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Keep the Lights On

Quercus Alba

“I just got so hurt, really hurt, and when that happens everything inside of me shuts down. I keep trying to search for all of the reasons why you left me, and the fact that I will never know is what kills me.”

I have no clue what I am saying, and I grasp the fact that you probably don’t give a rat’s ass. You always despised it when I ranted and more often than not had to break off my nonsense. You had by no means been much of a talker, though; everything you did was done through vigilant actions, rather than words. That was one of the main reasons I had been enthralled by you initially.

Then you changed.

“I feel stupid for getting so close to you in the first place, I mean… I know, or at least I thought you would have never intentionally hurt me,” I wipe the rain drop from my eyelashes, “but you fucking did! You said all of those awful words, and then you just left me! I hope you can hear me so you know how much I fucking hate you, you piece of shit!”

His ruthless insults ring through my mind and rips my heart into pieces.

“Love is meant for beautiful women, not a wretched, hideous girl like you.” He snarled furiously, pushing me up against a wall until I couldn’t breathe.

“Why are you doing this to me?!” I wheeze urgently for just a small breath of fresh air.

“Because I hate you… I hate the way you make me feel so fucking guilty all the time. I wish I could just forget about you, but I can’t” He forcefully grabs my chin and his blue eyes stare heatedly into mine.

“Then just leave me! All you ever do is use me and hurt my feelings!”

“That’s all you’re good for,” he presses his lips to the sensitive flesh underneath my earlobe, “you hear me Ariana? You are incapable of loving someone else; you’re too fucked up in the head for that. You should be lucky that I haven’t thrown you to the curb like the piece of garbage you are.”

I scream out furiously, but it is scarcely perceptible over the deafening booms of thunder.
I crumple to the spongy grass, ignoring the sting that shoots through my injured leg when I land on my knees. I stare irately at the gravestone ahead of me; I wish you were here so I could tell you how much I loathed you for all of the horrendous shit you put me through. You have no idea how much you made me suffer, instead you got the easy way out. While you were out partying and living your life, I was in the confines of our bedroom, soaking in all of your spiteful words. You made me believe that I was a terrible person, and I didn’t deserve to be loved. Even through all of the hatred that was our relationship, I never once stopped loving you, and even worse, I started to believe you.

Then you died and I became a giant culpable mess.

I’m not sure how long I sit in the grass for. It could have been seconds, minutes, and maybe even hours as the rain started to pick up and raindrops now poured down on me wrathfully. It was almost pitch black outside, but it still didn’t scare me to be at the cemetery, in fact it was actually peaceful. Maybe if I was fortunate a haunted soul would murder me, or death would find me and put me out of my desolation. I sink farther into the grass, so I’m lying on my stomach and my cheek is pressed into the mushy earth.

Arms wrap around my waist and pull me out of my pathetic state. For an ephemeral moment I actually think that you really came to save me, but that thought shatters to pieces when a diverse voice speaks up. I don’t pay consideration to what he says, but he loops his arms underside my knees, and picks me up; effortlessly hauling me to the warmth of his car. He doesn’t try to console me, because he knows it is of no purpose. I’m already numb from the inside out, and it has been that way for years.

He swiftly takes his jacket off and wraps it around my frame, “You need to stop doing this to yourself Ariana.”

I don’t even bother to make eye contact with Craig; I already know that his eyes are occupied to the rim with brutal disappointment.

“He never cared about me.”

Craig is silent at my announcement, his tone is rigid when he speaks a few minutes later, “No, he never did.” He answers candidly.

“Then why did he make me believe all of those things if they weren’t true?” I pull his jacket tighter around my quaking torso. Craig keeps his eyes on the road, only glancing at me when we come to a stop sign. It never bothered me when he saw me weep like a little girl, though he truly does not comprehend my pain, he knew that I was severely depressed, and that’s all he would ever need to know.

“I don’t know why he would do that to you… I guess some people are just naturally cruel.”

Everything always happens for a reason.

At least that’s what my mother always told me growing up, and mothers always know best, right? Through all of the scraped knees, and pucks to the nose I got as an adolescent, she was always there to fix me up and get me back on my feet. The trade to Pittsburgh had completely pulled the rug from underneath my feet, and not even my own mother could comfort me. The Penguins… they’re a great franchise, the staff, players, and coaches are all like family. Everyone here welcomed both me, and Matt, with open arms and giant smiles, but I knew they were disillusioned that they had lost Alex Goligoski. Their benevolence didn’t fill the void of being away from all of my former teammates in Dallas.

