf | Teen Ink

A New Year, A New Leaf

January 1, 2011
By KylieNicole GOLD, bakersfield, California
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KylieNicole GOLD, Bakersfield, California
13 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
\"Wake up and smell the rain before it sweeps you away, away from all of your dreams building up, away from your beautiful life. Hurry up and enjoy the great drops of shimmer you spread on the world.\" -Me

"But why?" Claire heard herself asking as she pulled her head off of his chest. She stood in front of her soon to be ex fiancé. ~~~~~~~~~~ Her fiancé Blake had been her boyfriend since sophomore year of college. This last year he had finally brought up the courage to pop the question to Claire. Every Friday night they would go ice skating at the local rink with John and Beth, Claire’s two best friends also since high school era. While skating, Blake stopped Claire and took her hands as he knelt down on one knee in front of her. He pulled out such a marvelous simple box filled with a mesmerizing ring. It was too sweet. Claire said yes but couldn't stop the mixed thoughts taking place in her mind. For quite a while the couple couldn't go through a week with out fighting or arguing about something stupid. The arguments would always end with Blake getting kicked out of the house and having to sleep in his car parked in their garage. She wondered how different their marriage could possibly be compared to their relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. Blake's hands were icy cold as he slipped the ring on Claire's ring finger. He looked so happy and content, Claire didn't know when he would get up and stop staring brightly at her. So she pulled him closer so he would get up then kissed him so passionately that they must have been standing there for at least 5 minutes. She let go all her doubt clouding her brain. Oh how she loved to kiss Blake. His kisses would fill her with joy and warmth and seem to always make things feel alright. 'Could the moment get any better?' Claire thought to herself. Eventually the crowd stopped cheering and went back to skating while Paramore's "Only Exception" played. The couple did a few more laps then proceeded off the ice to meet up with their friends who had very publicly been making out. The girls admired the new ring while Blake and Jason were sent to grab the car and something warm to drink. "Girl, this is gorgeous! You are so lucky!" Beth Exclaims. "It is sort of pretty.." "You're kidding me, right Claire?" "Yah, i guess so." Claire said as she looked at her ring with her hand out stretched in front of her with hesitation. "It is more than pretty." she replies to her excited friend. "Don't worry so much. Once you have him tied to you, he will get better" "I do hope so but look how he is now and we are already living together.." Claire ended the conversation there as her new fiancé walked up. "Ready?" he asks the 2 women. ~~~~~~~~~ "But why?" Claire asks Blake. She is trying to hold back tears as she looks at him. She knows this will be the last of her and Blake's relationship. The wedding was to be in 2 months and all the invites have already been sent out. "I really think this is a bad idea now. Yes, I know I proposed to you because I love you, but the girl i fell in love with is barely here anymore. I can see you do not think I am good enough or something because you are rarely happy anymore. What happened to the girl who would attack me with a big hug and loving kiss every time I would walk through that door?" Blake says as he points towards the front door. "I remember the girl who when I first saw her she was lost in the college quad looking for her science class her sophomore year. You were so innocent and devoted then. Claire, you were the one who saw life as beauty through her camera taking higher than top grade pictures for photography class. I fell in love with the old you who saw the world with optimistic eyes, Claire." Blake sat down as he says this and looks down to his feet. Claire had no clue what to say. What happened to the boy who wasn't busy all the time or too tired to stay up and listen to her grandiose opinions and ideas. She wasn't the only one who had changed. She is still the same girl just Blake doesn't give her a chance to show it to him these days. They had stopped going to the ice rink or movies a few months shorter. They would barely do anything fun together anymore. It was quite pathetic. Was this her? Or was it the girl she had to be to not grieve anymore? She couldn't even tell him of this secret.. Claire wanted to call him an a-hole and tell him all of what she had stuck in her mind, but decided against it. She was warn out emotionally and just wanted to let it go and forget about trying. Obviously he had already given up on her and everything that involved her. She didn't even say anything to Blake. Claire only just sat there staring at his face for a few seconds, gets up, picks up her purse and keys and walks out the door. She would sit in her Mercedes facing the garage door, waiting to see if he was going to stop her if she would start to leave. After 10 minutes, she had her answer. Blake did not do the impossible and show that he cared. So she drives off with a heavy heart. She isn't even sure where she was going to go at 3 am in the morning. She thought maybe the office, maybe Beth's. Claire even thought about driving to her mother's house in Texas, but soon thought otherwise. This would be one other failure her mother could ridicule her about. Her mother knew that Claire would screw up this relationship just like all the other ones she had in previously. Her mother had always given her two cents no matter how harsh it came across. She was very clear on her position of Blake and this engagement: disagreed and disappointed 100 percent. So no, Claire would just stay in a hotel until morning. She didn't want to rely on anyone else but herself. As Claire checked into her room she thought "I should call Beth". But as soon as she got ready for bed with the pajamas and tooth brush she bought at the hotel gift store, she had forgotten all about calling and fell asleep in her comfy queen bed.

