NOTE: I wrote this last year, when I was going through a tough-ish time and really needed to just write and focus myself. So it's actually quite grounded in reality, about 90% real, I think. x'D But yeah, it's a while ago, I'm not so crazy anymore. :B Also...yes, I did graduate this summer; I was just sort of writing ahead, a bit, if you will. But anyhow, even though this started out just as a crazy ramble to try to sort out my spinning head, it turned into a long piece of writing that....I actually quite enjoyed. :'D I'm pleased with how it turned out; hopefully you will like it too? x3
~~Tick Tock, tick tock. 4:30 in the morning, pitch black skies, ghosts and fears standing outside her window.
She’s drawing, she’s singing, she’s writing, she’s trembling. She’s sketching another one of her beautiful boys, her dreamy angels, her perfect heroes. She’s fussing over his right eye – it has to be just perfect. It has to be lovely, handsome, filled with emotion and time. His brow – it has to arch perfectly, heavily, in his pained expression. Oh her beautiful boy.
She erases for the hundredth time.
Soundtrack songs are mixed along with modern ones – a selective, random circulation of her favorite songs going on in her earphones. Her dog whimpers and she hears a singer cry. One Republic, Owl City. Lenka, some Club 8 too. And, of course, Howard Shore strums up another perfect orchestra. I still can’t say it after all we’ve been through, Jason Mraz sighs, and she rocks her head back and forth to the beat. Yes, and the feeling inside keeps building.
4:30 in the quiet dark, not quite midnight, not quite morning. The streets are silent, the animals are hidden; the wind blows unobtrusively along its path. Fingers tap at her window. She takes a deep breath.
Tremble, tremble. Shiver, shake. The heart struggles, struggling against something unseen. It quakes, it quails. It quivers, it flails. It needs...something. Anything to relieve it.
But how do you help something when you don’t know what is ailing it? How do you fight off something when you don’t even know what to fight?
Boy bands curse as she throws her pencil in frustration. Forget that stupid eye – she holds the page up, examining it unhappily. It’s a failure. She looks it over, tilts it this way and that. Failure. She spent two hours agonizing over it, she tried so hard, but it’s just a failure in the end. Her boy does not look as beautiful as he should be, her girl is slumped over in an awkward position. The whole picture does not flow, there is too much blood, and it is unnatural. She tosses it aside.
Flow. Nothing flows. Time flows. She stacks her arts away, glancing at the clock. Time sure flows fast. Time is evil, time is cruel. Time has no pity. Time never loved her. Or perhaps she just never got to know him well enough?
It was most likely her fault.
She shivers, spasms passing through her upper body. Spring has not come with warmth, and winter is lounging, lazy to get up and walk away. She’s been sitting in the same unhealthy position for far too long in her chair. Slumped over, she’s surprised she hasn’t developed osteoporosis yet. She sits back up again, her spine trembling weakly, rocking her body. Her feet are sweating strangely as they stay still on her hot computer battery. Imbalance, everywhere.
Beep beep, beep beep. An alarm clock rings. 5 in the morning. The memories don’t give up.
If only she could have their persistence. But it can be learned, right?
Mournful music plays, lamenting the death of a wonderful warrior, a hero, a king. Pipes and strings and other things. A dirge, really. A woman vocalizes in the background, and stirs the keys that lie in her own heart. She hums, caught by the music, unable to resist.
Passions are hard to not follow. Temptations, so tempting; stirring and swaying and arousing. Trilling, harmonizing, she sings along with the goddess who vocalizes her ethereal spell.
A paper fell out when she was cleaning up her art. Graduation forms. Cap and gowns still to order. For what? Her graduation. Graduation from what? From high school. But wait – graduation from what?
For others maybe. For her – she sighs. She smiles. It is satire, really. They make it seem like such a great thing – but it comes with pain too. For some more so than others. Is there such a thing as happiness without sorrow?
Graduation. A rite of passing, of sorts, for everyone. Everyone did it. But what did you do? Why did you do that? Why? Why. Why oh god oh why??
Senior year. A year of what? For her, honestly? A year of pain. Junior year – she fucked up. Senior year – she fucked up again. Failures everywhere. And there was so much more screwing in between.
Everyone would be graduating this year, everyone she went to class with, everyone she talked with, everyone she laughed with. Friends, classmates, old enemies. Everyone would be wearing their caps and gowns and smiling and beaming. Snap the cameras will go, and beams, beams everywhere. Smile! You’re done!
Her friends and classmates will all be wearing their tassels and cords. Their honorary certificates and their rewards for having paid some fees over four years. She paid them too – for her first two years, that is. But they don’t let anyone who fucks up pay the fees. So she lost it all – her honorary membership, her tassel and cord, her four or five bucks. Failure.
