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Gone from Time

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Nothing had changed. The air still held the same pure sweetness that tasted like pears and apples every time I breathed in. The path was as new as the first time I came here, it showed no signature of any footprint or leaf; as if this strangely beautiful place was created the second before being discovered. There was a row of trees on either side of the skinny path; each one containing leaves of the brightest reds, softest pinks, and unnatural oranges I had ever seen. Yet the leaves never fell. I felt a tingling breeze pushing against my cheek, not warm or cold, nor hard or soft, just simply existing. Between the trees I saw rays of sunlight and every time I stepped into one it felt as though I was sitting next to a fireplace; it was so warm. Everything about this place was inviting, welcoming, perfect. Everywhere I looked I couldn’t seem to pry my eyes away. I felt all my sorrows draining away wisp by wisp. And my loneliness being replaced by a pure happiness. As I turned my gaze from the enchanting periwinkle sky and back to the path that stretched before me I saw something that made all my bright surroundings turn dark. Before me a couple feet ahead was a line. No not a line, something more, this line looked as if a serrated knife had cut my paradise in half. The black gray line writhed and twisted, always moving. Everything that hit the line, my trees, my sky, my neat dirt path; turned opposite. It was almost like a transparent mirror except everything was horribly wrong. The trees and the colorful leaves were now dead leaving only charcoal branches and scarred trunks. The path underneath me showed as cracked concrete. But when I looked down I saw only what I had as I entered; untouched dirt. I regretfully turned my gaze back to the dark mirror, the sky showed dark and the sun looked as if it had been replaced by a dark red swirling hole. The rays coming down looked like powered blood. Again I looked up at the sky above me and there it still was, my periwinkle sky with the sun as bright as ever. This isn’t real I thought over and over again trying to reconcile myself. I started to turn and head back the way I came leaving behind this horrible nightmare as I saw something appear in my peripheral vision. I am not looking back, my mind warned; I kept going.
“Wait-please turn around” I heard a soft pleading voice coming from the direction of the mirror. Suddenly I had the strong urge to turn back, as if the voice was familiar, as if it called to my soul. No stop, my mind shot another warning through me, my heart started beating wildly as if trying to escape crushing fingers tearing and gripping at it. “Come to me” it whispered with more panicked urgency then last time it spoke. I couldn’t stand this anymore, I turned back. Again I saw the dark mirror. But this time it was no longer uninhabited. The figure whispering to me, the voice that had sounded so familiar. The thing that had truned my paradise into hell. Was Me. The figure was me, but not. It, no, she had my long dark hair that brushed my waist, my same nose and high cheekbones, my same arched eyebrows. But it was all wrong; my hair that was always boringly straight; was wavy and flowed like silk down her back. Not one hair out of place. Her cheekbones were too high, her skin too clear as if it was made of porcelain. Instead of my t-shirt and ratty tennis shoes, she was wearing a long black dress slitted on one side to show a pair of long legs that I was always too shy to show off. The dress was strapless with a sweetheart neckline that showed cleavage. Which I had never owned in my life. Her shoes were tall black boots coming to her mid-thigh with no laces; they had at least three-inch heels, even though I had never even been able to walk in one-inch ones. Her nails were long and painted the color of dried blood, mine were short, colorless, and bitten off. But the scariest thing of all were her eyes, my usual forest green eyes, which were the only thing I had ever felt proud of, were a bright red color with no pupil. Then I started to realize the other features, the sharp pointed teeth, the claw like hands, and her hair moving around her as if it were a mass of snakes. My heart started beating faster, all my forgotten dread, and fear slamming back into me. How could this be? My mind panicking. She cocked her head and stared pupil less red eyes on me, no, through me. No-no this can’t be right I thought I killed you, I saw you die!
“No you didn’t; you saw me become the weak pitiful thing you created, but I have always been inside you, waiting” She looked at me with a burning hate evidently. Her hands were clenched and I saw black blood spilling from the cuts her nails had caused.
“No, stop, leave me alone!” I screamed my throat ragged as I turned and ran. But I couldn’t; my body was not my own anymore, I had taken two sweet fleeing steps before my body jerked unnaturally. I once again felt her clawing grip around my heart, my soul. My limbs started to slowly and agonizingly turn backward to the breaking point, I felt my bones begin to crack and split, resisting. Hot searing pain shot through me from all directions and suddenly I was flying backward. My body slammed into a hard wall and I heard a resonating hollow sound echo through the thing I had hit. My body slumping forward for a couple of seconds before I was being lifted up and turned around again, facing the mirror once more. I then realized the thing I had hit so hard was the mirror, the thing that had echoed so hollowing and empty.
“You are mine now” she smiled cruelly; her voice almost sounding delightful behind the hard edge of it.
“No, not again, never again, you ruined everything; you killed everyone I loved” hot stinging tears were rolling down my cheeks as I came to a dreadful conclusion. My conclusion. She was right, she is me, and I created her out of my only fear-myself.
“Not again! I won’t let it happen again!” I shouted, meaning it. I had never felt so sure of anything in my life. If she can control me then I can control her; she is only strong because I’m giving her strength. I turned all my energy into forgetting, forgetting my fear. I started to remember how it was back before, when I was happy, when this monster didn’t exist. I remembered my mom giving me strength when I cried, holding me, and reassuring me. I remembered my dad telling me to never give up as I saw pride in his green eyes which were so much like mine. I remembered my sister giving me guidance; telling me where to go when I became lost. But most of all I remembered him, my love, the only one who had never taken advantage of my broken soul. He gave me everything and in return I gave nothing back. But now I will avenge you all, I am going to make this right once again. I drew strength from all of my happiest memories and I turned them inward. I let my pure emotions grow and grow until I was leaking light from my fingers, eyes, and mouth. Just when I was at the breaking point I pushed all of it into my soul, with all the force I could muster.
