The sun never ceased to smile at you that summer. She splashed growing plants and trees in a perpetual spree of sunlight and warmth, never failing to share her rays out evenly. Every breath felt like a new year to you and every minute like a decade. Time functioned but with no meaning, nobody cared to count the hours, the minutes, or seconds. Everything and everyone was captivated by an ageless picture that demanded to be appreciated and not ignored.
The sky was a watercolour mural, painted with the most spectacular reds and oranges. Questions and speculation thrown at its origins always failed in the mission of warding away its aura of mystery. Nighttimes here brought the prismatic display of dancing stars; they mastered the night in glory, billions of years of performance and preparation brought together in one timeless motion. A picture of motion and improvising music, confronted by hundreds of on looking faces, peering at the sky in apparent curiosity.
This was your home you said. And everyday the happiness on your face told you this was where you belonged. You laughed, you smiled and minute after minute you told yourself that this was heaven, because you were God’s angel and your life was perfect.
But then again, you were always good at lying to yourself.
You lived with your family, weaved into them as trickily as a crocheted blanket, a trap designed to interlock anyone who inherited the family name into the master design. In this family things had to look good, perfect in fact, each line rehearsed until your throat hurt, every smile perfected until your cheeks bruised. You were knitted so tightly that there were no gaps, no flaws and no mistakes. Everything and everyone was unblemished.
But you were the exception to the rule.
From behind your pink lips there was always something to say, but somehow your lips always succeeded in saying the wrong things. Life was like drawing a face that you couldn’t quite get right. You couldn’t show anyone your ‘sketches’ otherwise they’d criticize your work; they’d tell the teacher and your parents would get a bad name for it.
Nobody wanted a bad name right?
But you had no choice.
Underneath all the smiles, the empty vacuous words you had a strong fiery mind. Your mind was like a closed book daring to be read. Every so often you would display a page of its contents, taunting at peoples hopes before slamming its cover on it back down again. You were the laughing challenge of taming a wild horse. Your raw simple complexity was magnetic enough in itself. What you saw wasn’t what you got. You were determined never to be judged by your cover, because your cover never gave anything away.
Everyone around you was instantously hyper-kinetic upon your arrival, animated by your presence, and sorrowful when you left. People called you an angel. Your solace smile could charm even the wildest animal into submissiveness. But they didn’t read the disclaimer, because behind those smiling mysterious eyes and perfect cupid smile you hid teeth, razor sharp teeth that dared anyone to get close, until they felt it was ready to attack. Beware; because you could implode at anytime and become a flame, you felt dangerous and safe then, no one touches you when you’re dangerous, no one wants to be burned by the flame. They stopped asking questions when you burned them. Wasn’t it feasible that everything was okay? That your life was perfect, that there was absolutely nothing the matter with you? Was it even possible to think that your life was going just the way you wanted it too?
You felt a kick and hunched over, winced in pain.
“Evidently not” you whispered.
But you were perfect; you just had a hidden secret, that’s all.
It was rare in a family like yours to escape the watchful eye of scepticism where everything had to be perfect. Despite the heavy emphasis made on the subject your words were still questioned, your motives still interrogated and your face scanned for any signs of insecurities. But somehow, this time, you: the black sheep managed to gnaw your way through a loophole in the family contract. You managed to break free of the life of ties that condemned you to a world of big brother. Secrets aren’t meant to stay secrets in human affairs, but ours was different. Our secret wasn’t meant to be found out about. We were the closed book that was hidden away behind the shelf; we weren’t meant to be read, because we had to keep on writing ourselves until we had finished. You promised to me the world where I could smell, taste, see, hear and feel. You promised me that no one could take that privilege away from me, you promised me nothing could match up to our love.
But Ben was the exception.
It was his eyes; the eyes were the real giveaways, spectrums of scattered emotion charging at you on glance. Emotions that were filtered with the most incredible of blues, an ocean depth of innocence faded into a world-weary jaded face. In his eyes you could see anything, if you looked through them hard enough, if you just questioned perfection that little bit more, it was then you could see the real Ben; a troubled boy lost in a world of manly nightmares.
In him you sought your knight. Ben truly made you feel special because he was different, because he wasn’t like everyone else and he didn’t lie to you. Ben didn’t just shrug his shoulders when you asked him if things were going to go wrong, he took you in his arms and told you things were going to go right, they were going to be okay and he would love you no matter what. You weren’t perfect but Ben made you feel that way. In him there was a whole other world, ethereal and unreal; in him you planted your hope, because you were sure that that was were it could grow.
Being with Ben meant your mistakes were appreciated like art, that your flaws were somehow treasured and your insecurities embraced like water given to a thirsty man. In a way Ben was like you: he was different. Hearing his words was like hearing your thoughts aloud, almost like eating into a sweet cake.
But sometimes the cake gets sickly.
I didn’t like Ben. I didn’t like the way he fought over you like a protective Mother, I didn’t like the way he yelled at you when he couldn’t control his anger and most of all I didn’t like him when he found out about the secret.
It was Christmas Eve when you told him. All around you was a lucid entrancement of lights and displays. Decorations of cards hung themselves along the side of the wall on a small ledge, and embers of light from the log fire warmed the room in utmost determination. Around you holly was hung in a festive manner and the room resembled a forest on an advertisement programme for a holiday park. Everything was nearing perfect. And then you told him.
