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Excerpt of "Faded Violet Walls"
I opened my eyes, breaking the illusion of sleep I had given myself. This place resembled home, but I knew it was far from it. I glared at the faded violet walls, despising them, loathing their false sense of calm and their silent urges to lay back and wait patiently. I hated that I was here.
I wasn’t insane, I was just troubled. I wasn’t depressed, just aware. Aware of how hideous our world is; how the biggest lie mankind ever believed was that things got better in the end. That the world was beautiful, when in reality we were our own worst creation. We had created a prosperous race fueled by greed and power. I couldn’t be alone in this. There had to be more people, alone in this.
So I had let it get to me more than it should have... But can I be blamed? Is it that hard to wrap your mind around the fact that a person wants to stop feeling? I realized that I had been getting restless, the sheets on the bed a fine mess once again. I took in a deep breath, counting down from ten. I hated their stupid methods but I’m terrible at little white lies. I know they’ll ask me if I’ve tried them and I will answer yes. They will ask me if I’ll be okay in the outside world again, and I will answer yes.
After all, the bigger the lie, the better I am at making people believe it.
I wasn’t suicidal, just curious. They say man can actually tolerate a lot before he or she dies. It takes a person seventeen minutes to die when being burned at the stake, though most “can only tolerate” about a minute of flame directly on their hand. It takes a maximum of 10 minutes to drown though most can only hold their breath for about 30 seconds. And though people can only donate a pint of blood at a time, they have to lose four pints before they die. Pain is a state of mind. Our conventionalized mentalities had us giving up on anything the second it became uncomfortable. We constantly underestimated the strength of our own bodies.
WILL SOMEONE UNTIE ME?!
I looked at the straps on my wrists once again and saw the scars on my body, fully scabbed over now. I didn’t even feel the pain. It had been quick to turn to an all surrounding numbness. How disappointing... Time did seem to slow down before impact, but that shouldn’t have made it hurt any less...
The door opens. He’s here. Why? I have no clue. He hates hospitals. He probably hates me a fair bit now too... I look down at the straps again, then find myself worried about the stupidest, most mundane thing-my hair. That dirty blonde mess was probably more like a rats nest from restless days and sleepless nights. You’d think they’d loosen the damn things to at least sleep a bit more comfortably.
“Hey..” he speaks softly. The nurses probably told him I was in a fragile state. How stupid of them, I had just proven how strong I was. I was alive wasn’t I?
“Hi,” I responded without looking at him.
He half chuckled; it was the best sound I had heard in weeks.
“A bit upset?” That would have been the last thing the doctors would have wanted him to say but he never really cared for things said by people who weren’t his friends. I had never loved that characteristic more that I did at that moment.
“Have you seen the colour of these stupid walls?”
He chuckled again, “I thought you liked purple.”
I turned my head and gave him a sarcastic look and after another small chuckled, I smiled..
“Yeah, well now I’m going to have to repaint my walls before I go mad again.”
I regretted my wording the second I finished. I had meant it as a joke but soon realized that it was too early for jokes of that kind. It was stupid that I had to watch for others people’s feelings about my actions. His smile faltered and I could tell that he wanted a quick topic change.
“Hey, you don’t have to or anything but could you please take these things off my wrists? I feel like I’m going to lose feeling in my fingers and forget how to hold a pen.”
He looked at me skeptically for half a second but I didn’t get upset. It was human of him. He quickly looked around me to make sure we were fully alone and began to untie me.
He didn’t care if they were there for a reason. He didn’t care if he would get in trouble. He knew that being able to write meant more than anything in the world to me and that was the reason he did it. The second he finished I let out the biggest sigh; like a part of me had been holding her breath this whole time.
I began rubbing my wrists and twisting them, forcing them to remember how to move. I lifted my wrists to my mouth and pressed my lips to them. I began blowing on them, letting the cool air wrap around each wrist like a blanket, the friction had really gotten to them. I instantly stopped when I realized how he was looking at me.
“C-can I see?” he reached out his hand, asking for mine. I hesitated but gave my hand to him. He held me gently, softly, like my mind might crack as easily as my calm disposition had that day. I closed my eyes as his fingers traced the red marks that would be there for weeks to come. Suddenly I felt something slightly cooler than his normal, warm skin press against my wrist. I opened my eyes to see him kissing it.
I must have given the strangest look because he quickly, but gently put down my hand and mumbled an apology. It hadn't been a discomforting feeling. Just a new one...
He was looking down, hiding his soft face from me. I thought about why he would come here and quickly assumed that he wanted to know the answer to the obvious question.
"You wanna know why I did it?"
