Lady Trewlany

Hong Kong

a collection of scattered pieces that somehow fit together perfectly
in search of a great perhaps

Message from Writer

i miss everything that i've never had, and that's why i write. i write my story as it is today and as i want it to be tomorrow. there is always truth in my words.

Beyond Infinity

January 18, 2020

FREE WRITING

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I sit by my window, staring into space, acknowledging that life is going on but not quite participating in it. I feel like I’m lost in a forest without a map, and I will never be able to make it out. I want to cry out every single shard of pain, so I can grasp the strength to get up and move on with life so that someone can hear my tears and understand that I’m broken.
    But I can’t.
    I feel everything and nothing at the same time. I feel the scorching blood-red flames of violence, the acidic blue raindrops of melancholy, the purple needles of stress, and so much more that I can’t find words for. This would all make sense if my tears had a real reason to fall, some gruesome tragedy that ripped my life apart. I don’t though. I’m just a normal teenager living in a normal city, with a normal life and a normal family. I’m far from anything disastrous.
    Yet I’m so close.
    Every day I wake up and get dressed and take the bus to school. I go to class and do cheerleading. I come home and do homework and have dinner. I brush my teeth and go to bed. I have a perfectly ordinary, mundane life. But when the sun rises over my house and another day starts, I have to think of new reasons to live, I have to slap myself so I can snap back into reality. The truth is that I’m so close to death that if someone asked me to jump off a bridge, I probably would.
    I feel like everyone is speeding ahead on the path to victory, and leaving me behind to bite the dust. I feel like no one would notice if I disappeared, and if they did, they wouldn’t care.
I glance back at the luscious trees outside, their roots planted firmly in the mountain's core, their leaves reaching up towards the sun. They know exactly who they are, and what their purpose is. I wish I was like them, aware of everything around me, knowing who I am and my place in this world. Instead, I’m lost in the middle of the forest with no map and no way out.
“Dinner, Quinn!”
My mother's kind voice pierces the silence, and I heave myself from what I was hoping would be my final resting place. I hear the heavy footfall of my brothers descending the stairs, and the smell of baked fish wafting up from the kitchen, so I begin to prepare myself for human interaction. 
This is one of the hardest parts of my day because I have to act like a regular, happy teenager in order to avoid any unnecessary questions. I would never dare to show them this fragile side of me; instead, I force a smile and exchange my hoodie and sweatpants for my skimpy cheerleader uniform. I never liked the ruffled skirt and the skin-tight t-shirt that makes my breasts look way too big. I guess they make me look like a normal high schooler, so it’s worth it.
I stand up straight and glide down the wooden stairs into the dining room wearing a bright, commercial-worthy smile. I sit down at the table and hold my brothers’ hands as we say a prayer.
“We thank the lord for this wonderful meal and our beautiful, happy family, amen”
I manage to blurt out a muffled “Amen” in response to my father’s prayer. It’s almost as if our family has been plucked out from behind a TV screen with our joyful comments and hearty meal. Little do they know what hides behind my mask.
I used to think that everyone wore different masks when they were around different people, that they all had different personas and then at the end of the day they would take off everything and it would just be them, alone in their bedroom. I’ve come to see that’s just me, I’m the only one who has to pretend around people. Maybe that’s part of the problem, I wear so many masks that when I take them all off I have no idea who I am.
“Sweetie? Eli asked you to pass the butter”, my father says through a mouthful of cornbread.
Well, there I go again, drifting away from reality. I cheerfully apologize and pass it to my youngest brother, Eli. 
The rest of the night passes in a blur, my dad makes some lame jokes that we all laugh at anyway, we talk about our days, and homework and sports. I’m sitting at the table talking to them but I feel so distant like I’m just watching a typical movie, knowing exactly how the rest of their conversations will unfold.
 I head upstairs when I finish, relieved that it’s Elliot's turn to do the dishes, so I can retreat to my sanctuary. Quickly finishing up my homework, I make sure to get a few questions wrong so I don’t get placed in AP because that would mean competitions and extracurriculars for “gifted kids”, that’s just too much effort. Then I lay in bed for hours on end, until sleep finally comes around 3 am.
The next day, I stare into the mirror and try to see something that isn't hideous, but all I see is an ugly, worthless girl. Once I get to school, I make sure to place myself at the back of the class to avoid being noticed.
“Hey Quinn, you can’t sit there, I have to sit next to Brittany.”
Rich’s sickening voice commands me to leave so he can sit next to his newest girlfriend. I can’t believe it’s only a month into the school year and he has had three girlfriends. Reluctantly, I mutter an apology and move to the seat in front. The bell rings and Mr Doree walks in followed by a girl I haven’t seen before. 
