Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Phoenix Story

They say the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.

And it makes sense, really, if you bother to think about it. If emotions could be minted as coins, it would be fitting, seeing how there are two sides to every coin; one side would be love and the other hate, and that’s all that would fit, because that’s all there would need to be.

Joy. Sadness. Anger. Every kind of sentiment you could think of would all be lumped into that single, two-sided coin. Because all the other emotions would just be subcategories; smaller, more insignificant versions that spring from whichever side of the coin happens to land face up this time around.

See how well these two mesh together in this proverbial chunk of nonexistent metal? But, then, what about indifference? It isn’t as solid as the other two; mix the three together and try to squish them into a coin, and indifference would be pushed out, a bubble of air that pops under the pressure of the others, whisked away by the breeze, squeezed out and replaced as the more definite ones take form.

And it’s only natural, because how could there be nothing in a place where there was something? After all, the opposite of passion is lack of passion.

So when the coin breaks, shatters into a trillion microscopic pieces and once again leaves oblivion in its wake, what is the opposite of indifference now?

In a heart that is empty, sensationless, incapable of something as trivial and irrelevant as emotion, apathy has no counterpart. Life can’t sustain itself on nothing but air, and the more it wilts the more quickly the air rushes in to take its place. And all is how it should be, because an environment devoid of life suits a place that was never meant for such a thing anyway. Indifference thrives on such nothingness, beginning to spread and grow as soon as it takes root, consuming every bit of life until, for as far as you strain your eyes in any direction, there is nothing you can see, nothing you can touch, nothing you can smell, taste, hear.

There is nothing but stagnant air. Nothing to keep you from numbness anymore.

You’d think with so much seemingly unpolluted air surrounding you that it would be easy to breathe, but too much of anything can become a drug. The more breaths you take, the deeper, longer, more desperately you inhale, the more the emptiness fills you, diminishes your senses, lessens your awareness of the world around you and leaves you frantically snatching for yet another, emptier breath, hoping that if you fill all the way up with emptiness, then this craving for real, life giving oxygen will go away, so that you can finally stop yearning for something that can’t exist in your nothingness.

Sooner or later, though, you begin to realize the futility of such actions. So you stop breathing altogether.

Love and hate don’t exist in your breathless world, see? So there’s nothing to cling to, nothing to keep you here any longer. And you let darkness devour you.


I watched it happen; it was so slow. Did you suffocate in your sea of air, or did you drown? Are you still clawing at your chest, where you said your soul was, trying to reach that single breath? Because even though I’m warm and you aren’t, that’s what I’m doing now. That’s what you left me doing. But me – I know that deep down, there were seeds still planted within your heart, forgotten, buried under all that air that suffocated you. Not living, yet so full of potential life. But all you ever gave them was air.

So watch me try something you never had the courage to attempt. Maybe if I force my empty heart wide open, a drop of rain will find its way in. Maybe it will bleed through all that air, and eventually make its way to whatever lies, brittle and cracking, at the bottom of this smothering barrenness. And maybe, that’s all it will take.

And that will be my victory.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback