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Caught in between...
I don’t need anymore trouble in my life…
I simply stared at my textbook, those words echoing through my mind. My eyes were beginning to flood, as if there was an overflowing dam in my head, just waiting to burst open. A single salty tear splattered onto the cover. In attempts to hide my pain, I let my hair fall in front of my face. Pretending to have a headache, I covered my head with my hood, wanting to leave everything outside…left behind and forgotten by the world.
I felt a sharp pain suddenly appear in my upper arm. I quickly wiped away my tears and looked up through a curtain of hair. Jackson stood there, looking at me with nothing but entertainment in his eyes. “Headache?” he asked, totally oblivious to the emotional pain I am experiencing.
“Yeah. Lack of sleep isn’t really helping me that much.” I muttered through my hair, avoiding any and all possible eye contact.
“Oh.” He said, probably wondering what the heck I was talking about. “I’m going to talk to somebody else then…” he said before wandering off. Shortly after he left, I folded my arms and laid my head in between them. I closed my eyes, trying to escape the harshness of my reality…
I imagined myself in a tunnel, walking along a path with a lantern in my hand, a small candle burning just behind the smudged glass. Everything was pitch-black, the only light coming from the glow of the small flame. Jagged rocks crunched under my worn tennis shoes, the sound echoed around me…giving me the feeling that somebody was following me. Then, the path split into two. The left revealed a small light at the end of the tunnel, the second seemed to be a path of eternal darkness.
As I approached the two paths, the glow of the lantern spilled across my surroundings. Two figures emerged, one from each path. I paused, surprised to see anyone else in the tunnel other than me. The light shed from my lantern revealed a female on the left path. A girl about the same age as me stood there, looking at me in the eyes. Her bright blue eyes pierced my deep brown ones. Blond corkscrew curls fell to the middle of her back. She wore an elegant white dress with a light blue sash around her waist. And to top it off, she wore shiny black dress shoes. But what caught my attention were the majestic, feathered wings and subtle halo that glimmered in the darkness that blanketed us.
The second figure was a male, who leaned against the rock wall. He had slightly curly black hair that didn’t go past his ears. Eyes that were as red as blood glared at me, as if I was the person he despised the most in the world. He wore a black t-shirt that had a design of a skull across the left sleeve. He wore faded blue jeans, which were torn at the knees, along with many countless holes along the cuff of the leg. Heavy chains fell from his belt loops, as if they were keeping him prisoner. He was wearing well-worn black shoes, looking as if he never took them off for a long period of time. He had wings that were as black as an inky, starless night.
“What’s wrong, Christie?” A soft voice asked. I turned my head and the “angel” was speaking, worry and concern were visible in her blue eyes, evident in her gentle voice.
“Oh, shut up!” the “demon” exclaimed, throwing his hands into the air, revealing black nail polish with a blood-red raindrop on each nail. “You already know what’s wrong with her!” He said angrily.
“Christie? Is this about what happened earlier?” She asked. Tears began to well up in my eyes. How do they know about this?
“We know because the both of us reside within your soul. We are the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ that are constantly fighting.” The boy said, explaining who they are.
Good and evil?
“Everybody on the face of the planet have a good and bad personality.” the girl continued to explain. “People who are ‘good’ decide to follow my path.” She said gesturing towards her tunnel.
“And the people who are considered ‘bad’ walk down my path.” The boy sighed, as if he had to repeat these lines many times…
“I guess you can say we are the angel…”
“and demon clashing with each other within your spirit.”
“Why are you here?” I whispered quietly.
“We are here because you have a decision to make. What’s been happening to you lately is nearly driving you to the brink of insanity. It’s tearing you apart from the inside out.” The angel explained.
“And now,” the demon continued, “you can choose to let it go and go with her,” he explained…sounding annoyed and gesturing toward the lighted tunnel, “or you can continue letting those words sever your spirit and dampen your dreams.” He said while holding out his hand. His eyes dug deep into my soul. “You’ve done it so many times in the past, why not now?” he added, a smirk gracing his lips.
My hand twitched at my side, really wanting to take his offer. My hand rose slowly, as if I was in a trance. His eyes gleamed, eager for his success over the angel. Just as I was about to take his hand, the angel exclaimed, “Wait!” I froze, my hand trembling over his. “Think about what you’re going to do.” She said with pleading eyes. “Why are you going to do this? Even further your journey into pain and suffering? Why?”
