The winds carried whispers of a coming end to a girl perched against a starry sky. Raspy like knives against her unfeeling skin, the whispers mumbled on and on. Numb is that girl who had long since won against the abyss, a staring contest as such was her birthright. Truly, there can be no winner but she who had lost it all in the battle.
What can truths who now lay dormant within that abyss do but lie in wait for one more, final embrace? A longing gaze, a nervous meeting of the eyes which glance away and back again from the shyness of the heart… those truths can naught but dream until that day. There’s really nothing all that special about it, in reality they will hold all within their cold but caring arms, in time. But must they wait so long for a single girl, insignificant to the world and yet still no less important than the rest? Yearning, nay, pining as the clock ticks on, the pages of the calendar ripped off one-by-one, the sun dancing with the moon in that ever starry sky.
Their reunion would be soon. One could taste it in the air.
That air, clear as crystal, was fowl with the stench of a world on fire. Too fowl, thought the girl, to truly mark the occasion. No, she did not seek escape from that which is but rather a return to that which was; for she had, in times now lost, once found comfort here. And what had changed? What was altered to deprive this girl of what she had for an all too brief time called home?
The path, with its twists and its turns, down which the world slowly rolled on and on towards fates only known to its residents as a specter, a glimmer of despair, was fixed from the start. The girl had never known a world without the resounding rumble of collapse, if not for the blinders strapped to her head without so much as a second thought to consider her opinion, blinders which she had to rip off by her own power. And when those blinders were finally clear of her sight, when she could see the thunderclouds on the horizon, when she knew what the shaking at her feet meant, there was nobody left to hear her screams.
Her home was in the darkness. When she would open its doors and say “I’m home,” it was in shadows. Memories she once fondly looked back on are now stained with the light of which they had once existed despite. Truth, like the blazing sun on a summer day, could only be chased after by those deprived of it, but once present, it burns all in its sight. The world was born to end, just as each and every soul born upon it.
Still, in those cheery days shielded from the omens in the clouds, screaming like a million tormented souls as they zipped from one cloud to the next, the girl had but one companion: that very abyss which now cowers in the corner alone with its own truths. Yes, she forsook her first lover for another, the truth she had for the truth she did not.
Fear, in either case, has been the theme of her life. The first or the last, the fears were singular and their presence monolithic, so much so that she had no room left in her mind for the simple fears of every day life. For what, in comparison, is the consequence of a misstep here or a failure there when existence itself is so horrifying that it was all she could do to just keep standing, numb. Of course, there were those moments when stoic composure could no longer be maintained, not resulting from new fears but from reminders of those primal ones that she kept so close by. That was, however, the past, the present is complete numbness. Even the new which had replaced the old has now been pushed out.
Joy could no longer wriggle its way through the thick walls of steel she had erected around her heart. Somberly she lived each day as if it were another couple revolutions of the clock hand and nothing more, a loop of time meant to contain her life and not let it live. Each hour would come and go with no more excitement than the last. Time keeps moving, the world hurling toward oblivion, and yet where she sat it could not be seen. Be it on the end of her bed, in the folding chair by the old, moldy card table in what one could barely argue to be a dining room in her home, or here, on the roof of the school she had passed so, so many times throughout these years, convinced that she would never step foot within its halls again. If not for the inability to point to any moment in memory and claim it as the moment of her death, the girl would believe that she is already dead.
Perhaps, she thought, she had simply lived too long.
Not yet dead, yes, but without reason to go on living. The plot of her life, lackluster as it was, had already played out. A hundred times she could have died and not a single saw fit to go though with it, certainly it was all just a roulette. Just luck, pure chance. One of those moments must have been the one, one of those moments should have been her end, it just misfired, and her life ever since was just a fluke. And now she just waits.
Two ex-lovers, apart for so long, each missing the other, sit alone… waiting.
Do they know? Will they ever know that each of them misses the other as much as that other misses them? Each waiting for the other to make a move, too nervous to be the one to take the first step. The tension between them, so tight it could snap, vibrated with ever bump and shift in the girl’s life, echoing tones of what once was. Perhaps she did not know that the abyss, too, was waiting, but she was well aware that it would always welcome her with open arms. She had chosen life, the world; that void was unchanging and it was the girl who had caused all their troubles.
Gone was the time to wallow in regret. Now, she was ready. With the taste of the past lingering on her lips, she was ready to jump into those comforting arms, to be held by that sweet nothingness, to cry on the cold and uncaring chest of the abyss. Their fated reunion which was hers to plan would be soon.
No longer whispering but screaming, the winds mustered up one final plea. A gust whipped past the girl’s face, her expression remained fixed as if to say “yes, I know, but now I must go.” And in return they tugged on the ribbon in her air, whining over her refusal to pay them any mind. The seconds went on, their prayers unanswered, the winds settled in resignation. Their truths meant nothing here, they were forsaken, all but forgotten. No less true than the day they were set into motion, simply falling out of favor.
With all contemplation locked away, sealed from ever again plaguing her soul, the girl gave one final glance up to the stars. One or two gave a final salute, twinkling as if to bid her farewell before once again standing stoic and proud. For the briefest of moments, the girl’s face broke out into an all but unnoticeable grin as she chuckled to herself. Perhaps, she thought, this was not a farewell, but a greeting. Perhaps, she mused, she would be joining those stars soon. But perhaps, she faltered, those stars see no meaning in the lives below them, living their own lives on that higher plane without a care for the tragedies happening at their feet. It was immaterial either way, for she had a date to catch, uncertain in its own ways but certain in many.
Yes, she had a date with a lost love, but there remained one final task barring their rendezvous. Legs now swinging with anticipation, the girl glanced over her shoulder, one final check that she may have at the very least in these final moments done one thing right. Over the fence lay a pair of shoes, alone and in silence, meticulous in their posture. Heel to heel, toe to toe, square with the edge where the girl sat. Perfection incarnate, truly an art worth staking her pride in, and yet she couldn’t help to think it more fitting had they shifted. Had her toes ever so slightly kicked one shoe or the other as she pulled herself over the fence, that would have marked her existence here all the better.
Mulling over these trivialities one after the other, the girl may have found herself hesitating. No more of that. She was done now. Her hands grasped the edge. Her feet pushed against the wall. Her body hinged about her knees. Her arms pushed away from that perch she had occupied for all too long in the night. And the air rushed past her ears.
“It’s been a while,” said the girl with a smile.