4:42

this is a short story of mine that I wrote for English class last year, centered around the very broad theme of “catharsis”. it makes little sense and is quite vague but please tell me what you think, and ask what’d you like. please do not steal or post anywhere else as I worked very hard on this last year.  thank you. 

4:42 AM.

My head is hurting and my feet are sore. It’s too dark out to feel the pain, though. It’s much too early to feel anything. I am not supposed to be here, of course not, but I could not sleep and I could not stay put inside of my small, claustrophobic, room. I had to let myself out. I had to.

I am standing at the exact spot where the waves break against the sand, the fine divide between the rugged darkness of the sea and the soft motionless existence of the earth. I used to love that- the metaphor of the break between oblivion and life. I suppose I still do, but in a much different way. I slide off my sandals, tossing them somewhere behind me, dismissing the common necessity of footwear for a time of lesser importance than this.

The night air is dipping down, settling around me, a charcoal tip smudging against the papery sand. I am silent but my mind is certainly not. All I can think of is how this came to be. How did this happen? How did the person that I used to so willingly be become the person that I now so unexpectedly am? Everything is aching inside of me as I slip my toes into the coldness of the water. The temperature is almost unbearable, but all I can think about is the girl that once was. And the memory hurts far more than the death chill.

A slippery smile crosses my lips as I close my eyes, breathing in all of the night and all parts of the wide, unbreakable universe. Breathing in what was and what would’ve been. It is peaceful, surprisingly enough. It is peaceful.

That day when the tears stained my cheeks like cracks in a sidewalk, the outer darkness that surrounded me threatening to choke me to death. The weight of her troubles was passed subconsciously unto me. And I know that she never meant to make me carry her heartache, but I did. I did for too long, and too deeply. Her demons were never meant to be mine, but somehow, they laid eggs inside of my heart and have grown there since.

When the person closest to you breaks, you do not imagine how deeply it will injure you. It does, though. It breaks you in places you did not know even existed until now. You do choose your friends, but you do not choose their heartbreaks. You do not choose their insecurities, or their many, many flaws, or their instinctive hatred that has been relentlessly instilled in them since birth. You do not choose their humanity. You only choose what they allow you first to see. And, after that, all you can ever hope to do is to try to hold onto the person you once believed existed. After a while, though, that weight grows tiresome. That weight pulls you into someone else’s darkness. One that was never supposed to pass into yours.

Is it better, I think, solemnly, to feel complete indifference to everything, to feel absolutely nothing but to thus never feel pain? Or is it better to feel all of everything at once? It is the unspoken and unanswerable question. But I think, now, I have finally somehow answered it. I have felt it all: the grief of your own soul lost, but stitched back together by brand-new needles. The maelstrom of a thousand devastations cleaning your spirit and washing away the disbelief into an understanding for what life really is. It is a ridiculously painful thing, but a necessary cleansing. After all of the vehement madness I have so exhaustedly pushed myself into, I now can say that it is better, to have felt it all, for the strange feeling will lead to understanding. The feeling will burn inside of you until you have absolutely no choice but to allow the fire to grow. There is no other choice, and there never was.

The girl who once was, isn’t anymore. The young, inquisitive girl who believed in saccharine goodness and in the bright, shiny parts of the world, who believed in unconditional kindness, isn’t anymore. That girl, however hopeful, however fervently inspired she was, is inexorably gone. That girl is long dead, not buried, but burnt. And I am suddenly, overwhelmingly, okay with that. It is no longer a terrible epiphany, but a momentous one. I left pieces of myself in every person that I used to love, and now, those pieces are forever broken, but all I must do is find new ones. All I must do is let go of the remains of the past and instead dare to pass into the new world of myself. There are parts of me where the sun will never shine, and this is no longer a disgrace, but an understanding. There is no requirement for perpetual sunlight, not when you are capable of controlling your darkness. Not when you’re at home in your brokenness.

I still miss you, I do. I will never stop missing you. But the water is growing colder and the waves are getting bigger and I need to go back to bed. I love you, as always, but I will never see you again. And I have to live with that, for now.

I turn my back to the sea. I search for my shoes in the pale dawn.

They are long gone.

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