Tears began to well up in my eyes. Thoughts echoed in my mind.
Because nobody loves me! I withdrew my hand, wiping away tears that streamed out of my eyes. I am weak! I wanted to scream.
“Weakness is what makes you vulnerable.” the demon said. “Come with me, and you will become stronger. Your barrier shall be impenetrable,”
My shoulders shook as my sobbing became louder. I kept on wanting to grab the hand with the teardrop nails, but…I’m confused…wondering if it really is they way I wanted to go. Most people I see occasionally discriminate me, as if I was the person they hate the most in the world. Everybody hates me. I complained, tears running further and further down my face. What do I do?
“You come with me.” the boy said, getting annoyed. “Coming with me can be nothing but a gain to you. Your strength is with me.”
“That is not the type of strength you are striving for.” the girl interrupted “Hardened hearts and unreadable emotions is not strength.” she whispered gently, blue eyes slowly finding their way into my soul, a soul I thought was taken by the “demon“. “That kind of strength is like locking a door to every human being on earth. Shutting out your parents, and even your best friends you have come to know. Is that what you want?” she asked.
A flashback of an active dance floor appeared in my mind. Dean and everybody from the Decathlon team partied on the floor. Energy and joy spread like wildfire, from one person to the next. Lasers flew and lights flashed, creating the movie moment party scene. Everything was…perfect.
Out of the blue, a gentle voice asked, “Do you want to lose them?”
My image shattered, as if it were a mirror that was just struck with a rock. Everything fell apart, revealing only myself, huddled in the darkness. Nobody to talk to, associate with, even see. My hair fell in front of my face, nobody to tell me to tuck it behind my ear. A frown was plastered across my face, nobody to come to brighten up my day. Only me, and my thoughts.
My knees wobbled slightly, this wasn’t the life I wanted. I wanted to be surrounded by friends…whom I trust. Parents who loved me, even sisters to annoy. I don’t want to be alone, I fear being alone. From the many times that I have been deserted, the constant fear of being abandoned was always in the back of my mind. I feared losing those who I considered really close friends. I don’t want to have my worst fears become a reality.
My hand lowered. The glimmer that was once in the demon’s eyes quickly diminished, realizing that he was losing this battle…
“No! That isn’t they way you want to go!” He screamed. His eyes seemed to get to an even deeper, darker blood color. Hatred overcame his thoughts as he lunged forward to me. My knees got even weaker…they eventually buckled, and my knees nearly collided with the rocks that lay before me. The jagged edges ripped through my jeans and penetrated the skin. Blood seeped out of my wounds, but I felt no pain. I squeezed my eyes shut and braced myself for impact. But it never came. Cautiously, I peeked through one eye, and the demon was clawing at the air…as if he was fighting an invisible enemy. He had the look of a cold-blooded murderer across his face, and I must have been the prey he wanted so badly to kill. He screamed at the top of his lungs in frustration.
“No! I am not going to lose to her!” he bellowed. Every word he spoke bounced off the tunnel walls. “Nobody loves you! Everybody hates your guts! Nobody wants you here!” he continued screaming. Chains rattled as they kept him out of my reach. Whatever was holding him back, was indeed very powerful.
“None of that is true,” the angel spoke again. “there are many people who love you for who you are.” what she said, was somehow drowning out the demons screaming and bellows.
But only my family thinks of me that way. Nobody sees me they way they do. I argued.
“Your are forgetting somebody. Somebody who isn’t related to you whatsoever, but loves you as a person. Somebody who thinks your bond is past brother/sister.”
Who? Who else is there?! I spat.
The girl stood there, not moving or flinching. She simply whispered “Dean”
My vision blurred until the only thing I saw was a glow.
Memories came flooding back, memories I never wanted to forget. The first time we met back in 6th grade, all the laughs we shared. Precious memories that kept me going on all these years. He was the one who was my unknown protector. He stood by me all these years.
“Christie?” she kneeled next to me and laid a hand on my shoulder. “Come with men, and we can start your long delayed path to healing.” She withdrew her hand and rose. I looked up with teary eyes, curious about what she was doing. She was holding out a slender hand. I was looking around for the demon boy, but he was nowhere to be found. I looked back to the girl, and took her hand. She gripped tenderly and said, “These are your first steps to recovery.” she gently lifted me up, and we walked down the tunnel. The light at the end came closer and closer, until everything went white…