The Tortured Soul
He was beautiful. It was twilight, and the glow of the moon dusted his hair with silver sparkles. He laughed a laugh that was as infectious as a cold in winter. His smile was childish and jagged. I ran my fingers through his long dirty blonde hair. It was wet and slimy, but I didn’t think to ask why. He pulled me closer, his hands gripping my hips and creeping slowly up my back. I reached for him, grabbing the back of his neck and drawing him closer. His lips tasted as they always had. A delightfully familiar taste of salt and chap stick. The smell on him was familiar as well: dirt and dandruff shampoo. A scent that always made me smile. A scent that I always identified as his. I opened my eyes to find myself in layers of blankets and covered in tears. I constantly think of him. He’s my best friend, but ever since the first time I saw him I fell into a hopeless love. Near or far, we were always there for each other, but sometimes you’ll have no way of knowing.
When I moved with my family to Paris, I wrote letters to him almost every day for the first year and every month for the second year. We talked for hours via skype
and stayed up late together talking on the phone. After those two years, I didn’t hear from him at all, but I still continued to call, to leave messages, and sometimes just to hear his repetitive voice on the answering machine.
After having such a beautiful dream, I wasn’t hesitant to close my eyes and start to dream, but this was not a dream. This was a nightmare. I was roaming the streets alone. I seemed to be lost. I made a sharp right turn down a dark alley. A sliver of yellowish light peeked into a corner of the alley. A man was standing there, hunched against the slimy brick wall. He wasn’t facing me, but he still seemed strangely familiar. He was tall and skeletal. He was covered in deep cuts and bruises. He wore a pair of worn out sandals, a ripped white t-shirt, and checkered pajama pants. His hair was short and ruffled, but I wasn’t sure if his hair was dirty blonde or blonde and dirty. He smelt of smoke and mouthwash. He was laughing and talking to nobody. He made a fly swatting gesture at me. When I came closer, he turned and smiled. Then I knew who he was, and by the way he looked at me he must have known who I was too. This was the man I constantly dreamt would someday love me the same way I love him. This was my best friend. My best friend who was always there for me, and now, seeing his bloodshot eyes, orange lips, and sickly yellow teeth, I realized that I abandoned him when he needed me most. I tried to open my eyes, but this wasn’t something I could wake up from. I was awake and living a nightmare. He hugged me as tightly as he could, crying into my shoulder. I held his head and wrapped my arm around him, trying not to hurt any of his injuries. I attempted to hold back my tears, but the guilt of not being there for him was too strong to hold back.
I spent the night in the alley with him, watching him die, and crying over his dead body. This man, only a boy, was sixteen years old. This man was my best friend. I remembered the days we spent in his luxurious back yard. I was chasing after him, laughing between each breath. I was in a short, white, lacey dress, and shoes that weren’t meant for running. It was a hot summer day. The white light of the sun blinded my vision, but I didn’t care. We had no destination in mind, as long as we find each other in the end. It felt like I was dreaming, but when I tried to open my eyes, there was nothing to wake up to. My smile widened.
I was sixteen when I watched him die. After I did, all I wanted to do was run. I ran far from the alley, far from the city. I somehow ended up at a subway station. I stretched out on a cold iron bench. Slowly closing my eyes, I listened to the muffled sounds of visitors chatting and the loud clatter of the subway passing by. I jumped when I heard a familiar, scratchy voice in my ear. The voice taking over all other sounds. My eyes, now opened wide, stared in shock at the fading ghostly figure of the boy I left dead in the alley. Ice ran through my veins and my body stood stiff, unable to move. The spirit brushed my face with a quick and gentle whisper. I still stood in shock, unable to move.
A Letter from the Tortured Soul
I am finally alone.
In a solitary paradise
Without a mother or father
To tell me when to go to bed,
Or a brother or sister
To stop me from jumping,
Or a best friend
To take the knife out of me hands,
Or you, a partner,
To stop me from crying myself to sleep.
Afraid of my shadow?
Of course not,
I do not have a shadow.
That is only your paranoia
Placing visions in your head.
I am the tortured soul
Crying from the skies above.
I am the broken-hearted masterpiece who haunts your guilty heart.
Somewhere deep down in that heart,
You know that there’s the poet I fell in love with
And the liar that left me alone with my monsters.
So, to you I say simply,
I look forward to meeting you again in Hell.
The Only Way Out
I have memories of panic attacks, caused by a generally hectic world and a lack of solitude- sometimes I feel trapped, like I cannot make my own choices or take care of myself, like I’m constantly being watched. Close to no one understands exactly how precious solitude is to me. I am never alone. I am never allowed the opportunity, so whenever I can slip some alone time by the people who care for me, I take it like a breath of fresh air. The year before and the year after my parents separated, I stayed away from the chaos of the classrooms and cafeterias at school. I felt that I had enough chaos to deal with at home, and I would sit in the hallways examining the lines of each brick in the wall. When I heard passersby, I would make my way to the library. I walked to the back corners of the relatively large library and sat, now observing the school’s choice in books and occasionally taking one off the shelf to investigate the checkout cards. I thought about who these people checking out these books might be. They were all characters in my head, who if I was thoughtful of their story, I often doodled and wrote short stories and poems about. If I am honest, my characters are mostly all based on real people in my life, but regardless the rarity of being alone with my thoughts and characters is a breath of fresh air from my chaotic lifestyle.