Dark Mirror Souls
You find me crouched beneath the Willow tree with my knees pulled tight to my chest. Without a word you lower yourself to the ground a few feet away, your eyes never meeting mine as you search the horizon. Calm – you always seem so calm... almost happy even. Heh, but I know that's a lie.
I clench the side of my tongue with my teeth, letting the pain press back the need to cry. It's not hard enough to draw blood, just hard enough to distract myself a little... It's not nearly enough...My sides still sting from where I raked my fingernails down them in a vicious attempt to dull the weight building in my gut. The marks are there – pronounced and red against my pale skin, but safely hidden beneath my shirt. I deserve them.
“I promised I'd never forget.” The words come out with a strangled choking sound. I hunch my shoulders inward as another wave of grief and bitterness hits me. The memories slash through my mind with images – both good and bad. The good ones are almost the worst, 'cause I know they'll never be that happy again. No, never that happy, and yet, the thought of forgetting seems more painful – terrifying - than remembering.
Your fingers clench and relax, clench and relax. You don't meet my eyes as you sigh, your voice resignedly weary. “Yes, but that doesn't mean you have to relive your memories over and over until they slowly kill you.”
“Yeah, and what would you have me do?” I let out a pained laugh, willing you to look up and face me. “What? Be like you and simply pretend it never happened? Act like things are fine and stuff all the emotions away?”
It's a unfair blow. You snap straight, but don't look over. “Would you rather I be like you? Sobbing about what you can't change?” A deathly calm tone steals over your words. “It was nice while it lasted – a real blessing – but I can't get it back. Never. Memories are knifes – either you hold them by the handle, or you hold them by the blade. The handle serves its purpose – it'll keep my hands from getting bloody.” Your body begins to tremble slightly as you whisper, “I can't fix what happened; shutting down is the only way I know how to survive any more.”
Survive? There used to be a time when we thrived. A time where we laughed and dreamed and told stories. But that was then – now is just raw regret. Regret that slides through my mind and mocks me with all I should have done. Too late now.
My screams are sharp and wild as another wave of emotional pain tears at my insides. Your placid gaze remains trained on the distance, but the trembling is getting worse. I double over with the colored memories driving behind my eyes, blurring my vision. You sway back and forth, hissing under your breath, “It's okay. It doesn't matter any more. It's for the best. I don't mind. It'll get better. I just don't want to talk about it. It's okay. Okay. Okay.”
Memories implode. Oh, the times I was told it'd all be okay. Lies. I lunge at you, shrieking, “It's not okay!”
You grab me by the wrists and finally meet my eyes. Blue eyes, perfect duplicates , filled with unshed tears – filled with the terror of loss. Our reflections blink at each other, before dissolving together.
For a moment, I stop breathing... for a moment, I pant as my heart pounds against my ribs...
In the silence, I know....I've been talking to both sides of myself. The side that relives the pain over and over, and the side that acts like everything's okay... Both are poisoned and dying... I don't know what part of me will make it past this... or if anything will.
~Ophelia - Marie