She lost more. She lost her college. Everyone jumping around and beaming some more – I got into Stanford! Berkeley! Oxford and Yale and Harvard and the entire Ivy League! I’m going to UC this, UC that. She could have been one of them too. She wanted to be one of them. She was on the right track – for the first two years. But then she let herself fuck up. Failure.
She wasn’t dumb, she wasn’t sick. But she was seriously, seriously, messed up. She could have been great, she could have done well – she had even wanted to be valedictorian freshman year. Back in middle school, coming from a private, she didn’t know there was such a thing as a valedictorian. But after she watched her friend become the glamorous speechmaker in eighth grade, she told herself she’d do that in high school. It wasn’t impossible. All she had to do was work for it, and she could get it. All you had to do to get anything was work for it.
Well, yeah, everything pretty much went out the door. Perhaps four years is too long a time to keep track and hold onto all your wishes, perhaps she’s just making excuses.
5:30 in the morning and she cries. She cries, and no tears fall, but she cries in her heart. It’s still struggling, bashing her, punishing her. Regret is like time. Regret is cruel too. Loss is unbearable.
Her favorite hero fights and falls against the background of a frantic, dramatic, screaming instrumental. It picks at her own desperate heart, bringing it up another notch in sadness.
Everybody falls, but two years is a long time to have kept on making mistakes. And nobody has that much patience. She was sure everybody was probably as fed up with her as she was. Nobody normal has the heart of a martyr, the patience of a saint. She should have learned from her first mistakes, and not repeated them all over again. In the end, it was all her own fault, her own doing. Now she had two more years to fix it all, to try to patch up her gaps. Perhaps she could get back on track this time, she has one more chance. Perhaps she could at last learn, and do it right this time.
But don’t let the patches be threadbare strips this time. Don’t let the glue be useless. Don’t stick it all together with empty words – and then pull it all apart.
She’ll work this time. Loss is bad enough once. Failure is not pleasant.
She’ll feel it this year, when that time comes. When the music plays and the parents cheer and the kids scream, she’ll feel it. She’ll cheer too, but will it be heartfelt for her? Perhaps she’ll feel left out. She’s graduated, but doing what? Fucking up. She didn’t work like everyone else did, she didn’t persist like she should have, she didn’t accomplish anything she had wanted to accomplish and she didn’t achieve any of her goals. She didn’t get any of anything that was within her potential, because she didn’t have the strength enough to chase it. That by itself was enough to put her to shame. Perhaps her counselor could tell her pretty words and try to smooth all the blame away, but she couldn’t listen. She couldn’t just make herself guiltless and tell herself everything was all right. She wasn’t trying to be pigheaded, it was just what her gut said was right.
And everyone would know she had fucked up on that day too. Perhaps she’d be the only one in her classes who didn’t receive the tassel and cord. Perhaps that would mark her out as vividly as her fateful eleventh grade scarlet letter. Perhaps she’d be the only one with no grand college to go to. Perhaps she’d be a lot of things, that’s for sure.
The kids scream, the parents scream, the crowd keeps screaming and screaming. The Dark King screams as the hero stabs his black heart, and her body screams as well. Time is still passing cruelly, regret is still clinging coldly. Early in the morning and pain still keeps looking in her window.
And all her friends. She opens up her computer documents, her journals, her thoughts, her rambles, her favorite quotes and her friend’s stories. She reads through them randomly, selecting things here and there to satiate her searching mind. It’s seeking something, it wants something, it wants to help the heart stop struggling.
Passion is wonderful. It’s frightening, it’s strange, it’s beautiful, it’s powerful. It sweeps you like a tidal wave and it comes in so many forms. It shakes and rocks and drives your soul insane. It makes you do funny things, and it makes you want to sing and laugh and cry and die at the same time. It’s passionate to draw, passionate to write, it’s luscious and ripe like the sweetest note in a haunting song. Passion is something she wants and doesn’t want at the same time, something she loves and admires and shuns at the same time.
Some way or the other, her readings melt and her thoughts pool down to one other. Another persistence of memory.
He’s going away to college. He’s got no screw ups like she has. He kept himself on track, focused on his goal; he knew what he wanted. He’s everything she admires.
He’s a voice, a thought, a face that refuses to fade. He lingers in her days and on her earphones at night. His songs are lovely, perfect. The kind a hero would play.
She thought she had gotten over him for a while. But it was another lie. Nothing that cuts into your memories ever heals. Time is not kind enough to help you fully recover. She could run for a while, but soon enough he would catch up to her. And now she knows she would still fall for him all over again.
