Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Okay so this is not something I'm really happy with, but ah well. For English earlier this semester, we had to write a short story beginning with the line, "The door opened to reveal..." I had no idea whatsoever as to what I could write about, until I decided to base it on a recent dream I had of one of my friends dying, which I woke up crying to. Since I was all out of ideas, I did use that, and managed to tie that line in, although it was terribly done. The ending was also rushed and I had no idea where to go with it. Sigh. I love him so much, I would be devastated if this ever actually happened, even considering circumstances. So, here, then, is "Remembering".


The door opened to reveal a bright array of clothes. Glaring out at her from her cupboard, they hurt her eyes. She struggled to focus. What could she wear? Then again, what did it matter? Tears slipped from her suddenly shut eyes.

Why was she finally crying now? Not even why; how?

It took her a while to notice, disinterestedly, that the tears had stopped. Drained of energy, she sank to the ground.

Then, before she had time to stop herself, the images were tearing through her head. Flashes, disjointed, each moment searing her memory, speeding past, but all in slow motion. A tiny voice within her mind rationalised that it was impossible for something to happen both slowly and quickly, and yet, it was happening right in front of her.

His face, oh god, she had never seen such pain on his face, never even seen so much expression. He was good at that, at hiding his emotions. How could such feeling be displayed in just one look? Her heart was about to shatter. Rejection, loneliness, and utter hopelessness, in that one expression. She was drowning in the depth of his eyes, anguish burning up every fibre of her body; her hurt quickly forming in answer to his. A million questions flooding her mind. She had to help, she had to comfort him. Yet, trapped, she couldn’t move. He was wrong, people cared. How could she make him see? He knew she loved him, she made sure of it, but sometimes one person wasn’t enough.

She fell back to the quiet room, thrust from her remembrance with a harsh suddenness which removed what remaining air she had in her lungs. As when it had happened, she wasn’t able to make a sound, wasn’t able to move. Every time she thought she’d found somewhere safe to stand, the earth tilted once more, leaving her scrambling for a grip on something, anything – just to hold onto until steady ground appeared.

Another voice inside questioned why she was trying to hang on. It was much easier to simply surrender to the chaos, to this broken, unfamiliar night which her world had become.

But something deep down wanted her to keep going. She’d thought she had never felt so helpless in her life as at that moment, but this, this was much worse. For this was final, now. She couldn’t save him anymore.

It should have been enough, one of her inner voices screamed. It could have been enough!

That was the one thing about him that she wished she could have added to; for him not to take things so personally, for him not to give up. He always took the little things to heart, the things that no one noticed. In a circle of friends, his input passing unheard or interrupted made him feel invisible, struggling to accept that in the exuberance of the group, comments by all were missed at times.

She remembered, with a piercing stab, the times he had mentioned to her how he was incapable of talking to others; running out of things to say, stumbling for ease of speech. She had only ever seen his distress about this in the form of anger, an emotion always simpler than misery.

Then her closed eyelids were acting as a movie screen again.

She was abnormally alert to everything around her in that instant. How could no one else notice it, stifling the air? If she wasn’t a statue, frozen in time, she would be bowed to the ground with its weight. She had felt the physical manifestation of emotional pain before, but never like this.

Gasping, she snapped open her eyes. It was too much. She found herself staring at her mirror. Her pale, tired face looked back at her, and she found that she could barely recognise herself. Strange that she could change so much in a few days, but then again, on the inside, she had changed so much more. The emptiness had started that day, from her soul, and quickly spread throughout her body. She was hollow throughout, a paper shell. There was nothing left of her; she was a vacant body with legs of wood – she could hear their clunking on the ground when she walked. Tilting her head, she watched the copy in the glass do the same. With a rush, the feelings welled up in her, and her reflection began to blur.

Tears, again. She felt strangely relieved. So she could cry about it. She wasn’t completely empty. This thought pressed the play button on the moment once more.

They were all walking along the footpath, on their way to the shops. There were about fifteen of them, all talking loudly, as usual. She had left him with a few of their friends for a while so she could spend time with some of her other friends amongst the group. She was also trying not to fuel the rumours that they were anything more than friends. They were best friends, nothing more.

He’d see, after a while, that people appreciated him. Soon. Still, after a few minutes, she turned to look for him, if only to make eye contact for a second, reassuring each other of their presence as they always did.

It was then that she saw him backing away, out onto the road.

His face, oh god, she had never seen such pain on his face, never even so much expression (but she had, she had seen this all before).

Their eyes locked. Her heart constricted. He was lying down, lying down on the road oh god, and she was screaming and screaming but she wasn’t making a sound, and he was closing his eyes, how was no one else noticing; “get up get up get up” but in her head; panic rising and spilling over, and rising higher still.

She saw the car, and everything slowed down. A few people turned, and saw, like she did. She heard screams, but still none were hers. Her screams were in her mind and in her tearing heart, pouring from her eyes and she was begging him to look at her, and to get up, and she was trying to run but she was a statue and she couldn’t move, and then she was hit by a car and she felt the impact but it wasn’t her it was him and the car was stopping and the driver was getting out and he was lying there and she was splintering into a million pieces…

This time the tears didn’t stop.

Later, the funeral. She had finally chosen something from her wardrobe, blindly, and somehow pulled it on. Somehow dragged herself down the stairs, out the door, into the car. Everything was a haze. She was vaguely aware of her parents next to her, and she was glad for their presence as she entered the funeral home; without their support she might collapse, walking on these wooden legs. She looked for the others, looked for a friend; and the first person she saw was his mum. Her breath caught, she felt like she was about to throw up, but she hadn’t eaten in a few days, and everything was spinning far too quickly around her. His mum looked completely destroyed, and suddenly it was a fight not to blame herself. She was there, she could have stopped it.

No no no.

And she was screaming inwardly again.

How long would she be doing this for?

This was all wrong!

This could not be happening.

The next few hours passed in a blur. She withdrew within herself as a natural reflex, blocking everything out.

The days and weeks afterward followed in the same way. She hadn’t returned to school and the thought was something she dreaded. How could she be there, and not have him there too? The memories would flood in unstoppably and her egg-shell barrier would cave. As it was, she thought of him all the time. The faintest thought would lead to some reminiscence, some remembrance of him and then she would be shaking. Nothing else seemed to matter.

One day, feeling as low as she could remember, she recalled him comforting her when she was upset. She remembered his words exactly, his, “It will get better, eventually. You just have to keep going.”

Why couldn’t you do the same?

She was sobbing, but what he’d said kept repeating in her mind.

Had she kept on going, really?

Sure, she had, physically; she was doing things – eating, sleeping, walking. But emotionally, she hadn’t. She had shut down, with no plans to continue. And something about that struck her as hypocritical, for she had said the same thing to him as well. He hadn’t thought she’d needed him, and she had, she still did. She missed him everyday. But was that an excuse? She had to keep going, like he had wanted her to. Tears were spilling down her face. Fighting not to feel all this time, she could no longer shut it out.

She didn’t need to move on; she would never move on, but she could keep going. She could prove to herself, and to him, that it was possible to do this, no matter what. Because that meant that he could have too, and in some strange way, that comforted her.

She got off her bed, and went to look in the mirror. Tried on a smile. It looked false, so she stopped. If she wasn’t ready to smile, that was okay. She’d take it slowly. It would never get easier, but she’d keep going with life, through the pain and the tears, and one day through the smiles and the laughter that would come. And everyday, she would remember.

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