Slip of a hand (a short story)

(So this is a short story that I wrote that I’m actually pretty proud of! Young adult, futuristic, science fiction. Trigger warning: the main theme of the story is suicide so some people may find this difficult to read!)

It should have been me. I know this sounds like the first stage of grief, but I assure you I’m not in denial. I know Kyle died. I know there is no negotiation that I can make with the universe to bring him back.
But I can bargain with the facts.
The fact is that I am scared of death. My first suicide attempt was when I was 11 years old. I’ve had plenty of reality checks to prepare me for this, but I never thought that he’d do it. The jokes about life being shitty that we both made. The way he still put so much effort in things, and only laughed when they didn’t work out. I mean, shit. Years ago, when I told him I liked him, his coming out was an apology. It wasn’t because of who I was, just that I was a girl. He changed. Became such an activist online, giving advice to people who used to be in his situation.
I thought I wouldn’t miss the red flags. I’d read the articles that said that people don’t usually attempt suicide until six months after an onset of suicidal thoughts. What an idiot I was to think that I could recognize when those thoughts started. That he would isolate himself, cry in my arms those few moments when we would see each-other. They never get it right.
Sorry.
I’ve already written him dozens of letters, so I’m all out of memories and metaphors. I’m over it. It’s been almost a year since he died. I’ve been going to therapy and my parents and friends have been crazy supportive. It’s just that the feelings sometimes bubble up, you know? Anyway, it’s almost 5 PM, and it’s a week after my birthday. I have to go pass the time.
.
.
“Hey, mom.”
“Hey, sweetie. You have your experiences piled up for today, don’t you?”
“I thought we had them both at the same time.”
“About that. I’d accidentally assigned it a week earlier, so I actually went through it on Monday, on the bus! Can you believe that I had to walk to work 87 times in between two stops?”
“What happened to the whole “mindfulness” thing?”
“Oh, screw those limitations. I’m not getting any younger. I want to appreciate the good moments, and it’s not the end of the world if I want to skip to them.”
“How is getting to work a good moment?”
“The temperatures get very low in the winter. Go now. It’s almost your time.”

I sit on the white floral sofa, facing the balcony as light is cut by the violet velvet curtains and falls on my body with warmth. Behind me, my mother is making coffee for herself. I turn to the clock and see that there are only a few seconds left before I have to go through every experience I’ve skipped this past year. I’m anxious because I just spoke to my mom, and I can tell she was fretting too. When you go through your time, you fully experience the things you skipped. But when you wake up, although you might have gone through a month’s worth of fast-forwarded time, no time at all will have passed back in everyone else’s world. So you could be in the middle of a burp when you go through hours of boring lectures and simply continue to burp when you’re done. But your memory is all messed up for a while afterwards. It will feel like no time has passed, which is true, and that plenty has passed, which is also true. So it’s good to go through your experiences when you are awake and alert but bored. Not very stimulated. Basically when you’re doing nothing. Theoretically, sleeping is best for these situations, but the transition from dream to past wakes a lot of people up and they develop insomnia for a while. I guess three realities are too much for the human brain.
Anyway, here’s hoping I make it out without too much second-hand embarrassment. Is that word too ironic? Just a-