Senior year was a painful one. A year following a fuck up – to only become a fuck up too. Senior year was the year where, in the end, she finally grew up. No more happy family, no more happy world. The economy goes to pieces and countries get blown up. Parents grow old and friends grow strange. Brothers become asses and teenagers become asses too. Always screams, yells, blows, before the lights turn out for the night.
No more Disneyland trips, astronaut ice cream, sitting on daddy’s shoulders. That was all long ago gone. No more perfect little daughter too. That ship sailed. Elves and pirates and princesses and romances have also passed – traces still linger, fueling her fantasies and tales and dreams, but no longer the center of her world anymore.
A song comes to its quiet end. We all grow up too fast.
Six in the morning and she feels the mist in her eyes. Senior year was new – cars and money and adulthood approaching. Independence, new stages of life, love for the first time. Every step towards the new phase painful, but then it’s just part of “growing up”.
Consequences to deal with – you screw and you reap what you sow. And when this year is over – what else but more sadness to come? A promiseless summer, a summer brimming with memories of the past, memories that have no generous intentions. And everyone who spent all their time together going in separate directions, going here, going there, going to other states, going far away. Childhood is over, friendships come to an end.
And that is what kills her. Everyone always says how high school friends fall apart. It’s to be expected, right? They’re not together anymore. But how can that happen, she asks? After all they’ve been through together? After all the parties, the going out togethers, the jokes and the tears and the laughs and the craziness? How can best friends leave and end up having nothing to do with each other after they’ve shared just about every moment of their teenage lives? How can people just leave and not go back? Don’t they ever think about the past, the words they said, the secrets they shared? Does it all mean nothing with time?
Oh, cruel, cruel time.
And most of all, what about him? Were they just fated to leave like that, him to his wonderful school and she to wherever, and would they never come in contact again? She’d reach out to him – drop an email, leave a message – but would he reply? Would he be annoyed? Would he want to forget? Would they both find new lives and just leave it all behind?
That’s what always happens and yet she hates that. It’s a miserable thing to think about, a discouraging thing. It feels like, in the end, it was just nothing. It was all just....another loss. She didn’t want her and her first love to end up becoming strangers, but perhaps it was inevitable, like time and regret. All pain, all failure.
She shook her head. Enough of that.
6:30 in the morning and the ghosts are getting bolder. Presences now stand right behind her, leaning over her chair, sending spasms up her back. They breathe into her ear and her music has stopped playing for a while. She presses play again.
He was one of her biggest passions. He was irresistible temptation. He was something that swayed her, brought her up, drove her spirits to new heights. He was something new and wonderful in her life. He was love and she was in love. He was something to write about, to sing about, to draw for. He was passionate himself and he was an artist himself. He was perfect and beautiful, her surprising angel. He was part of growing up and he was full of power and emotions and the cruelty to make lasting memories.
He was her silent screams, her sobs, her soul breaking. Her heart thumping and failing. He was her pain and torture and insanity – for a while, at least. He was another fuck up in her miserable senior year, another regret. He screwed her up something awful for a while. He brings tears to her eyes even now, makes the mist become tears, and yet her heart still persists on loving him. He’s everything she loves and everything she shouldn’t.
If only we could turn back time. Then it wouldn’t be cruel anymore. We’d have all the power, and time would succumb to us. If only she could turn back time, go back and fix her mistakes. If we all knew what was to happen as a result of an action, our lives would be so much more perfect.
It’s almost 7 in the morning and Taylor Swift tells her ex he’s not sorry. The branches keep tapping, tapping at her window and the tears go dripping, dripping down her elbow. It’s still cold as hell and her feet are so warm they almost hurt. Her head feels dizzy, off, imbalanced, tired. T.a.T.u. is screaming.
She wanted to do that once, too. She wanted to grab him and scream at him and cry in front of him. She wanted to let him see her misery and just let go of all her anger and pain and tell him, FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU AND EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU! FUCK IT ALL!! She wanted to throw things and show him her broken heart.
But instead, she never did that. She loved him too much, and she was far too gentle. She only smiled and did the only thing she could do – love him. And with time, the anguish passed. But still, she would have liked for him to know. Instead, it just became another regret.
If only we could turn back time. She keeps thinking about it. We all grow up too fast. If only we could make it last a little longer.
It’s useless thinking, to be sure. Pathetic, and pointless. But if we could turn back time, she’d do her two fucked up years over. She’d do it right this time. She’d work and persist and keep her eyes on her goal. She’d graduate with no regrets, she’d go to where she wanted, and she’d know why. She’d know why she’s done a lot of things.
She’d do him over. Yes, that’s right. She’d know what to say, what to do, how to deal with him, what to expect. She’d be careful, and she’d manipulate things so they don’t end up the same way, so they end up better.
She’d tweak things so that she could have one of her fairy tale endings.
