To every broken soul out there,
never give up.
There was a time when I was happy. When everything just felt right. When my beautiful candy blue dress was the best thing I ever had. When my swing was the most fun thing in the world, and hot chocolate was a tradition at wintertime. When my parents told me tales before I went to sleep and then kissed me on the forehead. When my twin and I got in trouble. When going to school meant lots of fun and many friends. When I had a family.
They say that time can heal, but I think time brings memories back, lets you reminisce more and more about what you had but never will have again. Time doesn’t heal. It only makes you get used to something, to a situation.
It breaks your hopes that maybe all this didn’t really happen, that it is just a dream.
At some point, you wish you could wake up with amnesia. To forget everything, to bear the pain.
Then, you have nothing. Nothing to remember, nothing to think about, nothing to cry about, nothing to let you down. Nothing to blame yourself for. Just nothing.
Every day you find yourself thinking about what happened, wondering if anything could have changed. And then memories come floating back making you cry. You break down every day again. You drown every day even more, and when you hit the bottom, it’s the end.
When I was a child, people would always compliment mom since we were a lovely and happy family in every way.
My twin brother and I resembled each other very much appearance-wise if you didn’t count some small differences. We both had light brownish hair, small but full lips, a cute little turned-up nose and almond coloured eyes; his additionally had blue flecks reflecting in them.
When we were toddlers it was hard to recognise who was who but with time it became more manageable due to our different height, him being a bit taller than me, his hair was shorter, and his jawline was more masculine. Furthermore, he was always looking for new people to befriend, whereas I was more of an introvert and tagged with him all the time, which was quite practical friends wise.
Our parents, I dare say, did quite a good job raising Blake and me, always lovingly and affectionately as well as the ability to be strict when needed.
Mom was kind, no matter who you were, always ready to help you even if it was late in the evening and she had a rough day behind, and she loved adventures; she was a beautiful woman even if she was approaching her forties. Her tall figure was quite imponent, but her curvier love handles, rounder visage and dark green eyes softened her lineaments. Her long wavy brown hair was usually combed into a ponytail or a braid, leaving her face bare, unless we were to go out to a birthday or somewhere more unique.
Dad was a bit different, calmer but admittedly more ambitious than mom, and he loved to be a goofball, especially if it made her smile. He was also very tall, towering two heads over mom and around one when she was wearing high heels. One of his favourite stories was to tell us, children, how his dark brown hair, chocolate eyes and marked jawline were the reason why our mom had found him.
All in all, we were close even if sometimes we had our moments, but one thing is sure: there wasn’t a day where we wouldn’t smile or laugh.
One of my favourite moments of the year was the summer season, where all of us would be together for a family vacation, no school or work to worry about. During the summer, our tradition was to go to the lake cottage my parents received as a wedding present from their best friends.
Since our first day out there, my brother and I developed our passion for swimming; we were always in the water splashing around, diving and later on training for the races.
Now I should fear water, but strangely it only makes me feel at home, I can relax and clear my mind, as if I were free. It feels as if it’s the only thing that doesn’t let me go.
I’m still here because of something, not someone. I have no one. No one is standing by my side. No one to laugh with, no one to have a Friday night film marathon with, no one to swim with. I cry myself to sleep every night and blame myself for everything if I had shut my damn mouth. If I had stayed silent, mute, maybe today, now, I’d be laughing and running around the cottage with Blake. Maybe mom would be in the kitchen cooking something fresh and yummy, humming a soft tone of her favourite song. Dad would come to us later at night. Later...
A tear rolled down my cheek, falling on the word ‘later’ and almost cancelling the black ink on the paper. My vision became blurrier, and a shaky breath left my mouth unintentionally. Slowly I raised my head diverting my gaze to the sea.
The full moon in all her glory was shining in the sky surrounded by the stars. Her reflection illuminated the water’s surface; like a perfect mirror, the water welcomed the rays, letting them enter in her darkness. It was so peaceful.
Placing my black leather journal on the rock, I was sitting on, I stood up. I let my feet guide me, feeling the need to wander without any real destination. This moment of the day was my favourite. Writing all my thoughts down and then walking on the sand, my feet touching the little waves. Walking along, in the chilly water at night felt like home.
Slowly I raised the rim of my white, silk dress pulling it over my head, pulled off my underwear, leaving it on the sand that was still dry and hot from the day. I entered the water, guided by the wish of a peaceful moment. No mom, no dad, no Blake. Just me and the sea. Like a lullaby, the wind blew, and the palm leaves moved, generating a low buzzing sound, accompanied by the crashing waves on the rocks near the cliff. I slowly closed my eyes, freeing my mind. Soon it would be dawn and a new week would start — another boring, lonely week.
When I felt the sky lighten from my closed lids, I opened my eyes and swam to the inlet. As I exited the water, a gust of wind hit me, making me shiver. I quickly ran to where my clothes were lying and put them on lightly jumping from one leg to the other. Collecting my diary from the rock and giving one last glance at the ocean, I headed for the boardwalk. In less than 4 hours, I would be heading to school, and I needed to move.
After half an hour spent walking at a brisk pace, I arrived at my destination. A tall spiked iron bar enclosure surrounded the building. Cameras were placed almost everywhere. Almost. A partial woods was at its side and some oak branches intersected with the old iron bars. There weren’t any windows in front of the majestic tree but a faded brick wall which was the only part of the entire building that was very near to the gate. From there on, you were able to go to the kitchens, and then, since some of the rooms, mostly those inhabited by older students, were on the ground floor, it was easy to sneak in.
Silently, I reached the woods, graciously climbed up the oak, helping myself with some tree arms and protuberances. As I got to one of the highest branches, I crawled to the end of it and slipped off, falling on my feet with a little thump. I started running, and when I arrived at the old wooden kitchen door, I slowly opened it trying not to make it creak. Without being seen, I walked through the corridors, which luckily weren’t very illuminated. The greyish paint was falling off the wall in some places covering the antique carpet with dust. Finally, I reached my room, and with an old key, I opened my black painted wooden door. As always, I needed to be quick, or my absence would be noticed.