1. I’m naked and I’m drying my hair.
2. I’m naked and I’m waiting for my skin to absorb body-lotion.
3. I’m waiting for the heater to make the room temperature bearable.
4. I’m putting on clothes. What the fuck? How
5. I’m watching my phone charge. can I be so impatient?
6. I’m waiting to fall asleep.
7. I’m on the school bus. I’m dressed in heavy clothing and the snow outside looks beautiful
8. I just told my dad I’m vegetarian and he is giving me a lecture on protein.
9. I’m giving a class presentation. Nice, I was wondering how that went. Alexis forgot to record me when I told her I’d be skipping because I was anxious.
10. I’m playing monopoly with my sister. Oh my fucking, this game takes hours! Ugh, she can’t even count the money properly. Why did semi-comatose me think that it was a good idea to let her be the banker? This is taking forever. Please end, please end, please end.
11. I’m playing UNO with my sister. Please end, please end, please end.
12. I’m having a panic attack at the school bathroom. Please end, please end, please end.
13. I’m at my desk at home reading a book assigned in English. It’s raining outside. Finally, I begin to hold back a little.
14. I’m babysitting for my neighbor. Fuck, the kid is screaming. I can’t move. I hope he calms down soon. Shit, was that security camera always there? Maybe that’s why she never hired me again. I’m an idiot.
15. I’m waiting at Kyle’s room. Why am I in his room? Oh, he just came out of the bathro-.
16. I’m at a playground with Kyle. The sun is setting. No, it’s rising. And I’m about to gulp down a plastic cup of water. Wait no, that’s vodka. Fuck. That tastes horrible. I hate alcohol. Why am I drinking another one? No, stop!
17. Good thing I don’t drink often. But it was nice that I got to see Kyle again. I miss hearing his voice. Nobody can feel much emotion during flashbacks, but even this watered-down sadness is enough to get me to start crying on my way back from school.
18. I’m in the kitchen, making pasta. I hope I see Kyle again.
19. I’m in my bed, hugging a pillow. I have horrible period cramps. I don’t think I could bear seeing Kyle again.
20. I’m sitting on the toilet and I have diarrhea. Of course there won’t be much Kyle, I loved every moment with him, I wouldn’t skip any.
21. I’m in my bed, under the covers, on my side, staring at the wall. I guess I was waiting to fall asleep. I have to pee. Why didn’t I remind myself that if I had to pee, I could go and do that? I suppose strictly staying in one stop would get me to fall asleep faster, but this is just uncomfortable. And what’s that sound? Like pebbles on my window. I hear something. Is that Kyle? It stopped. Where did he go? Shit, the door. Is it Kyle? I get up from bed and look through the eye-glass.
22. He’s staring straight at me and it looks like he’s been crying. FUCK. He’s wearing a green tee, and his ripped jeans. The clothes he was wearing when they found his body. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
He’s banging on the door. “Chart, are you there?” I miss hearing him say my name.
“No.” I reply.
“Don’t fuck around now, Chart.”
“Let me sleep.” Please figure out what’s going on.
“Don’t fuck ar-around.”
He’s slurring his words. Is he drunk? “The only thing I want right now is to go to bed. I wish to spend a lot of time with you, just not right now.” Oh my god.
“So you only want me when I’m happy? When I’m pretending to be okay? You always do this. It’s like I’m a circus animal, but hey, the only payment I get is more fucking pain and isolation. But yeah, I forgot. The animals don’t earn shit. They’re trained to put on a show. Tortured. I guess we have a lot in common.”
“I want you to leave. I do not only want you when you’re unhappy, I just do not want to be with you now.” How did I not wake up from this? Why didn’t I lower my sensitivity, what the fuck is wrong with me? Kyle, please figure this out.
“Fine. You’re an asshole, Chart. Just like my parents. Just like everyone else. If I don’t act all perfect and talk about the things you want me to, then you just ignore me. Like I’m Pavlov’s dog, an experiment. Yeah, chisel me to your liking, as if that will change what I’m made of.” Kyle. Kyle. How could I have shut off the world like that. As if I don’t owe anyone anything. I failed him. “I fucking hate you. Nothing I do ever makes me happy. It’s not even worth trying anymore. I’ll die anyway, so I’ll just make it quicker to skip the drama. Like everyone fucking does. Yesterday, my dad skipped when I started talking. You’re all fucking hypocrites.” Does he know I’m skipping? Why won’t he understand? Why doesn’t this change anything? “At least my death will fill you and everyone with guilt so that’s a couple of people in this world a bit more aware about how huge pieces of shit they are, and that things should change around here.”

