The days after graduation came and went. I was exhausted. Always so tired. I never knew how tiring sadness could be, and a heightened sense of fear was no longer mine to live off of, so I was left only with that. The witch was dead. And I was hollow. Filled only with sadness. Most days, I laid in bed, staring at the corner.
Sometimes, I’d drift downstairs to eat a little or just for something to aimlessly do, mostly when my mom was at work or when she was gone for some other reason that escaped me. Most days were spent in my bed or standing at my window, looking out at nothing. Sometimes crying and sometimes not.
I had nightmares. In them, Stitch Mouth and Balloon Girl died, and not always in the way I had seen. Sometimes it was a pack of wolves, or sometimes they drowned. I could never save them. I was always too late or too far away. Sometimes I dreamt that they didn’t remember who I was, like I didn’t matter to them. And sometimes, I dreamt we were together again as the friends we had grown to be. Those were the worst. I’d wake up with a fresh realization of what had happened, like ripping open a wound.
When I was awake, guilt plagued me. Thoughts bothered me. Thoughts on how things could have been different. If I had done something sooner. If I had swung the axe. If I had choked the witch just a few more seconds. If I had not been such a coward. If I had just done something.
I wanted to remember the sweetest moments, but instead, I forced myself to remember all the ways I had failed them. I didn’t deserve anything else.