Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
What do you do when the only thing that is keeping you alive is the very same thing that is slowly tearing you apart, day by day?
This is the question I have been asking myself for well over a year now. It haunts me each and every night as I toss and turn, trying to escape the inevitable thoughts that consume me with guilt and simultaneous hope. My life, my thoughts, my very inner being are a paradox, one that has no escape or solution. No escape from the outside world; no escape from myself.
This night differs only slightly from every other. Instead of trapping myself further in the small confines of my room, I’ve taken the initiative to temporarily free myself from my pressing thoughts, and drown everything out with heavy music and the silence of the cool fall evening.
As my black converse-clad feet slap quietly and rhythmically against the damp, cracked pavement that lines the rows of identical suburban homes, I allow nothing but the soothing sounds of smooth guitar riffs and calming lyrics to enter my mind. I’m trying; I’m trying, to let you know just how much you mean to me. The words drift softly to my ears, and I chuckle darkly at the pure irony of the situation. The thing I sought to forget is being forced from my subconscious and breaking my concentration, by means of the thing intended to wipe those memories clear. I rip the headphones from my ears, and stuff them roughly into the pocket of my Avenged Sevenfold hoodie. I continue along at a brisk pace, trying to focus on my surroundings instead of my internal conflicts.
The night is calm, without a trace of wind; an event that is rather uncommon in this area. The dim streetlights illuminate the path I find myself on, highlighting the dull, wet cement in a yellowish light, making the sidewalk appear a pale shade of saffron. “If only life were as easy as clicking your heels and following a yellow brick road.” I think bitterly. I press on, the chill of autumn seeping through my beloved hoodie, and nipping at my scarred arms. I stop a moment in front of a large puddle that blocks my path. I take in my appearance in its glassy surface: Raven hair with streaks of neon purple scattered throughout that sits just below my shoulders, an absurdly pale face with jade eyes rimmed heavily with black eyeliner, a faded black band hoodie, ripped up red skinny jeans that are adorned with dozens of safety pins, accompanied with long silver chains that hang to my knees on one side, and jet black converse. I feel tears prick at the back of my eyes as I am reminded of why my mother no longer speaks to me, why I have only two friends in the whole world, and why no one could ever possibly love a reject like me. I stomp through the puddle angrily, marring its smooth surface and sending icy droplets of rain water flying in all directions, as well as soaking into my canvas shoes. I instantly regret my actions and curse under my breath, as my feet slowly begin to grow cold and numb.
I do my best to ignore the numbness in my frozen feet, and trudge along the sidewalk at a considerably slower pace than I had been before. Feeling defeated and sullen, I purposely scuff the toe of my shoe against the ground in an attempt to vent some of the frustration I am ridden with. The result is not relief, but rather an awkward stumbling followed by my face hitting the hard grey surface below me. The rest of my body is sprawled in an undignified manner upon the pavement. It certainly was NOT what I was expecting, although I really should have seen it coming. I’ve always been uncoordinated, and this accident was no exception to that. I shakily push myself up into a kneeling position, and sign in defeat. The universe really has something against me, I swear it. I’m about to drag myself to my feet, when I’m startled by a harsh vibration, followed by the blaring of Slipknot’s Psychosocial ringing out and shattering the silence around me. I reach into my back pocket and retrieve my cellphone from its crimson confines. The time reads 12:13, and the words “1 new text message” are staring up at me expectantly. I sigh again, this time in annoyance, and retrieve the message. It’s from my dad, and reads: “Honey, where are you? I’m worried. Come home soon.” My annoyance is immediately melted away and guilt instantly washes over me as I read the text. I almost always tell my dad when I go out, goodness knows he’d have a heart attack if he didn’t know where I was. He cares so much, and it comforts me to know that no matter what, at least my dad is there for me. When he and my mother separated a few years back, due to my mother whoring around with some other guy, he always made sure I was okay, and was making sure things were working out. My mother on the other hand acted coldly around me all the time. She knew I was closer to my dad than her, and she loathed my father and me for it. She gave me the ultimatum of “It’s me or him! Who’s it going to be?!” and naturally, I chose my father. You can’t honestly tell me you’d pick that cheating, malevolent whore over someone as kind hearted and caring as my father. She took off with my oblivious younger sister, and I haven’t heard from either of them since.