23. I’m going back to bed. No, no, no, no.
24. I’m at the school bathroom, crying after I heard about Kyle. This can’t be happening.
25. I’m texting my mom to come pick me up. The tranquility of flashbacks has me calmer now.
26. Kyle’s mom is talking to me about not blaming myself. How we cannot hold ourselves responsible for the pain someone else had been going through. She’s crying. Before this, I’d been blaming myself for not being there.
27. I’m lying in bed the next day. I’d been there.
28. I’m still lying in bed. Is it weird that I blame myself less now than when I didn’t know I could have maybe saved him?
29. I’m at the gym, doing cardio.
30. I’m at my sister’s birthday party.
31. I’m trying to fall asleep.
32. I’m at Kyle’s funeral.
33. I’m in chemistry class.
34. I’m in physics class
35. I’m trying to fall asleep.
36. I’m at the gym, doing cardio.
37. I’m trying to fall asleep.
38. I’m in my school’s therapist office.
39. I’m on a family trip to the woods.
40. I’m in biology class.
41. I’m in math class.
42. I’m having a panic attack in my room.
43. I’m having a panic attack in my sister’s room.
44. I’m in homeroom. I guess it’s better that I’ve crammed my trauma in these moments of lowered senses. I couldn’t have gotten over his death, if I’d been awake.
45. I’m putting everything in my room that remind me of him in a brown box. He wouldn’t have died if I’d been awake.
46. I’m cleaning the dishes. He would have died in some other way if I’d been awake.
47. I’m brushing my teeth. He was in full control of what he did. He had the most power over his own decisions.
48. I’m combing my hair. Even if I did contribute to his suicide, then it was only by a small amount.
49. I’m taking a math quiz. But my action helped me. And that’s what’s important. He’s not here anymore, and the only person in pain that I should concern myself with, is me.
50. I’m arranging my books alphabetically. He would want me to get better. Even if he said the opposite, he would.
51. I’m making pasta. I think this was recent.
52. I’m getting groceries.
53. I’m making my bed.
54. I’m taking a shower.
55. I’m eating alone.
56. I’m waiting for my nail polish to dry. I still have that color on, so I’m getting close.
57. I’m waiting to fall asleep.
58. I’m calculating my GPA.

“- few more seconds.” I spill, and drop to the floor. Kyle. My head makes a loud thud, and the tears are warm on my face. I killed him. My legs keep shaking, and my shoulders feel like they will erupt out of my skin any moment. I deserve more than guilt. I hear my mom calling out my name, and then her calling someone with her phone.
Two women in white uniforms carry me into the back of a van. They inject something that calms me down. It feels similar to the flashbacks. My eyelids turn heavy, and all the stressful thoughts leave me at once. Sentences trail off and I know that I will not wake up this calmly. I know that I will have to go through Kyle all over again. My thoughts during the flashbacks will come back to me. I will feel like myself again. I will be mature and know that it was not my fault. It will be a while until I get there. Then, it goes black.
.
I wake up in the hospital, and Kyle’s mom is standing over me.
“Don’t be startled. I just got here. And be quiet, your mom just barely fell asleep. She’s in the other compartment.”
“O-okay.”
“Your mom told me it had something to do with Kyle.” Her eyes tear up. “I’d like to know.”
I stare at her, numbly. I will help her, but not at my expense. I intend to tell her everything. I set the time 5 minutes from now.
And she does the same.

Ravings

An out of stock merchant who specializes in observation. Third-party spectating is not a last resort. It implies that we’ve tried all else and we’ve run out of options. That is not the case.

We have no excuse for this. The only ravings to excuse such apathy which have become a satirical stereotype to my mind’s humdrum are fault of the difference in that first challenge. The difference in difficulty which overthrew us from the start and presented no experience or illusion of a next step.

The reason that we today find melancholy and inspiration hand in hand is because we’ve found novelty and difficulty first.
That’s our best excuse.

We had no resources or experience to withstand such waves.
Dissent was embodied in identity which we never exposed to the world again. Little did we know that they are of utmost co-dependence, a sort of symbiosis. One dies without the other.

