Time | Place | Untitled
February 2005, A bridge
It was a perfect southern spring. Two uncertain teenagers peered over the edge of a bridge, watching their nerves spin and leap upon the surface of the water. Distorting reflections. They stood there for a while, eyes fixed firmly ahead. Cogs spun frantically in their brains, desperately thinking of some kind of transition. This was it—they both felt the weight of it. And then suddenly, her face was in his hands and he was pulling her up and up. And she prayed to God that in the next ten seconds, she wouldn’t be a disappointment.
May 2007, Upstairs family room
She was dressed in all grey, but her heart wore red. Slowly with the tip of her finger, she traced the outline of another’s face, memorizing every line and freckle and secret. She needed to swallow every feature, every second they had shared, and lock that warmth inside forever. Falling in love was effortless. But staying in love? That is the challenge.
January 2008, By the fireplace
Who knew a carpet could be a therapist? Rough and unforgiving—she pressed herself firmly against its surface, determined to disappear until she too was a tiny thread amongst thousands. Her eyes burned, filling with tears from smoke and heartbreak. How easy it was for a hurt seventeen-year-old to deflate. All feeling drained out of that broken shell and as quickly as it was there, it was overtaken by nothingness.
March 2008, 2003 green suburban
11:07 pm. Parked in an empty lot of a place she still frequents in nightmares. She could hear herself screaming, as her fists came in contact with vinyl. Over and over. Blood and bruises erupting across skin. Over and over. But she didn’t care—she welcomed the pain. Emptiness and loneliness make an unbeatable pair.
March 2008, A bedroom
It was the worst she had ever felt and probably would ever feel. She lay in the comfort of her bed replaying the previous night’s events on loop. Frustration had built to anger and anger had built to desperation and desperation had built to a decision and that decision was followed by panic. A half hour of vomiting up pills and regret had taken their toll on her body. It’s as if she had been forced and squeezed through a very small tube. And yet, she sensed a difference. Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, she had been reborn.
February 2009, Room 23B
It was nothing like she had pictured. 65 degrees in that room and their interaction was even colder. Awkward. Silent. Unloving. Instant regret steered her to the bathroom at the end of the hall. She cried for the part of herself that was now gone forever.
April 2010, A therapist’s office
Different place. Same room. Different time. Same problems. An endless cycle of different and same. Depression likes routine.
May 2016, The Pacific Ocean
The waves called to the woman, welcoming her grief. She bolted, running fully clothed into the sea knowing because there could not be a more perfect punishment. Skin and water collided, sending a shock of ice and salt through her veins, but she ignored her body’s pleads and waded deeper into the depths. Would the waves send her tumbling to an early death? After all, she deserved to drown for hurting him so deeply. “No, not today,” the ocean replied and it spat her back towards shore with a lazy push. She would have to learn to live with this choice.
October 2016, The train
Faces flashed by in colored blurs. She pressed a cheek against the window, taking in the chaos of people scrambling around the platform. That’s what love is, she thought. A whirlwind of confusion—feelings pulling you in all different directions. She wondered where it would pull her next.