It was a cloudy day at school. Claire was walking to her locker with her best friend, Beth. When they got to her locker, inside it was a single pink rose. It smelled divine and made her whole locker fill with sweet perfume. With it was a small white card, embellished with a silver border. It said “To my beautiful muse”. It wasn’t signed though.
“Who could it be from?” says Claire.
Beth says, “I have no idea, could be anyone!”
“Oh well, true.”
So Claire places the rose back in her locker gently to keep it safe for the day, grabs her books, and heads to art class.


“Hey dude,” says John, “how was your weekend?”
“Great! I couldn’t stop thinking about Claire.” Replies Billy.
“Dude, you’re sprung!”
“I am not.” says Billy laughing and blowing it off.
“Okay, so you’re not. Then that rose got into Claire’s locker mysteriously this morning?”
Billy innocently replies, “What rose?”
“You know what rose, man.” Says John.
“Okay, okay. Well don’t tell her it was me, alright?”
“Okay, it’s safe with me.” John says with a grin.
“How’d you find out anyways?”
“Oh, Beth.” John says with another smile but not quite as big.
“Of course.” Billy says while rolling his eyes.

Beth is dating John so John finds everything gossip out from her. She loves to talk, especially to John. So John is never behind on the 411 of the school’s social happenings.

The bell rings so the boys have to rush to their next classes. Billy has to try to get to art class without getting caught by the hall monitor. He barely makes it to class before the door slams shut. He takes his seat which is right next to Claire. Billy loves art class because it has his two favorite things: art and Claire. He would paint the world for her. He just wishes he could let her know it. Every day he doesn’t get to see her smile, is a day his life has no sunshine.

Today’s art assignment is to paint something you are thinking about. Both Claire and Billy were thinking about each other. But how would that look if they started drawing the other person? It would be entirely awkward. So Billy decides to paint a sun. Not just an ordinary circle with a few yellow lines though. He paints a beautiful, gold sun with the most amazing smile drawn in the center of it. The rays were so long and wispy, just like angels’ hair but a little more thick. It was like Claire’s hair. The painting showed who he was thinking about but no one would understand that part of it fortunately. They would only be looking at a sun but in his mind, they would be looking at the most beautiful piece of his life.

Every few days Claire would have a rose in her locker. She has been trying to figure out who is leaving them. Even better, how does he get into her locker? Today's rose came with a paper with two letters on it: B and L. Both with a period after it.
"B.L." Claire thought to herself.
"Bobby Lerick? No, he is too into himself to think this up."
She hoped it was Billy Lane, the very guy she has obsessed about the past 2 months, but she knew that would be impossible.

So other than Billy, Claire also liked Alex Hernandez. She has had a crush on him since she started going to Lambert High. Go Lions! The school’s mascot is a lion that could be dressed in football pads or basketball attire. It pretty much had an outfit for every sport. Claire thought it to be very dull and sad, which it really is. Even though she didn’t care for the mascot she still went to the games, especially football games. The surge and excitement it gives you. The smell of the chill on the air and the smell of kettle corn popping. The way the crowd cheers when the team makes a touchdown or goal. No one has a care in the world it seems, unless their team is losing.
As Claire watched the Friday night football game with Beth, she thought about nothing but that single rose and the note.
“B.L.” she kept thinking. Just then the Lions made the winning touchdown(more like Billy Lane made the winning touchdown) and the team was getting ready to run off the field. Claire went with Beth to congratulate John on the win. Then three were standing there when Billy walked over still in uniform pants and asks to talk to Claire and pulls her aside.
He looked so worried or committed to what he had to say.
“I have been leaving the roses.” he tells her.
Before she could react he pulls her close into him. Billy puts his strong arms around her waist reaching to her back. Then he brings his wind struck lips against Claire’s. As their lips touched, the chill warmed. It felt at if they could stay at this moment forever and die happy. She wraps her hand around his neck as they stand there intertwined. Their kiss grew more intense and then slows after a while. It was the most perfect kiss, her first kiss! She wouldn’t of had it any other way. Claire wanted more kisses with Billy. She finally knows that he has wanted her too. As they stand there, their two friends start awing the scene. Claire couldn’t help to blush.
Billy apologizes to Claire but she wouldn’t allow it. She was too happy so she just wraps her hand into his. Then and there Billy knows he wasn’t wrong.