This is the part where in every prose I blame detachment (I already have) or dysphoria for my troubles.

Those ravings of pseudo-ignorance, which in turn only yield pseudo-bliss. They have been emptied and flowed into bowls of apathy and cries of deliverance. We throw this justification at every summer that we phase through with long sleeves, and morning we sleep away. We excuse those nights at home when the striking hour (like us) builds up until 12. And when those two clock hands meet, in the silence we break. Only the tic-tocs and coo-coos and my own ravings can be heard. The silence, just shy of complete indifference to the periodical sounds which serve no real purpose and are only louder the more hollow the source is, remains unbroken. It remains an echo of time ticking by, and us failing to catch up.

We all squeak

I can’t explain this simply or beautifully or in a way most can relate. I may not be alone in this, but it sure as hell feels like it. I long for that feeling to no longer be a crumbling pillar, with shards of myself being flung into chasms by the river currents. The ripples and wavelets of equinox, of but the easiest time of year. The currents that only twigs and leaves find difficulty in penetrating. Here we stand, in a perpetual state of melancholic dissolution, in sheer and utter panic of the near waterfall, yet sheer and utter nonchalance to our crumbling state. We empty ourselves in hope that hollow marionettes swing their limbs into submission, swing their limbs into defiance, swing their limbs into departure with less difficulty than we ever did. No matter how profound our yearning for functionality, no matter how much of ourselves we evaporate and seal in chests for no one but those worthy to see, precious bits of ourselves, humanely quirks that would never survive out in the open, they still get lost. We slip. We squeak. We have little screws and mold in certain parts of ourselves which hold us back. And although we have to accept that, perhaps our lives will never be the same because of this, our lives might have turned out better if it weren’t for this illness but we must accept that. All rebellion is futile. Those little screws and molds, whether they’re a shitty dad, or a shitty eating habit, something hidden in the back of your mind or in the length of your sleeve, they’re all just squeaks. Those prove we’ve been somewhere, and we’re not as hollow as we say we are. Those prove that we fought, that we swam opposite the current. Yes, some of us let go. Some of us are at the bottom of that waterfall and except the lethal crash, there’s no squeaks left. We miss them, yet we share their squeaks. Whatever we choose to do, we’re changing the world just by existing. We’re glorifying glory and we’re healing the hardest person whose wounds we can mend. Ourselves. Each-other. And I still hear my little squeaks and I’ve let others hear them. Sometimes, in the middle of conversation, when someone is laughing, someone I’d never expect, I hear their squeak. And what do they do? They keep laughing, harder than before. Because honestly, loud is relative. Ravings and din are subject to change, they can be heard in a tone just shy of a cowering whimper of feeble regret. Let’s drown them out. I know you’ve heard this before but I’m not saying your squeaks can simply cease to exist. I know it’s hard but let’s have no zero days. Let’s attempt, even if for a fleeting moment in those 24 hours, to give a shit and try. And let’s let our squeaks be heard, but never louder than our laughter and never louder than the squeak that is heard when you raise your fist in mid-air and charge!

Do blades cut deeper into victims with aichmophobia?

I’m not in disarray. That’s not what it is. I have no original state of control to compare this to. Thus I am forever condemned to walk this path of apathy down forks with scales of vigor as their divider. A sluggish tale staring me, the question mark. I’ve no knowledge as to who is the predator hunting me down and what lies beneath the gravel which I so vehemently bolt from. My idle ways are now in an avalanche. I can’t afford to look back and I can’t seem to be able to remember. With every step forward, I forget where I started and with every step back, I forget where I’m going. You know, sometimes I feel like I could just stop. The adventures and tales I dream of dreaming yet fail to imagine myself in could all be within the waves of my own mind. I feel like I could let go. Of everything. I could swarm myself in the cold snow of my past and simply hover over the winter-covered path the weather shall open up. Maybe the sea of debris is where I need to lie right now, beneath the frosted dew and fallen air. Perhaps the bundled leaves, impaled by seasons and their colors alike have fallen tribute to my awakening. A troubled slumber of sporadic panic makes for no successful daily regime, much less a first shot at one. But as I toss and turn, run and hide with my instinct as my compass, I can’t help but wonder:Does skin-deep understanding of wounds repel salt? Are cuts of keen blades subject to ignorance of victim? Or will I bleed regardless of convictions?