I was momentarily caught up in my memories, and was brought back by the loud ping of my message reminder. I sent back a quick reply, saying I’d be home as soon as I could, and for him to stop worrying. I shut the phone off, and pull myself to my feet, and head back home as fast as I could manage.
As I round the corner of my street, a large truck speeds by, soaking my entire being with the dirty remnants of the earlier rainfall. I yelp in surprise, and furiously flip off the asshole who has managed to make me feel even shittier, and more worthless than I already do. Tears threaten to fall, and for once, I let them. I just don’t care anymore. Let the world see that I’m an emotionally disturbed, fucked up teenager. After all, why bother denying the truth any longer? My salty tears mix in with the rain that has started to fall for the second time that evening, splashing to the ground. As I near my home, I see the silhouette of my father pacing back and forth on our driveway, umbrella held high. He faces away from me, and for the hundredth time, I pray that he won’t see through the façade I’ve carefully perfected over the years. I walk up the drive towards him, and the moment he sees me, he lets the navy blue umbrella fall from his firm grasp and rushes forward, embracing me in the tightest hug I’ve ever experienced.
“Where were you?! I was so worried! You left without a note, and I mean, I know you wouldn’t be off doing anything bad, I trust you, it’s just-“He rambles on, voice panicky and full of concern. I cut him off before he can get too lost in his own little bubble of worry.
“Dad! Stop. It’s alright. I’m alright. You can stop freaking out. I just needed to get some air, it’s not like I’ve never done this before.” I inform him. His brow creases and he opens his mouth as if he were about to speak, but shuts after a brief moment. He isn’t typically prone to long speeches on how he’s the dad, it’s his house, and he makes the rules, and so on. The only time these speeches make themselves present is when I screw up really badly. He nods in what I perceive to be agreement and snatches up his umbrella.
“Let’s get inside. It’s freezing out here!” he says with a laugh. I follow wordlessly behind him, and into the warmth of the moderately sized house the two of us call home. I hastily undo my converse and chuck them onto the mat reserved for shoes that resides near the stairs leading to the upper floor. I’m shivering now, something I hadn’t noticed until I heard the clicking of my teeth hitting against each other. My dad removes his jacket and carefully hangs it above the register for it to dry. He kicks off his shoes, runs a hand through his short, gray hair and sighs. He turns to me and gives me the saddest looking face the world has ever seen. “Why do you always disappear in the evenings? You’re always coming in later than you say you’ll be back, and you constantly hide in you room with the lights off. Please, tell me what’s wrong.” He pleads. He beckons for me to follow him downstairs, and into the living room that sits at the far end of the basement. I hesitantly follow, not wanting to speak, but rather to just go to sleep and attempt to ignore the messed up world I’m slowing coming to grips with. Despite my will to supress my emotions, the strong feeling of dread creeps up my spine and settles into my chest, which tightens as feelings of anxiety and sadness worm their way in, and come to rest alongside the dread. I gingerly sit down on the faded blue loveseat that is pressed up against the beige wall, and stare at my father, waiting for some sign as to what I’m to say. He takes his place in the worn faux-leather recliner, and turns to me with a knowing look spread across his aged face. “Izzy, come on. Please, just talk to me. I’m so worried.” He whispers, a frown forming on his lips as he completes his sentence.
“Dad, I wish I could tell you, I wish so badly that I could explain to you the mess of…” I stumble on my words momentarily, and gesture fiercely to my head. “… This! Nothing makes sense anymore, and I just don’t know what to do. I’m not even sure what’s wrong. If I knew what was wrong, I wouldn’t have a problem in the first place.”
