I feel as if everything I see is bleak and colorless. It has been a boring day, full of boring events and well, just boring everything. I go to swipe my straw like hair behind my ear and feel the warmth of my plump hand brush against my cheek. I sigh and make an attempt to think of something other than what’s happening. I think of the rain and the way it hits the ground, the way it moves everything and nothing. After sighing multiple times I realize all I’ve been doing is sighing for the past twenty minutes but who can blame me? Sometimes nothing is better than engaging in the conversation your parents are having with each other and not you. I’ll admit I’ve definitely fallen below the standard I set for myself. I thought I’d be some great student but lately I’ve realized I can’t bring myself to it. I ask my parents if I can go walk to go smoke a cigarette. I hate myself for it but I’ll be honest, what else can I do other than cut to handle it all? The smoke comes back to hit me in the face, it’s seemingly misty which doesn’t make any sense until you consider the sprinkling going on outside. It’s dark and I’m tired of well, everything. Sometimes I wonder how I’ll do it again tomorrow.
I breathe in the sharpness of the cold air gladly. Another breath comes and another, my blue eyes shoot open and my pupils adjust dramatizing the rest of my blue eyes that seem to burst with colors during the adjustment. I sit upright in the dewy grass and inhale the scent. Everything is perfect and beautiful, the sky is blue, not bright blue but between dark and light leaning toward dark just as I prefer it to be. I smile because there’s no bugs, no sun and yet dim light coming from the sky. There’s a faint scent of the salty waters I had visited in Washington the year before. My senses are heightened and I can almost taste the water. I’m about to get up when an outstretched arm appears seemingly out of nowhere, the man looks and me and nods toward his hand. I take it and he lifts me up quite clumsily. I nearly fall because the lift up is so sudden.
“I’m sorry” he says.
“For what?” I reply, still looking around in wonder.
“Because I know how much this means to you. How much you love and want this. You’ve forgotten your worries and all you remember or know is the happiness that awaits you if you stay.” He says it with great pain as if every word stings the very tongue they roll off of. His accent is thick and Italian, I look up at him and see that he is very out of place here. Everything seems prestigious and clean here and I know I fit perfectly because of the state of my hands and the way I feel. He’s rugged with wrinkles and stubble on his face. Middle aged, dark brown hair and a grave look on his face. Yes, very different from all of this.
“You must understand I wish you could stay,” He says, “I am your friend, I don’t wish to hurt you. I wish to help you and your family.”
“What are you talking about?” I ask bewildered.
“This will sound crazy but trust me” he says softly yet sympathetically.
He leads me to a white door in the middle of the grass field. There are sections of different settings, they’re all uniquely beautiful. They are slivers that begin with the door and branch off to become bigger and resemble a clock in format.
“Understand that this is your perfection, these sections are what you want, they’re the natural beauties that you love. You can choose to stay but that door will vanish. I need you to go through the door, I know it’s a lot to ask from you and that you’ve not known me for very long but it’ll be for the best I promise.”
I can’t believe what I’m hearing and after a minute I finally respond “Why?”
“They miss you too greatly, it wasn’t in the book, it was a mistake. I fix those mistakes” He answers.
“What book? I… I just don’t understand” I stammer.
“The book of destiny, the book where your futures are written, rewritten and set. New things are put in it daily but the book made it clear that although things are always in motion and changing your destiny of this day cannot. Too many things would come after. It would set off a deadly effect. That’s why you need to go back. I’m sorry, I wish you could stay because it is really beautiful you know” he says.
I look up at him and feel this need, a need to go through the door. A warmth caresses that feeling with the reassurance everything will be alright and so I open that perfect gleaming white door and step through.
I do not find perfection through the door. I find a broken body, sad, mangled and bloody with tubes stuck into it. The beeping is steady and people are crying and a middle aged woman is holding her hand. MY hand actually. It’s the truth to hard to bear. Tears stream down my face as I suddenly can’t walk nor breath and I go back to being broken and I know what comes next. I have to be put back together. The man picks up my broken mangled soul, the one who had been in that perfect world and paired it with my broken mangled body. The last thing I remember was his smile and a soft thank you. He told me to remember the scars wouldn’t define me. That I should love myself because my beauty was on the inside. He would find me again when it was time.
And then I woke up broken and in pain, choking on the lump in my throat wishing for perfection again.
She sets her head down in her lap, the hollow aching in her more evident than ever. She’s trying to ignore the screaming downstairs and her phone going off with only notifications from the same social media sites where her so-called “friends” comment on every picture. Everything around her is negative and she’s drowning in it. The negativity leaves her in a place where she can hardly breathe and she wants to go somewhere else she can call home. So she sleeps hoping she won’t wake up and dreaming of the day she won’t.
