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In The Dark
I cranked the music up all the way while Flyleaf’s sweet notes and lyrics forced their way through my skull. The drum’s beats hammered my bones, the guitars and bass ripped at my nerves, and the vocals did the worst: her words came out as daggers, stabbing my heart over and over again:
“Sing to me about the end of the world, end of these hammers and needles for you. We’ll cry tonight, but in the morning we are new. Stand in the sun, we’ll dry your eyes…”
Tears poured out of my eyes like two misty waterfalls no matter how many times I wiped them away. I cried out in pain, inner pain, as fear of the unknown and the well-known crawled up my back with sharp claws. I don’t know how the future would play out and if it’s anything like the past, I was in for a lot more suffering.
I glared at my surroundings, taking in everything. The posters on the walls, pretty lights hanging from the ceiling, the drumset, the bass guitar, the lead guitar, my mic stand, the old worn couch against the wall… everything that fueled my pity party for myself. Everyday I come here with my friends and they jam on their instruments. And I listen. And I sing, about my past, present, future, feelings. They don’t have to endure that kind of expression, that pain.
I wanted this little garage band so bad, but all it had caused is more tears. And the pain! Pain, pain, pain! So much pain! It had to end…
My body was tearing down the posters on the wall while my mind was clawing at my mother and father twelve years ago when they agreed to disagree and divorced. I was thrashing at my mother who cried when she found out she was pregnant with me because I was the only thing in her way from filing for divorce from my father.
My body was ripping the twinkling lights from their lazy hanging positions across the garage while my mind was ripping my childhood in two: the good and the traumatic. I tried to throw the traumatic away. But even the good was tainted by what was going on behind the scenes: my first step-father beating my mother and abusing us. He would yell at me and my brother calling us stupid and grabbing our arms, throwing us around and throwing things at us and breaking our toys. My mind was ripping him in two.
My body was destroying my best friends’ instruments while my mind was destroying myself. I was destroying any evidence that I had a past, a childhood, destroying the memories. Every day was another rainy day, every day I was waiting for that bolt of lightning to strike me or the uprooted tree to crash into my body and send me flailing into death. Every day I secretly wished I would die, but I always woke up the next day alive and healthy. Every day.
I screamed. I thrashed about. I sobbed. I screamed again.
I wasn’t raped, I wasn’t molested. I wasn’t homeless, I wasn’t hungry. But that doesn’t mean I had it easy and good. I was exposed to more things than I needed to be. But so many things were taken from me, too, like innocence, and it left me always wanting more.
I finally let out one more ear-splitting screech, just wanting for my soul to exit my body and leave to the afterlife where I would be safe from the past and the future. There was no time in the afterlife, just forever.
I fell to the ground, hard, face in my palms, the sobs breaking out of my chest.
I heard doors slam. I heard my name being called. I saw a light turn on. Then another. I heard quiet but quick footsteps close by and realized my earbuds have fallen out and my iPod was somewhere in the wreckage. I didn’t care.
The footsteps came into the garage and my mother’s voice called out, “Alexa? Alexa?”
‘Leave me alone,’ I thought.
“Where is she?” my current, kinder, step-father asked.
“Alexa, honey, get up! C’mon, sweetie,”
‘Get the h*** out!’ I screamed in my head.
Then I realized I was saying it aloud. They didn’t listen.