After a short talk with my dad and another rib-crushing hug, he heads off to bed and I’m left alone in the small basement. I don’t feel even remotely tired, something I’m very accustomed with at this point. Rather than mirror the actions of my father, I head to my bedroom to change into clean, dry clothes. I shut the door quietly so as not to wake him, and begin to peel away the layers of soaked clothing from my ice-cold skin. When I’m left in just my hoodie, I hesitate to remove it. It’s not like anyone is around to see what lies beneath its cotton confines, but I take a paranoid glance around my band poster-littered room anyways. I take a deep breath, as if I were preparing for some great feat rather than taking a sweater off, and yank the black garment over my head and toss it in the laundry hamper.
I search through my haphazardly arranged closet for something comfortable to wear. I settle on a pair of black and white plaid pajama pants and a baggy Pink Floyd shirt that my dad gave to me for my birthday last year. I wander out into the abandoned living room and sit down heavily in my dad’s recliner. I reach for the television remote on the coffee table, and notice something on the shelf underneath the top of the table: a faded photograph of my family, encased in an old and cracked frame from back when my mother and father were still together. I pick it up with equal measures of curiosity and dislike. This is the only picture I’ve seen of my mother in over 3 years. Any other photos with her in them were burnt by my dad, my uncle and I on a camping trip. My dad said it was to get rid of “bad mojo”, but I considered it a final “fuck you”. I can’t help but wonder why this one is still hanging around, so I take a closer look.
The photo is slightly blurry, taken by myself with shaky toddler hands. The scene shows my mom sitting beside a lake, feeding ducks. She looks roughly 10 years younger here than she would be today. I smile as I notice my dad in the background, chasing my little sister around with our old dog, Frank. I feel tears building for the second time that evening, but push them away quickly. I never realized how much I missed my baby sister. I had been blinded by my anger towards my mother for such a long time; it overrode any kind of longing or sadness. I gently brush my thumb over the dusty glass that sits above my sister’s smiling face.
Madison Bella Sutherland: Soft dirty blonde waves of hair that fell to her shoulders, a sun kissed complexion with rosy cheeks, and the cutest smile you could imagine. She was so stubborn, but incredibly kind hearted at the same time. The last time I saw her, she was ten years old. So young and naïve it was almost painful. I was only twelve at the time, but thinking back on it, I was far older. I had always been more mature than other kids my age, and grew up quickly. When our parents told us about the divorce, I tried to explain to her what it meant when mommy and daddy didn’t want to be married anymore, but she merely laughed her childish little giggle and called me silly. Mommies and daddies didn’t say things like that. I wish I could have made her understand; make her see what her loving mother was doing behind our family’s backs.
I snap out of my small episode and set the photograph back down, no longer wanting to explore buried emotions. I switch the TV on, and it starts up with a small click and an odd little buzzing sound, as all televisions do. I scroll through the channels looking for something to keep my attention. After nearly five minutes of channel surfing, I’m fed up with searching. I hop up and head over to the DVD stand that sits next to the TV and grab my all-time favorite: the Lord of The Rings trilogy, extended edition. I could care less if you think I’m nerdy for loving these movies. They are the best! Plus, Orlando Bloom makes for a gorgeous Legolas. I pop in the first disk of Fellowship of The Ring, and curl up in the chair with a fuzzy blanket wrapped tightly around me. I watch the first few scenes intently, but slowly begin to doze off after a half hour. Before long, I’m asleep, and fall into the clutches of my hungry nightmares that have been waiting eagerly to tear apart my sanity.
The room I find myself in is tiny, barely the size of an average bathroom. The walls are barely visible in the dim light emitted from the solitary light bulb that hangs from the ceiling, but from how they feel against my back, they seem to be padded and cushiony. I try to get up and find a way out, but can’t. I look down at myself only to discover that I’m trapped in an old fashioned straightjacket. I begin to panic, and struggle to get free, but to no avail. I feel my chest tighten and I begin to break out in a cold sweat. Claustrophobic and terrified, I start to hyperventilate. Suddenly, the confining jacket falls away and I throw it in the opposite corner, eager to be rid of it. I jump to my feet, and start feeling up and down the walls for some sort of door, some way to get out, As I reach the last wall, they all fall away to reveal a destroyed city. People are running, screaming and sobbing all around me. I’m surrounded by complete chaos; horrified by the sight that sits in front, behind and beside me. I take a few hesitant steps forward, constantly looking all around me for imminent danger.