When she awakens she’s suddenly aware of herself. Aware of the dried blood on her arms, aware of the greasy hair, aware of how fat she is and all her unwanted body hair. So she sits and she thinks for a very long time and despite the pain, showers to get ready for another day. She dares not look at herself naked in the mirror because the sight makes her want to throw up . She’s fat and she knows it because everyone does. Once she has her long-sleeved shirt on she stares in the mirror and puts up her hair.
“You have to be strong no matter what because your siblings need you for another few years. Remember college and remember how much better it could be” she tells herself.
It isn’t much motivation but it gets her through the day. After she’s done with homework and school she finds herself in bed on the internet trying to laugh at the things she sees but all she can think about is how much better it would be if she could be gone. Away on a permanent vacation in which she never has to hear anything ever again or see anything that could hurt her. Everything could be so much better but she stays. She stays through the terrifying night where the shadows make her think of the scary things. Where she sees things she can’t explain and wills everything to go away. She wants to die but not in the way the shadows she sees promise. She’s only fourteen so she can’t do anything to help herself and she needs love because she can’t love herself and no one will teach her to. She doesn’t understand why everyone is so much better than her. The movie stars are so beautiful but she isn’t and she never will be. She does the same thing everyday.
So she cries and cries until she’s twenty-four with no ties. Her siblings are fine and they’ll continue to be fine and she decides she can get her wish with no interference or guilty conscience.
She walks to her nightstand in her small apartment and opens the bottle of medication. She gets out paper and a pen then starts to write. Halfway through she gets a message from a person from high school. It’s an apology. She cries and she puts it off for another night.
She’s now eighty-five and has wished for death so many times but never followed through. She’s got four children that may not look like her but she loves them as if they came from her body. She holds her wife’s hand and her wife cries. The hospital has a particular odor that she doesn’t want to smell anymore. She doesn’t want to hear them cry anymore. She wants to go to the place where she’s always wanted to go. She made it so far that she doesn’t know if she wants to go but it’s time and she knows that. She’ll miss her life which is something she never thought would ever happen. After getting her doctorate and her job as a professor things seemed to get better. The hurt was there but the notes weren’t as frequent, and her wife taught her to love and take care of herself. She tells her wife it’ll be okay and that it’s the place she’s always wanted to go. As she slips away she can’t help but think about the 46 notes she wrote that remain in her nightstand that she never followed through with. As death nears she nears the place she’s always dreamed of because dead is the thing she’s always wished to be. Until now of course, because now she wants to live more. To sit in her chair holding her wife’s hand while the grandchildren and great-grandchildren are in their home. The toddlers play with blocks by the television and they all laugh together. They all cry together. They all live together. Together they were and together they would be…
There is a place in which nobody goes. A place in which the living are never home. A place where the dead roam. Its a place where you will be all alone until someone comes to bring you home.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. My mother told me when I was eight what love was like. True love in her words. I wonder what happened.” She says.
“Stop it Emma” Her father says.
“Apparently it wasn’t true love!” She screams angrily. “In order for it to be true love both parties have to be in lov-” she’s cut off by him slapping her across the face.
“It wasn’t my fault she killed herself because of it I didn’t know” her father screams enraged at his daughter’s outburst.
“AND IT WASN’T HER FAULT THAT SHE APPARENTLY WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU. IT WASN’T HER FAULT THAT YOU LIED TO HER ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR HER BECAUSE YOU COULDN’T LOOK PAST THE DAMN SCAR ON HER FACE.” She screams the words so loud her throat hurts.
The very same year her mother told her about love was the year her mother was attacked in her own home. She was slashed across the face, her eye swollen shut. Ever since then her father just didn’t look at her mother the same.
“Your mother chose death. She chose the easy way out and I’m sorry because I know that’s hard for you.” Her father says calmly.
“The easy way out? YOU CHEATED ON HER. YOU HAD A WHOLE OTHER FAMILY WHILE BEING WITH HER AND IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH YOU BEAT HER AND YOU CALLED HER NAMES!” she screams.
The look on her faces displays fear as she knows she’s gone too far.
What are you doing? I think. Charlie Sanders runs across the street. I stare I can’t do anything. I shouldn’t care what he does. Then it happens. I most definitely care about what he’s just done.
“CHARLIE WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?” I scream.
He lays in the middle of the street. No cars are around. Just him on the ground in his own pool of blood with a black gun in his hand.
“What in the world?” sunlight peered through the blinds in my apartment.
I could of swore I closed those blinds, and then I see it. The window latch is broken. I get up off the couch quickly and grab my gun up off of the couch. I move cautiously through my apartment looking for anything out of the ordinary. God I shouldn’t have testified against that guy. William Albert had killed two men without leaving fingerprints. I was the only witness and no one had believed me. They said Mr. Pottenger had committed suicide and so had Mrs. Albert. But I watched him push them over the side of the patio. He threw Mr. Pottenger over because he witnessed it as well. People said that not being able to save Mrs. Albert is why he committed suicide but it just didn’t add up. There’s this whooshing sound and I’m knocked against the wall. I struggle against the body ontop of me.