“Class, please welcome Blair Davis, she has just transferred here from Kellet.”
She takes the only free seat, which happens to be next to me, so I get a chance to study her. I start at the short brown hair and notice that the ends are dyed. Behind, hides a beautiful face with high cheekbones and warm gentle chestnut eyes that seem to beckon you and full pale lips that are shiny with chapstick. 
“Hey,” I whisper, “I’m Quinn”
“Hi, I’m Blair, as you know, but everyone calls me Dixie.”
Her voice is low and raspy, it feels heavy from sorrow but also gentle and loving. I don’t bother to ask how Dixie sounds like Blair, I allow it, deciding to go along with what she says. Maybe I’ll get a friend for a change. I doubt it though, she’s wearing a leather jacket and converse, the new trend here, so I’m guessing she is part of the popular crowd and wouldn’t dare come, near an artsy loner type like me.
I find myself drifting off for most of the lesson, but instead of retreating into my usual depressed state, I’m staring at the freckles on the back of her neck. There are five, perfectly arranged in an infinity sign like a constellation that always points home in the night. In fact, I’m not admiring her freckles, I’m stargazing because they make her seem like a galaxy of stars, waiting to be loved.
I am disappointed to find that Dixie isn’t in any of my other classes that morning, so I try to catch her at lunch. As I locate her standing in line, I go through an internal battle of working up the courage to invite her to my table. Usually, it’s just me and sometimes Drew Miller, that’s if he’s not in the library, and it’s not like we ever talk. So it would be nice to talk to someone for a change.
“Hey, um, Dixie, do you maybe want to sit at my table?” I finally work up the courage to approach her.
“Sure. Can I bring Evie too?”
“Oh yeah, of course,” I blurt out. “No problem”
We sit and talk. Well, it’s mostly her and Evie doing the talking. I kind of just listen and hope for the wind to blow the hair of her neck, and reveal those priceless freckles.
For the first time in a while, I am present, I’m aware of everything around me, I feel everything so clearly. I’m starting to think that Dixie might be able to save me from this self-destruction battle that has been going on for so long. The rest of the week goes by smoothly, until one Tuesday, as I’m headed to Math, Dixie runs up behind me.
“Quinn?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you want to come to my guitar gig today?”
“Oh yes! Definitely! I mean, sure. What time?”
“6”
“Ok, I’ll be there”
Yes! It’s like a thousand fireworks erupt in my head each one bigger and more amazing than the last. My first invitation. Maybe we are friends. No, it can’t be, she’s just taken pity on the campus loner. Nevertheless, I can’t wait for tonight.
After school, I catch the early bus, so I have enough time to get ready. I rummage around for something to wear that’s not my cheerleading uniform. I settle on a Paramount shirt and some jeans, that actually look okay on me.
I get to the café at 5:50 and sit for a while until the lights dim and she comes on stage. She is carrying an acoustic guitar and sits on a stool by the microphone, and starts strumming away. Her song is short but it hits me hard. She sings about running in circles and getting nowhere and trying to smile when you’ve forgotten how to and drowning in your own waters and mourning everything that you still have. It was like she was in my head and was singing everything that I was thinking of. I couldn’t help but stare.
    After she’s done she comes over to me and invites me on to the roof. Up there I can see the whole of Hong Kong. The sky is filled with, what feels like, all the stars in the Universe. It’s perfect.
    “I always come here after a show”
    “It’s beautiful.”
    “I know right?”
    We sit in silence and just take in the view for a while. The autumn wind blows the hair off the back of her neck, and I see the five freckles, quietly sitting there. The silence is peaceful and calm and we both recognise that there is no need to talk and that’s ok.
    Dixie finally breaks the silence with her tender voice.
    “ I have this theory that there are two forces in life, fear and love. When you’re scared you pull away from the world and let everything pass by around you. But when you're in love, you open yourself up to everything the world has.”
    It’s so profound and so so true.
    And then she gets close and we look into each other's eyes, and I feel my lips brush against her’s. 
    Her freckles are full stops, my scars the alphabet, and our skin together is the most beautiful thing I have ever read.
    I’m kissing a girl.
    My thoughts rush in a whirlwind and I’m starting to think that maybe one day,  I will sit by my window, and look out into the world, and be content. Maybe someday I will feel no shame in who I am. Maybe one day I will smile and mean it. Maybe that day will be tomorrow, maybe a year from now, maybe ten. But right now I have Dixie, enough to make me smile and hold on for a while.
    Eventually, we pull away and she whispers
    “Are you okay?”
    “Yes.”
And for the first time in a long time, those words are finally true. 
I’m still lost in the forest, but now I have a map. 
I’m one step closer to being found. 

 

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