A three-dimensional love in two two-dimensional lovers.

I am a firm believer in privacy, especially in such areas. Attraction is intimate. Intimacy is a link, a fissure in the air between two people whose eyes are the only bodies to have fallen in. Exposure is unnecessary and as quantum physics has taught us all, observation affects phenomenon. Even if the phenomenon is our thoughts. I am a firm believer in compatibility, that a persons worth is a sham idea. What even is worth? My lover stands on no scale of one to ten and neither do I nor anyone walking these streets. I am a firm believer in clutching to both the known and the unknown and all it is about your body that steers you into the arms of another soul’s body. I believe in different tempos. I believe in the reincarnation of enticement by the mirror and the eyes and only the mirror and the eyes. That beauty only lies in the eyes of the beholder and that art can only be judged by the artist. I believe that attraction is a beautiful secret, an element of divinity lurking on Earth undercover. Purity and ethereal links that have yet to be formed, hidden under layers of collarbones and witty lines, with big eyes as their disguise. A vague smile under dim light, a sly curling of the lips as words escape and clash with my own unspoken ravings. And that is not something to be shared. Ever. Not even with your partner(s). That link, that divine chain from your bones to theirs, serving as a rope to catapult your soul halfway around the world while your body moves about its daily regimen, shaken and in awe of the passing stars. Linking your body to one-another, its an out-of-body experience as interlocked hands with intertwining fingers curl up, each in a voyage of eternal turns to make ends meet in star-crossed paths. You both feel out of this world yet both lie within it as embodiments of bits of it, yet you’ve both been to galaxies and starry seas while staring right into and through each-others eyes. You’ve both been to Heaven and back in a blink of an eye, the blink being what stopped your train of thought from here to there, from now to forever and beyond. And all you’ve got to show for it, is this world’s placebo of gratitude. A silken brush of all you are. A silken brush of two souls crammed into one existence, a clashing of colors of two souls of poly-chromatic lenses in colorblind bodies in a colorblind world. A three-dimensional love in two two-dimensional lovers.