"What?" I had caught him off guard but something in his eyes told me he was embarrassed. Not from being found out but for wanting to know in the first place.
"Well?" I asked again
"Yeah.." he answered
So he sat on the corner of the bed and I told him the truth. The one the doctors wouldn't hear, the one that I wouldn't be able to phrase for my friends; the one that most people wouldn’t care about because the conclusion was the same, me and a railroad track. He fiddled with my fingers and when I got to darker things he gripped my hand tightly becoming my life line to earth and clinical sanity.
I was surprised by how much my mind had actually stored. When it came to explain the moment of the jump the details were strikingly clear. The stupid violet walls faded and I was transported back to the train tracks, but this time his hands held me back. I talked about jumping and how it would feel to get hit. The girl in my mind talked about it rhetorically while the girl in the walls of the faded room spoke in past tense.
"..And here I am."
"Here you are..."
I don’t know why he repeated that and I don’t think he did either. I hadn't noticed while I was talking but he was a lot closer now. He had started at the corner of the bed but his face was now less than a hand's breadth away from mine. His smooth skin was so enticing-but there was a slight divot in between his eyebrows. My hand reached out to it, barely making contact, and smoothed it out.
"Don-" he placed his fingertips on my lips before I could tell him not to be sad.
"You don't be sad..." he had somehow read my mind and I felt my lips stretch beneath his fingertips. He smiled with me and I remembered what happiness looked like.
I spoke before I could stop myself.
His eyes showed that he was thrown for a bit and I was going to take it back but I realized that I enjoyed his touch. I craved his warmth on my skin, a comfortable burning. But more than anything I liked that he made me worry about normal things like my hair. Other people bored me and I would lose myself. With him my inner workings went calm and I was as normal as I could be.
He leaned forward not questioning my inquiry with anything more than his eyes. He slowly put his hand on my cheek not knowing what to do. I quickly wondered why he seemed so flustered. Then I realized that this would be his first kiss- a kiss I might be given out of some weird mix of sympathy and lack of knowing what else to do.
I reluctantly stopped him with a hand to his chest.
"Y-you don't have to..."
I peeked up at him and saw he was smiling. He lifted my chin and pressed his lips to mine.
I gripped his shirt tightly and pulled him closer. His arms snaked around my waist and he laughed against my lips. My lips were quick and clumsy, needing his touch more than a perfect kiss.
"I'm here" he whispered as he moved his lips to my cheek and forehead, planting soft kisses along the way. I breathed him in, having forgotten the sweetness of human contact.
Just as my mind started to float away the door opened.
The violet walls come crashing in on me and I was about to get restless again when I realized the concentrated warmth around my waist. I open my eyes not having realized they were closed. He's here. How could I have forgotten?
He quickly squeezed me then loosened his arms, not fully letting go. I guessed that it was because I was still holding him rather tightly. I heard the nurse gasp before I saw her. I wanted to laugh so badly- The shock on her face was clearly directed at my wrists and the fact that they were free.
"I'm fine Doris." I spoke like a child explaining to a babysitter that the fall wasn't as bad as it looked. I doubt she thought I knew her name.
"It's been more than 72 hours hasn't it?"
He looked at me and answered playfully "Yes it has." I smiled at him and it felt real. More real than the thrill of the jump. More real than the impact. Somehow... more real than the reasons I did it all for.
"I'm truly good now Doris. I'm..." I stopped myself. I didn't know if I was going to be okay out there yet.
I turned to him, ignoring Doris' quizzical look at my hesitation. I looked into his eyes and asked him, "Will you stay with me?" I wanted to know. Right now, I needed to know. He smiled like the answer was obvious but answered anyways. "Of course." I smiled and turned back to Doris.
"I'll be okay in the outside world for now."I didn’t know, I could only hope. Maybe that's what was missing from my view of mankind. That when people say "It'll be better in the end" they’re not saying it as a certainty. They’re saying it as a hope. A wish. After all even though we know stars are balls of gas we deem a "falling one" special enough to wish upon. And even though we know a well is just another structure we throw our pennies in hoping that our silent pleas will come true.
Maybe, just maybe, mankind was just a collection of people with hope...
I walked out of the room of faded violet walls that day with more than freedom. I left with a new perspective and I left with a hand in mine. When I got home I looked at my walls. Staring at their colour I wondered why I had despised the hospital walls so much. Was it that the fact that they made me feel out of place, in a room that so closely resembled my own? I didn't know. Either way I said a silent goodbye to the all too familiar colour and picked up the brush, slowly watching the sunset orange spread. No purple was left in its tracks...
A new colour. A new path. A new mind. A new life, in my vibrant orange walls..