Ever since I’d started my first semester at college, my dreams have become harder to see.
In high school, I had written my college essay about how my dreams were like fireworks waiting to be lit, destined to illuminate the sky. But now being in college, I can’t even get the lighter to spark.
This entire summer I’ve woken up in my childhood bed, rummaging through my mind for a piece of the person I used to be. I reread my journal pages and look back at the gullible champion I’d been a year ago. All I could find was envy.
She didn’t have money, half a degree, or a semi-sturdy resume, but she had hope. It’s like the ability to believe in God and never question if he’s real.
What drives me nuts is how fast it all happened. She didn’t have a slow, peaceful death, not even a slow painful one. She was ripped from my body like a shadow and smothered in my sleep, leaving me behind.
But that isn’t what happened. I let her get away– I released her not knowing that part of me would be missed– craved, and now, ultimately, lost. It isn’t all my fault though. High school’s celebratory senior year hoists you up so high only to drop you from a cliff, supposing you’ll land in the success you wrote about in your ‘Why Me’ essay– or at least near it.
It feels like the world was ripped from under your feet and thrown onto your back. You begin to wish that once you started to believe in God, you’d be killed right there on the spot so you wouldn’t have time to question his existence–
no time to catch the world.
My thumbs twiddle over the globe, trying to find a comfortable place for them to sit. I keep shifting them all over, but their placement feels wrong everywhere. Knowing I could drop the whole thing– I fear to and want to all at once.
If only I had the strength to spin it backwards. I’d find her again. And dismiss her replacement.
It’s not that I want my past. Just my whole.
Buried in grown-out sheets, I still dig a grave. I can’t remember her touch, her smiles I used to feel. But I hear mourning from her funeral. It sings from my dry mouth.
She’s the only thing I can talk about with friends anymore. But I’ll listen to their new reflection, hoping I’ll be able to accept mine.
Editors: Cathay L., Claudia S.
Image: Kaysha Siemens