I am Jack Ridley, except...somehow, I’m not.
The first clear moment I’ve had in years has come to me now, as I walk down an abandoned street with a nearly empty bottle of whiskey in my hands. But this isn’t any street, this was my street, my home, my safe place.
I slowly make my way towards the refuge for all my terrors, the sanctuary for my unyielding fear.
I feel it, my panic calling to me, ripping me open starting deep in my thoughts, trying to distract me from the truth using the unstoppable force that it has taken from my tired soul, all to change my current course of action.
It will not control me this time. I’m here for me, and I will leave when I’m ready.
I know that I’m there, I’m already at the asylum known only to myself and The Fear.
I don’t need to look up, I don’t need to keep my eyes open as the tears pour out of what was once innocent.
It’s as if the clouds have finally come for my salvation.
I was standing in front of my mother’s house, and today marks the day that my father smashed her skull open with the brick that’s probably still buried in the new residents garden.
I turn to look at the small patch of flowers that haunt my dreams and fuel my sadness. The garden was full of brightness that was easily seen, even in the darkness that the sun left us in.
Little did this family know, there was the blood of the only person who’s ever loved me four feet below it.
I wonder if life is the same for everyone, if it all looks bright and full of love until it suddenly changes into your worst nightmare, into something that wouldn’t have existed in the small forgotten part of your brain that will always remain menacing and uncontrollably morbid.
Why is it that only beauty can truly be seen by the naked eye, why can’t you see the madness?
I can honestly say that I find it admirable, how the fear that’s killing me will not take the blame. This fear will never get the trophy I’m sure it expects from my hard earned death.
Fear demands nothing else than to be heard and felt by the person of its choosing, which in this case was me, Jack Ridley.
As I continue to gaze at the visibly beautiful flowers, I see one bunch in particular.
They are Marigolds.
The inside of the flower was a darker orange than the bright yellow that surrounded it.
How symbolic I thought as I made my way towards them.
I sat right in the middle of the garden beside the Marigolds, not caring that I had killed probably a dozen other fragile flowers. Just like everything good in this world, they are so easily destroyed.
“I’m sorry Mare. I want the world to be as beautiful as you think it is, and I’m one of the many things standing in the way of your dream.”
After I said I apologized one last time, I dug apart the Marigolds.
I began to dig a hole that would soon be my grave, and it seems incredibly ironic. The only thing I have control of in my life is my death.
The brick was even farther down than I thought, and the bitter memories came quicker than I wanted them to, but that wasn’t important. For once in my life, the pain was going to be a background character. Even I knew it wasn’t true, it had taken up the permanent residency as the main supporting role of what should no longer be called Jack’s life.
I ever so gently layed the brick down on the sidewalk, not even realizing that I had raised from the hole and begun to kneel in front of the brick as if I was praying to the shrine that had killed my mother. I hope you know why I’m really here.
It’s wasn’t until it was too late that I realized it had won, this had been the plan all along.
You should have known this was different, you should have known that the fear wasn’t here.
Without my fear, I am nothing.
Without your fear, you are nothing.
I didn’t feel my head crack open, but I heard it.
Not even he could have prepared me for the lasting ache that seemed to split the very ground that I had been kneeling on.
I only had one thought as the glow from the moon grew dim and I realized that I could no longer lift my broken head from the now bloody brick.
I don’t want to die.