When did I stop feeling? Is that why I stopped reading? Because it makes me feel real emotions again? I thought I’d stopped because life took over and I got busy. But not really, you know? I just procrastinate in different ways now. Dumb ways. Mind numbing ways. Movies never touched me anyway. When did I become that girl? That’s not me, always looking to not have to think. Or feel.
I thought Jase happened forever ago. I thought Jase died a long time ago, with my dreams. You keep coming back to me, every time I feel something, every time I think I’m okay now. Every time I open my heart, and the hurt comes pouring back in, hot, blinding pain, flashing before my eyes, searing through my entire being, burning under my skin until it’s bubbling over and fighting to rip me apart, tear me up and escape, but it only escapes to the outside surface where it can consume me whole. At first it was just the nightmares, and I could wake up, shake it off, wipe the sweat from my icy forehead, and try and go back to sleep, and hope and pray I was dead to the night.
But what happens when your every waking hour is a struggle, a marathon along the ocean floor, always against the currents, when your living minutes twist and turn inside you like slow poison, like a particularly wilful blunt knife that isn’t in a hurry to go anywhere? And having your eyes open and being awake, being conscious is terrifying, because being awake is now the nightmare, and it won’t let you go in your dreams either, that icy stranglehold is all that remains, and you have to grit your teeth and smile through it, because you have someone on the other side of the world who thinks you’re normal, and you’re okay now, and who tells you everyday how much they love you. But they don’t know.
You hide behind the glamour of your pearly whites and an invisible happy mask stretched tight against your face, covering your default grimace. Because what kind of monster would unleash their real selves on another human being, much less a loved one? The scars in your soul run deep as gorges, endless, bottomless, all consuming, they take take take, until you leave people a husk of their former selves, incapable of any more love, until they have nothing more for you. Hell, they have nothing more for themselves. You bled them dry. And you have nothing to show for it, because those scars are as fresh as ever, bleeding over that sort of unicorn-pure love. And who knows if I’m really me or if I’m actually that third person in my head, sagely watching the ongoings in my stage life, privy to the contents of that toxic venom that’s brewing? That third person watching, waiting for it all to blow up in your face and leave you with another scar, another new face, is that who I am? One strike is all it takes.
Hey stranger. Do you want to dance with me? Do you want to swim with me, naked, in the moonlight, that precious naked mask that hides my soul? Can you see the dark storm brewing under my skin when you hold my hand and kiss me in the rain? Can you see that lone tear escaping down my face when I’m dancing on the bar table with a beer in my hand, and everybody’s cheering? Do you see the fog rolling in my eyes, hiding from you the twisted paths I walk alone? Isn’t this flame the prettiest purple hue?
Hey lover. Do you adore me? Because I love you soul deep, oh yes I do. Which mask of mine did you fall in love with? Do you not realize that this is why I always ask you why you love me? Because what do I know about myself anyway? How many layers deep did you have to get? Because we could keep going, and it’d never end. Do you see right through me and stay with me anyway? Don’t stare into my eyes so long. The depth and clarity in yours scares me. Is there a point of no return? Are we there yet? Or have we crossed it already? Have we been free falling all this while? Don’t peel back any more. We don’t deserve that kind of pain, you and I. It’s too late now to know what could be under the very last layer. Perhaps everything. And perhaps nothing. But perhaps, something worse.
Hey there, J. What are you still doing here? Didn’t you hear me say I’m in love with a boy now? You should go. You and I, we died together that night. That me is not here anymore. I’m someone else. Someone you don’t know, and someone you never will. With my luck, someone I’ll never know either. Perhaps it’s better this way. Sleep now, my monster. Take these demons with you, and go back to sleep. I need a minute now. I need a second to breathe, before the darkness closes in on me again.
I’ll be seeing you.