My fingers poked at an additional blood clotted scab causing me to wince. Pain was something I was accustomed to. Slowly, I found I could convince myself something didn’t hurt as much mentally. However, I still felt the revolting sting of every scab, scrape, scar, and bruise. Each twinge of agony would bring a reminder, a reminder that I would never be safe from the torture of life, or more so from the suffering someone brought to my life.
Life can’t be expected to be splendid, most of life is drastically bad in every way. The type of bad that makes your stomach turn, your throat knot up, and tears that prickle in the corners of your eyes. When life pushes you down, sometimes, getting up is an illogical act. This may be the opposite of everything anyone has ever been taught, but life isn’t a fairy tale or a Hollywood movie. Such a utopia is nonexistent. People will seldom go to college, people will infrequently make an adequate amount of money, and people will sporadically have a pleasant existence on this Earth. It’s the facts, it’s the statistics, it’s life. The reason I say life is just a sharp thorn bush you keep reaching into and cutting up all your limbs repeatedly, is because I have known nothing more. Must I say, that people have yet to prove this speculation wrong.
My feet trailed on the cobblestone path that led to my haven, my place of education, my school. Memory brought me about my discolored beige eighth grade classroom. As my mind calmed, I let my fingers pluck at my name tag on the desk in front of me, “Cam” instead of “Camille” I contemplated. At no time, am I called Camille, for he calls me it. The reason being that having a painful reminder of him every time I was summoned, was distasteful. My eyes wandered to my hands, my calloused scars glistening in the illuminating comfort of the school’s platform lights. Sometimes I relished remembering, for sometimes remembering brought a splinter of pride to my inactive heart. When other times it made my heart cry in grief, something I made sure my eyes would never do. Deep inside of me, I knew if I ever cried, if I ever gave in, he would prevail. Although I’d lost all hope, I still wanted some satisfactory in any strength I could grasp for.
The dim glow of the school lights reminded me of my mother, a white, fuzzy, angel in the sky now, I missed her too much to bare. Losing her had felt like someone, or more specifically some disease, ripped out part of my heart that I knew I was never going to get back. It is probable I suppose, that when my father lost my mother, he lost his whole heart, leaving not a trace behind with me.
Deep in thought I scanned the room and saw Becky Rightwood reply to what I thought was a “bully seminar” from our teacher Mrs. Stone. She didn’t seem to realize however, that her answer to these problems were a Band-Aid, not a solution.
“Well, I obviously think you should stand up for yourself, like for real, man up and face your problems,” Becky said, in her usual bratty voice that made my insides squirm.
Every part of my body except my mouth laughed, I couldn’t help but see the irony. She had never had a problem with anyone once, she went on continuing her perfect, unreal life, and proceeded to judge people who were living in the shadows of reality. Her life was a fashion show, as where mine was a horror film.
You could say I didn’t “get along” with many of the other students my age. However, I don’t believe they know this, as far as they know. Shy and timid are just the qualities of my personality. Besides, I didn’t want to socialize with people who couldn’t see what our existence was, or understood any truth about it. However, more than that, I couldn’t risk them...finding out.
The teacher soon passed out report cards, which we of course had to get signed, a smirk formed on the corners of my face. The chances I was ever going to get that signed were slim. Even if my grades had decreased, I’d rather fail the class. Instead, I just waited for school to release rather than of thinking about the one thing that made my head hurt with anxiety. Although I knew that every minute that ticked by, I was one minute closer to my inevitable trepidation.
Thinking about the end of the school day and the beginning of the weekend, made my mind resort back to the moments of my life, now full of pure red rage. My thoughts, seemed to be only cocoons hanging from branches in the dark woods of my mind. Wretched as it is, I won’t or can’t go into details, I’ve become so good at blocking out the tortured parts of my mind that I rarely open the cell they are enclosed in. For fourteen years, my entire existence, I have known one thing, one fact of life that has never changed. Don’t dream of the best, but always anticipate the worst. Even at the time of my mother’s demise, before my skin was tattered in scars, when I hoped and prayed every moment daily. She died. Her eyes like fireflies in the night, flickering off when the dawn of death came. Since then I’ve absorbed two things, cancer was a soul sucking beast that stopped at nothing to ruin my life. As well as coping with disasters is loads easier when you knew nothing satisfactory would happen anyways.
When school got out that day, my feet slipped one past the one another to my personal place of torture called my house. Now my cozy world had broken like a glass jar dropped onto stone, spilling tranquility and security, never to be gathered back together again. The dark oak door, tattered shingles, and dirty cement revolting me. Much like my place of residence, my house of life, was weather-stained with years. Mentally, I expected the worse. My brain expected him to be awake, fuming, furious, and waiting at the door. This way, I wouldn’t be disappointed when I forced open the oak door on the cement porch and the atrocious fate was among me. Gradually, I turned the knob, tears pressing at the root of my eyes once again, but the spheres of sight stayed dry as I told them to. The gap from safety and fear widened until the point where my petite body had a small entrance into the woeful abyss. The light from the outside’s streams of comforting sunlight ceased as I entered the dark dingy room that my father inhabited. Soon finding him, asleep on the ripped couch, I tiptoed past his presence. Then, I proceeded to enter my worn out, faded pink room that my mother had painted herself. Taking my usual seat in my corner, I huddled up waiting for him to wake up and fretting the moment he would. Stuck, as I was, in the mines of dark and speechless thought. To him I was a prime example of pure insolence. Disobeying his every impossible desire. Although I know now, that it didn’t matter what if I did was right or wrong. As far as he is concerned, I am a deplorable reminder of my mom with her same brunette head of hair and set of electric blue eyes.
