It is a wonder, as to how adults have been able to live out their lives from birth, and up until their present moment. Even at the age of twelve, which is much less than even half the average lifespan, I am so bored of my life that it seems nothing could ever become interesting. It will forever be hard for me to understand how anyone is just ok with going through the same cycle every day. Unless you are incredibly rich, and maybe even then, living a fulfilling and fun life seems near to impossible. I can conclude, that anybody stupid enough to claim they are deprived of human emotion, and any sane person would believe no one would say this, but it happens more often than one would hope to think, that this stupid person is full of it. It could be worded in almost any way, but the meaning will come out the same. Had I, a person already bored to death with life, not only been deprived of lasting enjoyment, but as well as quick bursts or moments of joy, sadness, or anger, I would very quickly end my life, because my emotions are the only things keeping me sane in this suffocating cycle, and I would like to believe the same for almost anybody else.
My mother, Brianna Hemp, taught me from an age younger than the one I have today, that 99.9% of the human population will never be unique. From all the humans in this present and the world’s past, how common would you think an actual unique thought would be? My mother asked me this, and I could not answer at that moment, maybe it was because I was trying so hard to come up with a suitable answer, I forgot to think about the question itself. My mother said I would be no different than my neighbors, peers, or family members. I would never think uniquely because I would never be competent enough to do so.
“Aisley, don’t try to be different, by doing so you will become even more like the people around you. Everybody wants to be different, therefore everybody is the same.”
I would like to believe that my mother was different. I think she’d be glad that I’d thought her unique if she were here. She dedicated so much of her time to that thought, sometimes I wished she focused more on her surroundings instead. That never happened, though, and in the end, I know she was the same as everybody else. My mother wanted to be different, so she approached her goal head-on by trying to blend in with others. She thought it made her unique, but with billions of people dead and alive, this was surely not the first time the method was tried. In the end, she was even more common than those who openly tried to stand out. Because of that, I resented her, and her hypocrisy.
. . .
“Aisley, please wake up.”
I feel groggy opening my eyes, but my awareness has already set in and it keeps me from closing them again. The doorway across my room only allows the hallway light to shine through at certain parts, my father who blocks it from fully entering looks tired and sad, a horrible, but not unfamiliar combination.
“It’s 7:15, you need to get ready for school.” He doesn’t wait for a reply, but instead walks away, his body replaced by the missing light that I had secretly hoped would not appear, in fear my eyes would become strained while trying to get used to it.
I feel sympathetic for his situation, and how even through difficulties he manages to be a father. However, because I know he’s not doing it for me, I can’t bring myself to feel anything other than sympathy. All I will do is make sure his job is a little easier, and when he chooses to give up, I can only be so kind as to leave him undisturbed. To force myself into the way of what he is so desperate to do is selfish. Not only that, but by keeping him from his eventual goal, his desire for it will grow, and by feeding into that obsession, all I will be left with is guilt.
I know that I’ve stayed in bed thinking too long when my alarm rings. It’s the one I set so that I don’t fall back asleep after being woken up. I’m not troubled by the recent thoughts I had, because I will forget about them soon while progressing through the day. They are only there to keep me company when I am bored enough to let my mind roam.
. . .
I can’t help but pretend to be interested in the passing trees and occasional churches outside the car window. I’d usually be comfortable with the silent rides I take to school with my father, but today he kept trying to start conversations. I cringe at the attempts. Whether I answer or ignore him, I know that it would just get increasingly awkward.
“Nice weather, huh?” He throws this one out randomly after I decide not to answer the one before it.
“Yes.” How do I respond appropriately to someone I have no interest in talking to? Poor guy.
A few more silent moments go by and I’m too nervous to even clear my throat. My self-consciousness had been so heavy it took me a second to see the car parked in front of the school. While grabbing my bag to get out, he suddenly puts his hand on my knee as if it was a sign of reassurance.
I feel disgusted by the gesture but I know there was no ill intent so I stop myself from pulling away.
“If you ever want to talk, I’ll be there for you. I hope you know that.”
I leave the car in a hurry and clench my jaw. What a revolting thing to say. Does he think trying to have a better relationship with me will fix his problems and obvious self-hatred? Does he think that his failed attempt with my mother at a nice, loving family will work out this late in time? I try not to silently reprimand my father, but sudden gestures like this annoy me, especially for reasons stupid enough as these. I bet he thinks showing affection makes him a better person. What a fake, all he wants is a quick and easy way to get rid of his crumbling confidence and hardcore mental problems. How depressingly pitiful.
I walk down the school’s hallways venting to myself as I go. It’s only until I reach the door to my first-period class that I stop my internal rant. I think about all the people sitting on the other side. Through the door, which is cracked slightly so that it doesn’t lock, I hear the laughs and conversations of my peers blending, with only short lines breaking out now and then. I stare down at my phone to check the amount of time I have before class starts. It’s not a lot, but I can’t bring myself to step inside. As soon as I walk in, my day might as well be over. It’s not because it’s fun, but because I am so familiar with the cycle that as soon as the first step starts, I am already preparing for the next. I’m terrified of living like this. I’m terrified of doing the same thing every day and never making meaningful memories. I’m terrified of having my life pass by even though I don’t feel like I’m living. In the short times when I feel conscious, I try searching for motivation. I want more than anything, a reason to live.
I hear the bell ringing and take a breath before walking into the room. The room smells like cardboard and old, sanded, wooden planks that were never dusted, leaving the wood shaving to collect there for years, only falling off when the wind finally decides to blow it away.
