The walls have ears, and mouths with which to tell what they hear to those some would prefer never found out.
It's hard, especially the nights, when it's just me and the voice inside my head, telling me what a complete and utter fool I am. I don't know whether it's right or not, but I do know that I feel regret about my actions. Could I have done it in some other way, or did I not need to do it at all? I pick up the phone nearly every day now. Sometimes I even start dialling, but I never do make that call. Even if it were only to talk to you, not for any other reason, I don't seem to be able to bring myself to do it. Pride, maybe, is the reason why. After so much soul searching, I made a decision and acted upon it, and I don't dare let myself contradict what I have already done. If it were not the right choice, then what other things have I done in my life that are wrong? How much am I truly to blame for? What could I have done better?
I sit at the desk in my room and start decompressing the notes I took during today's lectures. The semester has only just begun, so the subject matter is far from overwhelming, though I have never truly been troubled in such academic matters. I must always conduct myself with grace. That is what I was taught. I must always mind my manners. I must always watch my tongue. I must always guard my thoughts. I must always cloak my actions. I must always be a lady. I must. I must. I must. I must live in a cage. I must have no freedom of my own. I must do what I am told. I must not ask questions. I must obey.
I feel sick. I already know how my entire life will go, its course already mapped and plotted by my elders and betters. It is curious that the 'better off' a person is, the less control they have over their lives. Surely by this logic, the homeless are truly the freest of people upon this earth, but that seems to go against the rhyme and reason of society. What is the worth of money if it only serves to imprison us? There are times that I wish I could give all of this up and live a life of my own. Indeed, for one short period of time, I truly thought that I could. But reality is a cold and cruel mistress, luring us into fallacies of the mind, only to whip out the rug from beneath our feet. Truly, the fate of all existence being upon the whimsy of a flighty goddess seems a far from unlikely thing to me. Truthfully, none are more cruel than those who have gone before and are unhappy with the fruits of their labour, and thus seek to make sure those who come after must suffer the same fate. Pride, as always, brings everything down to the basest of desires: one-upmanship.
In western theology, it is said that Pride is the Devil's favourite of the seven deadly sins, that Lucifer Morningstar loves nothing more than to watch humanity trick itself into beginning their own fall, with no intervention of his own. Surely he would find my own situation worth a good few hearty laughs, before wiping his eyes and moving on to observe the next one. For it must be pride that keeps me perpetrating this cycle of stupidity.
No, you were my chance to break free, you were my reason to buck this trend, and I pushed you away before deciding that there was no true future for the two of us together. Would it have been different if I had acted differently during the Carnival, that I had not wreaked such havoc? Or am I merely seeking to lay the blame at the feet of that one short period of time, instead of accepting responsibility for that which I have wrought?
I lay my pen down besides the pad I have just finished expanding my notes onto. Taking care to remove the used sheets from the pad without tearing them, I then apply adhesive reinforcements rings to both sides of each hole. I open up a ring binder that also sits upon the desk and in goes the paper, the first of many for this semester. I move the binder to a corner of the desk, making sure it is square to the desks edges. Everything orderly and neat, just as I was taught.
I wish I could cry, but that would be losing control, it wouldn't be the correct thing to do. It was only during the Carnival that I could break free from my dogmatic lifestyle. After all, how often can you hunt down your brethren with a licence to kill? If such a situation does not allow for the rules to be broken, or at least circumvented, then what is the point of anything at all?
I hear a phone ring, and realise that it is my mobile phone. I hit the answer button as I bring it to one ear. I hear the caller's voice, but I don't recognise it
Letting out a breath I didn't even know I had been holding, I lower the phone to my lap and lean backwards in the chair, trying to calm myself down. I hear the voice on the phone a few more times before I realise I should respond. "Yes," I say into the phone. "My apologies for the delay in answering."
"No, not at all. You aren't intruding upon my time."
Stupid girl, why are you phoning me?
"It certainly is nice to hear from you."
No, I don't remember who you are. Just another of the girls that would fawn over me, I assume.
"It does seem like quite a while, doesn't it?"
Was this all you called me for? There are better things I could be doing.
You should be very careful in picking your words.
"Thank you, it is certainly good to hear such news."
"No, I didn't know of it."
What do I... No. I can't. Not now. Not ever.
"Yes, I'm sure she would have called and told me soon enough, but that's quite alright."
This is my fault.
"Thank you for the trouble."
I really wish you hadn't.
I press a button, ending the call, and then carefully place the mobile phone upon the desk. Only three times in my life have I ever cried, and all but once was in relation to you. Never again. Never again.
If only it were that simple. I took myself away from you to try and diminish the pain I felt, but it has not worked. Part of me says that it merely requires more time, but I have never been much of one for waiting. Except when it came to you. For years I waited. And now it seems, if I had but waited a few months more...
The news begs the question really, just what am I going to do about it? Or is there nothing I neither could nor should do? My heart begs for me to act, but experience tells me that giving in to my heart only leads to further trouble. And yet...