In the Mind

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Chapter 5: Endless Loop of Pain

Elijah opened his eyes when he heard his alarm scream at him to wake up. At first, he couldn't remember anything that happened except for him turning his alarm clock off. Memories of the day before flooded into his mind and he grumbled turning over on his bed. He laid his cold face on the sweaty pillow beneath him, wanting the world to swallow him whole. He felt as if everyone in his life is gone because of him. The creature that's been following him has taken everyone from him. The thought made him clench his eyes shut. He screamed into his pillow which caused it to be muffled and unheard. Elijah panted as he turned over on his bed and laid flat on his back. He looked around his room, wanting it all to go away. His stomach sank and his heart felt like someone was squeezing it. His mind flooded in thoughts that made him not want to be awake. He wanted to go back to sleep, and never wake up. He slowly breathed as he thought about these things. Every inch of his body ached from the ever lasting pain that he felt would never go away. It just lingered there, holding onto the last little bit of light inside of him to swallow it whole. Take away the last little bit of him that cared. Elijah sighed, his mind causing him to hurt even more. Elijah looked at the time. "9:13" it read. He slowly got up, despite every bit of him screaming for him to not do so, but he knew that if his mom saw him like this, it would break her too. He only cared for his mom, not for himself. He needed to act like everything's fine so his mom doesn't worry. He needed to stay strong, even though he was slowly dying inside.

Elijah walked through the cold hallway, thinking of nothing. His mind on a repeated playlist of all the horrible things he is. Worthless. Heartless. Selfish. Evil. Liar. Breaker. Monster. Horrible. Nothing. They repeated, over and over. Elijah breathed in, but his body wanted him to collapse, and stop breathing. He continued to breath. He didn't collapse. His whole world was falling apart and he had to act as if everything was fine. Elijah slowly threw on some other pajamas, his body telling him to stop. He went downstairs to greet his mom, though his mind told him to go back to sleep.

"Hey honey." his mom said to him as he walked into the living room. She was sitting on the couch looking at something on her phone. Elijah sat in the lazy chair his dad used to sit in. As he sat in it, his stomach burned. His mind swirled in the repeated words. Worthless. Heartless. Selfish. Evil. Elijah closed his eyes and tried his hardest to space out. To think about anything except his life.

"Elijah!" his mom snapped to get his attention. Elijah quickly opened his eyes and looked at her.

"Are you okay?" she asked Elijah who was pale and cold. His eyes dark and his face unreadable.

"I'm fine." Elijah weakly said. His body slowly sinking into the large deep brown chair.

"It doesn't look like it. You can talk about it if you-" his mom said before Elijah snapped.

"I'm fine!" Elijah regretted saying that. Especially after his mom looked at him in shock. She leaned back a little and stared at him.

"You've never snapped at me before." his mom said looking at Elijah with fear. Elijah's face became saddened and he took his darkened gaze away from his mom and looked the other way.

"I'm sorry. I'm such a horrible person." Elijah quietly said looking down. His eyes becoming blurry.

"You're not a horrible person. Why would you think that?" his mom asked, scooting over on the couch to be closer to Elijah.

"Don't you get it? Everything bad that's happening is because of me. That thing is there because of me. I'm the one it wants, and it used dad and Noah to do that. They're both dead now, and it's my fault. If I never intervened in anyone's life...if I didn't exist....this would've never happened. If I don't won't hurt anyone else." Elijah weakly said. His voice stuttered showing his crushed soul.

"Elijah. None of this is your fault. That thing I know killed your father, but that is its fault. Noah committed suicide, which is his fault. Do you see where you don't fit in this?" his mom pointed out to him. Elijah wanted to make the argument that Noah didn't kill himself, but was too weak to say anything.

"I do though. I should've never told Noah about that thing. Now I'm paying for it. And that's okay, because I deserve to be punished. Just not in a way where innocent people have to die." Elijah said. His voice cracked here and there, but he refused to let himself cry. Crying was for people that were sad for a good reason, but he felt his punishment wasn't good enough for a tear. He thought he needed to take all the pain in and suffer because he was being punished.

"Elijah you're not being punished. You didn't do anything wrong. Noah knew about the thing because you trusted him. And your father has been gone for years now. Way before you started getting those nightmares." she said to Elijah who was straining with all his might to not shed a tear.

"That's where you're wrong. I've had those nightmares for a long time mom. It started the night before dad died. That can't be a coincidence. They then went away for a while, then they reappeared this past year off and on. Then they started becoming an everyday thing right before Noah died. That's not a coincidence. I can't do this. If they start coming again, I don't know if it'll hurt you. You're all I have." Elijah stuttered and cracked while speaking. His mom leaned over and hugged his dying son. Elijah still refused to cry, but feeling his mother's warm embrace made pain shoot through him like a crowd was repeatedly stabbing him. Like they were burning him alive like the witches in Salem. His mind echoed all the horrible things. Worthless. Heartless. Selfish. Evil.

"You're going to be okay Elijah." his mom said to him, continuing to hold him in her warm arms. Her sweater sleeve brushed up against Elijah's black hoodie. She brushed her soft hand against Elijah's wool-like hair. Elijah wanted to scream. His heart raced, but every fast heartbeat was another dose of pain. Elijah tried to ignore it, but it wouldn't go away. He clenched his eyes. Sweat rolled down his forehead from the strain.

"Why don't you sleep for the rest of the day. You need it." his mom said to him, breaking the warm embrace that Elijah felt was the only thing that kept him warm. His body went cold and the pain grew more intense. Elijah was too weak to talk, so he nodded and got up from the soft chair. He walked up the creaky stairs and into his cold room. Everything was the same to him. He looked at his walls littered with posters from Star Wars to Full Metal Alchemist. He laid on his bed and stared at his door with a poster of Sans from Undertale on it. Elijah stared into Sans' one lit blue eye. The eye staring back at him and into his soul. Elijah's mind raced in the thoughts again. He needed to take his mind off of it, so he grabbed his phone and headphones and scrolled through his playlist. He needed something to keep him on another emotion. One that was still there, but the pain made it so he couldn't feel it. He played a song called You're Going Down by Sick Puppies. The music started, causing a small hint of rage come through his hurt.

"Define your meaning of war.

To me it's what we do when we're bored.

I feel the heat coming off of the blacktop and it makes me want it more.

Because I'm hyped up out of control.

If it's a fight I'm ready to go.

I wouldn't put your money on the other guy if you know what I already know"

"It's been a long time comin'.

And the tables turned around.

'Cause one of us is goin'.

One of us is goin' down.

I'm not runnin'.

It's a little different now.

'Cause one of us is goin'.

One of us is goin' down."

The music blared in Elijah's ears, causing his mind to focus on the music and lyrics instead of his hurt. It caused it to be numb for a small large bit of the song, and Elijah enjoyed it. Soon enough, while the song went on in his headphones, Elijah dozed off into what he hoped a painless sleep.

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