Reaction

This is a piece I wrote after watching “Perks of Being a Wallflower” yesterday and being triggered by when Charlie says to the Doctor – “I keep seeing things.” The doctor asks “What do you see?”

WARNING: some of this is a little graphic.

I see myself, alone in a world of misty color-faded images. Stephanie is sprawled across the middle floor of a white mini van, with blood running down from her nose and her eyes closed like she’s asleep. Rachel, as I pass her on the pavement, has a face that breaks across my mind like a gray, sad wave on a rainy day at the ocean. The light’s fading and leaving no rose in her cheeks. Her shirt has the picture of a sunset – I think it must be her sunset.

I see myself curled up on a pile of coats begging for my boyfriend to come be with me, but he doesn’t want to.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Actually sometimes I think we accept the only love we have.

I see myself on the third floor of Penrose Hospital, standing in the hallway. The weight of the world is falling on top of me. My boyfriend is complaining that he doesn’t think my family accepts him. My dad is in a hospital room not far away. He recently thanked my boyfriend for being there for me. My dad has never been there for me so of course he doesn’t understand that my boyfriend is just the same. He’s vacant behind the eyes. My dad’s in pain and on drugs so I understand that he made this mistake.

I see myself on the eighth floor of the same hospital. I’m on a computer, with my boyfriend next to me. I’m looking at caskets. Caskets for my sisters.

I see myself at another computer, this time at my boyfriend’s house. I’m looking through thousands of pictures, looking for a picture of the girls to give to the press. He’s helping me. We pick out a few and he suggests one, one that I agree with. It’s the picture that goes around the world.

I see David walk through my boyfriend’s front door and grab me, crying. I ask him how he is and he stares at me like I’m crazy. What else am I supposed to say right now? I don’t even know how I am.

I am a ghost in a shrouded world. I am the dead among the living. The living can’t understand where I am. No one can understand where I am unless they choose to part the veil and step into a blank, dead world.

I see myself at Chapels Hills Mall three weeks later, right before Christmas. My boyfriend, remaining sister, and I had gone Christmas shopping. I had my boyfriend’s phone so I could call them when I was done shopping. I remember the name Rhiannon flashing on the screen over and over. Finally I looked at the text… at all of the texts. I remember sitting on the curb outside Dillards shaking and crying. When Jesse appeared I yelled and screamed. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember the raw anger. He said someone hacked his phone. I didn’t know what to think. Deep in the heart of myself, I knew then that I was deathly alone.

Hello darkness, my old friend.

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