I don’t even know where I belong anymore.

“Can I help you?”

My eyes expand when I see the dark haired girl in front of me. I had been expecting Craig, not his cousin when I had pulled up to the two story burgundy building. Her eyes are red, and any idiot would without a doubt be able to tell that she had been bawling her eyes out. For some reason that didn’t alarm me, she seemed like a miserable individual in the first place.
“I left my cell phone here last night. I was hoping I could get it?”

Her big sky blue eyes peer up at me, observing me despairingly. Even though she presently looks like complete and utter chaos with her bloodshot eyes and her grey bulky sweats; she is still very attractive. She turns around without saying anything, and I wordlessly follow her into the tepid house. My eyes unconsciously drop down to the curvature of her petite hips. The long sleeved black t-shirt she is wearing clings to her torso snuggly, and it’s nearly impossible as a man to not stare at her soft curves. She’s kind of short, probably 5’5 or 5’6 at the most. She hobbles to the living room, and I realize her stocky cast has now been traded in for a boot.

“Did you want to stay for dinner? It’s just the kids and I tonight… Craig and Anne went out to dinner.” she bites the inside of her lip bashfully when I seize my cell phone from the coffee table and turn towards the door.

I blink and almost tense up at her naturally hushed voice, I was obviously taken aback by her question. It’s the first time that I have heard her verbalize more than just a small number of words, “Um, sure, what are you making?”

“Chicken, rice, and vegetables. If you want I can make something else for you?” She stares down at her feet as if she makes eye contact with me I’ll get mad at her.

She’s an exceedingly timorous woman.

“No, that sounds great actually; I haven’t had a good home cooked meal since I moved from Dallas.” I ramble aimlessly and I feel my shoulders slump as she walks to the kitchen to finish dinner. She makes me nervous for some peculiar reason. I plop down on the couch next to Rhys and Francesca Adams, who’s watching A Bug’s Life. I recall the Pixar movie from when I was a teenager and had to look after one of my younger cousins. As I continue to watch the kid’s film, I realize how much I miss my family. Sure, I talk to my mom a small number of times every week, but it had been months since I had actually seen any of my relatives and close friends.

“Hey unca Jimmy, did you see any cowboys in Texas?” I gaze down at Rhys; taken aback that he had called me his uncle. I figured that a lot of the player’s kids knew everyone on the team as their ‘uncles’. It was almost consoling in a way actually, and it made me feel like I fit in here more. Both Francesca and Rhys look up at me with colossal eyes, inquisitively waiting for my response.

“No… but I did see a monster once.”

Both of their mouths plunge open, “What kind of monster?!” Rhys yells out, now thrilled by my new revelation. He sits up straighter and looks me in the eyes with a great amount of curiosity.
“Oh, it was green and furry, and he was huge, probably 10 feet taller than me. His teeth were very sharp; I thought he was going to bite my head off.” I keep a straight face, because I know if I start smiling they’ll find out that I’m just making the whole thing up.

“Did you get scawed?” Francesca asks diffidently.

“Nope, not at all. Us Canadians don’t get scared of anything.” I smirk; it was something my dad used to tell me when I was younger, “You want to know the scariest part about it though?”
The kids don’t say anything; they simply gawk at me and wait for me to continue.

“It was a fire breathing monster!”

The kids are rapidly asking me questions at a fast pace that I can’t keep up with. I open my mouth to say something, but Ariana steps out of the kitchen and glances at us.

“Dinner is ready.” She calls out quietly. Both of the ravenous kids run to the kitchen, talking about how hungry they are and how good the food smells. I help her hand out the plates and I nearly start to salivate when she hands me my plate. The grilled chicken looks and smells delicious.

“Thanks for making this Awiana,” Rhys exclaims from his seat as he shoves a piece of zucchini in his mouth.

She blushes, “You’re welcome.”