Still water runs deep but caverns are season-blind

One cannot trick time and one cannot trick oneself. Ignorance aids not the eluding of wrinkles. Blind eyes see no outcome. You cannot tape dead leaves to the bottom of your shoe and expect them to whisper to the dirt the same words the falling leaves do. Those golden echoes, leaves as embodiments of time carry certain rhythms and rhymes one cannot counterfeit. Rich life is rich poetry and one cannot block the past for experience is not intravenous, it cannot be injected. For I will never be a creature of 4, one to have passed all the seasonal showers if I continue being swung into equinox. Hunters need hunt, and that I shall do. But how how can I skin if my own reeks of sin? I cannot be a victim any longer if my bite marks and scars elude sight as I caress into hiding. What’s more, the beasts that I need hunt are mentioned in no tales of gallant heroes. That is no incident for I’ve spoken no word of my travels. Nobody has witnessed my battles and even if it were so, they would not sing of victory for I’ve yet to achieve such. I am but a callow merchant out of stock and vigor, walking down a path nobody was walked down before. Not that it should be a target of adulation or pride for it does not fit my occupation. Yet my feet kick the ground and rise dust as my ears are often penetrated by the turmoil of the crowds on the other side of the mountain. I think of my own pace as a raving of endless wishes falling upon perpetually deaf ears when I see the leaps of those headed my way. They rush vehemently but as they lap me I see their nonchalant steps. I worry. Am I forcing myself onto kindred? Is my manipulation of nature a selfish act? The chasms of dim response I hope to end at my target location spark in me such turbulence. They give rise to waves and clashes of thought, hurricanes of doubt. Will I ever be the same as I was if I had started out on the other side of that wretched mountain. I have not experienced the frosty chills of winter yet hollow chasms have taken their turns freezing over my heart. I have not experienced the sun-kissed hands of summer adventures yet I’ve sweat in plains of dried grass. I have not experienced the flower crowns of springtime blossoming yet petals have found their way at my feet as chirping birds accompanied my next steps. I have not experienced the visibly changing colors of the leaves of autumn but I’ve been splashed with all the colors everyone on that side of the mountain has ever seen fall. I will never go through what you did and perhaps my ravings of burst blood vessels will never entice what this pallet has begeted into you. But I’ve been to wastelands with nothing but telescopes, and from what I’ve seen of this planet maybe I do not wish to be a spawn, engendered by this world’s corrupted colors. I’m ashen but not dusty. I have traveled across the land ending up where I began. But I have not a thought of complain. I now take the turns I longed to step onto and the same water reflects my dilated pupils of everchanging tints. But I no longer go by the same name nor face and even my age has been increased a bit. I cannot fool you so I confess: I am not one of you. I will never be one of you. For I walked down a different path hoping to end up where you started. But I landed somewhere I’d never seen before. I ended up in a comfort zone encompassing all I see at any time, at any place. I ended up with a mirror in my room reflecting the places I’d been and the places I’ll go. I now wear the shards of my panic on my belt and I know that although in the end all colors blend into black, mine have walked the neutral line of encore and heckle for too long. Sickly tints of seasonal spurts amuse me no longer as I chase down the sun in its year-round glory. And it’s about time I switched swords, for its color matters not if I clutch it with an aura of determination. Perhaps this time the dirt will whisper its poetry of all the beautiful things I’ve seen and all the beautiful things I’ve been. Perhaps this time, spying eyes will hear the sound of my steps and I will sing along under the very same sun. And as the moon rolls along, in a shadowed land I now call home, perhaps I will fall asleep and wake up the exact same me. Perhaps the opposite, or just with a tint of haecceity.

Raw 3 AM outlet

The church bells muffled piercing convictions and fears as sails sailed to horizon. The sky and ocean surfaces, in a kairos, engaged in a dance of deception, a loop. Their ends and limits unable to be differentiated by the naked eye as they stroke the same color in a pallet. Everyone in that harbor knew that the decreasing in size ship would not return ashore. Its mark of destination or direction was in neither map nor compass. Our instruments were faulty and limited for we could neither box nor ascertain it with tinkers nor trinkets of false reassurance in understanding of observer. It surpassed north and south, west and east and circling it on a piece of paper was impossible. For it lied where the naked, yet somnolent eyes of man could not see but the naked human could fathom, only and only when stripped of all attire and self. Only when man saw himself as man, with no watch nor compass, no pistol nor wallet, no pride nor haecceity, only then could his corrupted eyes cleanse. Only then could his baffled mind unfold to its 6th sense. Our protracted corruption will ooze into the ocean as we jump one by one. The waves will be pierced with blades of the same material as we chase our explorer representative’s chamber. Our goal, to assist and enroll into sight-seeing. And it is this very sight-seeing which lead us, self-entitled delusional specks of dust into splitting ourselves from the Earth. We can be observers but we can never not belong to the waves and the wind. Just like the horizon we share the pastel tints of soul as the sky and seven seas and all there is to see. And shadows are playmates of projected purity meant to soothe our aching eyes. Only when we’ve seen all we needed see, will we realize we cannot colonize Earth. We realize we are not deities dwelling in dells but instead we are thread. Thread woven by the caring yet nonchalant silken fingers of the wind. We will walk these paths again and not dirty them.  We will belong and absorb, observe and behold in abundance to cure our recurring ambiguity, loneliness, fecklessness, curiosity, ego, importance and ignorance. And then we’ll open our eyes.