Then i realised that i shouldn’t change who I really was to please people. I could be clever and crazy in the same time. I could be cultivated and funny. And now i just screw society and its peeconceived ideas. I just screw teenagers and all the codes to be popular I was who I wanted to be. And I was there, ready to kill it
"The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars,
But in ourselves”
This quotation from Shakespeare Julius Cesar gave its title to this novel written by John Green.
I decided to read this novel because everybody was talking about it, about the new upcoming movie, there were posters of it everywhere and because I had nothing to do. So I grabbed my father’s credit card, loaded it upon kobo. And 5 hours and half after, here am I. Crying and smiling at the same.
I found out that Twilight was no longer a reference in teenager love stories, but this book taught me what real love is. It is not just falling for a stranger because he is hot. No that’s a silly, superficial crush.
In this book, Hazel Grace has a lungs cancer. She only lives thanks to an oxygen tank, phalanxinor and cannula in her nostrils. She only thinks about dying and the meaningless life every one lives. But then, she meets Augustus Waters. Those who didn’t read the book may think: “well now he makes her discover the real world, they fight against cancer and they live together.”
No. Augustus had osteosarcoma, and he is a survivor. They meet in a discussion group.
“I fear oblivion. I fear it like the proverbial blind man who’s afraid of the dark”
As every little soul on this planet, Augustus doesn’t want to be forgotten. He wants people to remember that he lived too. That he fought against his diseases. He wants every body to remember every single dead person.
Together and with Isaac they share their fears about the world. They share their thoughts. Their pain. Because it hurts to be ill, but it hurts to be human too. It hurts to lose family. It hurts to use your abilities. And it hurts to know that one day, you will day and probably no one will ever remember you.
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything.”
“Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death.”
The truth is that Hazel does not live any more. She survives.
The book an Imperial Affliction is one of the basis of this novel. Hazel and the narrator share the same opinion about dying and it’s side effects. And with Augustus, they look for the end of this novel.
Again this book taught me what love is.
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once.”
It taught me that life and health were two important gift and that I just should enjoyed them as long as I have got them. They are little pleasures in life, such as look at someone beautiful, spend time with him/her. Being read a book. Read a good book.
And we shouldn’t loose time wondering about the future but just enjoy today.
“Some infinities are larger than other infinities”
Questions about the meaning of our life. Questions about afterlife. Questions about illness. Questions about love. Everything everything is in it.
“The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people noticing things, paying attention.”
I cried in the middle, at the end, and even after. Because this book is beautiful. So full of lessons, of advise, of love. I really recommend it to you, not just to cry, but to start enjoying life again.
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His lips were skimming my skin. His fingers were unbuttoning my shirt. I was pulling his T-shirt up his head. I fought against my pair of pants and then he stopped and looked at me. He whispered:
“You are so beautiful Tyra.”
I looked at his chest, his abs, his V. I touched it so softly he groaned in my hair. He kissed my ears. Slowly. Sensually.
“I wanna make love to you.”
He reached a condom in his night table. We looked at each other. Waiting for one of us to make the first move. He took my hand and asked:
“Are you sure? I can wait.
-Yes, I trust you Chris.”
I decided to trust him this time, and it was not a mistake. I escaped. For the first time of my life. I felt infinite. Untouchable. Nobody could have made me fall. I was flying so high in the sky. I was out of the time. I was in Chris’s world. A dangerous world. A strange world. A world parallel to the reality. A world opposite my parents’ world. It was his world. His own world. This strange world was mine too now. Skin to skin. Eye to eye. Hands to hands. Hips to hips. We were just one. One being out of billion on the world. His heart was beating against my chest.
“Chris, I whispered.
“Tell me Tyra.
-There is nothing to say.
-Let’s have a shower ok?”
He took me to the bathroom. As I felt the cold water running on my skin, I felt release.
Everything had become clearer and clearer. I couldn’t help but notice that we were being put poles apart.
