It was called need.
I cut myself when you first left. There was blood drip, drip, dripping down to the floor; seeping into the grout between the tiles. Fleetingly I wondered if it would stain, but the thought faded quickly. Instead I simply observed the massacre around me. There were lines of red contrasting against my sun-deprived skin. Starting from my hips and crisscrossing on my thighs and down, down, down to my calves. Those ones were cooling, trickling out weakly and becoming tacky and already the blood felt light on my skin. It was hot and heavy in other places, gushing rivers of red flowing down the valley of my spine, creating a lake at the small of my back before continuing on to the hills of my hips. I held my hands in front of my face as I looked to my arms. I saw the newest trails make their way from my shoulders to the creases of my elbows, joining together along the way. They dropped around to where my arms had bent, hesitating a moment before it took the dive. There was only a split moment of free fall before it crashed to the ground, spreading itself out on the white tiles bellow. If someone were to ask me how I felt just at that moment, I would have replied jealous.
According to the calendar hanging in the corner of the study that had been covered in a blanket of dust it had been three months and fifteen days since I last spoke; seven months and twenty two days since I had actually spoke to one of them.
The ones who think because of the fact that we share this vile blood I shed too often I belong to them. I owe them for my existence even though neither of us wants it. In the beginning you had told me I didn’t owe them shit. I still agree with you on that one. Not one of them had noticed my silence by that point, or maybe they had and were thankful for it. I felt so damn invisible.
No it wasn’t until I almost stopped eating all food for a while that they were inclined to do something. Awhile turned out to be five months and nine days. When they took me to the professionals they said I was withdrawing myself from the world. They sat me down on an overstuffed couch and asked if a traumatic event or huge setback had happened recently in my life. I wanted to reply with why would it matter? It didn’t, still doesn’t. I bit my tongue, hugged myself tighter and shook my head, no. The answer is no. Nothing happened that I shouldn’t have been able to predict. I should have seen it all coming but I was too busy watching a dream. Those are dangerous; I shouldn’t have ever let myself fall into one. All it did was fill me up with false hope and want and fuck, the want is just so strong.
Never want something. I used to live by that rule before you, and forgetting it seemed to be my undoing. By wanting something I left myself vulnerable to the pain of being stabbed with a dagger of loss. Not in the back, no that would be too easy. Instead the deceit came from the side, from where I could have seen it coming but didn’t turn to look because I trusted it not to come. Trust, such a tricky thing. Sometimes you don’t even realise you’re giving it away before it’s already taken from you and in the hands of someone who will only twist and abuse it in the worst way possible. But no, nothing had happened that hadn’t been caused by my own stupidity and obliviousness. Out of disinterest and obligation backed by the money of those just as disinterested the balding man in front of me then asked how I felt. I stared at him blankly and wondered why he couldn’t see the gaping wound in my side that kept bleeding all over the place because I couldn’t seem to close it properly. Maybe he was just as blind as I was.
It’s okay though, because I’ve learned my lesson and I know now. I know. Don’t panic when you see the cuts that dig deep into my flesh and cover the majority of my body, those wounds will heal. I’ve already made them and can’t take them back, but soon they will fade away. Even as I watched them drying I felt the urge to recreate them, go over them just to make sure they’re there, they’re real. Making them had already become just a memory. Because things are happening in your life until they aren’t. It’s not really until after they stop happening that you realise they were even occurring in the first place. Just watch this second go by and look, it’s gone now and is simply a memory only existing in your mind. Don’t try to get it back, you can’t. You’ll just waste more of your precious seconds in a vain attempt. I know because I’ve tried. The clock will keep tick, tick, ticking and this heart is beating along with it causing my blood to keep spilling. It’s okay though, because I have more. It’s all okay.
But then you came back. And I wasn’t okay. I was very, very not okay. I tried my hardest to stay away but you had me. From the very beginning you had me. You circled me slowly and watched me struggle with a glint of glee in your cognac eyes. Without a fight I succumbed to your will. Once you found the newly made scars you traced every single one with your hands, your lips, your tongue. You apologized, and like the fool I was I believed you. Now I know you enjoyed seeing what you had made me do. You liked knowing you had caused me to fall that far down. Past rock bottom and deeper into the fiery abyss below where you lay waiting with open arms.
I’d known for a very long time that I was not wanted. I told you not to tell me I was because I’m not and I wasn’t back then either. And don’t you dare look at me with those sympathy eyes of yours. Next thing I know that convincing voice of yours was slipping into my ears.
‘Everything's okay now. I have you, I'm here.’
Bullshit. I knew it wouldn’t be and knew even you didn’t believe the words coming from your mouth. I begged you to do me a favour and close your mouth so the words couldn't escape. Please, just be quiet. I didn’t want to hear the things coming from your mouth because I gave my trust to you and I couldn’t seem to get it back even when I fought for it. I believed you and continue to believe you even when you know and I know that it’s all such a blatant lie. But you didn’t care, instead you kept whispering sweet nothings into my ears with that smooth as silk voice. With your breath warm on my neck I couldn’t fight off the part of me that still wanted to believe in you, in us. I felt defeated as I had no choice but to let you torture me some more.
It was as I sat naked and revealed under the downpour of glacier water that washed away the evidence of your absence once again that I found the answer. It was called need. And in the technical sense I never needed you. I never needed to think of you, didn’t need to think of anything. I barely even needed to move. A solid and a bottle of something clear a day seemed to be enough for my needs. I felt nothing for the longest time.
I made the mistake of letting another love me in that time. I forgot how easily and hard the innocent let themselves fall. They believed they could fix me, bring me back to life. It didn’t take them too long to realise I was too far gone. There’s something almost heartbreakingly beautiful in the way, for those first few horrifyingly altering moments you can see someone break on the inside if you look through their eyes. You saw it in me, didn’t you? Saw those towers of trust and the ocean of want and the city of dreams crumble and fold in on itself. You were even there to see the landscape of ruble and despair that was left behind in the aftermath. God, with the way you screwed me over it must have been a sight to see.
I’ve got it covered now, hidden behind a wall and smoothed over into nothing but a barren land of sand. I can’t be held down now; it’s just too easy to slip away into nothing. Not even a ghost. No ghosts are still a reminder of what was once there, still present to those who remember. But no one will remember the sands they let the wind blow from their hand. The sands that seemed to seep away so fast you barely noticed until it was gone, and even then you didn’t mind too much. It’s just sand after all. I still stick to the bare minimum of my needs; it seems to be working so far. Maybe there are a few more scars littering my skin, and maybe I can count my ribs through my shirt. But it’s okay, don’t worry. I feel okay now. I’m okay.
Let us say you’ve taken this all in; that you’ve imagined my hands creating these inked symbols translating the language of my mind onto this paper. I would like to know just one thing.
How do you feel?
AN: I just felt this urgent need to write something and so this came out. In my mind I know who the sender and addressed are but I wont tell you so your mind can come up with whoever you feel it should be. In some parts it may not make too much sense and for that I apologize. I didn't really look it over all too much before posting so mistakes may be numerous.
As always thoughts and criticism are seriously appreciated. Please leave a comment.