Suzane Colasanti, Something Like Fate
I can feel it. The pressure. The expectations. It’s getting to a certain point where I can’t return from. I’ve done things where my family has given me high praise, I’ve done unimaginable things, gone on a study abroad, start my own business, built up this entire image since the beginning of freshman year in high school. But I’ve just been breaking lately. I’ve been breaking since last year and a whole lot of things are just scattered in my life. Sometimes I wish more people would check up on me, rather than telling me that they’ve missed me and ask me where I’ve been. That says nothing at all. All I really want is someone to confide in again. Someone I can call or text or message saying “I’m not okay” without feeling like I’m bothering the person or that they could care less. God’s always there, I know, but I just want, you know, another human being to talk to. That’s all I ever really want.
Slowly and gracefully, she dipped herself into the stream and let herself be swept up into the current. It was never planned, but it merely just happened. But as the minutes became hours and the hours became months, she began wondering when she would be able to feel the steadiness of the earth beneath her feet. She fretted over the mere nothingness that crept around the edges of her paper heart, waiting for the day that a tidal wave of black ink would cover it with sweet, loving phrases. But she kept floating on, wondering and wandering, hoping for everything to be okay.
There is nothing more permanent than an untimely death and the aftereffects it has. But sometimes death is unavoidable, as it’s the ultimate end humanity. Maybe it wasn’t a physical death that everyone fears, but it was a death that no one else could see except her. She felt the hands on her chest and the weight on her lungs and everything began piling up and just like that, she died. In every metaphysical sense of the word, she died and no matter how much she pushed and pulled, there was no way she could come back out of that grave and start breathing once more. The reason death is so ultimate, is that once it happens, you can never go back. No resets or do-overs. Just a permanent nothingness, a decayed and rotting version of the something that was once inside.
And as paralyzing and upsetting as all the never agains were, the final leaving felt perfect. Pure. The most distilled possible form of liberation. Everything that mattered except one lousy picture was in the trash, but it felt so great. I started jogging, wanting to put even more distance between myself and school.
It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.
I have a problem with fiction and reality. That these books that I read are much more entertaining than my actual life. That I’ve become so caught up in a fictional world so different from mine, that I’ve suddenly forgotten what it’s like to be alive. But it’s fine. I’m fine. I’ve become familiar with the solitude and the made-up characters that suddenly know my name and offer me comfort with arms stretched out, saying “Welcome home.” Sometimes, I can’t tell if I’d rather be seeking out a “Great Perhaps” or floating between locations I’ve never visited in an attempt to find something that I always lacked.
If you just vaguely looked at her, you could never tell that something was festering inside. That the flames were tugging on the heart strings humanity called emotion and invoking a sudden helplessness. But she never let this side of her show. It’s not that she didn’t want help or anything, she just… didn’t know how to ask for it. And off she went, with a pocketful of “I’m fine” and an ocean swimming with the phrase, “I’m doing okay,” when reality was quite different from these lies. But you could never really tell with her. She could never really admit to herself that she needed help. She would constantly wish on shooting stars shaped like headlights zooming past her at 2:39 AM, asking for answers instead of dreams. She was a walking question mark, looking for the logical answer that would follow after her. All these insecurities and thoughts, she wished was tattooed on her skin for everyone to see. But what they say was a pretty face in a crowd full of misconceptions and assumptions, distancing herself from the very essence of the phrase “I’m fine.”
Why do you look so alone?
When the sun is shining
And the azure blue of the sky
Is telling you to be happy.
Do not mind the world
That requires too much
And gives too little.
But take comfort
And refuge in knowing
That you’re not really alone.
You’d just like to think you are
To tell yourself you’re right
When everyone thinks you’re wrong.