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Glass, you thought, because that’s what it was: glass. Transparent, the thing that showed plainly, the truth right there. You felt fragmented, broken. Fragmented and broken. It echoed in your head, striking chords you did not know even existed. I was a future, and you said you didn’t want me. But look where we’ve gone, full circle.
Truth seems rather obvious, something bland, that points you in this direction or that one: it tells you lies to laugh at the fact it’s true. Truth is the realest thing that we’ve had, realer then even -
Do you remember that time, when you saw that laugh, how the laugh grew colors and lights, and thought, “That’s actually real.” Because let’s be honest: we’re not real. Even you, back then, you weren’t real. We’re laughing right now, or someone is, because we’re not real.
We were imagined in the first place. Back then, you thought you were real. You said, I am real, and you convinced yourself of the thing that was a lie. You loved thinking you were real. Remember how happy you were?
Glass, I thought, because that’s what it is: glass. I can’t open it, though, I can’t make it open for me. There was only one possibility you had to open it: I’m not that possibility, but look where you are now. I’m more real than you, but I’m still not real.
Let’s find that thing, what was it you called it? No matter. Nothing matters, I thought you knew that. That big rock won’t do anything, you know. It wasn’t my thought, it was yours. I thought you could tell the difference. See, I’m sarcastic and cynical. You’re the hopeful one; don’t get so confused.
Don’t you hate this? Don’t you hate how you’re me now? You weren’t back then, you weren’t planning to be - but plans don’t mean anything. The future’s indecisive. The future is clawing its way towards you, you know. See, I’m walking along this path, changing. Oh no, you can’t get there through me. This is your Final Product, because we’re going to die young. Won’t that be fun?
We can have a blast planning our demise. You can cry while you draw and write it out, and I’ll execute it, and nobody will be the wiser.
It’s not your fault, you know. You only did a little bit. See, you turned inside instead of outside. You kept it all to yourself instead of sharing it. You should have told them while you still had the chance, but it wasn’t really you. Do you remember that shoe? It was black and blue, like discolored lightning strikes on midnight, and it hurt. It gave you that split lip - I still have the scar there, you know - and your nose got broken. And then it broke your ribs. All the while, the owner of the shoe - he was handsome, dark brown hair with those dimples when he smiled you always find attractive - yelled out names. He called you a freak, an idiot, retarded, stupid, slow, ugly, he said your parents were cheating faggots. You didn’t understand at the time, but now you do. He was wrong about the faggot part, but they did cheat on each other.
It’s part of the reason we’re so broken, you know. You became me because you never got a chance. What do you think? “Dear whoever cares, I was beaten and broken. I never told you, but nobody ever tried enough.” That’s a good note, right?
Do you remember that time when your mother was drunk? She was laughing at you, and she kept hitting you. Your dad finally hit her, again and again, and then they were hitting each other. You ran away, and the next day at school your head and shoulders hurt. You couldn’t see straight, so when you were called on to read you barely managed a sentence. It took you fifteen minutes, didn’t it?
And the teacher just said, “Stop messing around, stop playing games.” She didn’t send you off, but she didn’t say anything either. Nobody ever said anything. But you thought, Tomorrow they will, and so you went to school the next day.
They still haven’t said anything. Wake up, silly. Wake up. I think it’s time now. You did your best, I know, you’ve always done your best. But of course I’m your future, and the future is now, and it’s time. The world doesn’t get better. Nobody cares. I bet your parents will throw a party instead of hosting a funeral. It would be cheaper, anyway.
You don’t like how close to the edge I am. Three stories up. Would I die right away, or will I suffer a little? You don’t know, neither do I.
But I push back, you push back and climb back up. You save yourself, you don’t trip off the edge. You slide inside, crumple up the note. Throw it away. You were always so silly, with all your hoping.
I’d try the glass box again. You wrap your fingers around it, open it. It opens smoothly, beautifully. What’s inside? It’s a shiny-smooth check for 850,000 dollars. You’ve never heard of such money in your life. I disappear, walking away and salute you. I guess you were right, somebody did care.
Then again, you’re just imagining it all. The box isn’t even open yet. Now you open it, and it creaks. Actually, it shatters. The glass goes everywhere, and there was nothing inside. Nothing at all.
You sit down and bury your head into your hands. You feel the glass on your face and your hands digging deeper. I come back. This is an even better way to die. Aren’t we smart, we know what to do. This is perfect, dramatic. I get the note out of the wastebasket, then I go to the bathroom.
You scrub your hands and your face, not bothered by the trickling blood trying on your skin and into your hair. You’ll live. You’ve always lived before. You take a deep breath, and hear your name being called. You hurry downstairs, and your mother hugs you.
“He’s gone,” she says, breathing in and out, rocking you. “He’s gone, and I’m a horrible mother. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Do you think this makes up for your mistakes? Tell her that, tell her that! No, instead, you can’t tell her you forgive her. You don’t lie. You don’t tell her it’s alright, because it’s not.
“I know,” you say, that’s all, just “I know.” She holds you for longer than she ever has before. She tells you things that you lose track of, like how they’d hit each other often - so often, and it hurt. Like how she saw the bruises, and saw my failing grades, but couldn’t say anything. She wanted to do better, but instead she hit me. She didn’t know how.
We notice that I’m gone. Oh yes, the dark of me is gone. Finally. I can’t forgive her, but I can live. We both can live.
I think about the note, and in my mind I set fire to it. In my mind I let go of you; you, the one that’s dark and cruel. This is not the past, not anymore.
Instead, it’s the future.