She’d change it all so she doesn’t sit up at 7 in the morning, powerless against the unseen. She’d change it so that she doesn’t feel the tears falling, the wounds aching, the passions swelling with the brokenhearted music. She’d change it so that she doesn’t feel twinges of regret, the weariness of time. So she doesn’t feel as if she’s about to burst, as if she wants to scream, as if she wants to be insane.
She’d change every fuck up and be a good little girl. Like the good old days. Like the happy stuff the radio’s singing about.
When some people get to her stage, when they get to the same point in life, where they’ve lost everything, they give up. When they’ve lost their goals, lost their path, lost their love, found nothing but failure, they just give up. They feel like they’re utterly defeated, like they’ve nothing left to lose. They feel like they are nothing. They just give up.
In Tokyo, if you lose your college and you fail at being a good student, you give up. You jump. For some people, if they’ve lost their love and their heart is shattered, they give up. They jump too. Their heart wasn’t beating anymore anyways.
They tell her with scorn that she should just give up too. Just go and jump, girl, you’re so covered in shame. Wouldn’t that just finish it. Giving up.
Giving up. It sounds so easy. Just give up, just succumb, just fail. Then you’re done. No more troubles, no more problems, no more duties. No more regret, no more pain, no more loss. Smile. You’re done.
It would be so easy. It would be so complete. Giving up would just get rid of all your fears, chase all those ghosts away. Perhaps you’ll finally get some more sleep tonight; your window will finally be quiet.
She sits and cries and screams inside. Giving up. It is so tempting. Lose your mind and then just throw it all away with the passions of insanity.
But would it really? Would it really make it all go away?
It would really be more like the sentencing blow to all your miseries. You feel no more, but you feel no more joy either. You feel no more, because you have no more. You’ve given up. It would be the biggest shame of all.
Life is so wonderful still. There is still so much more to do. Life is cruel, but life has mercy too. It is worth seeing it all through.
Of course she’d never give up. She’s not suicidal. She loves life too much. That she knows for sure. Those who do give up, who succumb to nothing, are unlucky fools. It is not worth throwing everything you have away in exchange for...nothing. There is nothing to be found in giving up.
She loves to laugh. She loves to smile. When will she be able to do these things again?
7:30 in the morning and she still sits overwhelmed by the pains and the regrets and the fluttering thoughts. She sits there and thinks about him and wonders when she’ll be done. Still, she sits there and thinks about him, about her life, about everything she hasn’t done right, and imagines how nice it would be to just close your eyes and make it all go away. To just forget everything for a while. If only there was some way to give up...then come back when you are ready for life again.
Tick tock, tick tock. The clocks in her room never give up. This pain will never either. But it’s something we all have to cope with. It’s all just part of “growing up”.
Tip tap, tip tap. Drip, drip. A morning shower trickles down her window, distorting the spirits but magnifying their noise. Well, all she has to do is turn Regina Spektor louder.
Shiver, shiver, tremble, quake. Her fingers are shaking with cold and she really must fix her posture. She doesn’t feel too healthy. Her heart doesn’t feel too happy.
It’s early in the morning of another long day and nothing has changed. It’s bright and the world goes on like it always does. Nobody will stop for you. And she hasn’t changed anything or did anything, nothing to put a sudden jolt to her fortunes. It’s her own fault. All she’s done is whetted away another sleepless night, too scared to sink into dreams but not wanting to stay awake either. It does her no good, but she does it anyways. Constant contemplating seems to do her no good either, but she hopes it will in the long run.
She hums along with nostalgic songs and makes her bed. She cleans up her clothes and pulls the curtains up over her window. She stares out it and gazes at the outside, at other people. The ghosts turn on camouflage.
7:30 in the morning and the world is waking up. The car doors slam and the birds fight noisily. The window glows with early light and the ghosts curl up in the back of her mind, getting ready for their next phase to haunt her. She sighs and she smiles. She’d scream too, but it’s too early in the morning.
How long can I go on like this? Before I rightly explode? Jason Mraz sings. And she wants to expel those ghosts. Unrelenting, persistent memories, constant struggles. Cruel hands, stealing sleep. Regrets, haunting over time. Unseen and feared at the same time.
But baby, that’s a case of my wishful thinking; you still know nothing. Shaking you, quivering you, breaking you. Always hovering, watching with emotional eyes, through the dark and the light, never letting you go until you scream and succumb at last to insanity. And if it kills me.
But oh, all she wants to do is smile again.
8 in the morning and she turns out her light. She’s just tired. She crawls into bed and hugs her blankets. They are so soft, and light, and sweet. Enough of passionless thoughts. Enough of incoherent rambling. It’s finally time to succumb to sleep.