And that dust is blown through the always-open window of this classroom, setting itself all over the floors, chairs, and tables.
Whenever I walk into this room it always gives me a sense of congenial loneliness. It’s the emptiness that makes it feel lonely. While the cheerful, loud students inside would lead you to believe the opposite, it’s the way they all crowd into one area of the large room to talk. It’s also the way the gray walls never have posters or decorations on them, and the whiteboard at the front has a single black marker, and a tissue, used as an eraser.
By the time I sit down at my designated spot, the teacher has already approached the whiteboard, and will very soon begin our lesson. From then on, time goes by in segments, and if I am lucky, I can be present while events take place.
. . .
By the time I am more sensitive to my surroundings, I have already laid down for bed. It is nights like these, when I do not feel tired enough for sleep, that my mind travels all over, and I am alone with my thoughts.
I sit up unable to see my surroundings, but I can hear the white noise produced to me by the little-more-than fist-sized fan on my nearby desk.
I put my face in my hands, a position associated with dramatic crying that I’d seen before in animated movies. I, however, do not feel sad, nor do I want to cry. It is on this night that I have been left with the desire for affection. This desire is what has allowed me to touch my face freely in hopes of replicating the warmth of an open palm resting on my cheek.
My urge for affection does not need to be granted by anybody but myself. In truth, I know that I am likely the only person who can satisfy myself in this regard. While I wish for romance, it saddens me at times because I know that I could never love someone enough to be content, other than myself.m I do not want to be with someone who has thoughts and feelings that do not directly comply with my own, therefore I am the only one who can show love to myself without feeling distaste.
I have readily tested my theory and found that I had an aversion to being touched intimately. The tiring feeling of discomfort, even when I only have a slight suspicion of romantic inclination from someone, leads me to distance myself unintentionally.
However, these facts, while disappointing, do not stop me from daydreaming of a savior who will take me from this boring life, and allow me to live happily ever after.
I read books of situations too good to be true, and I know they are impossible, but it only feeds my imagination, as well as my needy heart. I am not sure if I feel lonely, but sometimes, even I know what I am doing is pathetic. I had before, before meaning only a year ago, an imaginary friend. Although, I just called it that, really it was just me talking to myself and naming what I wanted to believe was somebody else who was talking. I will not say the name, but I had wanted love so badly from what I knew would always be unobtainable, that I started liking that imaginary friend. I am the only living thing that can romantically satisfy myself in this world. I have come far enough where that imaginary voice is gone, but I am desperate enough to even wish for a non-living thing. Something that is unreal, intangible. Something that can never love me back, but at the same time will allow me to fantasize about what I wish to fantasize about.
Maybe I am incorrect. Maybe what I want is not love, but an obsession. An obsession that would be strong enough to drive me to keep living. An obsession where I can have a chance to be able to look forward to later days.
I sit there for a while, touching my face, then hair, then face again. I draw those motions out, making sure to savor the short moments of contact. I stay like that until I am drowsy, and then I lay on my pillow once again, finally able to sleep, hoping that my soon-to-come dreams will be pleasant.
. . .
When I open my eyes, it’s still dark out. I reach out for my phone to check the time, but my hand cannot find it. I continue to search hoping my eyes will eventually focus in the darkness. For some time I sit in my bed, trying to find something that I slowly begin to suspect is not there. As I become more conscious I start noticing the scratchiness I feel in my throat. The scratchiness being a result of not drinking water, making my throat dry, I don’t feel the need to immediately worry. But as I sit, and search, the dryness becomes more painful. It becomes more noticeable, and my confusion rises at the same abrupt rate as the pain.
With all the emotions and feelings, from the frustration to the confusion, to the pain, it all only leads me to become more tired. I give up looking for my phone and lay back down. The pillow I raised my head from is gone, only leaving me to rest on a hard, jagged mattress. My sleepiness doesn’t allow me to question the change in setting. From then on, my mind rocks me to sleep, my head and spirit lifting and falling onto itself, and the feeling of dizziness mixing with the drowsiness replicates the effects of a drug. I don’t resist the urge I feel for sleep, because the temptation of rest is much stronger than the temptation to fill my curiosity. So once again, I find myself submitting to my dreams, and this time I won’t let myself wake back up until morning reveals itself through my shutters.
. . .
As the months pass, and I come into some of the last weeks left of school, my consciousness begins to revive, and my memory of the day, while hazy, is able to be recalled more easily. It’d probably be expected that my situation had been getting better because of the improvement in memory, but that is not the case in my eyes, and with the solution to one problem, another obstacle gets in the way.
I’d begun grasping at random theories in my mind, and holding onto them as though they are nothing but fact. I have become almost fully convinced that my mind is not only belonging to me. Through my eyes, I feel the gaze of someone else, and through my touch, I know there is someone else inside me feeling the same exposure.
They cannot move me, interfere with my thoughts, or speak to me, but I still believe they are there. When I read a book or look at the screen of a computer, I imagine them watching with me, and I wonder if I am reading too slow, or scrolling too fast. I worry they get bored, and I try to move my attention rapidly so they can be content living inside me. And then at night, I fall into my routine that I’d established over the course of time, and have regularly increased, and spent hours a night touching my face and hair, all at the same time imagining it is their doing. I imagine them feeling my face through their sense of touch, and it has very much made the motion feel truer on my skin. It has made me fall into the delusion that I am being loved by someone other than myself, and I can finally be satisfied through the idea that I am no longer alone.