My Knight Wears Aluminum
By Tess, age 15, Florida
Every little girl dreams about being a princess, and every little girl dreams about one day growing up and finding her knight in shining armor. We've all heard the fairy tales about a brave and powerful knight who saves his princess (and his true love) from terrible danger, all while wearing shiny metal armor and riding on a sleek white stallion.
This story is about my knight, but my knight is a bit different from the fairy tales. My knight doesn't ride a white stallion. In fact he doesn't even have a car. My knight doesn't face dragons and monsters; instead he faces inner demons and fights them as hard as he can ... but sometimes he doesn't win. My knight doesn't wear armor, he wears aluminum. My knight isn't a fairy tale, my knight is reality. But my knight has saved me from the darkest monster of all ... My knight saved me from myself.
Before I met my knight I threw the phrase "I Love You" around as if I were saying hello. I didn't mean it, nor did I cherish it. In fact, to me love was just a big joke that everyone was in on. I had my heart broken by one boy, and after that I was left to just wonder instead of do. I denied love and embraced it with one foot out the door. But then my knight came in on his own two feet, his golden hair playing across his face, hiding eyes that had seen far too much for someone his age.
I knew there was something about this boy that was special, but at the time I couldn't put my finger on it. Besides the fact that I knew he was something special, he had a mysterious nature that drew me to him. He was quiet and shy, but at the same time he seemed strong and bold. He rarely smiled a real smile - I noticed he plastered on fake ones much more often - but when he did his smile lit up a room. I knew from the moment I looked into his big blue green eyes that I needed to get to know him. So I did. I started to talk to him, and the connection between us was undeniable. Sparks were flying, and no one could put out the fire.
I remember the first time he told me he loved me. His voice wavered, but I could tell that he had mustered up all his confidence to tell me. When he said it, it felt like with every syllable he was giving me a new definition of what love was. To the naked eye one wouldn't be able to point out what I saw after that moment. Not even I could see it before, but at that moment I realized that he was a perfect boy living in an imperfect world.
His life definitely wasn't perfect - far from it. His mother was a nice woman, but she had more problems then one could count. His father never sent me that vibe of a sweet man, and it was true that he was not. He was not what you would call an "abuser" because his abuse was not physical. But at every chance he got he would tell my knight what a mistake he was. My knight's confidence was shot. In fact it seemed that most of the time he had no self-confidence at all. It still amazes me how a boy so perfect could get stuck in such a dysfunctional place.
Yet my knight stayed the boy he had always been. No matter the dysfunction he managed to stay strong. For this I admire him. If it were me I would have given up at the next chance I got. But instead of giving up my knight just keeps on fighting.
I remember hearing him cry, and I remember the pain that wrenched my heart to pieces. I felt so helpless. I couldn't be there at that moment. I couldn't rescue him from his pain. All I could do was listen and tell him that everything was going to be alright. All I could do was give him hope for the future, for our future.
I never really believed in a love like this, and to be honest love still confuses me. The only thing I do know is that my knight is always here to wipe away my tears, as I am for him. The only thing I do know is that neither of us have to fight our demons alone anymore. My knight and I can fight them together.
Now that I think back on all those fairy tales I've found that I don't need a knight in shining armor for I have found something a thousand times better. I've found a knight who is disguised in aluminum, a knight who is still fighting for that happy ending. My knight doesn't always win, but in our imperfect world you don't need someone who always wins. You need someone who just keeps fighting. My knight is still showing me how love should really feel, and together we fight against our demons.
Every fairy tale has its happy ending, but our fairy tale has barely just begun. I don't know how our story will end, but what I do know is that it will end with the words "And They Lived Happily Ever After ..."