During the class, he avoided eye contact. He never asked me to come back again to his place. He knew that I wasn’t ok, but he didn’t do anything.
One month. One long and terrible month. It was hard to me to see him acting like if nothing had happened between us. I couldn’t remain focused, I couldn’t even listen to his lessons.
I came back from school. To the jail. I was walking slowly. It was cold. Very cold. And it was snowing pretty hard. My coat on my shoulders, walking through this thick snow. I hear a whistle. And another one. I knew that kind of whistles.
So I walked faster. I heard footsteps behind me. I couldn’t run.
“Ma’am, come here.”
There voices were rude. So I didn’t even turn around. I could hear them breathe in and breathe out. But no matter what, I knew that they would catch me.
And I didn’t have to wait too long. An arm was wrapped around my waist. Alcohol was ruffling my nose.
“Come on sweetheart.
-Come with us.
-We are not that mean. Maybe that we could just spend time together.
-Let go off me, I cried.”
I tried to move. It was useless. I could feel my tears. But I wanted to remain pride and strong. I didn’t cry. I just looked at the three men. I could have beaten them. I could have hurt them so hard. But they were too many. Three drunk men. But I didn’t care. I had nothing to lose. Nothing to win.
The only gift I wanted was Chris.
I threw my fist to the jaw of the first man. He fell down. The second after the two other were pushing me against the wall. I didn’t feel anything. But I could hear a car. Then someone shooting with a gun. I knew that I would faint.
So I just closed my eyes.
I woke up in Chris’s bed. “Hello sweetheart. Are you ok?” I looked at him. He had blood on his shirt. His hair was more dishevelled than usual. I touched his face and I smiled. “Now I am.” He smiled to me and whispered: “Why are you attracting bad guys like them or me? -I am just being me. -That’s enough for me. -You mean that… -You knew it, didn’t you?” I fondled his soft hair. “Tyra… I can’t do this. -Why not? -I just…” I shut his mouth by kissing him. He sighed, tried to get back. Then he swore: “Shit, I don’t care.”
A week. Two weeks. Everything is blurred now. I can just remember the tension between us. It was the kind of tension you can almost feel. He just turned out to be my kind of a man. He was smart, clever, cultivate, nice. His short dark hair were always dishevelled.
One day, he decided that I needed help. Help to apply in the most known school of USA. It was a secret that I was ambitious. I just wanted to leave this city behind me and to run as fast as I can to the real world.
At home, everything was set as a clock. Wake up. Breakfast. Say hello to my parents. Say hello to my brother. Get dressed. Clothes check. Go to school. Come back right after school. Tell about my day. Homework. Study. Cook. Do the dishes. Put my pyjamas on. Say good night. Nothing could have ever been changed. Except for the week end. I could go out with my friends. But not with my friendzone, neither with boys my parents don’t know nor girls they don’t know.
I grew up in a kind of jail. Not a physical one. But a psychological one. Stuck here, in my bed, writing novels, studying. They were like Staline. They needed to know everything about me. Therefore my mum decided to spy on me thanks to Facebook. No make up. No heels. No nail polish. Studies before friends. But family before everything. They thought that family was strength. That’s why every time I tried to hide something, I tried to stay in my bedroom chatting with friends, they got mad.
Let’s go back to Mr Peterson. He asked me to come to his place so he could talk to me and things like that. I decided that this time, I needed it. I put my favourite dress on. I stole my mum’s make up and I went out of the house almost running. He lived in an apartment. So I rang at his door. And he opened it.
“Hello Tyra, you look… Nice.
He put his usual shirt and pair of pants off so he was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of jeans. His flat was big and smelt like him. It was made of pictures, photograph, and a lot of books. I walked to the shelves and I took my favourite books. The Great Gatsby and the Picture of Dorian Gray.
“Did you read this books?
-Yeah, like ten times, I answered.
