Isolation strangled the island. Images of blue and gold pressed against Roman’s skin. His mind churned with the sound of waves crashing against the jagged shore. He would never get used to this feeling. Falling asleep beneath a frosty sky speckled with silver, only to wake up with a salty breeze gnawing at his skin as the growing sun eased him awake.
The edges of the island were golden tipped whereas the centre was dense with trees that gave the impression of emerald clouds. Food was easy enough to come by, his diet consisted mainly of fish and wild berries. Shelter wasn’t needed for the winds hardly rose and rain did not exist here.
As he rubbed his groggy eyes, he focused on how the sea and sky fused together. Blue was beginning to hurt his eyes. Blue was all he saw- blue as the breath of death. It was enthralling for he was sure if he tried he could walk through the ocean and into the sky. The boundless, limitless sky.
This was the place where heroes were left to die. Sure, they walked of into the sunset at the end of the movies but that was not the happy ending. Roman quickly understood that happy endings did not exist, just an expanse of nothingness after years of yawning violence.
Happy ending were an illusion. The island replaced his happy pills. They replaced the sadness that existed without tears. The one that mimicked the skeleton of depression. They erased the images of his past for some time; the images that were choked with blackened blood, slashed with unsuspected violence and people designed to torture. Once, Roman had the heart to stop with grace.
His mind was as empty as the wind that dove through the trees. So much was missing. He hadn’t uttered a single word in years. There was no one to hear, let alone listen. He preferred being along but that did not stop his heart from booming like that of a convicted prisoner.
Nothing could convince him to move from this single spot. Beneath the spotty shade of swaying tree, his legs digging into the breathy sand. With the tangible smell of salt and the sound of waves lapping over chalky rocks. Nothing could pry his eyes away from the ocean. It stretched to the horizon, a deep pulse with unimaginable depths. He often thought of the souls it stopped, the souls that put stones in their pockets and waded out further and further.
To be stopped would be the happy ending. Purpose was hard to come by when the vast ocean that enslaved you surrounding every inch of your home. Home. A foreign concept.
Roman was starving although he was not hungry. He needed so much more than happy images. They did not fuel happy thoughts; they could not replace his happy pills.
Behind him, the forest buzzed with life. They did not harm. They let him be which somehow felt worse. Eyes shining as though it was raining inside of skull, Roman shifted his back towards the ocean.
Seeds of insanity were being sown into his mind. Each day his mind would wither further. Tears obscured the haze of green leaves, moist with dew. The world had moved on without him.
He couldn’t let that happen. He had to go home; home was where the sun dies. But he couldn’t. He just couldn’t. Invisible chains, a product of his mind, pulled him down.
He did not move for some while. All he saw was white. Pieces of shadow would shift between the trees, but he took no notice of them. He suspected the animals were behaving differently due to the change in atmosphere. The air was heavy like the suspended moment before a bullet is fired.
A sound dragged through his mind. A sound that should’ve belong to him. His head spun like a carousel.
Footsteps. They did not belong here unless they were his. Fear and the heaviness in his soul robbed his ability to move. This was the end. The end of the end. He would stop.
Roman could breathe. These last few mouthfuls of air were his last.
He squeezed his eyes shut, refusing to die with image of blue in his stormy head. Joy swam from his heart right to his skin, transferring into the surrounding air.
The footsteps spoke, as soft as a blade. It was neither female nor male. It did not cast a shadow, but it was human. “I’ve found you. I found you. We’re going home.”