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I walk across the black abyss as if it was the water’s surface, each step leaving ripples in its wake. Surrounded by darkness, I am left with my own thoughts. I cannot hear. I cannot speak. I cannot see. My thoughts are the only thing that keeps me sane, the only proof that I still exist for there is nothing for me to touch to prove the world’s existence, only my thoughts that are slowly falling into doubt.
Unbeknownst to me, the reaper’s decomposing hands have already snaked their way up, around my neck, gradually tightening. So gradually that I do not even notice it. I can feel its cold breath, whispering words of hopelessness and sorrow to burn into my mind. The first sound in what seems like a millennium sounds like soothing music to me, and I take them to heart. The voice of death sounds so comforting, I find myself smiling at the promises that death could bring me. My mind is worn down with fatigue from fighting for my remaining sanity. The music in my ear continues with its lulling lullaby, and my fight slows to a crawl, letting the last part of my mind flow freely into the darkness. “Just give up and you will see your brother’s face again. You are of no use to anyone anymore. You are weary from battles you cannot win, so let it slow and just let your heart stop.”
“My brother?” I repeat as if I was in a trance. Eyes unfocused and mind numb, I slow my steps and slow my heart. I fall through the dark surface and fall deeper into the depths of hatred and despair.
“This is right,” I think to myself. “I can repent this way.” I smile at the memory of my lost brother, his face full of laughter and contentment. The surface grows farther and farther away as the black hole consumes me. “I can finally pay. I want to die.”As my heart slows, my consciousness retreats to the back of my mind where people cannot reach me.
Chains form around my body, wrapping around me as if it were to be my coffin. Again, I cannot feel it. The touch of the metal felt like everything else to me, the lack of warmth, the lack of comfort is nothing new. And just like a dog, I follow my master without thinking. Death, my master, leads me as my only friend and only companion.
“Ayame,” a voice calls out after me, so gentle, so subtle, and yet so full of pain. I have never heard of such a heavenly sound before. Then again I have heard very little in my lifetime. Again, I hear my name be called out but this time it came with a touch. What was touching me? I can’t decipher it. It is warm. I open my eyes for the first time in many long years. My eyes are blank and clouded over with darkness, and I turn to try to see for the first time. A small light shines in distance. I turn away violently, attempting to shun the intruder from my world, but as I turn away, I recognize what had been touching me. It was a hand. A hand place tenderly on my shoulder. Confused by this, I search for the owner of the appendage. After all, who would approach me, a walking marionette doll.
What I found, I wanted to look away from it. A man stood there smiling at me. He had sun kissed hair and eye's that was as bright as the sky. The embodiment of light itself. Something that is completely foreign to me. "Come on, Aya-chan. Let's leave this place." Everything about him makes me irritated. His complete honesty about everything and childish personality is less to be desired, but he draws me in effortlessly. He often offers me a hand, and my response is a cold shoulder, rejecting the light, afraid of something so unknown to me. After I reject him, his eyes would dim for a second but would light up again in an attempt to get me a smile.
He continues to speak to me even after I say I don't want him to. But wait. Since when have I been able to do so? Have I not been as mute as I thought? Or maybe this is yet another beginning to a nightmare waiting for me. Even with my doubt, I reach out with a shaky hand, hesitating several times. When my hand is finally about to grab his, I find him further away from me, out of reach. I reach for him again, this time with more confidence, but as I was about to touch him, he was out of my grasp. On my third attempt to seize that irresistible and seemingly unattainable light, I find I can move no farther. Looking at what has restricted me, I can see Death once again. He is beautiful. Long black hair and flowing dark robes that accented his pale skin. He had a kind face even though he held onto my chains. His promises flows through his lips, reminding me of what I had lost and the fears that consume me.
Turning around, I slowly head towards Death once again, but as I draw closer, the truth begins to reveal itself. A large skeleton stands behind the beautiful man with a large scythe stained with blood. Hollow eyes stare at me, expecting me to follow like before. I glance towards that light that is still drifting away. The choice I choose seems illogical to me, but I dash for the light. Pulling against the chains with all my strength, I reach out. Against all odds, I break from my chains. The closer I get to that desired light, the brighter my world becomes. I see how ugly I really am. My actions and poor choices I had made while following Death. It makes me wish that I didn't leave the darkness, but I want this light so much. I want him.
I don't stop until I reached the surface. It is frozen over. To be expected since my heart had been frozen for so long. He waits on the other side. Watching me, wondering what I will do. I place my hand against the ice and scratch, claw, and bang against it. I only manage to put a small crack into it but no bigger. I smile sadly to myself. "So such warmth is unattainable to me." I mutter. "Once in my grasp it slips away."
Death grabs a hold of me and begins to drag me back into its depths. I do not resist. However, even though I have given up, apparently he hadn't. He grabs my wrist and pulls me towards the surface, breaking the ice that stood as my final barrier.
I shut my eyes to how bright the world suddenly becam, and slowly I reopen them. Darkness still clouds them, but it does not seem to stop my eyes from new discoveries. There are so many things moving and making sounds I have never noticed before.
I almost forgot about him for a second. The new world is a great distraction, and he made no noise which is very rare for him. He watches me happily, knowing how different it is for me, but when he finally speaks to me in my new world, his words became forever engraved in my mind. "Welcome to your new life, Ayame."