In Hope of Rebirth
“And then there were none.” I am here, present, but do I count as one if he took me when he left? I remember how each of our days ran into each other in the tie-dye wonderland that was our world together, and time ceased to exist in ways that only stolen kisses and pain-inducing laughter can cause. But how was I to know that with each breath he took he inhaled my very essence, leaving behind a mere shell of the being he met, and selfishly refusing to breathe life back into her before he vanished as quickly as he had come.
He warned me. He told me he was “the bad guy,” if you will. But my eyes had always twinkled at the sight of a perceived challenge, and this was no different. So I took on yet another “project.” This was the one I vowed to show the light. And in the moments after desires of the flesh had been sated, I saw his soul, and convinced myself that I had finally shown him heaven. But I was mistaken. There would be no salvation for this mortal sinner, and I think I had always known it. Nonetheless I offered myself in the chalice, and he savoured every last drop I had to offer before taking his leave.
In the time since he has been gone I have learnt many things. I have learnt that time is cruel; what once ceased to exist now makes its presence known — every second distinctly different from the last, every day characterized by its own white hot pain. I have learnt that rest can be divorced from sleep, and that the world resumes its wickedness even as I slumber. In the time since he has been gone, I have seen many things. I have seen darkness, and I have wondered when it would call me home forever. I have seen death replace the fire in my eyes, and I have attended my own seance night after night. And in this time I have searched for myself in broken mirrors and in broken veins, leaving with nothing but the wry smile of one who is no longer surprised by disappointment.
The mantras continue. “He was bad for me,” “I do not need him.” My belly is full with the lies I have told myself. Lies which now lodge themselves in my throat, unwilling to leave my mouth, as though aware of their own nothingness. Having lost myself, I know that letting another in is the only victory that remains, and that loving another would be a valiant act of defiance… But I have never been much of a rebel anyway. It is now wintertime, and I have watched the fighter in me drift away like the leaves on the nearly-bare tree that reminds me that life still exists elsewhere. Yet one leaf remains. Bruised, bloody, and battle-hardened, I too will attempt to see the next season. I will get up and trudge back to the edge that I jumped from once before. And I will jump again, praying that my broken wings repair themselves before the freezing terrace plants its fatal kiss against my tear-stained face.