Insanity on a Summer's Afternoon

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He hates the way he never really loved her, even though she just happened to be his first love.

Maybe he loved her hair, or her eyes. He can't recall now, because the memories lay disassembled in his brain like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Years of sorrows and happinesses have worn at the edges until there's nothing left but the vague blur of what was (or perhaps what could have been).

He loves her sometimes. He worships her in the stories he tells, and in the songs he writes. In those he adores everything about this girl, this person who has dissolved into ink on sheets of paper and saccharine lies. A novelty love story told to little nieces and nephews flocking at his feet like chicklets, fluttering and fawning and asking please please tell us the first girl you ever really liked.

Her name at the tip of his tongue, he recites some asinine fairy tale about a girl with curly hair and a heart-shaped mouth. Somebody with deep blue eyes (or maybe they were green...?) and a cherub's face, round and rosy. All the while, a memory bangs at the edges of his mind, imploring him to let it out, yelling that wasn't me. That wasn't me. That wasn't me. Over and over again, in his sleep and in his conscious that wasn't me.

But it was her. He's sure- ninety percent sure, maybe eighty. By the time he's done thinking about it, he'll be one hundred percent conflicted and farther back then where he started. Who, who, who, he asks, almost a scream, who are you?

No answer. Just sweet, justified silence- the kind of thing he loves, when his mind is just a black hole. A void of nothing, nothing, no her. But she always pulls him back, through the thick summer haze he adores so much. Standing (no, sitting) in a field of daffodils, laughing- it sounds like the gentle tinkling of wind chimes- faceless, taunting laughter. Such pretty hazel curls frame ivory skin (no face) such a pretty cotton dress flutters around pale legs- a detailed silhouette. That's all she is.

Maybe he's loosing his mind. He says so, he says it to her- but she's already gone. Of course she is, because this is what insanity feels like- dangling half-truths in front of you and pulling them back just before that sweet first taste.

He's gone crazy, and the world agrees with him, and the girl agrees with him. But it's only temporary insanity, that's all it is (that's all it ever was) he'll close his eyes and lie back and...and...

Her face, and darkness and sleep, all floating around as he does a balancing act on the tenuous line between consciousness and dormancy. Sleep. Sleep. That's all he wants right now, a good long rest...





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