You wanted to tell him everything, you wanted to spill your heart and soul into his hands and hope that he would return them to you in one fleeting smile. He had to know because you were running out of excuses, because you owed it to him to know the truth. You wanted to let him know that you were still as much as a little girl that you were when ‘he’ last came down to visit, you wanted to show him living proof as to why your family wasn’t so perfect, and you owed to him to know who the father was:
‘Uncle Jerry’ was coming down for Christmas.
At first the punches didn’t hurt. It was just shock that paralyzed the pain from making you scream. How could Ben be reacting to you this way? Were you that dirty as he said?
His face was infuriated with visions, his arms flung out and his black beaded eyes full of reflected fire. At times it was unclear if he was fighting his own demons or if he really hated you that much. Your wails and whispers took on the urgency of protest as you sank onto your knees. You clenched your stomach tight winded by an unflinching pain before swinging your arms out. You screamed appealing to Ben who shrank and howled in remorse in awful recognition of your face. Scenario after scenario lapping into each other, ashen colours brightening as hope taunted you before dying all over again into a murky haze.
Help, help me out of this...
But you didn’t even seem to hear or notice my screams, let alone listen to the own protest of your legs’ urgency to turn away and run. The sky became as light as day if day could be colourless and jaundiced before mercilessly dissolving into flickering darkness. I wanted the guttural cries from my soul to pierce through you and make you run. I wanted to get you out of there; I wanted you to get away from him. You turned to Ben trying to rise, but sinking back on your leg you fell back down. You were crying, the tears streaming down your face like a wailing river. Your eyes begging for forgiveness for letting him know. Pleading with him in ways that could somehow make things better, searching for something to say that could somehow fix what couldn’t be undone
Around you blood enticed in a circle you as you wailed and cried out his name. But why, just tell me why were you calling out his name when you should have been calling out mine? You were mourning because you knew what was coming. Because before the question had even passed your pink lips you knew the answer.
But I want to stay with you
Just to reach out and wipe away your tears as a goodbye would have been enough. Just if you had talked to me one last time like you used to would have been enough. But you didn’t. I don’t understand. Why doesn’t it matter that your face is leaking blood, why doesn’t it matter that he had hurt you, and why doesn’t it matter that he was going to do it again? Didn’t I matter anymore to you?
I guess not.
I guess my tears weren’t that important to you. I guess that my love wasn’t enough anymore, and I guess in a way, you chose him over me.
“My God she’s bleeding! Ben what have you done to her? Quick, someone call an ambulance and fast!”
Were you some kind of a rabbit caught in the headlights, unable to move, to think? Or was this sacrifice? You loved me; you had told me that, we had established that a long time ago, there wasn’t any need to question it. You spoke words to me that you wouldn’t even whisper to Ben. They were barely memories but they were something that he didn’t have, something that we shared together. Wasn’t that enough proof of our love?
“She’s going into shock, I’m going to need 0.6 grams of anaesthetic”
I keep lying to myself; I keep thinking that you’re not doing this to hurt me, that you love me. But every time I call for you I can feel another part of myself eroding away. Truth bites at my heel and my shield of lies isn’t protecting me from the pain. Your eyes burn into the world around you with no control as you yield my fading destiny in one breath. You are my beating heart, but you refuse to beat any sustainable rhythm. How frail a vessel you seem for your own magnificence, your tired eyes pulling the comfort of your eyelids over them, your blood leaking from your cuts and gashes where he plunged the kitchen knife into you. We are like a tree, you and I. When your roots die I die. When you thirst I thirst. When you hurt I hurt. There’s nothing you can shelter from me anymore, because everything you feel, I feel and more.
“The chances are she’s going to lose the baby. I’m sorry, did you know?”
“Tests indicate seven months.”
I want to curl up and die, I want to be spared from your rejection, and I want to remain in hope… You can still save me; you can still walk away now.
Please … just move.
But you don’t.
In the distance a child giggles and plays. Her laughter is like a song that hangs in the air like a lingering mist, a harmonious chant reverberating as she skips and dances barefooted on the warm, green carpet of grass. She is beautiful, like her mother, her blue turquoise eyes perceiving and interpreting the simplicity of the world around her. Her white golden hair floats in the way of her china doll face, occasionally revealing an angelic smile that could charm clouds into rain if given half the chance at it. She could have been a dancer, beautiful and kind. A girl they loved, adored even. She could have had the love of her mother, if her mother had just given her that chance. She was a flame, just like her Mother, on fire with passion and intensity. She used to be real before someone with bigger flames came along. Ripped her up, tore her down. She was loved before ‘he’ came along, but ‘he’ had bigger flames and her mother was a moth attracted to the light. Because when that mother felt life inside of her, she knew that baby was the only thing holding her back from being truly happy.
Then again, she was always good at lying to herself.
Authors comments- Ack, sorry it's not that good but it's a story I wrote quite a while ago. I notice that a lot of sentences are disjointed and stuff... I guess I need people to criticize it rather than telling me that 'it's quite good' bleh. Anyway thanks a trillion!
*huggles* and <3 to you all!