He walks her to the parking lot and waits with her until her mother comes. As she goes to get into the car she hugged him and Billy gave her a soft tender kiss to linger until the next time he would get to see her.
Through all the roses and small notes, Claire unexpectedly fell in love with this guy who now she knew the face of.
In the distance of the two kissing was Alex Hernandez, the co-captain of the football team. Anyone who passed by him could see the green monster on his face. He clearly lost his chance with Claire. It doesn’t mean he can’t take that touchdown from Billy. He was going to try and win her over. No matter what, no matter who got hurt or who got in the way. Alex wants Claire and will do anything for her to be his.
“Billy better watch out.” Alex says to himself as he gets into his red Mustang and starts to drive off.

The annoying sound of the alarm was going off as Claire began to awake. She felt as if she had slept on sharp rocks all night even though she was in a comfy Egyptian cotton sheet bed. The clock read 6 am. Claire would have to be at work in 2 hours. Which would give her enough time to take a shower and go shopping for an outfit for the day. She was still in her sweat pants and tank top and couldn't go to work in that. She definitely would not chance running into Blake to go back to the house just for clothes. No, she would send Beth over later or just wait until she was certain that Blake would be gone to get a few things and bags for the week. Claire hops in the shower to clean up quickly. Then blow dries her hair while trying to put on makeup to clear her blotchy eyes.

Claire grabs a blueberry muffin in the lobby then stops by a Starbucks for a vanilla latte before she would go shopping. She knew a great dress suit place right by her office. It was called Donna Maries.

As she waits at the light, she tries to not think about what all went on the night before. It was still hard to believe how quickly it had ended.

Flashbacks popped into her head of herself throwing a plate towards Blake's head, but instead crashing against the wall behind him. They were both screaming at each other.
"How did this even start?" Claire thought to herself.
Claire had had a wonderful dinner planned, thinking it would had fixed all the problems that had come up at the time. She was excited about the news she would get to share with Blake. Her new job promotion would surely amaze him. Claire couldn't wait until a couple years would go by after they got married and she would be able to plan the same dinner for him to tell the news of a baby.

During one weekend, weeks after their first kiss, Billy took Claire to the beach. The beach thankfully was only 20 minutes away from where they live. They spent most of the day playing around and walking the beach. At a resting point, Claire and Billy walked to the pier to get ice cream. Claire got mint chocolate ice cream in a bowl while Billy got double chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone, both ice creams sprinkled with chocolate chips. While eating their treats the couple sat on the beach’s shoreline. The sunset was starting and was a gorgeous one at that. After finishing up the ice creams, Billy reaches over and looks into Claire’s eyes and puts his hand on the bottom of her cheek.
“You are so beautiful.” Billy tells Claire.
Claire blushes and replies “No, I am just ordinary.”
“There is nothing ordinary about you my love.” And with that he gives her the world’s second most wonderful kiss. They had kissed since the first wonderful kiss but none of them amounted up to the one he has just given her.
On the beach, there were both young and old couples, and seeing the old couples made Claire think.
“Look how special that is.” Says Claire to Billy.
“Yeah, they probably have been together since the birth of Lincoln.” says Billy with a giggle.
“No, I’m being serious.” says Claire back, “Isn’t it so sweet?”
“Yes, it is. That is why I have you in my arms.” Replies Billy, “I have to match the sweetness.”
Claire just lets it go and gives Billy a gentle smile.
She thinks to herself, “Guys just don’t get it. It takes a lot of work to stay together that long.”
After this, Claire and Billy walk to his car. Billy opens her door and waits for her to get in.
He needs to get Claire home before curfew. It’s a quiet drive to Claire’s house. When they arrive, he gives her a kiss then gets out to open her door.
Claire says “Goodnight, I love you.”
So Billy replies with “I love you more my sunshine.”
Claire smiles at this then walks onto the porch. She waits for Billy to drive off to go inside.

Once Claire gets inside she was going to hurry and go upstairs before anyone heard she was home.
“Where were you?” she heard her father yell from the kitchen followed by a few clanking of dishes and a crash of a beer bottle in the sink.
“Damn.” Claire thinks to herself and starts to tense like she is going to be killed.
She slowly ascends back down the stair case to where her father was now standing.
“I was out with Billy.” She says, “Mom said it was alright if I got home before curfew.”
“Your mom does not make the rules in this house, does she?” He looked so pissed.
“I said, she does not make the rules in this house. Does she?” he yelled at Claire again as he slaps her across the cheek. Claire fell back a little with the sting of the hit.
She replies with a solid answer trying not to cry, “No.”
She is used to this man beating her so it barely hurts anymore. When she was younger, it wasn’t much the hitting but she had been forced sexually to please this scum in front of her. He wasn’t even her father, just the man who married her mother while Claire was a young child. He was nothing to her. All he does is rule this house and almost all of her life.

