Northern lights

Sarah D

Australia

"He was a poet; and they are never exactly grown up." - J.M. Barrie

Message from Writer

Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated; I'm always open to improvement.
Thank you for taking the time to read my pieces and I hope you enjoy them.

The Invincibles

February 15, 2016

The days are boring without you. People are just pleasant. Nobody is furious, or devious, or passionate, or restless. They’re all just placidly pleasant. They move without purpose. Days blend into weeks and into months, and all they do is age. They just exist. We did more than exist. You and I, lived.

I did try talking to them; the dull ones. The ones who weren’t you. I went to one of those parties that you always wanted me to go to. With the loud music and thrashing lights. I put that tight black skirt on – the one you lent me – and slipped into some gold sandals. I even did my hair. It had been knotted for at least a month; the dark tresses clumping around my pale face. So I decided it was probably due for a clean. I washed it, brushed it, and lay under the fan in my room as it dried. I traced the outline of my ceiling with a slow gaze, taking the time to analyse each curl and crumble of the paint. I found small spots of mold which littered the cracks like moss along a path. They tracked out the years of my life that I had lived in this little room on the top floor of my little house. An hour later I found myself back in front of the mirror. I could see you next to me, grinning at the two of us all dressed up.

I pulled my hair into a ponytail and brushed some makeup across my face.

Irene! You look stunning!

I felt your small hands grip my arm and spin me around with surprising strength. Your laugh caught on the wind and blew into my thoughts. All it took was a breeze and I was back there all over again. My eyes flew open before I hurtled out the door to the car.

When I got to the party I avoided a few drunks before making it to the front door. I hesitated, but I could hear you, like I always do these days.

What are you waiting for, Ira?

Usually you. I never went to these without you.

I thought you were braver than this.

The smile in your voice is unmistakable, even in my head.

I wandered around and eventually I found a group of girls. I tried to listen, even participate, but all they talked about were boys. I didn’t really get the appeal. By the end of the party I was wondering why I had come. But that was a stupid question: you’d asked me to, so of course I’d come. The girls laughed at some of my jokes, they were trying to be nice. And I was letting them.
It was suddenly obvious. It wasn't going to get better. This would be the rest of my life. Forced smiles plastered across the fragments of what I once was. I stood up quickly and felt the blood rush back to my head. I brushed of concerned glances as I stumbled outside; ears ringing, heart thudding. I was running down the road; stopping only when my shaking legs couldn't support me anymore. I raked my eyes across the night sky; searching for the impossible. Life didn't dazzle under the moonlight anymore, it just created shadows for demons to hide in. I couldn't live the rest of my life like this. I couldn't keep pretending that I was content to just exist.

None of it could ever equate to jumping into icy creeks with you; screeching at the cold before propelling ourselves back onto the rocks. It’s wasn’t quite like arguing with you about the colour of the sun; trying to make a decision before it slipped from the sky. It couldn’t compare to thundering down gravel streets with you; cold wind stinging our cheeks; your thin cardigan flying behind you like a cape. I can remember everything about that moment.

Ira! Look! I’m flying!

I threw my head back and prayed that something would take me. Begged for some force to whisk my spirit away to the stars, where you would be waiting.

I watched it happening all over again; tears blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
Your eyes were wide and bright as your strides became longer and longer. The wind was more frantic against your face and hair and clothes. The dim street lights illuminated your picture in the spaces between darkness. You weren't watching the road, you were watching the star littered sky; arms flung out behind you.

You looked like a superhero that night, in that moment. Maybe you were.
But superheroes are invincible, aren’t they?
And as the darkness suddenly surrendered to a loud, fluorescent, vicious light, I realised:
You weren’t invincible.

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