A Colorless Hell

March 9, 2011
He held me close, his arms around my waist and his head on my shoulder. But it was too close, his arms a cage instead of a warm embrace, his whispered words telling dark secrets instead of loving ones. His head weighed on my shoulder like some kind of twisted parrot, nuzzling into my neck as he repeated his lies. Had anyone saw us, they would have assumed what I tried to convince myself of -- that this was a loving, normal situation.

Maybe it was. At the time, I certainly believed so. This was such an everyday occurrence, spending secret time with this long-haired boy, both of us drowning our fear in bitter drinks, smothering our grief with little white pills. It seemed reasonable, completely logical, even. Those dark hours kept my mind out of the ordinary, shooting it over the stars to places once can’t normally reach.

The regular world paled in comparison, a colorless hell where nothing was really alive, where the only emotion I could acutely feel was pain. Every moment spent in this terrible place was a moment of grief or terror, a moment spent remembering past wounds, the pain extending to depths I thought previously impossible.

I saw him frequently in this normal world, my lost angel. I could see him, smell him on my skin, feel his touch as his fingers stroked my cheek and wound through my hair. I saw his illness, too. Though he smiled, his eyes were haunted with pain, sunken deeply into a pale, hairless face. His skin stretched over his bones, each one disturbingly visible and unbearably fragile. But there he was, holding my pale hand with his paler one. At times, I thought he was here for good, and that he had only been gone for a moment. But no matter how long I felt his presence, I was always reminded that he would never find his way back to me, that this sick world I was forced to reside in was playing a cruel joke.

I saw other things, too. In this grotesque world, I was forced to remember. I felt the grimy hands of awful men moving in familiar ways, brushing up against places kept hidden under clothing. I could smell their foul breath that reeked of beer and cigarettes as it burned against my skin, replacing the sweet scent of innocence. I felt the pain of old bruises caused by drunken blows, my heart pounding with the same childish fear first felt so long ago.

This world had so much pain. I thought of the it as a sort of creature residing in a shadowed corner of my soul, extending itself out, its darkness slithering its way into the few light areas that remained. Those drugs were a temporary cure that beat that monster back into its corner, holding it there for a little while but always releasing it again.

My extraordinary secret world, shared with this dark boy, so far surpassed anything that could be found in the ‘real’ world. Though my pain could never be truly fixed, it was lessened for a little while. Why in the world would I want to lose sight of this beautiful, painless place?

What I never realized, though, was that this place of beauty made my hell seem so much scarier. Killing the pain temporarily only meant that it would be reborn in its full force later, when there was nothing to fix me. Being in the real world became more and more unbearable, and eventually no drug could take away that pain. It surrounded me, consumed me. I was completely overcome by darkness, longing and searching desperately for a way out. This was one tunnel with no light at the end of it, no solace or comfort waiting for me at the next turn.

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