“Go to your room, you little slut.” He yells at her, “you’re grounded. No leaving the house. Thank me you are even allowed at school. Maybe next time you’ll remember this is M house and MY rules.” He pulls her by her arm all the way up to her room, throws her in on the bed and shuts the door behind him. She tried to run to the other side of the room but he is much stronger and faster and makes her do what she has not had to do in so long..

Claire wouldn’t dare tell anyone about her dad. As everyone knows he is a perfect dad and treats his family like nobles. No one knows that he is the tyrant king who gets anything and everyone he wants.
Claire felt so ashamed later alone in her room. What would Billy say if he ever found out what went on behind her front door? What would Claire’s mom say if she were home enough to see this happen? Claire wished so much that her mom were home all the time so this man could not touch her this way. That night Claire cried herself asleep as she though about all the “what ifs” of her life.


The next morning before school, Claire smelled pancakes and bacon. As she came down the stairs she saw her mother at the stove and her dad sitting at the table with Billy. Billy! Billy was sitting at her breakfast table!
“Hey there sunshine.” Her dad says when he sees her.
Her body filled with disgust at this, only Billy calls her Sunshine. She kept everything together even though the terror her dad bestowed her with the night before. Billy turned around to see Claire come in.
“I guess I came to early,” he tells her, “so your mother invited me in for breakfast.” He stands up and kisses her on her forehead then pulls out her chair for her to sit on. Claire is thankful to make things less hurtful and more normal at the table this morning. With Billy here, it helped heal the pain.

Soon after getting to work, Claire goes quickly into her work try and keep her mind off of the night before. Her phones rings many times, but she does not answer. She tries to think it is not Blake calling. Yet, her secretary comes in with messages all from yours truly. She ignores them the whole day and she doesn't eat anything for lunch. Claire was afraid if she stopped to take a break she would be tempted to call Blake back.
By five Claire decides it is time to call Blake since he has called non-stop ALL day. He's left messages with the secretary, on Claire's cell phone, he even tried calling her mother.
Claire gets out her phone and dials Blake. The phone rings twice and then Blake answers.
"Claire! Thank you so much for calling.."
"Blake, I need to talk to you about something. so meet me somewhere."
Claire proceeds to tell him the place to where he will be meeting her and then hangs up.

It was a beautiful day. A day that beat all the others and Billy’s attitude matched the day placed before his eyes. He had a smile on his face ever since he got up. His parents thought it kind of weird. He even ate ALL his breakfast today and said more than three words to his family at breakfast. Billy couldn’t wait to get to school and kiss those soft lips of his well-cherished love. You would think it’d be their anniversary but no, just a regular day. He has something great planned for it, too. She should have received the flowers when she had gotten up this morning. Then he will pick her up and have her favorite Coffee Grind blended drink, a caramel frappe with a shot f vanilla of course.(this is his usual gift to her every Wednesday.)
Claire’s eyes widened when Billy handed her the coffee. Billy gave her a long, hard, precious kiss.
“What was that for?” asked Claire about the kiss that felt like Billy was kissing her for the last time.
“You never know if it will be the last time I will get to hold you like this or kiss you again.” replies Billy.
“Is there something wrong? Is there something you need to tell me?”
“No, why would you say that?” Billy says. “I just want this to be a great day for us.”
“Oh, Okay.” Claire replies with a reluctant smile.
“So did you get my flowers?” asked Billy.
“Yes I did and they smelled wonderful.”
She smiles and gives him a peck on the cheek. He opens the car door and when they are set, drives to school. They get there five minutes before the late bell rings. Almost late for art class, but luckily make it in time. They have been warned if they are late again they would have after school detention. As they walk into class you can see Billy’s drawing of the sun that seemed it was from so long ago, hanging on the opposite wall. This class was the start of it all. The start of their friendship, their relationship, and much more to come. They take their seats as the bells rings for school to begin.

Lunch came by fast. Art class and all the classes had went by so fast, it’s fuzzy. For Billy’s amazing day, he is going to take Claire out to lunch. They have lunch and a free period being seniors. Claire loves peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Ever since she got Billy to eat one, he has loves them too.
Last night he had made mini triangle-cut peanut butter pickle sandwiches just for their lunch today. As Billy waits for her at his locker, he feels a pain in his head but it soon passes, in time for his love to be walking his way. Nothing could ruin this day. He would not allow it.