Buildings are destroyed; cars burn along the upheaved streets, the sky is grey from the ash that rains down. I follow a small path through the wreckage, not sure what to do or where I am. For some I reason I get the sense that I caused this destruction. Up ahead, I see the silhouette of a woman crouched over something – or someone- and she’s screaming. I race over to her as quickly as I can and drop to my knees at her side. A curtain of matted brown hair hides her face from me. I look down to inspect what she’s hovering over. I gasp is shock and my hand flies to my mouth as I view the upper portion of a small boy, mangled and pinned beneath part of a collapsed building. His face is bloody and his eyes are swollen shut. His jaw juts out to the right sickeningly, and parts of his cheek bones are visible through his blue and green tinged skin. His ribcage is obviously shattered, and patches of blood soak through his white shirt like morbid polka dots. I feel like vomiting, but hold back: I need to help this woman first. I gently place my hand on her ash-covered shoulder.
“Miss, are you okay? I can help you. What happened?” I ask the woman who has stopped screaming and is now shaking, either from the trauma or her violent sobbing. I get no response, and she scurries away from me. She stops and rests against the side of a partially intact chain link fence that encloses an abandoned schoolyard and covers her face with her dirty and scratched hands.
“Please answer me. Are you alright?” I plead. I cautiously approach her, not wanting to frighten her again. I stop in front of her, and kneel down. I tentatively reach out my hand to place it comfortingly on her knee, but she abruptly stops me by snatching my forearm in her bony, vice-like grip. Her gaze is still cast downward, and I find it very unsettling. I wince, and try to pry her hand off my arm, but her hold only tightens.
“Let go!” I screech. All concern for this woman has left me, and now my only focus is to get out of here. Slowly, she lifts her head up, and I’m petrified with fear. Empty sockets where her eyes should have been stare coldly at me. Black tears cascade from the hollow spaces, her lips are blue and her skin is that of a corpse. I shriek and flail and kick at this horrific demon, but she merely sits there as if I were having a friendly chat with her about the weather. She continues to stare at me, and a disturbing smile creeps onto her lips.
“What’s the hurry, love? Won’t you stay with me?” she croons in an eerie and hollow voice. I scream as her head tilts to the side, and falls off entirely, the grin still spread across her beheaded skull that now lies on the charred cement beside us. I feverishly look around and try to call for help, but no sound comes out. I resume my gaze to the body in front of me. I attempt again to remove her decaying hand from me, but the moment I touch her, and ear-piercing scream rings out from above and her body is swallowed up in flames. I can no longer move; I’m frozen in place and left to wait and die as the flames begin to consume me.
I wake up with a jolt and fling the blanket to the floor. I jump up in a panic, and I’m relieved to find that I’m safe at home, in my basement. I rub at my arm, still feeling that icy grip. I’m incredibly thankful that it was just a nightmare, but I still can’t shake the image of that sickening grin from my mind. I take a few deep breaths to calm myself down, and tread over to the washroom. I switch on the light and squint in the sudden brightness. After a moment of adjusting, I turn the tap on cold, and wait for the water to cool down. I observe my reflection in the mirror: deep purple bags sit below my tired green eyes. My eyeliner is smudged all over, even down to my cheekbones. I shudder as I recall the boy from my dream, and hastily snap away from the reflection. I cup my hands under the steady stream and splash cold water on my face. It feels good, and snaps me back into reality a bit. I grab the pill bottle that stands alone on the counter top. I pop it open and down two of the petite brownish orange pills dry. I shut off the water, turn off the light, and head back to the living room. I snatch up the blanket from the floor, press the off button on the remote, and flop down on the couch. I pull the blanket up to my nose, and bit by bit, I fall into a dreamless sleep.