of gardens and worlds
i wish we had created a world enough for the both of us. big enough to fit your pain and mine. i wish the garden we made together had grown. i wish there had been a big open room for you to love me the way i needed you too. i wish you had cleaned out the boxes from your childhood, made space for your addiction. i wish i had built a castle for myself, one where i could get away from you when i wanted, where i could paint my trauma somewhere other than the small and crumbling walls of our world. i wish we could have broken out, instead of staring at the rolling hills outside of the tiny window. i wish you had found the way out instead of me. i wish i could have left the room with you. i wish you had wanted to leave too. i wish you could see the world i made for myself. it has a garden. i wish i could show you now, but seedlings are fragile and i’m afraid they would shrivel. i wish that someday you will grow a garden of your own because you deserve to watch it breathe.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Everyone experiences grief differently. Some eventually get over their grief and move on. Others continue to feel grief. Unfortunately, I was one of those 'others'. You see, when I was 8, I grew up with a happy, healthy childhood like many boys. I had the grades that allowed me to pass junior school, I had a hopeless crush and I was a teacher’s pet. Of course, unaware that my mother, who was dying of Cancer and my father who was having a money issue. Therefore, we could not treat mother.
I knew something was off with her, watching as her life was sucked away, day after day, hour after hour. But...they always told me that they were fine, that we were all fine. That they didn't need help. I believed them... I was such a naive child. Oh, why did I have to be such a naive child?! Why couldn't I just figure out just how much trouble we were in. Why couldn't someone tell me. Well... I understood why they didn't. They didn't want my childhood to ruined at such a young age, but it was...
When I was 14, mother had passed. I was beginning to fail my classes at school and became a huge introvert. I lost all my friends and lost interests. I didn't speak much.
A year later, father had followed mother's path. He finally got a promotion at work and went out to drink. But he himself must've been going through his own grief, most likely about mother. He made a bad decision and decided to drive home.
He didn't come home that night.
The next morning, my Grandmother got a call. Father had died in a car crash. They said something about the breaks not working and eventually while trying to avoid another car, he swerved out of control. But I saw the look in his eyes this morning. Despite the smile on his lips and the confident 'Good bye! Have a good day,' his eyes held an empty look. He looked so far away. I was scared he would've gotten further away if I were to let him leave, but I didn't think that if he were to walk out the door, he wouldn't come back.
After his death, my grandmother had taken me to many counsellors, to many mental health support groups, but none had done me any good. Grandmother's old age had soon caught up to her and she found herself to be in her death bed and currently, she still laid there.
I had my fair share of going in and out of hospitals, and the number of scars on my wrists and other parts of my body only increased. I didn't want to be here anymore. The sense of hopelessness and sorrow being way too much for me to take.
At this moment, I stood on our town's only bridge, just on the edge. It was almost midnight and not a single person was out at this time. The chilly breeze blew my curly shoulder length hair around my face, stubble grew along my chin and I was barely wearing clothing that could keep me warm in some way. The water beneath me was deep but if something...or someone were to fall in a certain place, they may hit the many sharp rocks below the water's surface.
Tears fell from my eyes like waterfalls. Turning my attention up to skies above, I allowed my eyes to wander over the stars, the far away worlds that may or may not have been discovered. Oh, how I wished I lived on another planet. There was nothing for me here. What was the good of living if I couldn't enjoy it? If I couldn't be around or even talk to those who I loved. Why even love? There was no point. Everyone who I loved always died anyway.
I had been told by many to never cry. I was a man Afterall. But if I must, if I must let out all that build up sadness and frustration, I were to do it silently, away from everyone. So away from everyone I went. To the bridge. I had heard many stories of this bridge as a child. Many in which all involved monsters. One in particular which I wished come true. It was a story for children who misbehave. It was told that a troll will crawl out, grab you with its dirty, yellow finger nails, and drag you back underneath. You would never be seen again. Why didn't the troll ever come for me? Was I that well behaved? I doubt it. I had my moments like any boy.
I let out a sob as I closed my eyes, tilting my chin back down towards the untrustworthy, wooden floorboards that creaked underneath any sort of weight. Tonight, is when my plan takes place, to leave reality and join all those who I loved. It was selfish for those who knew me, but if that’s what it meant, then I guess I was selfish. Opening my eyes, I face the flowing water underneath me. If the water didn't do as I planned, then I wouldn't know what to do.
Walking towards the very edge, I sigh. "I'm sorry everyone. But this life isn't for me. Forgive me..." I whispered those last two words as I took another step. But I was stopped. I couldn't go any further. In fact, something... No. Someone was holding me back.
Something pulled at my waist and when I looked down, very thin arms had wrapped themselves around my waist, pulling me back. Whipping my head around, I saw a girl. She was quite familiar and it took a few seconds for it to click. I had found this girl a few weeks back sitting in the park by herself. Her parents had divorced, one having a drug addiction, the other having cheated. I had bought her ice cream that day and a week later, I did again. Despite her situation, she was always so positive and I envied that. I washed I could go back to my childhood days where I was so naive, so happy and still living a life as I should be. What was her name? Eve? Evie? I think she told me to call her either one last time I saw her.
"Don't leave me. Don't leave me like they did." She cried into my back, her hands around my waist bunching up the materials. I had frozen at her words. The lump in my throat was growing. She was meaning her parents. Their love for their child long lost and too focused on their new lives which has led to bad choices.
Sniffles and sobs where heard and I could feel the tear stain on the back of my thin shirt. This was enough to make me crack. I let out a cry, allowing the tears to continue falling further and my throat to grow sore. Quickly, I spun around, wrapping my arms around her small figure. "I'm sorry! Forgive me!" I cried into her shoulder. I wanted to just scream at the world.
As long as this girl kept that happy smile on her face, I would try my best at getting through this. I would not give up, for this girl's sake. Life wasn't fair, nor was it on my side at any part of my life. But I guess it decided I needed a little light to help with the journey through that never-ending dark tunnel. To light the rest of the way and to tell me that there was hope for the both of us.
Can You See Me?
His glasses on the bedside table. His lingering smell on the pillow. His clothes hanging limply in the closet. His old worn, leather billfold on the foyer table. All the reminders of a life lived.
She examined the room bewildered at all the necessities of life. Everything suddenly hollowed in appearance without the man who needed them. But the glasses kept staring at her. How could he see? He was never without them. She laid down with her head on his pillow wishing she could bottle and distill his scent. The essence of him. She wrapped herself in his shirt. Oh how she needed one last hug.
Her worst fear had been realized. She was alone. The house that had been full of the echoes of children’s laughter, yells, fighting, and screams had long been empty of that noise. It had been the two of them for so long. A comfortable silence. Now it was deafening. She thought about those cold, snowy nights when she used to shovel just to enjoy the weighty stillness and now she realized all the time she wasted. All that strung out before her were a series of unending quiet days and nights.
The phone had long stopped ringing. Everyone had stopped checking in. They had moved on with the course of their lives as was the natural way of things. She never blamed them. How many times had she been guilty of the same sin.
She moved to put away his glasses but stopped herself. What if he still needed them she thought as she slipped into the welcoming arms of sleep.