-I loved them when I was a younger.
-Why are you using the past tense?
-I fell in love with other books you should read.
-Maybe French literature.”
I smiled and put away the books. I sat on a chair next to him and he turned on his computer.
“So… I think that you should apply to several schools, not just Harvard. If you are not taken, it will be a problem.
-I thought about Yale, UCLA, Stanford and Columbia.
-You really wanna go away, don’t you?
His look was shining. But a different shade of what I was used to. Like if he were understanding me.
-I think that I cannot stand living so close to my family. I want a new start and a new life.
-Well, you’re still young, but you can’t just leave your family like that next year Tyra.
-I want to be free.”
His hand held mine and the time was stopped. We couldn’t speak. But I understood what he meant. He did the same a few years ago. And I think that he regretted it.
“Did you write your essay?
He took it and read it quickly.
“It is way too common.
-My parents said…
-God Tyra, you have to write your own essay.”
He tore it, threw it away and took a piece of paper.
“Tell me something interesting about you.
-I don’t know.
-Let me help you. You said that you wanted freedom right?
-You can write about freedom. What do you do to feel free?
-I write. A lot.
-Yes. It’s an outlet for me.
-I play the piano. I do sport.
-What do you want to do after studying?
-I want to leave in an other state. Build a home, make my own life.
-You are after your Eldorado.
-No, I want to escape from this jail.”
His held my hand tight.
-Daily boring life.
-You don’t know how to live, he whispered. You are just lost Tyra. In the wrong path. But I can help you.
He leaned so close to me. Then he touched my cheek. It was wet because his word were true. I didn’t know what life was. He wrapped his arms around my neck and just kissed me. It was a firework in my head. My heart burst against my chest.
-Tyra, I’m gonna drop you at home. I’ll see you tomorrow.
-No please. Don’t say anything.
-Don’t say anything, he yelled.”
He took his keys, opened the door and slapped it. I entered in his car and I was back in jail.
It was a normal day, in the hallways of youth. Pre-pubescent youngster were walking as if they were Rihanna on the red carpets. Older teenagers were on the step of foreplay before getting in the toilets.
And the adults? Probably having a cup of coffee.
I was talking to my friends as a normal, civilised, nice girl I am. But I had to go to class. It was our first day in class, and as a normal first day in class, we were talking about our summer.
They were all the same: “I went to a night club, I turned him on, then I let you guess how I lost my virginity.”
I was like: “I went to Europe with my parents, there was this boy, but I didn’t dear talking to him…” Yeah I was pretty pathetic.
But then, I sat in my classroom waiting for the English teacher. Mr Peterson. He entered in the class. I havent seen him since I was lost in my minds. But I heard the whistles. I could have smelt the pheromone of all the chicks sat in my class. He wrote his name on the keyboard and then he turned around. I heard his deep voice pronouncing my name so I looked at him. I just looked in a mirror. His eyes were like a precious stone. So perfect, so well polished. I could even see myself in it. Then, his mouth was gentle and I could guess that it was smooth and sweet. I just touched by eye contact his wide shoulders, and his soft skin.
“Tyra Abinson.” I just dropped a tiny: “I am here.”
Then he looked at me and smiled. I thought that my heart skipped a beat. I was having a crush on my English Teacher.
Most teenagers love being free. They love chilling on Venice beach, they love hanging on in malls just to have a look to what they can’t afford. But it doesn’t matter. They just want to be free. Free as hell.
I was not free. I was stuck in my parents’ house waiting for majority to come and to allow me to live without them. I was stuck in my books to study my terms. I was stuck in high school, and in an ordinary life.
And no matter what. I thought that nothing could ever free me. I was wrong.
He didn’t realise how much he tore me apart. He didn’t even realise that I could have done everything he asked me, just to stay with him.
I just fled from my former jail to his world. Made of love. Made of hugs. Made of us. That’s what I call an escape.