Lunch came by fast. Art class and all the classes had went by so fast, it’s fuzzy. For Billy’s amazing day, he is going to take Claire out to lunch. They have lunch and a free period being seniors. Claire loves peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Ever since she got Billy to eat one, he has loves them too.
Last night he had made mini triangle-cut peanut butter pickle sandwiches just for their lunch today. As Billy waits for her at his locker, he feels a pain in his neck but it soon passes, in time for his love to be walking his way. Nothing could ruin this day. He would not allow it.
“Hey my gorgeous sunshine.” Billy says when he sees Claire close.
She walks up and kisses him.
“So, what do we have planned for lunch?”
“You’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you?” Billy replies with a mischievous smile. “You just have to follow me.”
They walk to Billy’s car like they always do at lunch. Of course, he opens the door for her to get in. Watching the couple pull out of the school parking lot was Alex Hernandez. As Billy and Claire’s relationship grew, so did Alex’s jealousy.

Blake came to the spot she told him to meet her at. Even though he is filled with confusion and shame of himself, he waits for Claire. She looks even more beautiful today as she walks near him.
"How could I have been so stupid?" he asks himself.
Blake gets down on his knees and wraps his arms around Claire's waist apologizing and promising to be better. After a while of letting him beg and plead, Claire looks at him and tells him to get up. She just stares unemotionally into his eyes and then she starts balling her eyes out in his arms.
"Baby, I am so sorry. I wanted to tell you for so long but it was hard."
"Tell me what Claire? You can tell me anything and nothing will change my feelings towards you. i haven't been the man I should be. i haven't treated you right at all." He says as they sit down on the bench next to the small pond and tall trees.
"I love you and want to marry you. Let's spend the rest of our lives together, alright?" Claire asks.
"Alright, my love. The wedding is back on for good. I will be the best man ever for you. I love you so much and never want to lose you again. So will you please tell me what happened?"
Claire goes on to tell the story of her dad and how he use to treat her and then of her old love Billy..

Alex sat in the parking lot across from the park drinking a bottle which looked to be filled with hard liquor.
"How could i have not gotten her on my side? How could he have her for so many months?" He thought to himself.
The park had a little pond and was filled with tall trees and only had one bench. A bench that had Billy and Claire sitting upon it.

"This is a great spot Billy. The sandwiches are great and you are wonderful as ever. I love you with all of my heart, you know" Claire says with a loving face.Billy is marveled at this sight of Claire. He loses thought of what he was going to do next but realizes after a while.
“Claire, I love you too. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. You are my everything.” When he finished with this, he got down on one knee and asked Claire to marry him.
“Billy, I love you and I want that too. Yes I will marry you!”
She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a huge hug.

Alex could see everything that was happening and filled with green envy when he sees Billy get down on one knee. Being drunk, he gets into his car and goes to drive towards them.

Claire and Billy decide to leave since they don’t want to be late back to school. Sitting in the passenger seat, Claire admires her ring. How she loves him with all her heart and soul. Going through the intersection something hits Billy’s side of the car. All Claire can see is flashes of light and she can feel herself banging around. She looks down and can see blood.
“Billy!” she exclaims. No answer.
“Billy!” she says again looking to him. Again, no answer. Claire takes searches hastily to grab his hand and does so. Soon everything goes dark and she can’t hear anything anymore.

When she wakes, Claire’s vision grows less fuzzy. She looks around and realizes that she is in a hospital.
Her mother is sitting in a chair asleep next to her but awakens after hearing Claire awake.
Her mother takes her hand, “Hunny, you are alright now. You were in an accident.”
“Where’s Billy? Where is he?” Claire yells frantically.
She sees the answer on her mom’s face.
“Sweetie, I am so sorry..”
"No. No! No!! We were suppose to live the rest of our lives together! Claire exclaims. I love him." Claire says softly.
“How could this be? She only just had him.” she asks herself.
Claire cried in her mom’s arms while lying there in the cold hospital bed. As Claire closed her eyes, she could see Billy standing next to her bed.
"How could you leave me?" Claire asks. "I need you with me."
"Sunshine, I will be with you always. I am sorry things happened this way. I love you forever." Billy says as his light went away and Claire's eyes closed tightly.

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This book has 1 comment.

on Jan. 14 2011 at 1:08 pm
KylieNicole GOLD, Bakersfield, California
13 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
\"Wake up and smell the rain before it sweeps you away, away from all of your dreams building up, away from your beautiful life. Hurry up and enjoy the great drops of shimmer you spread on the world.\" -Me

sorry, i know i had some typos on it:/ hope you enjoy it anyway!