“What?” I heard her dark confused voice in the background. I felt my soul begin to fill, felt the voids begin to seal over; felt the darkness fleeing from inside me. Until, finally, I was free. I dropped to the ground on my knees, completely drained.
“You little piece of-” her angry voice cut off as I began to stand wobbly.
“Shut it” I said breathing hard
“What are you going to do? Run and hide again?”
“No, I’m done hiding” I stated defiantly, as I slowly walked toward the mirror.
“You are too much of a coward” she laughed gleefully.
“Watch me” I said as I came to stand directly in front of her. The only barrier between us being the mirror. But at this point even that looked trivial. I used all my remaining strength to slowly raise my arm above my head, forming a tight fist.
“You wouldn’t” now she started to sound doubtful. Her red gaze tearing through me, challenging. I didn’t respond as I brought my fist down-hard. My bones cracked and started to bleed but I didn’t care, over and over again I brought my fist down. Each time new pain roaring through, always worst then the last. But I didn’t feel it. All I was focusing on was that awful twisted mirror and my face on the other side, horrified. After what felt like a millennia the mirror began to shake and a small tiny crack started to form. My energy renewed, I brought both fists down this time without pause. Over and over again I poured all of my hate, frustration, anger, and most of all my loneliness into my work. I started remembering my life when it had begun to crumble. I had always been lonely no matter how much I was surrounded by the people who I loved; there was an empty hole I couldn’t fill. That was when I created her. She was my only friend and her company I cherished the most of all. She was everything to me and I was everything to her. Until I fell in love. Then he became everything to me. And I him. He filled my void, my cracks. I thought she would be happy; I thought my joy was hers. But I was wrong, horribly wrong. She became something else, something evil. She was convinced he would be the end of me. But she was wrong. She became the end of everything. She killed him and she didn’t stop there, she killed my family and then my friends. Until we were the only ones left. That’s when I tried to kill her by doing the only thing I thought would; killing my soul. It worked for a while, but she never truly left. In fact she used what was left of my soul to build a new bitter one. One completely her. I started to cry again, remembering was so so painful; but this just gave me more strength as I also poured that into my rage.
“NO-STOP!” now her voice was really panicked, no longer filled with doubt. The mirror began to from new cracks, branching all over. I kept going; knowing this was finally the end.
“PLEASE STOP! I SAVED YOU! THEY NEVER LOVED YOU!” she screamed over and over again backing away from the breaking wall, her hands held up as if for protection. I never stopped until I felt the mirror start to give and bend inward. That’s when I started slamming my shoulder into the wall. Once I had no more strength, once I couldn’t move anymore I put one last slam into it with everything I had. It finally worked. I heard a sharp shattering sound that was so loud I thought I might go deaf. I was falling but I couldn’t focus on anything but the feeling of my soul shattering with the mirror. The last thing I heard was me and my self-screaming at the top of our lunges. Mine sounded almost happy, but hers was heart wrenching.
I am floating; I feel a soft wind carrying me. I opened my eyes. I am standing in a field full of bright green grass, it stretches on forever. I am happy, free. I realize for the first time in my life that my soul feels whole. And not the fake wholeness. But the real joy of being truly whole. I look ahead and start to run, not fleeing, but flying because I had my free will back. I had myself back. The world spun around me and the ground and the grass seemed to move with my feet, making me fly faster. Eventually I stopped, noticing the only thing different in my landscape, a single willow tree swaying in the breeze. Under it I saw a lone figure standing still, so still it almost blended with its surroundings. It started to walk towards me slowly, as If afraid of scaring a small animal. But I wasn’t scared anymore, I could stand on my own now, rely on my own strength. As the figure neared closer I began to make out features. It was a tall man with short blond hair that sparkled in the sun. He had a plain black t-shirt on with jeans and black boots. I felt a pang go through me; it felt like recognition, almost excitement. Then I realized why. With a cry of pure joy I ran toward his outstretched arms.
“Cole” I whispered into his ear as I felt his strong arms pull around me tighter. Reluctantly I pulled back, fresh tears spilling onto my cheeks. But he still held onto my arms even as I tried to pull even further away. This was the boy I had loved, no, I do love him, and I never stopped. I killed him.
“I’m sorry, so sorry, please let me go” I said hoarsely looking into his gorgeous blue eyes. The same eyes I had once seen betrayal and hate in. The sight had broken my heart but I had deserved it, I deserved much worse than that.
“No look at me” he said softly pulling my chin up to look at him with his gentle but firm hands.
“It wasn’t you, you didn’t do this; but you did stop it” His eyes now looked prideful and filled with new love. He understands, he forgives me. My mind thought disbelieving; his eyes confirmed my thought. As he leaned down to kiss me. I felt his lips touch mine, firmly as if he would never let me go again. Happiness shot through me with another feeling I had almost forgotten, hope. After a while we pulled back.
“Come on, the others have been waiting long enough” He said pulling on my hand toward the tree.
“What others?” I said not understanding. Wait, he couldn’t mean. It couldn’t be; but it was. He was taking me to my family. I felt my soul begin to shine and spill from me, my happy feelings contagious as I realized this was my perfect place. My paradise. My heaven. A place gone from time.



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