As my head lay on the hard dry wall of the house, I heard a familiar mumble of mixed words. The standard strike of fear paralyzed my body. I heard the thumping of footsteps, the creaking of the old floorboards, and the sound of his voice and I cringed.
“Camille, Camille Tatiana Benedict, come here,” he called in his condescending tone, his voice a venomous melody.
Feeling another scratch at the roots of my eyes, I prevented myself from crying.
Without thinking, without a second thought, I ran. Where a window was perched, and keys are sprawled, an escape also remained. Every fluid ounce, every pound in my body, sprang with a new plentiful amount of energy. Soon my hands gripped the cold shape of the keys and opened the white window frame. The bones in my body dived, jumped, and bounded out the window and proceeded to sprint with every sole atom of muscle in my body once my feet hit the ground. My arms then lifted the rest of my body into the ancient truck sitting on the grass of the yard. That was when he burst out the door, spatting on the ground and screaming my name, smiling his sour smile. It felt as if I were seeing him for the first time after a long absence. That we were in that moment when one was apt to notice the changes in a familiar face after being apart so long. Yet I knew that for fourteen years, his eyes glinting with wrath and his stone cold heart had become the scenery of my life.
My fingers fiddled with the keys until finding the correct one then plugged it in while my mind yearned for the roar of the engine. My body leaped with joy when the car finally started, and I threw my foot on the pedal. I had never driven before, and I lacked the slightest idea of how to do it now.'
Every fragment of my mind raced into high gear, soon I was traveling faster than the speed of light. The tires blended with the pavement of the road, pitch black much like my father’s soul. The black of the road contrasted with the small bright gleaming yellow in the center shining like the halo that now wrapped my mother’s head. The veins in my hands popped out of my pale skin as I held the steering wheel with all the fear that I felt. Then the world spun.
The world was spinning so much, I was sure that all water in the oceans might flood onto the lands coastlines. The world made my stomach turn with butterflies and a bitter sickness I’d never felt before. The world made my head scream in agony while sharp knives lunged into it. The world made my mouth scream like a banshee, louder, and louder, and louder. The world spun my life around tipping me into oblivion. The world made my only hope, my only happiness, and my car crash.
It’s incorrect, what they say about car crashes. They don’t happen in an instant, you see it all happen as if in slow motion, yet you can do nothing. You can’t stop. The tree saw me before I saw it, but I definitely saw it. It’s immense oak branches and base with leaves of summer green looming over me scornfully as if it were disappointed. Nor did I miss a glimpse of the sun, far off, the shriveled orange of the sky, that soon went black. My eyes saw everything, but I couldn’t stop. My life was derailing off the train tracks, but I couldn’t stop it. Though, it doesn’t matter anyway, I was never living, only surviving.
A vast difference lies between living and surviving. When you survive, your heart beats, your lungs breath, and your mind functions. However, when you live, your mouth smiles, your heart flutters, and your mind feels. Surely, if this is the case, I’ve never lived at all. My stomach has feasted on food, my throat has been hydrated, and yet my soul has never known happiness. What was a life worth living, if you’ve never lived?
Death steals without restraint. Whether a person is a miscreant, or martyr. Death takes, as if a thief in the cold, bitter night. For me, this lesson is learned now, as I pry my eyes from the cold death that I know I’m facing. As the window splits and snaps bursting onto the blue truck’s dashboard. My heart does the same. My heart screams, cries, tears, ruptures, and explodes along with every other part of my body. Nevertheless, my eyes stay parched, they glisten without moisture, still, and stiff as a board.
All I have ever known, now expires in a flash, concluding with the termination of my life. The period of Cam Tatiana Benedict was now, as it appeared, no longer valid. Death. My frail body was now facing it abruptly. My snow white skin, pale as ever, was now stained with the blood of my hopes and regrets. It was once so dimmer in the room we call life, with the night vision of dreams teeming. Death, is the waking of the day. The quietus I face, more displeasing than most, left a bitter taste in my mouth disgusting everyone of my taste buds. My eternal rest begins now, not stopping as I would have fancied it doing so. The truck folded on top of me, now feels the inconsistent plead for air as I breath my last breaths. My father, un for seeing this event, would now smile his sour smile contented, laughing his cruel laugh, jovial as ever, as I’d brought his victory upon myself. Nevertheless, I speak to myself, don’t cry now I plead, yearning that my existence ends on my own terms.
It’s a horrible thing, finding pleasure in such a beautiful disaster. Know that I never longed to die, never have I wished it. Despite my situation, never did I have even a sliver of consideration for it. I still don’t wish for it. I’ve only ever wanted to live. The truth is, the most amount of happiness I have ever had, had been the moments of escape, my only moments of hope. Realization strikes me now that to live, you must have hope, force results, and interact with an infinitive quantity of determination. Something I’ve never even attempted, yet I still refuse to cry, using the pertinacity I’d lacked in every other moment.
As death sneaks up to me now, waiting to take me to the winged seraphs of heaven. As I realize life ends at any second, any moment, in any way. As the drums of time, have now rolled and ceased. As my heart’s temple releases my votive wreath of withered memories. As I await meeting my mom and pray the revolting sting of agony among my body ceases. As I know now, that all people, blind fools of fate, and slaves of circumstances, must dance to the sweet fiddling of life. As my mind dances with joy at the fact that maybe, just maybe, I will have a chance in my next life of living in addition to surviving. My eyes are yet still, a dessert, lacking even the most microscopic oasis, and dry with the contentment of my small subtle victory. Before they shut, for an eternity.