Dinner is most part habitually silent. Everyone is too busy devouring the delicious food to say anything. I gaze up at Ariana, who’s staring timidly down at her plate. It’s obvious that she doesn’t want to make eye contact with me, and I wonder if I have done something wrong. Ever since the incident at lunch a few days ago, when Jordan had essentially affronted her, she had been exceedingly silent and just sitting a few inches away from her, I could easily feel the sadness radiating from her. Both Matt and I had been stunned by Jordan’s harsh words to the silent girl, and a part of me had actually felt a diminutive amount of resentment towards the Staal brother. My mom had taught my brothers and I at a young age to respect women. I’ll admit it, I judged Ariana the first time I had seen her based on her looks and her quiet personality, but that had been extremely rude of me, and I still felt a little guilty.

You never know what someone is going through.

Some of the happiest people I know in my life are actually the most depressed, it’s like they put up a façade to make everyone happy, and they throw all of their feelings out the window.

“Do you want me to help with dishes?” I ask Ariana when we all finish dinner, and the kids saunter back into the playroom to watch more movies.

“Can you just dry them off for me?”

Her voice is almost inaudible, but I still hear it and I walk towards her and stand next to her small frame. We both work in a comfortable silence, and I try not to gravitate closer to her when I smell the pleasant aroma of her perfume. I never could understand how women always managed to smell so good.

“Do you like Pittsburgh so far?” She inquires softly as she hands me a plate.

“Yeah, it’s great… the people are really nice and all of the guys treat me like I’m family.” I dry the plate off and set it in the cupboard. My answer sounds a little compulsory, and she glances up at me, her eyebrows furrowing just the tiniest bit. I mentally slap myself when the thought of her being cute crosses my mind. She reaches for the faucet to turn the water off and my breath catches in my throat when the sleeve of her shirt inches up ever so slightly. The pale flesh of her wrist is covered with pearly white scars.

She used to be a cutter.

“I uh, I have to go. I’m really tired and I have practice tomorrow.”

Disappointment flashes through her blue eyes, “O-okay”

“What the hell is wrong with you?!”

I stare at my hideous reflection in the mirror angrily. My eyes are bloodshot, and my naturally orderly hair, is a curly mess. Craig and Anne had gotten home shortly after James had left, and I was appreciative for that. I wanted nothing more than to wallow in self-pity at my stupid mistake.

'He saw my wrists’

All of my hope of having a new friend had gone out the window when he saw all of my scars. I wanted to cry, it’s not like I have cut myself in a long time, it has been a couple years at least. My bottom lip quivers and the little girl in me is choking back a sob. In all probability, he most likely thought I was psycho.

I splash some water onto my clammy face, and when I lift my head I’m eye level with the mustard yellow bottle in front of me. The bottle is almost full of antidepressant medication and I wonder how many pills I would have to take for me to die. I grab the bottle and just stare at it for a few moments. I never quite understood why doctors give out medication to people with depression, to be honest it made me even more tempted to just down the whole bottle and waste away alone in the confines of this bathroom. The only reason I don’t is because I know Francesca and Rhys are only a few rooms away from me.

What if one of them went to wake me up, only to find out that I was dead?

The thought makes me shudder, and I realize that I will probably never try to commit suicide. A part of me actually contains a little hope and reliance that maybe one day I will be ordinary again, and I won’t continuously be miserable all of the time.

The rest of me is hopeless, and my brain is consumed by spiteful insults.

“Happiness is for beautiful people… not me”

The earth is hard and there are stones beneath my feet
I dig for hours as my hands begin to bleed
My only partner is a light that starts to fade
Stay until I'm saved
I'm saved


Jeez, I completely forgot this website existed -__-

I'm sorry that it has seriously taken me forever to upload this story onto this website, but I'm going to try to upload a chapter every couple of days for you guys :) I'm also working on the characters page, but I just haven't had the time.

Let me know what you guys think :)


This story really hits home for me. As someone who has suffered from depression/postpartum depression, I totally relate to Ariana. I really want to see where this goes. Please update.

MaattaMia3 MaattaMia3
I'm really enjoying this story! It's so well written, descriptive, emotional. I always look forward to more chapters to see what's going to happen!
Your story is perfect, and you absolutely need to update more! I love it, and I'm 99.9% sure everyone else who reads it loves it too. Update next as soon as possible please! :)
So I follow this story on the regular mibba site, and just let me say. I can't handle the feels.
Bugalouie Bugalouie