I could feel it.
That heavy leadened heart beat was slowly pumping against my chest. But this time it felt different…it was erratic and could not be predetermined.
Why was that?
All this time it seemed as though I was lacking something, yet somehow in this very instant, that notion itself had just manifested itself so strongly within me that I felt it hard to breathe.
From the corners of my eyes, I could feel the surging waves of tears begin to emerge…–but why am I crying?
Looking to my left and seeing my family, friends, acquaintances; people I’ve met. I realize that…my relationships with each and every one of them has never truly been what some would call “true bonds”. Always secretly succumbing to this fact, I know that I indefinitely never considered any of these people to know me, at least not the inner, weak, and defenseless me.
A streak fell from my overflowing eyelids, but I pressed my thoughts further.
To my right, I saw visions of things that “could be”; my dreams, aspirations, ideals, and the like. However, each and every one of these intangible “things” were never within my reach. Sometimes I remember just closing my eyes in an attempt to reject the reality about me…then I would suddenly open my eyes and realize that drifting far from the place I was right now was probably foolish. In society, people who did as followed were probably listed as so. Why is it that I can’t run from this place? Why is it that I can never escape the ever-binding chains that confine me to this desolate land I’ve been forced to cultivate?
Who was it that was first forsaken to this lonely road that I now find myself walking upon? Will I ever truly find an answer to these prayers I so deperately plead or is my figment so all-consuming that I forget the simplest of solutions?
Ah, the waterworks are unrelenting now.
My blurry vision is now muddled even further..but I’ve nothing to show for it.
With the left side of my face, I’ve plastered a smile that never dared to betray my true feelings. All this time I’ve been deceiving everyone. I refused to trust others and it led me to this predicament I was now in. Even the closest of my so-called “companions” were never truly exposed to the reality that existed behind that mask. No, I made sure to never show my weakness to them especially for fear of pushing them further than I had already distanced myself from them.
The right side of my face always had its eyes closed, ears plugged, and mouth tightly pursed in an attempt to block out everything that could have possibly swayed me to follow a particular dream. Thinking of it now..I realize that I’ve been too ignorant of the systems in society..of the intricate mechanisms that are the cog wheels of this non-palpable thing that is “life”.
Why is it that people can speak of others reaching out to those in pain, but in reality, the stories of the fallen are much more tragic. Of course, who would want to reach out to a pathetic soul as myself? I wouldn’t know the answer to that question.
No, instead I continue walking forward with my head hung low, my eyes wide in horror as I try to anticipate the next incident to become of me.
Pessimistic you might say? Yes, I don’t deny that. For if I weren’t a pessimistic, I assure you that my being would well be over the clouds right now.
To aspire for something is to always be conscious of what we’re after..yet for the life of me, I cannot recall a single aspect that once sung with my innermost heartstrings.
I feel like giving up, stopping right now in the middle of nowhere and crying myself to a black death. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind, my will continues to push me forward unwillingly.
Gritting my teeth and digging my heels into the ground, I try to resist this urge that never makes me stop pressing on. I can’t bear to endure anymore of this, I’ll say. But the small yet commanding voice inside of me whispers encouragingly in spite of it.
“Just give it your best shot.”
They gave me a handgun, the size no bigger than a soccer ball, a book or any item for recreation. How ironic that the one thing to put an end to this would be something so tiny, something so much smaller than what the broad word “life” encompassed. They pulled the hammer down and lowered the steel body to just below my chin.
The unseen force tilted my hand upwards and the nozzle followed accordingly. The gun was aimed to spill my brains out, and I was ever the more ready to pull the final trigger.
I could hear from a certain distance. The voices that screamed for me not to do it, for me to subjugate myself to continue this dreary way of what we considered “living”. I laughed aloud and I all-to-readily pushed aside their meager cries of despair and prepared myself for the final blow.
The scene changed.
It was no longer I that was being pointed at by the gun, but rather a little girl that was backed up into a corner of a white-grey room. Her eyes showed absolute terror but the gun handler unflinchingly continued to hold the weapon at point range towards the young, innocent victim.
How dare this person…how dare this person do this to a child. That little girl reflected stars in her eyes and her life hadn’t even begun a smidgeon, but this complete lunatic was ready to end her life right then and there.
A ripple shifted the scene and I was suddenly looking through the eyes of the little girl, the victim of such an atrocity. Through her vision I could clearly see the face of the murderer-to-be and I came to a cold realization in that moment.
This girl would not be a victim of random crime, but rather a victim of herself.
In her eyes, she saw herself about to be killed by the one she thought one could always trust: herself.
“It hurts,…you don’t understand how it hurts.”
The gunners’ arm trembled as these words floated into the bleak room, but the aim was as clear as day. She would not let this opportunity go to waste and it was definite that she’d shoot in a matter of seconds.
I hugged myself unintentionally, trying to generate some warmth to thaw the ice cold fingers that gripped the carpet floor in utter despair.
I could feel the tears flowing down the childs’ face and slowly staining the carpet. However the droplets were not a clear liquid; they were instead a scarlet shade of red. In this very instant, the child was bleeding away her retention of life before the final bullet even pierced her brain. I cried out.
“STOP, YOU CAN’T DO THIS!”
But my voice was nowhere to be heard. I frantically searched in all directions for an alternative, but it seemed all too destined for that little girl to taste the grim outcome of death.
My head reached out for her, my heart itself leapt from my chest and tried to cover hers. I tried to mesh myself with this child whom I’ve never seen before, trying to protect her from this cruel fate.
Then, the gunner became startled. Somehow I had manifested inside the white-grey room and was now covering the little girl with all I had.
I couldn’t care less for my pathetic existence, but if somehow I could spare this little one, I felt as though maybe my life would be given meaning.
It was then that the little girl herself pushed hard against my chest and left the haven of my heart.
She herself sported a handgun and the target was, unshockingly, me.
Yes, if I could give a life to save anothers’, I would have been content. But to think that the one I saved would be the one to end my life itself..I found to be a bit too hard to digest. I grimaced painfully as I slowly gave myself away to the unknown phenomenon before me.
The sound of gunfire echoed throughout the spacious room and I could feel a warm sensation tingle the skin of my body. I opened my eyes and focused them on the already-shot trajectory of the little girls’ bullet.
A mere centimenter from my person, was a bullet hole that was deeply rooted into the floor.
“Don’t go confirming stupidity just by thoughts alone.”
And the original gunner and little girl evaporated into the now foggy air.
I could now feel a cold sensation permeate the soles of my feet and I noticed then that I was once again plopped on that lonely road of no-return.
How long have I been walking on this never-ending road that led nowhere? How long have I sought to deviate, if even just slightly, from this dreary route laid out for me?
My answer was unclear but one definite fact was confirmed.
The tears had stopped trickling down my cheeks; it was time to move onto a more cheery passage of time.
“Don’t regret the chance I gave you.”
I heard this one phrase reverberate deeply inside me and my soul was warmed to its fullest.
Placing my hand over my heart, I nodded deeply to myself before taking the first step off the hard and pebbled road I’d grown so accustomed to.
If there was anything worth seeing, it was definitely not on this road, but hidden within the lush groves of this wondrous country I’d never explored.
Opening my eyes for the first time in awhile, I saw in the distance, a faint twinkle that ushered me towards it.
Taking a step, and then a stride, I strolled light-heartedly towards an unknown horizon, with nothing but a new perspective embedded into my entire being.
I shan’t waste what I have been given.
I’ll fight for eternity if it means preserving this newfound perception.
I won’t give into that darkness; instead I’ll be the light that everyone else is probably in search of too.